Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2008/03/22

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Subject: [Leica] Shoot with what you brung
From: hoppyman at (Geoff Hopkinson)
Date: Sat Mar 22 15:34:06 2008
References: <><003801c88a24$c56ab6a0$6b01a8c0@dadquad><><000601c88b1d$ffd23da0$6b01a8c0@dadquad><><000101c88ba1$e653db70$6b01a8c0@dadquad> <>

George this is a thoughtful and cogent response. Of course I was expressing
my own freely offered opinions as well. One person's OOF quality is
another's under-corrected aberration ;-) Actually I expected that the
Europeans may voice an interest on this too. Perhaps later as posts
percolate through in-boxes. Meanwhile I have one hundred and fifty new
family images to sort and consider. A great many of course have little or no
artistic value and mainly they are very sharp. Always when the operator did
his part! It does bring to mind for me that such records have their own
value too. Simply another application for the chosen tool. Again too, the
experience and satisfaction of using that fine tool is part of its value.

Kind regards

-----Original Message-----
[] On Behalf Of
Lottermoser George
Sent: Sunday, 23 March 2008 01:30
To: Leica Users Group
Subject: Re: [Leica] Shoot with what you brung

On Mar 21, 2008, at 5:21 PM, Geoff Hopkinson wrote:
> I don't
> subscribe to the viewpoint that a lens can be too sharp for a  
> particular
> subject though.

Nor do i. I love seeing every single pore and imperfection. That's  
the aesthetic that I've always worked in and strived for. Yet, I see  
work done by serious photographers whose sensibility and aesthetic  
works in harmony with soft focus; or Holga's blend of sharp centers  
and soft vignettes; and the images work because they speak in the  
language required.

> But you have repeated the argument in essence that competence with  
> your
> camera and photographic skill are the most important factors in  
> making a
> worthy image.

without doubt in my mind.

> That being accepted, better equipment with the same skill set
> and circumstance will make better photographs.

Not necessarily. The mastery lies in choosing the correct tool to  
achieve the desired result. And that may very well be a pinhole in  
front of an 11x14 piece of film; or an SX-70; or a Holga; or whatever.

> Else you might be satisfied
> shooting only with a camera-phone or similar.

'tis not a matter of "satisfied" but a matter of knowing what the  
tool can do and whether you wish to use the tool marks. Sculpture,  
wood carving, clay and ceramic art may serve as the best analogy.  
Folks who appreciate those arts appreciate the artist's appropriate  
use of tool marks including the hand as a tool.

> What are those appealing qualities for you in the LOMO or Holga  
> images;
> lower contrast and saturation, soft focus effect? I genuinely feel,  
> that
> Holga folks are really saying 'look at the picture I made despite  
> having the
> most basic camera'

No doubt many Holga user's have that goal in mind. Other's actually  
learn what the tool has to say and use it in ways that exploit its  
character (some would say flaws). We often speak of OOF quality of $2  
- $3K lenses. Why would we then put down the OOF quality of $2.00  
lens - if it also comes across as lovely?

The bottom line; always; does the photograph have soul? does it move  
you? does display aesthetic qualities? or
is just a tack sharp of record of a person, place or thing?

> I'd rather say 'look at the picture I made as I try to
> live up to the quality of my camera' Both valid certainly.
> We can meet on the common ground of 'Jeez, look at that'

always on common ground ;~) just expressing my thoughts and feelings  
on the subject of photography

Fond regards,
Picture A Week -

Leica Users Group.
See for more information

In reply to: Message from ausdlk at (David Keenan) ([Leica] Re: Dave's PAW (*) 2008 #11)
Message from hoppyman at (Geoff Hopkinson) ([Leica] Re: Dave's PAW (*) 2008 #11)
Message from s.dimitrov at (slobodan dimitrov) ([Leica] Re: Dave's PAW (*) 2008 #11)
Message from hoppyman at (Geoff Hopkinson) ([Leica] Shoot with what you brung)
Message from imagist3 at (Lottermoser George) ([Leica] Shoot with what you brung)
Message from hoppyman at (Geoff Hopkinson) ([Leica] Shoot with what you brung)
Message from imagist3 at (Lottermoser George) ([Leica] Shoot with what you brung)