Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2001/01/04

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Subject: Re: [Leica] Photos from a Paris workshop
From: "Mark_E_Davison" <>
Date: Thu, 4 Jan 2001 05:18:03 -0800
References: <>

In response to Jem Kime's queries:
> can you tell us more of the workshop?
> How long was it?
> What was a typical day?
> Who were the organisers (aside from Leica)?
> Was it worth it?

The workshop was sponsored by Leica USA, and announced in their promotional
magazine, Leica View. As far as I know there were no other sponsors.

The workshop ran for four days. A typical day included class from 10 to 11,
break, lunch, and then a combination of shooting exercises and museum visits
running til dinner. Then street shooting at night on some days.

The workshop was quite pricey relative to others, but the price included
hotel accomodations at the Hotel Lutecia.

The most unique and valuable things for me were: the portfolio review by
Gibson, his discussion of methods of sequencing photographs, his
explications of photographs at the museums (especially a rather complex,
cubist landscape photo by Henri Cartier Bresson) and his myriad of helpful
pointers on shooting technique. Gibson was shooting too, so we had a chance
to watch the master in action.

One extremely helpful piece of advice for tall photographers: bend your
knees! This is the only way to get vertical lines vertical, and still have
people on the street occupying a reasonable location in your photographs.
(If you are tall, and you hold the camera back vertical to prevent
convergence, then people will only appear in the bottom half of your street
photos, since they will all be below your line of sight!)

Gibson is a great believer in shooting wide open, at night, in the most
god-awful lighting conditions, with Neopan 1600. I got the sense that he
loves the interpretive "look" you get from lens aberrations, and he
recommended the Summilux 50/1.4 precisely because of its look wide open.
This led me to formulate the dictum: "you may choose a lens for its supposed
perfection, but you will come to love it for its aberrations."

There were only 5 participants, so it was easy to get questions answered.

There were two black-paint LHSA M6 TTLs in use at the seminar--and neither
was owned by a rich dentist! Participants were all amateurs. Occupations
included advertising film making, social work and software engineering.

Overall I thought it was worth it, but my wife found it to be too intense,
and pitched above her level. (The workshop had been billed as being suitable
for photographers of all levels.)

Hope this helps,

Mark Davison


Replies: Reply from Mark Rabiner <> (Re: [Leica] Photos from a Paris workshop)
Reply from Mark Rabiner <> (Re: [Leica] Photos from a Paris workshop)
In reply to: Message from Jem Kime <> (RE: [Leica] Photos from a Paris workshop)