Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2003/11/06

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Subject: [Leica] re: The Decisive Moment is gone (digest #365)
From: "Michael E. Berube" <>
Date: Thu, 6 Nov 2003 21:31:01 -0500

On Thu, 6 Nov 2003 10:06:45 -0800 (PST), Leica Users digest quoth unto the boundless Ether...
>Tina, something you said in a previous message worries me. You
>voiced concern about burning and dodging (two perfectly acceptable
>adjustments) because having done so might make a photo ineligible
>for an award.
>Who are these prune-assed, self-righteous arbiters of reality? How
>creative can a working photographer be with the thought police
>looking over their shoulder to disqualify them for making perfectly
>innocent improvements in print quality. These people ought to belong
>to the mechanics union, not on the staff on magazines and on award
>Sam S

Huge difference between 'creative working photographers' and documentary/news photographers/photojournalists though. 

Yes, it is possible to be a creative photojournalists, but the line seems to be drawn at an intent to manipulate the depiction of the reality of a particular moment in time frozen in a photograph to alter truth. 

In "art" there are no such rules of course. Only the final image and message of the artists matters, but when dealing with the fourth estate that is Journalism, TRUTH is supposed to be all that matters. 

The problem comes in determining "what is truth?" (But humans have been dealing with that question for at LEAST 2000 years right?) 

As I wrote on NPPA-L recently, choice of focal length, subject distance, aperture, film and shutter speeds, development time, agitation, developer, etc... are also all decisions that can be used to manipulate the photographer's idea of what truth is shown to a viewing public. In the end, the intent is what matters and viewers need to realise that all truths are relative to the tellers' life experience. 

Carpe Luminem,
Michael Eric Berube

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