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

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Subject: Re: [Leica] re: The Decisive Moment is gone
From: Mark Kronquist <>
Date: Tue, 04 Nov 2003 22:33:20 -0700

Decisive moment gone indeed on another perspective I was ready a review of
the Minolta Dimage XT or whatever the latest model is in the magazine E Gear
it was considered very speedy as it only took 3 seconds to take a picture
(NOT WRITE TO THE CARD we are talking focus and fire here) after you press
the release 

Yee gads (my D1 has .58ms delay which seems almost M fast and WOWO 1
1/16000th is cool)
>> Two points: the first is that the observer's bias will transfer into
>> what is recorded.  Ted has always pointed out that you need to look
>> behind you, and most documentaries don't show the whole picture.  In
>> many journalistic settings that I have observed the coverage has not
>> portrayed what was really going on.  These would include race riots in
>> KC in the 60's to street protests about vender locations at the 96
>> Olympics.
> As I have said before we mustn't confuse the photograph itself with the
> thing photographed - they are two different things. The photograph will
> always be our opinion about what we photographed - our statement, our point
> of view. When we depict something in a photograph we aren't re-creating that
> thing or that scene, we are giving our personal account of what we saw, our
> perception of what happened in front of our camera. As photographers, we are
> often very concerned about copyright and ownership - that we have unique
> vision which shows itself in our work. If this were not so, then why not
> just send a robot into photograph the family in the barrio, the woman in the
> shelter, the refugees in the camp - and let it take random pictures. No, the
> photographer makes many subtle (and sometimes not so subtle) choices in
> making each picture, that makes it uniquely theirs - their view, their
> opinion of what they saw. Which isn't to say that it is not an honest view -
> far from it. But it is not an unbiased, neutral one.
>> The second point is that you can immerse yourself into a situation and
>> not have an observable impact on the world passing by.
> Or the "fly on the wall" documantary or reportage photographer, who perhaps
> spends an extended period of time with someone so they "blend in" and they
> can then go about there work. I wonder how many times such a photographer,
> getting to know a family, or a group of people at work somewhere, or a group
> of kids in the inner city, says in the course of getting to know them; "Just
> pretend I'm not here. Just act normally. Act as if I am not here". It's an
> interesting approach. Pretend this situation isn't what it actually is -
> i.e. there is a photographer taking pictures of you in your small peasant
> home, or in your work place. "Act" normally? And how many of these kind of
> documentary/reportage stories have people looking at the camera at some
> point? That's the reality of the situation on that day/week/month in that
> story - there was a family + a photographer, a workplace + a photographer.
> And it wasn't normal. It wasn't the same as most other days.
> Or perhaps like Salgado, the reality is, these working kids in the slums see
> you taking their picture and like kids everywhere - even in some of the
> worst situations - they smile when someone - a photographer - takes interest
> in them. But that doesn't suit his vision, or how you see this situation. So
> he shakes his fist or scowls or shake his head so they stop smiling. The
> reality was that kids smile when you point a camera at them. The truth the
> photographer wanted to show was that these kids led desperate oppressed
> lives. So which is more important - the reality or the truth?
> tim
> BTW - isn't there now a strong belief that the "man jumping over the puddle"
> was a collaborator of HCB's?
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