Luminous Landscape Forum

The Art of Photography => Discussing Photographic Styles => Topic started by: Vuurtoren on August 31, 2010, 03:13:02 PM

Title: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: Vuurtoren on August 31, 2010, 03:13:02 PM
Ah cropping, we've all been duped into believing that we need to crop out the distractions, Tch Tch, cropping in the 21st century has become a playtime with magazines insisting that we crop here and we crop there and we crop crop crop.

Henri Cartier Bresson refused to crop insisting that this lends authenticity to the scene. His image could be trusted, his images were as is, that was his extra skill, that was one thing he was admired for.   In all of my environmental portraitures I decided never to crop, regardless, for this very same reason.  As an experiment once I cropped a few of those images and yes - wow was it a stunner.  And That was my problem, the Stunning effect became the distraction and my image lost its individuality. And so if the background in my image was not lending itself to harmony, then I dumped the image, If I wanted space, I would create space in camera by predicting the person's next movement, if the space was too much, I left it in.  Why, I guess just to be obnoxious and rebel against trends.  

Chris
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: Riaan van Wyk on August 31, 2010, 03:30:36 PM
Chris, from the little I have read on the subject, I gather that it is a personal thing to compose in camera or in cropping. And from that I don't think anyone can say they are "right" - either way?   


Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: feppe on August 31, 2010, 04:00:01 PM
Not this religious discussion again  :-X
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: Rob C on August 31, 2010, 04:02:42 PM
Not this religious discussion again  :-X


Come on, feppe, I know he was good, but this is a bit far out...

Rob C
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: RSL on August 31, 2010, 04:14:17 PM
Henri Cartier Bresson refused to crop insisting that this lends authenticity to the scene.

Chris

Chris, As Harri pointed out, this is a discussion that's been going on for ages, with no result -- that I can see anyway. You're never going to convince the loose shooters that cropping isn't the way to make photographs with visual integrity. But HCB wasn't talking about "authenticity." He was talking about integrity of vision. That's the thing that the croppers don't understand, and as a consequence, miss.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: michael on August 31, 2010, 04:56:49 PM
Is there more "integrity" to ones vision when shooting 1:1, or 3:2, or 4:3 or 3:1?

Or do you choose the format to shoot with first and then wait for shots that have the greatest integrity?

Or, do you carry all formats with you at all times and choose the one that's most appropriate for ones vision's integrety.

Or, if you have the wrong format in hand for a particular shot, do you just let it pass by rather than risk losing integrety?

Just asking.

Michael
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: Vuurtoren on August 31, 2010, 05:00:11 PM
Ok, integrity of vision.  i just used my own words to translate my understanding of this and my appreciation for the practise of 'authentic photography',  I would not want to convince anybody really, that would be so so wrong of me, it's just that I have a little dislike for 'in-balance', but really, my argument is against photography magazines, from where by the way I started and worshipped, that is until I was exposed to a 2 year course at college.

Ok then, further discussion might prove beneficial to listeners.  (I will try and think of something more edifying).  
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: Vuurtoren on August 31, 2010, 05:12:04 PM
Is there more "integrity" to ones vision when shooting 1:1, or 3:2, or 4:3 or 3:1?

Or do you choose the format to shoot with first and then wait for shots that have the greatest integrity?

Or, do you carry all formats with you at all times and choose the one that's most appropriate for ones vision's integrety.

Or, if you have the wrong format in hand for a particular shot, do you just let it pass by rather than risk losing integrety?

Just asking.

Michael

Hi Michael, Yes I see your point - very good one.  Well the point for me personally is still "Authenticity", and confined to my feelings at that time with that genre at that stage.  Had I followed the photography magazines I would be cropping to produce something a little artificial.  i am not a philosophical thinker and composer of my own arguments and reasoning.  It's just feelings.  So I am unable to write about it.  But the crop could have produced stunning images, better sharpened etc, I just felt that this was fooling the audience.  I wanted to present something less artificial than what people are used to seeing.  (Yes I know there are much better photographers out there than me) there was an element of rebellion against the highly publicised photographer magazine standards of what is taken for as pleasing.

 
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: Vuurtoren on August 31, 2010, 05:44:32 PM
Chris, from the little I have read on the subject, I gather that it is a personal thing to compose in camera or in cropping. And from that I don't think anyone can say they are "right" - either way?   



Hi Riaan, Yes it is a very personal desicion.  Allow me a moment to clarify.  Before I went to college to study "photographic studies" I thought that I was pretty ok at photography, I believed that my decisions on what to photograph and how to edit and print them were pretty cool.  I had taught myself everything from both the web and to a very large extent photography magazines - I hungered for info and new ideas.  Then I went to college pretty confident of a head start. Bang!  My world was turned upside down.  I knew nothing, I realised very slowly that the photography magazine had influenced me, and many of my fellow students, in a very unhelpful manner, we all needed de-programming from a subconcious cultural wet blanket where vision and technique had been dictated to us by the ethos of magazine editors.  It was just when I saw the post on this forum elsewhere with this title that I began this post with, it was like reminding me of everything that I had absorbed only to have it balanced out by a course.  Cropping of course I am not anti-cropping agent.  I just felt the urge to tether in some balance that's all.

Chris
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: RSL on August 31, 2010, 05:53:07 PM
Is there more "integrity" to ones vision when shooting 1:1, or 3:2, or 4:3 or 3:1?

Michael, Integrity of vision has nothing to do with aspect ratio. Well, maybe that's not the way to put it. Integrity of vision occurs when the geometry of the forms within the frame relate to each other properly, no matter the aspect ratio. I prefer a ratio of 2 to 3, but here's a 1 to 1 where the elements fit. In the end, it's what you see in the viewfinder, whatever the aspect ratio

Quote
Or do you choose the format to shoot with first and then wait for shots that have the greatest integrity

Or, do you carry all formats with you at all times and choose the one that's most appropriate for ones vision's integrety.?

Well, I usually carry a 2 to 3 Nikon D3, because after having shot mostly 35mm for roughly 60 years, it's the aspect ratio I'm most comfortable with. But nowadays I also do some street shooting with an E-P1 with a ratio of 4 to 3. The two ratios aren't all that far apart. So, the answer is: I guess if you're comfortable with a particular format, that's the format to carry with you.

