Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2004/05/25

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Subject: [Leica] Was HCB that good?
From: bdcolen at (B. D. Colen)
Date: Tue May 25 10:22:48 2004

Well, Neil...You sure have stuck your neck out. :-)
Actually, I felt similarly until I got "HCB, The Man, The Image, & The
World." When I looked at that career retrospective, I had to say, 'yah,
he IS that good.' Particularly when you consider that he was, in effect,
inventing the language of 35 mm photography. Had he come later, I don't
know that we would be as impressed. (And I still fail to be impressed by
the vast majority of his portraits.)

B. D.

-----Original Message-----
[] On Behalf Of
Beddoe, Neil
Sent: Tuesday, May 25, 2004 1:15 PM
To: 'Leica Users Group'
Subject: [Leica] Was HCB that good?

I've been trawling through my memory and the only HCB pics I remember as
being any good are the jump, On the Banks of the Marne and the one with
the fat man with the hat on in front of the wall with the kids running
about. All the others I can remember are just sort of OK.  There are
plenty of other photographers who have each produced dozens of pictures
that stick in my mind.

Probably says more about me than it does about HCB though.

And yes, I know he isn't dead yet.


-----Original Message-----
From: [] 
Sent: Tuesday, May 25, 2004 6:00 PM
To: Leica Users Group
Subject: Re: [Leica] The Critic

> So Bob said:
> >>> Yes, in the right circumstances.  At just the right moment.  With 
> >>> many
> > reflections and repetitions of the motion.<<<<<<<
> So Bob what your saying is....
> Where HCB had the guy jump more than once, that's still a decisive 
> moment even though it was staged several times?

Ted,  no, I didn't say that, nor mean that.   The repetitions are in the
poster behind him which shows a circus performer in the same position,
roughly, that the jumper is in, and the various semi-circles in the
water (and elsewhere I remember, but I don't have the picture infront of
me) that repeat the lines of his arms, etc.

> I see that as a repetitive moment, not a decisive moment.  Any idiot 
> photographer worth his salt can have someone do an action many times 
> and eventually capture something decisive looking. Then of course over

> a 60
> or more span create the myth of it being caught as a one shot decisive

> moment.

Are you charging that HCB staged this shot?  What is the basis for your

> I stick by my earlier comment, this picture of the critic with arms
> as we see it presented here, is as decisive a moment as the 
> re-creations
> HCB. Why shouldn't it be. Hell if it were presented as an HCB everyone
> pee their pants with "Oh man he's the greatest!"
A decisive moment, certainly.     But "the re-creations by HCB"?  You
ALL of his pictures were staged?


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In reply to: Message from nbeddoe at (Beddoe, Neil) ([Leica] Was HCB that good?)