Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2003/09/15

[Author Prev] [Author Next] [Thread Prev] [Thread Next] [Author Index] [Topic Index] [Home] [Search]

Subject: RE: [Leica] PWIFLI: Dogs and small children - Get closer
From: Peter Klein <>
Date: Mon, 15 Sep 2003 16:44:47 -0700 (PDT)

Phong and Don:

Thanks for the feedback.  You both are right, it probably would have been
better if I was closer.  I've noticed that my "comfort zone" is farther
back than some. I have an aversion to sticking a camera right in someone's
face.  I like to capture life without intruding too much, unless I know
the people.  I'm very tall (6'3", 190.5 cm), and when I was a kid I was
always told to step back and not "tower over people."  It may be one
reason why I prefer a 50 to a 35, and why I generally don't like

But on the other hand, I do like the play of light on the railing and
grillework, and I'd like to keep some of that.  It was the light on their
faces that made me take the picture, and I do like some context.

In this case, I had been blasting away taking sunset pictures, and saw the
"madonna and child" moment coming with one frame left.  I had to change
aperture and shutter, focus, and shoot quickly, and I only had the one
chance.  If I'd had more frames I would have gotten closer and/or shot
vertically after I got that first shot.  But I knew I'd better get the
first shot fast since the light and the moment wouldn't last.

Yes, the people were strangers.  Although the little girl had been
flirting with us while we were waiting for the ferry, and we'd spoken to
the parents briefly.  I wish I'd gotten their address, because I bet they
would cherish this picture. 

There was an out-of-focus shoreline near the top of the negative, which I
cropped out as distracting.  I may play with this one some more--see how
much railing I can lose without losing my sense of context.  The shot is
on Reala 100, so it can stand a bit of cropping.

- --Peter

DOn Dory wrote:
>  So, why not get closer? 

Phong wrote:

> I noticed this in a lot of Peter's shots also. If that's the comfort
> zone you work with, you may want to consider a longer lens for this
> type of shots.  On the other hand, taking half a step forward is
> cheaper. Or claim that your intention is to show the bond between
> mother and baby amidst the existential emptiness of life. Or just
> crop.  It's not too late for that.

> My guess is that the woman is a stranger and you didn't want to impose
> so rush the shot without thinking too much about the composition.

> Anyway, the soft colors more than save the image for me.

- --
To unsubscribe, see