Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2004/08/19

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Subject: [Leica] M magazine
From: scott at (Scott McLoughlin)
Date: Thu Aug 19 13:51:48 2004
References: <02c601c48620$ac4f7360$> <1092944839.4759.76.camel@failsafe>

It's a good point made that Capa was hip. HCB hung around
with the most pretentious, self-consciously navel-gazing art
crowd you can imagine, Andre Breton and the surrealists,
and did his first commercial work, IIRC, for one of Breton's
surrealist/communist (go figure on that mix!) publications
in the 30's.

But anyway, whatever their work product or public persona, it
shouldn't surprise folks that artists are typically, well, artists! You
know, the self-consciously artsy, elite hipster types :-)  The
public product and private person don't have to match up.

Weird examples (not photogs): quintisentially "American idol"
Cary Grant was a bisexual Brit who liked halucinagenic drugs;
real "down home" country musician Bonnie Raitt grew up in
New York and went to Harvard (my alma matter).  Here's
another really weird one. "Dukes of Hazard" Boss Hog went
to Harvard too. Yup!  In real life, he was a "Dunster House Tea
at 5:00" type of guy.

You get the idea. Have fun, add your own examples. It's not
very hard!

So back to M and photogs, even if they do-or-have-done photo
journalism work that we all adore, it doesn't mean that they
themselves necessarily view that work as their best. Maybe, but
maybe not.  Maybe that just pays the bills. Maybe they like to
travel. Of course, maybe some do view their journalism work
as their highest calling. 

But we shouldn't necessarily assume so. Just as likely, I'd wager
that some, maybe many (no, not all!!!) really, really elite photogs
are a bunch of somewhat "artsy fartsy" types who might have
gone to nice schools, have a yearning desire to "do something
new with the medium" and so on and so forth. What do you
want? They're artists.

But I haven't seen "M", so I'm not claiming it doesn't totally
suck :-)


Feli di Giorgio wrote:

>On Thu, 2004-08-19 at 12:13, B. D. Colen wrote:
>>Well, Feli, keep in mind that Robert Capa was exceedingly hip - not
>>suburban - but hip enough to hang out in Hollywood, be Ingrid Berman's
>>lover for a while, pal around with Hemmingway, etc. etc. He bounced
>>back and forth between wars and the Town and Country set.... ;-)
>True, but at least he knew how to frame a shot and I think if you dared
>to call "Papa" a hip poser to his face he would have told you to go
>perform an anatomically impossible act or done worse. ;-)
>I don't know, maybe I am blowing this out of proportion, but the mag
>just doesn't say anything. Lots of impersonal wide angle shots that say
>more "I was here" than  "I was here and THIS happened to THIS
>person/people". Lots of Diane Arbus type shots of people lined up
>staring in to the camera like a GAP add or specimens at a entomology
>exhibit, all printed in over saturated colors. 
>If you were looking for something like "The Country Doctor", it's not
>here. It just seems all over the map. More "art" photography than
>journalism, from an agency that made it's name as the gold standard in
>The print quality is well, iffy. Lots of the photos looked cropped.
>People may say "well, what the hell do you know. They are in Magnum and
>you're a hack amateur writing this on the LUG." Well, yes. I currently
>do not make a living as a photographer, but I don't think that
>automatically disqualifies me from saying that something is rotten in
>Leica Users Group.
>See for more information

Replies: Reply from buzz.hausner at (Buzz Hausner) ([Leica] M magazine)
Reply from bladman99 at (Dan C) ([Leica] M magazine)
Reply from feli at (Feli di Giorgio) ([Leica] M magazine)
Reply from shino at (Rei Shinozuka) ([Leica] harvard?? please!)
In reply to: Message from bdcolen at (B. D. Colen) ([Leica] M magazine)
Message from feli at (Feli di Giorgio) ([Leica] M magazine)