Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2015/05/29

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Subject: [Leica] Mary Ellen Mark On Vimeo for Leica
From: robertbaron1 at (Robert Baron)
Date: Fri, 29 May 2015 09:19:56 -0500
References: <> <>

An interesting point of view, Jayanand, and to be honest not one I had
really considered before you raised it.  Maybe that is because her
photographs ring true to me as depictions of the culture I am part of, but
I'll need to think about that some more.

Even the photographs she made of cultures I am not familiar with have the
ring of truth to them, in my opinion, and I now think about the war zone
photographs of shooters like James Nachtwey and wonder if they need
captions and if not why not?  Would you think Salgado's famous photographs
of the gold mine or of the train station need text?  An argument can be
made that some things should allow for use of the viewer's imagination - or
sense of investigation if the viewer wants to learn more about the subject.

Educators trying to teach students (or trial lawyers like me trying to
teach a jury) will say you should not spoon feed every bit of information
to the audience but leave some for the audience to figure out; it is better
learned and retained that way.  Should that maxim also apply to
documentary/documenting photography?

Again: you raise an interesting point and I'm going to think about it.



===On Thu, May 28, 2015 at 10:41 PM, Jayanand Govindaraj <jayanand at
> wrote:

> Bob,
> Interesting. TFS.
> What struck me is that most of the pictures have no emotional impact for
> me, like the girls in the gang on the street, without her narration, as I
> am not steeped in the nitty gritties of US culture. Goes against what Kyle
> says that one of her tenets was, about not having a caption. I think that
> is valid when you have a mono cultural, homogenous viewership for your
> work, but once you have a cross cultural audience, a little explanation,
> like a caption, is invaluable to create the emotional impact! Of course,
> this observation is for the sort of photographs that she took, and
> obviously would apply to a much lesser extent for nature/wildlife and that
> sort of thing, but even there, giving the frame "a local habitation and a
> name" does help in pulling the viewer emotionally into the frame.
> My two bits!
> Cheers
> Jayanand
> On Fri, May 29, 2015 at 6:29 AM, Robert Baron <robertbaron1 at>
> wrote:
> >
> >
> > View full screen.  It is worth seeing and listening to I think, not so
> much
> > because of Leica but because of Mary Ellen Mark.
> >
> > --Bob
> >

Replies: Reply from george.imagist at (George Lottermoser) ([Leica] Mary Ellen Mark On Vimeo for Leica)
Reply from gerry.walden at (Gerry Walden) ([Leica] Mary Ellen Mark On Vimeo for Leica)
Reply from jayanand at (Jayanand Govindaraj) ([Leica] Mary Ellen Mark On Vimeo for Leica)
In reply to: Message from robertbaron1 at (Robert Baron) ([Leica] Mary Ellen Mark On Vimeo for Leica)
Message from jayanand at (Jayanand Govindaraj) ([Leica] Mary Ellen Mark On Vimeo for Leica)