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

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Subject: Re: [Leica] human landscape WAS week four
From: Johnny Deadman <>
Date: Thu, 25 Jan 2001 17:59:31 -0500

on 1/25/01 5:00 PM, at wrote:

> 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've been trying to shoot my city (toronto) in this way with very little
success. But at xmas I went back to Lincoln in England, and shot a few rolls
that are among the best 'human landscape' that I've ever done. Will post
them when I get a moment. So the answer is: you can shoot whatever you want,
of course, but the human landscape without the human figure is a remarkable
challenge. It sounds like it should be easy but it's stunningly hard. The
only thing easy about it is that it's easy to make boring, sterile pictures.

We've talked about this before, but the best human landscape stuff I've seen
really is mark powers' THE SHIPPING FORECAST, which has a lot of human
figures in it, I know.
- -- 
John Brownlow