Quote
Or, if you have the wrong format in hand for a particular shot, do you just let it pass by rather than risk losing integrety?

Just asking.

Michael

Depends on whether or not you're a photographer.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: feppe on August 31, 2010, 06:35:03 PM
Dogma has no place in art, and insisting on sticking within the frame set by some engineer for purely non-aesthetic reasons generations ago is as dogmatic as it gets.

Then I went to college pretty confident of a head start. Bang!  My world was turned upside down.  I knew nothing, I realised very slowly that the photography magazine had influenced me, and many of my fellow students, in a very unhelpful manner, we all needed de-programming from a subconcious cultural wet blanket where vision and technique had been dictated to us by the ethos of magazine editors.

So instead of your photographic vision being ruled by photography magazines, now it's ruled by college professors? I don't see this as an improvement, merely a change of a master with a hint of misguided elitism. There's a reason why one needs a degree to be a doctor or a lawyer, but art is hardly one where any kind of formal education is necessary; perhaps it's not even useful.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: Joe Behar on August 31, 2010, 06:54:24 PM
So instead of your photographic vision being ruled by photography magazines, now it's ruled by college professors? I don't see this as an improvement, merely a change of a master with a hint of misguided elitism.

Easy Harri...

We all have to start somewhere before we find our own path.

Once Vuutoren has exhausted the other possibilities, he will find his own "photographic voice"....Just like so many of us have done in the past.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: tom b on August 31, 2010, 07:53:33 PM
HCB didn't crop because he didn't print and cropping in the world of film is a printing process.

Working in graphic design/illustration, I can tell you that there are millions of images out there that are being cropped, deep etched, photomerged, blended. This is done to fit templates, layouts, grids, and paper sizes etc.

There is a small percentage of people who can have their integrity but in the real world that we live in cropping is the dominant paradigm. Like it or not graphic/web designers all around the world are at this moment cropping to their hearts content.

Cheers,

Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: RSL on August 31, 2010, 09:18:47 PM
HCB didn't crop because he didn't print and cropping in the world of film is a printing process.

Tom, Are you aware that HCB insisted that his pictures be printed with the black borders outside the frame visible? In some cases you can see sprocket marks in the prints. Let's just say that to conclude Cartier-Bresson didn't crop because Voja Mitrovic printed for him is a bit of a stretch.

Quote
Working in graphic design/illustration, I can tell you that there are millions of images out there that are being cropped, deep etched, photomerged, blended. This is done to fit templates, layouts, grids, and paper sizes etc.

Quite! The graphic design/illustration people think nothing of cropping Leonardo, Monet, El Greco, Renoir, Picasso, you name it. I've even seen cropped versions of the Mona Lisa. Are you suggesting that the design/illustration people have more integrity of vision than Leonardo? I'd suggest that what you're talking about is advertising, not art.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: DarkPenguin on August 31, 2010, 10:41:00 PM
Yawn.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: stamper on September 01, 2010, 04:28:08 AM
At the risk of being simplistic.....the final out put is what counts? When I look at an image I see the final product of what someone else saw and captured. I see what they captured but I have no way of knowing what they were thinking about unless they are there telling me about it and that is unlikely. Therefore their integrity of vision or their artistic thoughts aren't relevant? If an image has been cropped then there isn't much chance of me knowing about it or to be blunt I probably don't care. If the image looks good to me that is all that matters. I feel that this subject is being over complicated by some? If they want to jump through mental hoops when composing an image then that is up to them. In my camera club days it was emphasised to me that it was the final product that counted. In competitions there weren't any extra marks for what the photographer thought about when taking the image. One photographer who thought that his image didn't get the marks his image deserved tried to talk his image up by telling everyone how much effort he had made to get the image and his thinking behind it. No cigar. The image was judged by what could be seen within the frame of the photograph.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: Rob C on September 01, 2010, 05:18:44 AM
Influences, influences, in flew influences and out flew the self.

I started by reading magazines and photo annuals, latching on to every word that I devoured (a neat trick, if difficult in practice). I then moved to an inplant photo unit in an industrial giant, where part of the deal was that I go to night school and study photography there. After a while, I realised that the people 'teaching' were just run-of-the-mill snappers working in local studios by day...

Meanwhile, back in the day job, I learned a hell of a lot about hand printing black/white both in bulk and as one-offs; I learned how to process colour and produce colour prints from negs, inter-negs and transparencies.

The night that a 'lecturer' told me that were his photographs anything like David Bailey's, he would quit the job, was the last night I went to night school. The studios where those 'teachers' worked eventually went down. I did not, thank God, until much much later on when I was able to take it financially. It was exactly the same in my last job as an employee: the 'boss' once told me I wouldn't last six months on my own. I didn't last six months with him. I resigned and went out on my own. Some years later, I bumped into him at a Sam Haskins show; he asked me how I was doing, and I mentioned I was just back from a calendar shoot in the Bahamas and about to go to... he turned away.

The point I think I see lying behind all this is that you have to start somewhere; you might as well start by looking around you at what works. And what works is what is getting published, not on the friggin’ web, which is a depository for all the junk people know not what else with which to do; look at the printed stuff, at films, at television shows that are not reality tv. As I get older, I tend to feel that even photo galleries are probably more misleading to the novice than helpful, other than in one vital way: the need for networking becomes obvious if it had not been before.

From all of that you will deduce two invaluable things: what really interests you; what might earn you a living.

(This means nothing – I imagine – to anyone not thinking of photography as a job, a way of life.)

Then, when you guess you might know not only who you are but also what you are about, you have a base from which to go forth and conquer the world. Or to die in the fight which surely awaits you.

If a photo career is the last thing on your mind, just do as you please. You have total freedom, and money is not really any obstacle because you do not need pro gear to make nice pictures; you just need eyes that see.

