Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2005/02/10

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Subject: [Leica] Work in progress
From: feli2 at (Feli)
Date: Thu Feb 10 18:20:39 2005
References: <> <> <> <001301c50fce$91539220$833b6d18@ted>

Hey Ted -

Yep, you are right.  A full blown project would be a massive 
undertaking and a full time job. Just the amount of time I would have 
to spend down there trying to gain the trust and acceptance of the 
residents would be substantial.

A few weekends in to this I started to think about just how much of the 
downtown story I wanted to tell. I suppose this could be done on 
several levels.

The simplest approach would be to scratch the surface, say 20 shots 
that give an overall feel for the subject, like a LIFE essay. Probably 
not something impossible to accomplish in a reasonable amount of time.

On the other end of the spectrum is something on the scale of Smith's 
Pittsburgh project and I'm embarrassed to even use his name in the same 
sentence as mine.

Here's how I am looking at it. I'm aiming for a 20 shot essay, that 
gives you a good, overall feel for the vibe of the area.
I'm mainly using this as a learning tool to figure out how to 
successfully tell a story in the format of a photo essay.
Over the past few weeks I have learned a few things about how to "see" 
properly and how to think about structuring a story in stills. I look 
at what I have shot so far and I'm starting to see how I could possibly 
structure this whole thing to tell the story and am starting to think 
about what shots I may need to get me from one point  to the next etc. 
So, it's a big learning experiment and not necessarily something that I 
hope to turn into something concrete like a book or something.

So, there it is. Any input I can get while I work on this, would of 
course be greatly appreciated.



On Feb 10, 2005, at 4:13 PM, Ted Grant wrote:

> Feli showed and said:
> Subject: [Leica] Work in progress
>> Still shooting for this project on downtown Los Angeles, but I 
>> gathered up what I have
>> so far and put it in one place. I think I'm going to need a lot more 
>> and different kind of
>> material, but you got to start somewhere...
>> ><<,
> Feli mon ami,
> This is an interesting project to work but without question, and I 
> know you know this already......... man it's time consuming big time! 
> :-( And if you are not absolutely down in your heart sure and 
> dedicated that you are going to see this through to a complete 
> project, maybe 3-4-5 years... or more. I'd stop before you feel you've 
> thrown away too much time.
> The shooting will be an enormous chore something like doing 12-14 hour 
> days and longer day after day, week after week just to find the cream 
> pictures that'll leave viewers gasping at the fantastic moments you 
> captured. Why? Well this type of book or project has been done in the 
> past, so there's a kind of height you have to beat to make it super 
> successful. "Super successful?" Yep why not? Nobody remembers who's 
> second place and the bar has been set.
> So you have to attack this project like your life depends on it, 
> otherwise you'll end up with a bunch of "street snaps" the likes any 
> other could do. And like I said, no one remembers a second place 
> finisher.
> I mean some days you can go out and have a million dollars worth of 
> possibles in a short time.
> The next day, for whatever reason, a longer time and greater effort 
> begets one or two frames out of dozens and dozens shot. It's always a 
> crap shoot and if anything can shut it done before it really gets 
> started, it's becoming discouraged over the time spent and small 
> picture returns.
> The hardest part is... you cannot do this for a few hours, forget it 
> for a week and return when you have another couple of hours to spare. 
> It'll kill you from frustration!
> In the build-up of cultural images before 1967 in preparation for 
> Canada's Centennial Year celebration I shot documentaries for the 
> National Film Board of Canada across the country. Ethnic groups, 
> cities, villages and industry of every type. Amazing projects to work 
> on to say the least.   One of these was two months in Vancouver 
> shooting 12-18 hour days in Chinatown consecutively every day, rain, 
> shine, whatever. Some days can be so rewarding and others so 
> depressing you just want to quit and get a bread route.
> Trust me, you have taken on a great project and with time I don't 
> doubt it'll be successful. But be "TIME" prepared mon ami as it can be 
> the killer of the project.   Good luck with it and I look forward to 
> the completed shoot. Whatever amount of time it takes.
> ted
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> Leica Users Group.
> See for more information
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In reply to: Message from Grduprey at ( ([Leica] New Photos posted)
Message from feli2 at (Feli) ([Leica] New Photos posted)
Message from feli2 at (Feli) ([Leica] Work in progress)
Message from tedgrant at (Ted Grant) ([Leica] Work in progress)