Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2006/06/06

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Subject: [Leica] Re: 90mm's
From: walt at (Walt Johnson)
Date: Tue Jun 6 09:01:39 2006
References: <04a301c68901$4d7a6f80$0a01a8c0@MacPhisto> <>


Marc's comments are all BS. How the hell can you know what you're 
shooting by hiding in the background with a long lens. There is nothing 
wrong with getting up close and personal. The most important thing is to 
make sure your subjects feel your respect for them. They are not 
elements of  the composition but rather human souls. Some are better 
than others but when treated well they generally respond well.

 Ralph Gibson has been discussed quite a bit and perhaps it might  be 
time to return to his work and really see it. Even though he is right on 
top of his subjects (sometimes even closer :-[ ) I don't feel his 
presence but rather see what he sees. You can smell the sweat (or sweet 
fragrances) of you subjects and not be intrusive. You will know this 
when it happens. All else is practice for the real thing. (IMO)


P.S.  press conferences and presidential photo humps have nothing to do 
with honesty.

Marc James Small wrote:

>At 08:57 PM 6/5/06 -0500, you wrote:
>>Capa never said "If your pictures aren't good enough, you need a 90."
>>Jeffery Smith
>>New Orleans, LA
>We have never met in person but, trust me, I love you like a brother and I
>look forward to the time when we meet in person.
>A 90mm lens is a wide-standard.  A 40cm lens is a normal lens.  Stay away
>from the folks and let them live their lives.
>The next time some jerk photojournalist shoulders his way into my face to
>take his pictures, he really will get an elbow in his jaws.  You wide-angle
>folks do not understand how threatening you seem to those of us who are
>your targets.
>Capa's comment was cool for the time but was also full of BS -- President
>Truman, for instance, directed that no one at a Presidential Press
>Conference use a lens less that 50mm.  
>Me?  Now that I am retired, I do not expect to EVER appear again at a
>public function.  But I have done so on frequent occasion over the past
>quarter of a century, and I have always told the Photo-Toads that I wanted
>a 12 foot (3m) circle of safety and that I'd clobber them if they came
>closer than that.  They knew that I meant what I said, and I generally had
>some hefty friends along to emphasize the point.
>You wide-angle guys are simply sick.  Get back to a decent distance, let
>the subject be okay, and shoot the picture with a 40cm Telyt.
>What YOU guys wish to do is to jam the camera into the jaws of the victim
>and get a horrified response.  Jam a camera in my face, and you will get a
>horrified response, which will include the destruction of your camera.
>Wide Angle Dudes.  Stay away.  Learn long lenses.  Understand that Duncan
>and Capa were speaking for what scientists call "special circumstances".  
>I detest wide-angle lenses as they defy the very reason for photograhy  --
>documentig reality.  Still, that 4.5/21 CZ Biogon did a hell of a hit at
>the Bridge at Mull in Ireland back in 2001.
>Cha robh b?s fir gun ghr?s fir!
>Leica Users Group.
>See for more information

Replies: Reply from telyt at (Douglas Herr) ([Leica] Re: 90mm's)
Reply from schneiderpix at (Robert Schneider) ([Leica] Re: 90mm's)
Reply from kididdoc at (Steve Barbour) ([Leica] Re: 90mm's)
In reply to: Message from leicachris at (Christopher Williams) ([Leica] Re: 90mm's)
Message from msmall at (Marc James Small) ([Leica] Re: 90mm's)