Rob C


Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: Christoph C. Feldhaim on September 01, 2010, 07:42:02 AM
Though interesting, this discussion looks a bit futile to me and I think there is
neither "yes" or "no" concerning cropping, but that does not meant it doesn't play a role.
I believe every artist has the right and obligation to decide how he/she wants to work.
I myself love cropping, if I cannot avoid it, but I can highly respect in the same moment
someone who says  "I don't want to crop" for this or that reason.
Because there might be a reason which works for exactly that artist.
Once you decide not to crop you will work and look different at your subject.
The whole relation gets changed.

To crop, or not to crop--that is the question:
Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous photograph
Or to take arms against a sea of distractions
And by cropping end them.  .....

Cheers
~Chris

Addendum:
Who is Henri Cartier-Bresson? I don't know no HCB.
Who is Ansel Adams? I don't know any AA. 
Why don't you go out and take some photographs on your own?
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: RSL on September 01, 2010, 08:04:28 AM
Chris, You're right, and so is Stamper. Arguments like this about cropping get to be assinine. There are times when you simply must crop. But, at least in my estimation, it's worthwhile trying to achieve maximum visual integrity while you have your object in front of you. For instance, sometimes a very small change in point of view changes the light in a subtle but important way or brings into the frame another small mass the composition needs for balance. You can't change those things later in a darkroom or in Lightroom. For those who'd shoot loosely hoping to improve their pictures after the fact, I'd suggest sitting down with a book of HCBs photographs and going through it carefully. There's a lot to be learned from him about visual integrity.

Most discussions on the subject talk around it and miss the point. Here's the point, as HCB put it:

"If you start cutting or cropping a good photograph, it means death to the geometrically correct interplay of proportions. Besides, it very rarely happens that a photograph which was feebly composed can be saved by reconstruction of its composition under the darkroom’s enlarger; the integrity of vision is no longer there."
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: Vuurtoren on September 01, 2010, 10:07:21 AM
Dogma has no place in art, and insisting on sticking within the frame set by some engineer for purely non-aesthetic reasons generations ago is as dogmatic as it gets.

So instead of your photographic vision being ruled by photography magazines, now it's ruled by college professors? I don't see this as an improvement, merely a change of a master with a hint of misguided elitism. There's a reason why one needs a degree to be a doctor or a lawyer, but art is hardly one where any kind of formal education is necessary; perhaps it's not even useful.

Hi Feppe No not all, I was exposed to so much MORE than what the photography magazine preaches.  I already said that I thought I knew it, UNTIL I went to college.  Elitism by the way happened to be something my tutors hated.  You really should not presume this: =====now it's ruled by college professors?=====

Oh about art not needing any formal education.  Mmm, every talented or gifted person in any discipline needs guidance, training, coaching, even some need extra tuition, without it?  they might never reach their Full potential to astound.

Chris
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: Rob C on September 01, 2010, 12:16:24 PM
"Hi Feppe No not all, I was exposed to so much MORE than what the photography magazine preaches.  I already said that I thought I knew it, UNTIL I went to college.  Elitism by the way happened to be something my tutors hated.  You really should not presume this: =====now it's ruled by college professors?=====

Oh about art not needing any formal education.  Mmm, every talented or gifted person in any discipline needs guidance, training, coaching, even some need extra tuition, without it?  they might never reach their Full potential to astound."




People often don't have any potential in the medium within which they mistakenly find themselves swimming or sinking.

You seem to be confusing photography with some major science; you can teach a friggin' monkey how to point a camera; when you try to interfere beyond that, in my opinion, you are interfering with the virgin mind and you just shouldn't do that. That state of grace is the only advantage the newbie has: let him pick his own sources of inspiration; as both Russ and I have written here ad nauseam, the way to find out how to do it is to look at the world of existing images already around you and discover where you fit, not where some third party is trying to encourage you to go, however subtle (or otherwise) the encouragement.

Rob C
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: feppe on September 01, 2010, 01:11:36 PM
Quote from HCB:
"If you start cutting or cropping a good photograph, it means death to the geometrically correct interplay of proportions."

I hope there's a wider context to the quote, as talking about "geometrically correct" when it comes to aspect ratio doesn't make any sense. As I mentioned film and camera ARs have been chosen by engineers based on mainly technological and legacy reasons, and who put probably very little though into aesthetics.

If he's talking about conventions of photographic AR being from 4:1 to 1:1 to 1:4 or thereabouts I would agree, but if he's talking about a specific AR in a 35mm frame or 645 or whatever then I vehemently disagree. I see no reason why shooting a 2:1 panorama on my 6x6, for example, would break any kind of rule, except for perhaps wasting film.

I can see it can be argued that it's "incorrect" or even "lacking integrity" to decide after-the-fact to crop, while I can't see anything wrong to decide on-location to shoot various ARs with one camera depending on the subject matter. Perhaps that's what HCB, and you, Russ, mean?
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: Vuurtoren on September 01, 2010, 01:24:52 PM
QUOTE==========People often don't have any potential in the medium within which they mistakenly find themselves swimming or sinking.

let him pick his own sources of inspiration; as both Russ and I have written here ad nauseam, the way to find out how to do it is to look at the world of existing images already around you and discover where you fit, not where some third party is trying to encourage you to go, however subtle (or otherwise) the encouragement.=======QUOTE


Sinking people, when helped, rescue others!   Inspriration NEEDS to be nurtured! 
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: mahleu on September 01, 2010, 01:43:06 PM
Every time you raise a camera you are cropping.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: RSL on September 01, 2010, 02:21:44 PM
Every time you raise a camera you are cropping.

Exactly, Mahleu. That's the point HCB was making. When you raise the camera, that's the time to do the cropping.

If he's talking about conventions of photographic AR being from 4:1 to 1:1 to 1:4 or thereabouts I would agree, but if he's talking about a specific AR in a 35mm frame or 645 or whatever then I vehemently disagree. I see no reason why shooting a 2:1 panorama on my 6x6, for example, would break any kind of rule, except for perhaps wasting film.

I can see it can be argued that it's "incorrect" or even "lacking integrity" to decide after-the-fact to crop, while I can't see anything wrong to decide on-location to shoot various ARs with one camera depending on the subject matter. Perhaps that's what HCB, and you, Russ, mean?

