Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2003/11/04

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Subject: Re: [Leica] re: The Decisive Moment is gone
From: Ted Grant <>
Date: Tue, 04 Nov 2003 08:02:36 -0800
References: <12b001c3a222$6742e190$0200a8c0@Desk> <> <>

Tina Manley said:
Subject: Re: [Leica] re: The Decisive Moment is gone

 >  Good photojournalists and documentary photographers
> do not interfere in any way with what they are photographing.<<<

Hi Tina,

To think, let alone say, my presents in an OR photographing surgeons and
nurses during an operation of any kind is altered or posed or directed is
absolutely ridiculous. A good photojournalist can fit in be truly invisible
if one knows how to " move, be quiet, and use silent cameras and most
importantly, don't piss people off by sticking the camera in their faces."

One of the constants over the years has been the fact, " I never knew you
were there." from
medical staff and or wherever I've been shooting documentaries, photo
essays. The most important thing is to always keep your mouth shut,
understand the light and feel the scene while the subject does their
thing!!!!  And it's your responsibility to find pictures in what they are
doing, not direct it.  If you can't do that, get a milk route!

>>I know my very presence altars the situation. That's why I try not to
> attention to myself.  Eventually, they do go on with their lives as if I
> were not there.<<<

Of course, and in some tight situations of only a few people, IE: a family,
it's very important to wait your time, don't jump all over the place, do not
get engaged in conversation or anything to draw you into the picture and
forget you are the quiet recorder. It's shut up, stay still and pick it off
as it happens and for heaven sake never use a flash!!!!

And yes you will miss some beautiful moments, so what! There will be many
others if you know what the hell you're doing! Wait!

> The families that I photograph are too busy trying to make
> a living and care for their children to stop and act for a photographer.
> Spontaneous moments like the father touching the baby's hand are exactly
> that - spontaneous. <<<<

These types of situations are captured because it's a photojournalist who
"feels the moment" knows their equipment without thought and shoots
instinctively!  And never never ever ever says, "Oooohhhh do that again!"

>>I don't believe that any photograph that has been directed should be
called a documentary photograph or photojournalism.<<<

It isn't documentary, it's a suggested directed Hollywood shot and should be
called an "illustration." to do otherwise is outright lying!

Ted Grant Photography Limited

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In reply to: Message from (Re: [Leica] re: The Decisive Moment is gone)
Message from Tina Manley <images@InfoAve.Net> (RE: [Leica] re: The Decisive Moment is gone)
Message from Tina Manley <images@InfoAve.Net> (Re: [Leica] re: The Decisive Moment is gone)