Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2001/01/25

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Subject: Re: [Leica] week four
From: "" <>
Date: Thu, 25 Jan 2001 23:00:42 +0100
References: <>

This has just been mentioned on the SP list. Considering my current project,
I'm thinking about whether I can exclude the actual human presence. If you
think about Atget, Evans, Friedlander, Brassai, Kertesz, Hass, they all, at
times, portrayed cities without the people being there. The sign 'is' the
human presence. It all depends what you are trying to accomplish. I've got
loads of negs of graffitti, streetsigns, door numbers, which together could
be used to tell a story about the places the signs are from. I love
Friedlanders 'Letters from the People' as a body of work, but if you placed
some of the photos as a PAW it would get slated. Horses for courses I
A somewhat related issue, I suppose,  does a photo have to stand on its own
or can it rely on external factors?I took  a photo today of a building with
a cardboard cutout of Picasso, overseeing a cardboard cutout of his work. On
top of the building are four flags, Catalunya, Europe, Barcelona, Spain.
Semiotically it is an appropriation by the state symbols of power of a
cultural figure, and a simulacra one at that, but I don't think it is a good
photo. Maybe I'll use it as a PAW!
Anyway it has been a long hard day.

- ----- Original Message -----
From: "Martin Howard" <>
To: <>
Sent: Thursday, January 25, 2001 9:10 PM
Subject: Re: [Leica] week four

> Lee Bacchus jotted down the following:
> >
> My contact sheets are filled with shots like this: Interesting
> but lacking a human element.  To me, this shot needs a person to be a good
> photograph.  If you'd got someone who clashed with the "MEN" sign or
> otherwise imparted some visual humour, it would be a great photograph.
> I *think* (I'm not the expert here) that the solution is to wait for the
> human element.  To recognize the potential for a good photograph and then
> hang around until it materializes.
> M.
> --
> Martin Howard                     |       Harrisburg '79
> Visiting Scholar, CSEL, OSU       |       Chernobyl '86
> email:         |       Windows '98
> www:        +---------------------------------------

In reply to: Message from Martin Howard <> (Re: [Leica] week four)