Harri, As I pointed out earlier, he's not talking about any specific AR. He's talking about getting the masses, lines, repetitions, etc. into correct relationships to each other (pleasing, informative or striking, etc., depending on what you're trying to do). The AR doesn't matter. Of course, knowing what you're trying to do when you raise the camera is essential if you're to have have any hope of doing that. But you also have to understand that HCB isn't talking about landscapes. He's talking mostly about street photography where you can't shoot the same scene with more than one AR at a time.

On the other hand, I have to confess that the AR you're using makes a difference. Back in the fifties I did a lot of shooting with a Rollei -- in fact the picture I posted earlier on this thread is from a Rollei. With a Rollei I was looking for a different kind of picture than I was when I had a 35mm in my hands. It's not that I said to myself: "Now you have to find square format pictures," but with that camera in my hands my mind automatically was framing the world at 1 to 1. 2 to 3 is an active format. 1 to 1 is a passive format. With a Rollei I seemed to be looking for static pictures, where, with a 35mm I was looking for active pictures. Here's another example. If I'd been shooting 35mm I'd have been down there on the river bank up close to the refugees.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: Rob C on September 02, 2010, 04:36:21 AM
QUOTE==========People often don't have any potential in the medium within which they mistakenly find themselves swimming or sinking.

let him pick his own sources of inspiration; as both Russ and I have written here ad nauseam, the way to find out how to do it is to look at the world of existing images already around you and discover where you fit, not where some third party is trying to encourage you to go, however subtle (or otherwise) the encouragement.=======QUOTE


Sinking people, when helped, rescue others!   Inspriration NEEDS to be nurtured! 



 

Okay, I give in: black is white is any colour you'd like it to be.

Rob C
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: Vuurtoren on September 02, 2010, 12:14:46 PM


 

Okay, I give in: black is white is any colour you'd like it to be.

Rob C
That's the beauty of colour.  Perceived within the context of one's momentary experience of light.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: chex on September 03, 2010, 09:29:29 AM
Is it just me that thinks HCB's photography is downright boring?
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: pegelli on September 03, 2010, 10:16:59 AM
Is it just me that thinks HCB's photography is downright boring?

Probably not, but I think you're missing the point of this thread    :o
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: RSL on September 03, 2010, 10:19:56 AM
Is it just me...?

Yes.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: DarkPenguin on September 03, 2010, 12:23:35 PM
Is it just me that thinks HCB's photography is downright boring?

Not boring but I really never need to see it again.  Kind of like AA's work in that respect....
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: rardinger on September 07, 2010, 12:19:48 PM
I know this thread is old and the topic has been gone over many times before but when I saw the title I could not resist passing this along:

http://www.ethertongallery.com/html/specialprojects/negative/details/6.htm

Looking at this negative and comparing it to the final image will show a "crop".

http://www.boston.com/bostonglobe/ideas/brainiac/bressonbehind.jpg

(not to be confused with this one:)

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2051/1674380391_4f758a03cf_z.jpg

HCB's work is just as enlightening and inspiring to me now as it was when I first discovered it in high school nearly 40 years ago.  I personally have never embraced the idea of cropping an photograph to whatever size and shape it takes to get to a final image and tend to keep the final image in the same aspect ratio as the format I used.  I do crop the original image, many times if not all the time, some what to make up for compositional errors with what the viewfinder sees and what is recorded, what lens I have (vs. what would be best), etc.   At the end of the day, the final resulting image lives or dies on it's own merit, how one gets there is not that important.

Robert
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: RSL on September 07, 2010, 01:22:13 PM
Robert, You're right. That's "Behind The Gare Saint-Lazare," one of only two photographs I know of that HCB had to crop.He cropped it because of the post on the left. He obviously didn't have time to move to the right, away from the post. The other cropped HCB photograph is "Cardinal Pacelli in Montmarte." In that case he couldn't push his way to the front of the crowd, so he raised the camera over his head and shot down. It's cropped but it's a very, very moving image.

You can't always avoid cropping. Here's one I shot yesterday. I had a 50mm prime on the D3 and it was obvious the kid wasn't going to hold that pose long enough for me to move closer. But I knew what the final crop was going to be when I tripped the shutter. That's different from banging away and hoping you can find a picture later in Photoshop.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: Rob C on September 07, 2010, 03:05:11 PM
I can just see that I shall have to extract the digit and get back into the stuff I did on Sunday.

What I did notice in one series, where I had done the 'pick a stage and await the actors' thing, is that it caused some interest/concern? amongst some ladies having coffee in the far background. One in particular, with Anna Wintour sunglasses - maybe Anna was slumming? - was giving me the benefit of a very direct gaze. Perhaps I missed out... but with the 1.8/50 manual at around f11, it looks quite crisp to me. As I wrote before, those actors never showed; damned thespians.

Rob C
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: EduPerez on September 08, 2010, 05:55:35 AM
I do not think cropping can be considered inherently wrong; the problem, in my humble opinion, is the risk of failing into the lazy habit of careless framing, with the intention of cropping the result later.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: Mike_Kelly on September 24, 2010, 07:35:33 PM
Every photograph ever taken anywhere was.....cropped.
You are arguing which are the best or how to limit cropping tools?
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: RSL on September 25, 2010, 10:42:46 AM
Mike, Sometimes its worthwhile to read the thread before you respond. Check replies #23 and #24.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: LKaven on September 27, 2010, 04:52:42 PM
It is always the case that this perennial topic gets confused with a variety of spurious normative claims, to the effect that one should compose in the camera and never crop.  Impossible to defend.  But what is usually overlooked are the reasons why composing in camera at the time of capture has a special status.

In philosophy of action, the agent commits an act, where the act is explained by reasons (beliefs and desires) which are brought to bear on the moment (and at no other time), and the meaning of the act is fixed in an important sense.  Leading up to the act, the agent committed his/herself to all manner of choices, including where to stand, where to look, and exactly when to trip the shutter and commit to the capture.  

In the cases where the agent is most engaged, engaged in what Dewey called "experience par excellence", we expect the agent's actions to be most meaningful in the aesthetic sense (even in the everyday aesthetic sense).  In these cases, what the photographer produced at the moment of capture bears the marks of inspiration, rich inspiration, to the extent that it would be difficult for the photographer to reconstruct his/her own motivations -- or to improve upon them -- after the fact.  

