Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2001/06/21

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Subject: Re: [Leica] re: robert Capa Photo
From: "Mxsmanic" <>
Date: Thu, 21 Jun 2001 20:17:44 +0200
References: <>

Capa was lucky because the scene was fortuitous (he could hardly anticipate the
man being shot at that particular instant), but Capa was also good because he
had the presence of mind to be ready just about all the time to take
photographs, so when that unexpected event _did_ come up, he was prepared and
instinctively shot.

We all see scenes all day long that would make superb photographs, and what we
see is purely a matter of luck.  The talent enters the picture when we try to
get those scenes on film.

- ----- Original Message -----
From: <>
To: <>
Sent: Thursday, June 21, 2001 16:05
Subject: [Leica] re: robert Capa Photo

> I cannot understand why people seem to think Capa had to have good reactions
> to get this, and there is an undercurrent that, even if it was just a lucky
> shot, it was therefor not as good becauses it wasn't based on skill.
> Applying this standard, the only good photographer is an Ansel Adams type --
> and all the great shots gotten by phtographers using auto-winders and motor
> drives would be eliminated since, obviously, they didn't use skill, just what
> amounts to a large format movie camera. And any news photographer who gets a
> great shot just because he happens to be on the scene of a great
> accident/shooting/presidential assasination, well, hell, he was  just lucky.
> As far as that goes, so was Adams. He always said he had to work quick to
> catch the light which, he always admitted, was transient and surprising.
> Lucky guy -- guess he was a cheat too.
> Face it, luck is a big part of it. Always was, always will be. It's what you
> do with it, the brain stem reaction that makes you stick the camera up and
> push the button, the reflex that makes you grab tripod and film holders and
> camera and guess the perfect exposure in your head before the moon over that
> little new mexican village goes behind a cloud, that makes the difference.
> Capa had it, as demonstrated many, many times.
> ctrentelman
> ogden
> probably doesn't have it
> utah
> In a message dated 6/21/1 7:08:50 AM, you wrote:
> >Alan Hull writes:
> >
> >> I cannot see how anybody can have reactions
> >> quick enough to have captured that image ...
> >
> >I think he just got lucky, and I don't think he ever claimed otherwise.

Replies: Reply from "SonC (Sonny Carter)" <> ([Leica] re: robert Capa Photo and Luck)
In reply to: Message from ([Leica] re: robert Capa Photo)