Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2003/06/23

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Subject: Re: [Leica] HCB Did It All First
From: Seth Rosner <>
Date: Mon, 23 Jun 2003 09:45:51 -0400
References: <> <001701c3384f$69868020$>

As an admirer of HCB and a host of other photographers, well- and
not-so-well known, I will take my life in my hands and step momentarily into
this Slobodan-induced maelstrom.

It seems to me that there are essentially two kinds of photography. One I
may call contemplative. This is large and medium format and, to some extent,
SLR photography (don't jump on this, Doug; I recognize that wildlife and
sports photography is long lens SLR work). The second I may call action. The
35mm RF is the paradigm tool for this work. Of course many if not most of us
do both.

To be successful, i.e. to produce images that touch or move viewers,
requires an eye. The photographer, in either area, must be able to see and,
indeed, to some extent, to foresee the image that he/she wishes to preserve.

In contemplative photography there is ample time and space to manipulate the
(prospective) image by changing the light, the lens, the subject's
orientation or by moving to a different viewpoint.

In action photography the photographer has no such luxury. He/she rarely can
truly foresee the desired image by more than a moment and must rely on what
in the sports world we call eye-hand coordination. I've played all of the
racquet sports almost all my life. Accurately striking a ball moving at over
a hundred miles an hour  requires lots of eye-hand coordination.

This is perhaps a long-winded way of describing the decisive moment. HCB's
work exhibits an extraordinary eye for the image as it is creating itself
(i.e. the action creating the image-opportunity) and extraordinary eye-hand
coordination in capturing that action with his right index finger.

my 2c.

Seth            LaK 9

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