While cropping is not inherently wrong, there are some deficits that one has to accept in the trade.  The question is often this: Is a proper subset of the frame captured an /ideal/ capture?  The answer is that there is no a priori reason to believe that the ideal capture is a proper subset of the original capture.  Given a rejection of the original capture, the ideal capture might have been in an entirely different angle, viewpoint, or perspective.  One can only make a compromise.

Is there a normative claim in this?  No.  You can make your art by whatever means, with the only qualification being that it is artistically justified.  But for those who are engaged with their subjects in just the appropriate way, the unedited capture will exhibit artistic depth in a special way.

For my part of it, I affirm this approach, and will only see the benefits of cropping about once in a thousand captures.  But I acknowledge that other artistic approaches have merit.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: RSL on September 27, 2010, 05:59:07 PM
Well, that settles it then.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: feppe on September 27, 2010, 06:01:06 PM
Well, that settles it then.

Whew!
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: Joe Behar on September 27, 2010, 07:16:41 PM
Well, that settles it then.

Thanks Russ,

I didn't want to be the first to say it :)
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: Christoph C. Feldhaim on September 28, 2010, 02:57:21 AM
It is always the case that this perennial topic gets confused with a variety of spurious normative claims, to the effect that one should compose in the camera and never crop.  Impossible to defend.  But what is usually overlooked are the reasons why composing in camera at the time of capture has a special status.

In philosophy of action, the agent commits an act, where the act is explained by reasons (beliefs and desires) which are brought to bear on the moment (and at no other time), and the meaning of the act is fixed in an important sense.  Leading up to the act, the agent committed his/herself to all manner of choices, including where to stand, where to look, and exactly when to trip the shutter and commit to the capture.  

In the cases where the agent is most engaged, engaged in what Dewey called "experience par excellence", we expect the agent's actions to be most meaningful in the aesthetic sense (even in the everyday aesthetic sense).  In these cases, what the photographer produced at the moment of capture bears the marks of inspiration, rich inspiration, to the extent that it would be difficult for the photographer to reconstruct his/her own motivations -- or to improve upon them -- after the fact.  

While cropping is not inherently wrong, there are some deficits that one has to accept in the trade.  The question is often this: Is a proper subset of the frame captured an /ideal/ capture?  The answer is that there is no a priori reason to believe that the ideal capture is a proper subset of the original capture.  Given a rejection of the original capture, the ideal capture might have been in an entirely different angle, viewpoint, or perspective.  One can only make a compromise.

Is there a normative claim in this?  No.  You can make your art by whatever means, with the only qualification being that it is artistically justified.  But for those who are engaged with their subjects in just the appropriate way, the unedited capture will exhibit artistic depth in a special way.

For my part of it, I affirm this approach, and will only see the benefits of cropping about once in a thousand captures.  But I acknowledge that other artistic approaches have merit.


Too true and well said.

But who tells me to see the world in an 2/3 or 3/4 ratio?

I often crop to get the aspect ratio which I feel was right from the beginning but
not supplied by my camera, especially panorama and squarish formats.
I also feel, when cropping, that the original impulse of the act is coming to a final end just then.

I often do not really understand myself when taking photographs.
The postprocessing helps me understanding myself and what I wanted.
To hit the nail from the beginning is always preferable, but sometimes an image is the
result of a somewhat cloudy intuition, which needs refinement, reflection and understanding later.

I agree with almost all of what you wrote, just want to add, the afterthought/afterfeel has its value.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: Rob C on September 28, 2010, 03:52:22 AM
Never did understand curator-speak.

Rob C
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: LKaven on September 28, 2010, 07:29:42 AM

Too true and well said.

But who tells me to see the world in an 2/3 or 3/4 ratio?

I often crop to get the aspect ratio which I feel was right from the beginning but
not supplied by my camera, especially panorama and squarish formats.
I also feel, when cropping, that the original impulse of the act is coming to a final end just then.

I often do not really understand myself when taking photographs.
The postprocessing helps me understanding myself and what I wanted.
To hit the nail from the beginning is always preferable, but sometimes an image is the
result of a somewhat cloudy intuition, which needs refinement, reflection and understanding later.

I agree with almost all of what you wrote, just want to add, the afterthought/afterfeel has its value.

I agree with these things too.  Sometimes I wish my Nikons had a square mask so I could visualize square compositions at the time of capture.  I should overlook that and shoot to square anyway more often.

Often you have all the requisite artistic intentions when you take the picture, but you aren't consciously aware of them.  One can spend considerable time trying to reconstruct those intentions after the fact, usually by studying the image as it was originally shot.  I get the feeling that you shoot for different dimension frames without a mask, but that you still see the shot at the time of capture.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: LKaven on September 28, 2010, 07:31:48 AM
Never did understand curator-speak.

Rob C
You mean me?  Sometimes you have to get under the hood a little.  This question comes up so often, and yet it seems to have a fairly clear answer to me. 
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: stamper on September 28, 2010, 07:37:45 AM
You mean me?  Sometimes you have to get under the hood a little.  This question comes up so often, and yet it seems to have a fairly clear answer to me. 

It has a clear answer. You do what suits you. Personally I crop images whenever I feel it to necessary. I haven't seen anything in this post or others that will change my mind. And no .... I don't have a closed one. ;)
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: pegelli on September 28, 2010, 08:37:28 AM
It has a clear answer. You do what suits you. Personally I crop images whenever I feel it to necessary. I haven't seen anything in this post or others that will change my mind. And no .... I don't have a closed one. ;)

Exactly, cropping is just like any PP or gear issue i.e. a means to an end. It's the end that counts.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: Rob C on September 28, 2010, 09:40:08 AM
What all of this litle knock-around ignores, is that if you have worked professionally within the 135 format you do not want to crop.

The reason is real estate. Every little mm counts, so you try to get it right on the night.

