Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2004/10/27

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Subject: [Leica] RE: Leica M4-2
From: grduprey at (
Date: Wed Oct 27 09:08:03 2004


I have a better appreciation for your argument of precise framing and the 
other details from this last post.  You obviously must pay closer 
attention to these details as you cannot afford  wasted space or having a 
frame not properly laid out, for a film.  you do not have the luxury of 
cropping a frame or two to get it right like the majority of the rest of 
us.  as to the italian blood, I know exactly what you mean, my wife is 
Italian, and she can be very passionate about making a point. ;-)


First off Ted, I'm sorry if I came off a little strong in my initial
mail. No, disrespect intended, it's just that sometimes that Italian
blood gets a little going and you know what it's like when you feel
passionate about something...

I see where you are coming from and I think my approach to taking photos
has to do with my background in film and theater, where I'm accustomed
to having control over the results.

At work half of my job is worrying about catching the right moment or
performance. The other half is worrying about how the light and
technical aspects are supporting that performance. 

I have noticed that when I shoot stills; even if it's documentary type
work, I tend to frame and shoot like it's a movie.

As you say, my priority is trying to capture the right moment, but I
sometimes think about how I can manipulate the lighting with the
exposure, to created a certain mood or look. It's not a long drawn out
process, but it does cross my mind.

Sometimes I make certain stylistic choices when I start a project. Last
year I shot a 1920's style Jazz band, and decided to shoot with vintage
lenses, because I wanted a certain look that I couldn't get from the
newer glass. (they are on my website in the archive, Janet Klein).

Another time I decided to shoot a subject with a certain DOF. I did a
short essay on a friend of mine who is an actress, and shot all of it
wide open, because it created the right mood for the subject. Looked
really nice; this actress rehearsing her part in private, with only her
in focus as she was concentrating, and everything around her a blur.

So, in addition to trying to capture the right moment, I sometimes think
about how I can manipulate the lighting with the exposure or what lens
to take along that day, to help created a certain mood or look. It's not
a long drawn out process, but it does cross my mind and I try do do it
if I have the time.

I think (and correct me if I'm wrong) that your approach is probably
rooted in your background as a news photographer, where of course you
have almost no control over what you are shooting, except for grabbing
the right moment and framing it properly. You see the right light and
moment, everything clicks and you grab it. If you came back to the paper
and told your editor that you missed the shot because the light wasn't
right, they probably would have had you carted away in a straight
jacket. ;-) 


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In reply to: Message from feli at (Feli di Giorgio) ([Leica] RE: Leica M4-2)