Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2008/01/07

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Subject: [Leica] Re: December 2007 LUG Photo Contest results
From: rpalmier at (bob palmieri)
Date: Mon Jan 7 08:16:30 2008
References: <>

On Jan 6, 2008, at 11:07 PM, Steve Barbour wrote:

> both my wife and I being  medical people, we felt a huge lump in our
> throat as we discussed this and came to this caption...
> we were being staggeringly insensitive, but we felt that this image
> says something quite different from the usual caring, both verb and
> adjective...
> we apologize, but feel justified in arriving at this spectacularly
> unsympathetic conclusion...
> we each (MD and RN) have been through many harrowing medical
> situations, and possibly have a sixth sense, what we saw and reacted
> to in your image,  you have described as caregiver fatigue...
> seemingly not caring.
> without being too analytic it's all there...
> as such it's an effective image in that it reveals a certain lack of
> caring...distancing...lack of human emotional interaction,  imho.
> But, on the other hand, what I found amazingly revealing and moving in
> your photo Bob,  the man's shoes on the floor are "backwords"...
> this reminded me of John F Kennedy's  funeral,  seeing the boots in
> the stirrups of the riderless horse turned backwords...
> such a small thing yet...
> in fact, after all the talk is done, maybe the right photo has won
> recognition for "caring"...
>> One of the things we see in this is a certain "caregiver fatigue" -
>> in fact a somewhat darker take on "caring" than one might normally
>> shoot for in photos for this theme.
>> And in fact, when Brian announced this theme I thought to myself
>> "Well... why should any of us bother entering when it's clear that
>> Steve's gonna have this one locked up.  In fact, we oughtta just
>> give him an honorary win based on his previously posted body of
>> work."  (Although then we'd hafta give one to Tina, too...) So I can
>> see why you might be bugged to not have your name among the named.
> sure, I can handle that...
> I submitted this image...
> a mother, and her infant on life support...
> I'm proud of it...
> thanks for not being outraged at our scandalous subtitle...
> Steve

(I know I said I'd shut up but...)

Steve -

Thanks for your revealing, heartfelt & detailed response to my post.   
In fact the two people in the snap are my wife's parents, and  
Marianna has been tirelessly devoted to Rex's needs for quite some  
time.  There's a good chance that some of the reason I shot when I  
did, at an instant that appears to show a small crack in her armor  
was a projection of my own feelings that I'm not sure I could be as  
devoted in a similar situation.

The thing with the shoes I didn't notice at all. A lucky catch.   
However, this has some relevance to the part of the discussion about  
the clutter in this shot, and to documentary photography in general.

We'd all like to feel that we're quick enough to find the significant  
elements in a scene and present them in a graphic & efficient way  
within the frame.  In fact, I usually try to do this kindof thing;  
the great majority of my shot show a bias towards making things  
simple for the viewer by leaving "distracting" elements out of the  
frame.  However, there's also the approach that  "I ain't quick  
enough (or smart enough) to pick up on all the elements and find an  
angle that gets in all the stuff I think contributes to the shot and  
leaves out the rest so I'm gonna take in a lot of the environment and  
let the viewers be more of the bosses of what they see."

And in fact you and other viewers (Bill Larsen pointed out some  
specific elements) found small things in the shot that have a story  
to tell.

So, I'm going to continue dabbling in this less control-freaky,  
looser, more wideangle way of shooting certain subjects.

And hope to continue to "get lucky" ...

Bob Palmieri

Replies: Reply from imagist3 at (Lottermoser George) ([Leica] Re: December 2007 LUG Photo Contest results)
Reply from ricc at (Ric Carter) ([Leica] Re: December 2007 LUG Photo Contest results)
Reply from kididdoc at (Steve Barbour) ([Leica] Re: December 2007 LUG Photo Contest results)
Reply from kididdoc at (Steve Barbour) ([Leica] Re: December 2007 LUG Photo Contest results)