If you worked in the same manner but with 120 formats, then probably it was the 6x6 where you grew up; in that case, you almost always had to crop because apart from record albums, there were very few demands for square imagery. 6x7 became flavour of the month quite a while later; in fact, I seem to remember that it was Linhof that introduced it as their 'ideal' format. Mamiyas in 6x7 came along much later in the game, which many young snappers don't realise, thinking that RBs and RZs were the foundations of what followed. Indeed, not; 6x9 was more common, though pretty rare in pro usage.

In fact, the job you had to do usually governed the format you selected, because of shape, type and ultimate scale of reproduction. Even then, when you knew you were going to crop, you filled up as much format as possible.

Rob C
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: pegelli on September 28, 2010, 09:54:58 AM
What all of this litle knock-around ignores, is that if you have worked professionally within the 135 format you do not want to crop.

Well, the OP talked about not cropping for artistic reasons, because it "lends authenticity to the scene". The technical reasons you bring on now are totally different and btw just as much valid for professionals or amateurs.  :P

I agree there is always image degradation when cropping, but with good glass and high resolution sensors you can take a hit without it being noticable in the end-product (except for pixel peepers, but we're talking about art here....  ;)). I look at it much different now than the times I shot color slides on film, where the framing needed to be near perfect (and suited to the aspect ratio of the camera) to avoid all kind of different sizes in a slide show.

Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: RSL on September 28, 2010, 10:47:08 AM
Well, the OP talked about not cropping for artistic reasons, because it "lends authenticity to the scene".

Yes, but Chris said that the "authenticity" idea came from Cartier-Bresson. It didn't. If anyone doubts that I'd suggest he read The Mind's Eye. It's a very short book and an easy read, and has most of HCB's photographic philosophy carried over from Images à la sauvette, also known as The Decisive Moment.

Quote
I agree there is always image degradation when cropping, but with good glass and high resolution sensors you can take a hit without it being noticable in the end-product (except for pixel peepers, but we're talking about art here....  ;)). I look at it much different now than the times I shot color slides on film, where the framing needed to be near perfect (and suited to the aspect ratio of the camera) to avoid all kind of different sizes in a slide show.

I agree with you, Pieter, especially about the fact that current technology makes image degradation a less serious problem than it was when Rob was active as a pro. But that wasn't what HCB was talking about. If anyone wants to go back through the thread, he'll find plenty of discussion about the real issue from HCB's point of view: visual integrity.

I like your example of shooting color transparencies. I suspect everyone on here, except possibly the youngest, has shot them. Okay, folks, when you shot color transparencies (slides) did you shoot with the idea of cropping? I doubt it, because unless you were very unusual, with very unusual equipment you couldn't crop. So what did you do? You were very careful to get the composition and lighting correct before you tripped the shutter.

Look, nobody on here is saying you must not crop! What the sensible voices are saying is this: It's worthwhile trying to get the picture right in the viewfinder before you trip the shutter. That's when you have options that'll never be open to you during post-processing. In other words, shooting loose and hoping to find a picture later not only is sloppy work, it's lazy work and a sign that you're not quite sure what you want to do -- a deadly state of mind for a photographer.

Cartier-Bresson would tell you that you never should crop, yet we know that in two of his greatest pictures he cropped. I posted an example about two-thirds of the way down page 2 of a picture I shot a few days ago where I knew I didn't have time to move closer before I made the shot and knew I'd have to crop. Had I been HCB I'd have tried to move closer so I wouldn't have to crop, and I'd have lost the picture. There are always situations like that. But that's not the same thing as banging away and hoping you can find a picture in your files later on.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: Eric Myrvaagnes on September 28, 2010, 11:46:55 AM
I like your example of shooting color transparencies. I suspect everyone on here, except possibly the youngest, has shot them. Okay, folks, when you shot color transparencies (slides) did you shoot with the idea of cropping? I doubt it, because unless you were very unusual, with very unusual equipment you couldn't crop. So what did you do? You were very careful to get the composition and lighting correct before you tripped the shutter.
Interesting question, Russ. In my own case I realize that out of quite a number of thousands of kodachromes I shot, almost all were seen as fitting the 3:2 format at the time of shooting. In about a half dozen cases the 35mm format wouldn't fit, and I later cropped the slide by putting black photographers' tape on the slide mount. Ugly but effective.

And after many, many years of 35mm work, soon after I bought a 6x6 Mamiya, I found myself finding square compositions for the first time. In other words, my seeing is influenced by the equipment I am using. which means, of course, that when I am shooting in a particular format, I may well miss some good shots that would work better in another format.

Eric
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: pegelli on September 28, 2010, 01:15:40 PM
But that's not the same thing as banging away and hoping you can find a picture in your files later on.

Couldn't agree more.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: Rob C on September 28, 2010, 05:08:26 PM
I don't really see the validity of saying that shooting on transparency is a different situation from shooting on sensor. In both cases you are limited: in the first, by the film breaking up when you venture too far in magnification; in the second, by the sensor giving you a sudden load of crap when you find you have exceeded its ability to hide its native harshness and even its mush.

It all comes down to the same thing: make the most of the acreage you have.

Of course there will be times when the best intentions don't work, when you suddenly realise that a nice shot lurks within the framework of your original shot - but that's not to say that the first was lousy, just different.

At the end of the day, peole are free to do as they please - but experience and good housekeeping tell you to fill the frame where you can.

Eric mentions finding the square. Yep, and with that an entirely fresh approach until it becomes your normal format. As with 35mm, you fall into ways of working.

I have mentioned this before, but the cameras not only change your shape of image, they also can change your shooting dynamic in the way that you operate: with 6x6 a tripod mode is how it takes you; with 35mm you can be Jumping Jack Flash. And that's not just the shooter: I had a client who liked me to work 35mm because she liked the excitement of the ethos, the way the whole job took wings.

So there you are - it can make differences you never dream might exist.

I wonder if bankers face these subliminal drives... maybe that's why they buy Ferrari Hassies and red dots.

Rob C
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: Eric Myrvaagnes on September 28, 2010, 06:50:57 PM
Hey Rob,

Wasn't that you wielding a 35mm, hand-held in the movie Blowup?  :D

Eric
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: pegelli on September 29, 2010, 01:09:03 AM
I don't really see the validity of saying that shooting on transparency is a different situation from shooting on sensor. In both cases you are limited:

If you print the transparancies on paper you're right. If you project them cropping (or taping as mentioned above) will lead to all kind of size changes in your slide projection which is very unattractive and tiring for the audience. A problem you won't have cropping digital captures, resizing to right output format and projecting them with a beamer.

Also agree you should always try to use all film/sensor real estate, but sometimes you can't, and then a cropped shot might still be better than the uncropped version or no shot at all.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: Rob C on September 29, 2010, 04:33:35 AM
Hey Rob,
Wasn't that you wielding a 35mm, hand-held in the movie Blowup?  :D
Eric


Should have been, but I guess I must have been busy.

However, at least I was already doing fashion before the movie, so it can't be levied against me as a motivator!

;-) - Rob C

Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: welder on October 01, 2010, 12:48:07 PM
The decision to crop or not to crop really has no bearing on a photo's "autheticity" or "integreity" or whatever else you want to call it. The authenticty of a piece of art depends on the artist successfully conveying his/her vision or intention. If part of the artist's vision is that the photos shall not be cropped, so be it. If part of the artist's vision is cropping the hell out of everything, so be it.

One point that gets lost is that process can be part of the art. There are those that say the final image is all that matters. Well, there are many times in art when the process matters too. The artist has every right to decide that the process they use is part of the art. The choice not to crop can be part of the process.

But likewise, it would be silly to assume that because a photo is cropped it is somehow less authentic or has less integretiy. The chosen process can be a distingusihing characteristic of the art, but chosing one process over another doesn't make the art more or less authentic. After all, using a brush to paint a picture doesn't make something that is inhernetly better than a picture made with a camera.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: RSL on October 01, 2010, 01:00:21 PM
Welder, Did you actually read the rest of this thread? Did anyone on the thread other than the OP talk about "authenticity?" It's hard for me to believe that part of any artist's "vision" is to crop. A crop usually is made because the photograph didn't fit the artist's vision.

The statement that "process can be part of the art" is what's known in English as a tautology. It's obvious that you can't produce the product without process.

What this thread's really about is the difference between precise work and sloppy work.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: welder on October 01, 2010, 07:19:21 PM
Quote
Welder, Did you actually read the rest of this thread?.
Yes I did.

Quote
Did anyone on the thread other than the OP talk about "authenticity?"
I am not allowed to address the OP's reference?

Quote
It's hard for me to believe that part of any artist's "vision" is to crop. A crop usually is made because the photograph didn't fit the artist's vision.
I don't see why it's hard to understand that a photographer may regard cropping as technique to be used to fulfill their artistic vision. If my artistic vision includes producing a series of images cropped in very extreme proportions (something I'm currently working on now) are you telling me that is not valid?

Quote
The statement that "process can be part of the art" is what's known in English as a tautology. It's obvious that you can't produce the product without process.
At the risk of getting into a argument of semantics, I think you are not seeing the meaning behind the statement. Which is that sometimes the process is a defining characteristic of the art. A good example I can give is of a recent exhibition I saw where the artist created sculptures resembling animals out of old furniture.  In addition to the actual physical pieces on display, he explained how the process was integral to his work. He would not ever buy his materials: he would have to find his furniture. He would go out into alleyways, drive around dingy neighborhoods, looking for discarded furniture, metaphorically “hunting” his prey. In his workshop, he would be sure to keep every piece of his “kill” during the manufacture of the sculpture, and every bit that wasn’t used for the sculpture was carefully stored in jars, labeled and dated (right down to the sawdust). In other words, the art wasn’t just the resulting sculptures, it was the whole process.

If you want to relate it to photography, then consider artists who still do daguerreotypes or other alternative methods of developing photos. We have digital techniques to emulate all kinds of photographic looks, but certain photographers still perceive an intrinsic artistic value to doing things by hand in a more labor intensive fashion. In theory two photographs could look exactly the same, but if different processes are used to create them, then the process is an additional distinction to the art itself.


Quote
What this thread's really about is the difference between precise work and sloppy work.
That seems to be a rather narrow minded perception of what photographic art can be.  Precision doesn’t make great art. And sloppy art is sometimes great.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: RSL on October 01, 2010, 09:33:16 PM
I don't see why it's hard to understand that a photographer may regard cropping as technique to be used to fulfill their artistic vision. If my artistic vision includes producing a series of images cropped in very extreme proportions (something I'm currently working on now) are you telling me that is not valid?

Fair enough. But what you're describing sounds like something that has to do with your "artistic vision" rather than with photography itself. When people try to create "extreme proportions" in a photograph they usually stitch instead of crop.

Quote
At the risk of getting into a argument of semantics, I think you are not seeing the meaning behind the statement. Which is that sometimes the process is a defining characteristic of the art. A good example I can give is of a recent exhibition I saw where the artist created sculptures resembling animals out of old furniture. In addition to the actual physical pieces on display, he explained how the process was integral to his work. He would not ever buy his materials: he would have to find his furniture. He would go out into alleyways, drive around dingy neighborhoods, looking for discarded furniture, metaphorically “hunting” his prey. In his workshop, he would be sure to keep every piece of his “kill” during the manufacture of the sculpture, and every bit that wasn’t used for the sculpture was carefully stored in jars, labeled and dated (right down to the sawdust). In other words, the art wasn’t just the resulting sculptures, it was the whole process.

Okay, next time I do a sculpture I'll be sure to get out into the back alleys of dingy neighborhoods so I can make satisfactory "kills." Not sure I have enough jars though. Probably have to buy a few more.

Quote
If you want to relate it to photography, then consider artists who still do daguerreotypes or other alternative methods of developing photos. We have digital techniques to emulate all kinds of photographic looks, but certain photographers still perceive an intrinsic artistic value to doing things by hand in a more labor intensive fashion. In theory two photographs could look exactly the same, but if different processes are used to create them, then the process is an additional distinction to the art itself.

Ah yes! I see the relationship you're trying to make, but somehow it escapes me what daguerreotypes have to do with cropping. The only way to crop a daguerreotype is with a saw. As you say, different processes result in different results. And that proves...?

Quote
That seems to be a rather narrow minded perception of what photographic art can be.  Precision doesn’t make great art. And sloppy art is sometimes great.

Well, that certainly seems to track the current opinion in the "fine art" world. In fact, the sloppier the more artistic. The example I love is the (true) story of the museum janitor who got fired because he swept up and dumped a "fine art installation" into the trash.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: welder on October 02, 2010, 02:29:11 PM
Quote
Fair enough. But what you're describing sounds like something that has to do with your "artistic vision" rather than with photography itself. When people try to create "extreme proportions" in a photograph they usually stitch instead of crop.
Taking the time to stitch a photograph is not always practical. But that aside, it can also be said there is conceptual difference between the processes of stitching and cropping. In stitching you are doing it to see more. In cropping you are doing it to see less. I'm also not understanding why you're trying to decouple the artistic vision and the photography. The artistic vision is to produce a photograph that has been extremely cropped, so it has everything to do with the photography itself.

Quote
Ah yes! I see the relationship you're trying to make, but somehow it escapes me what daguerreotypes have to do with cropping. The only way to crop a daguerreotype is with a saw. As you say, different processes result in different results. And that proves...?
It is another analogy trying to illustrate the point, which is that it's not always just the end result that matters. Some artists are very concerned with how you get to the end result. The choice of one process over another can shape the context of how the finished art is viewed or interpreted. So a photographer may make a deliberate choice such as "I will not crop any of my photos" and that becomes an integral part of the process, much as a photographer may choose to shoot only with film or only in black-and-white or whatever.

Once that choice is made, that photographer needs to follow through with that choice to maintain the "authenticity" of their artistic vision. But, if another photographer does not follow the same choice in their process, that doesn't make their work any less authentic. A cropped photograph is no less authentic as a piece of art than an uncropped photograph, much like a digital print is no less authentic than a daguerrotype. The choice in process can make a piece of art different, but not inherently better.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: Luis Argerich on October 02, 2010, 02:46:31 PM
This is the old "you should respect my photos because I don't [crop/edit/etc] them"
It's actually a very boring argument I prefer to respect photos for what they are and not because they were made in some way.

Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: Rob C on October 02, 2010, 03:32:41 PM
"At the risk of getting into a argument of semantics, I think you are not seeing the meaning behind the statement. Which is that sometimes the process is a defining characteristic of the art. A good example I can give is of a recent exhibition I saw where the artist created sculptures resembling animals out of old furniture.  In addition to the actual physical pieces on display, he explained how the process was integral to his work. He would not ever buy his materials: he would have to find his furniture. He would go out into alleyways, drive around dingy neighborhoods, looking for discarded furniture, metaphorically “hunting” his prey. In his workshop, he would be sure to keep every piece of his “kill” during the manufacture of the sculpture, and every bit that wasn’t used for the sculpture was carefully stored in jars, labeled and dated (right down to the sawdust). In other words, the art wasn’t just the resulting sculptures, it was the whole process."


Oh Welder, what an unfortunate example you chose to illustrate your point.

Most photographers are not certifiably insane even though some buyers are.

Rob C

Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: RSL on October 02, 2010, 03:43:58 PM
This is the old "you should respect my photos because I don't [crop/edit/etc] them"
It's actually a very boring argument I prefer to respect photos for what they are and not because they were made in some way.

Luis, Sorry, but I have to ask: did you actually read the thread before you made this post?
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: welder on October 02, 2010, 09:48:38 PM
I understand that not all art appeals to everyone, and that's fine. But I would think that as artists, photographic or otherwise, we should be able to at least be able to display a little open mindedness. At least enough to not be so quickly dismissive of someone's work. (Regardless of the artist's state of mind, I would add that this was one of the most popular and successful exhibitions at the museum while it was there).


Quote
"At the risk of getting into a argument of semantics, I think you are not seeing the meaning behind the statement. Which is that sometimes the process is a defining characteristic of the art. A good example I can give is of a recent exhibition I saw where the artist created sculptures resembling animals out of old furniture.  In addition to the actual physical pieces on display, he explained how the process was integral to his work. He would not ever buy his materials: he would have to find his furniture. He would go out into alleyways, drive around dingy neighborhoods, looking for discarded furniture, metaphorically “hunting” his prey. In his workshop, he would be sure to keep every piece of his “kill” during the manufacture of the sculpture, and every bit that wasn’t used for the sculpture was carefully stored in jars, labeled and dated (right down to the sawdust). In other words, the art wasn’t just the resulting sculptures, it was the whole process."


Oh Welder, what an unfortunate example you chose to illustrate your point.

Most photographers are not certifiably insane even though some buyers are.

Rob C
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: Rob C on October 03, 2010, 05:00:04 AM
As I remarked, more buyers are insane than are photographers; as for your 'artist' being considered artist or not is hardly a matter of open-mindedness, but a matter of common sense and observation; charlatan come to mind, but that might be unfair. Remember the infamous bricks at the Tate? In a true example of dead horses still being kicked, I saw them, recently, quoted as an example of how what was though crap then is now accepted as valid... really? Not the way I interpret the intervening years, but few in the art business will ever be inclined to cut their own gizzards; why should they, when the lemmings run to form, time after time?

But, my inner view of this is simple: I don't accept that sort of nonsense and that's cool; it's when I follow the mindless path of the credulous moron that I shall start to feel concern - or maybe not: don't the gods first make carzy those they wish to destroy? Let's hope we both stay sane!

Rob C
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: Rob C on October 03, 2010, 05:18:33 AM
Anybody notice how far we have travelled on the back of HC-B?

Not a lot of snappers can claim things like that.

Rob C
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: RSL on October 03, 2010, 01:11:23 PM
But, my inner view of this is simple: I don't accept that sort of nonsense and that's cool; it's when I follow the mindless path of the credulous moron that I shall start to feel concern...

Rob, Well, you probably just don't have enough jars.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: Rob C on October 03, 2010, 03:17:34 PM
Rob, Well, you probably just don't have enough jars.


Russ

Only because after Ann died I threw out, bit by bit as they became empty, all the ones she used to fill with home-made marmalade every year; otherwise, with this new illumination in my soul...

;-)

Rob C
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: JeffKohn on October 03, 2010, 03:24:57 PM
The problem I have with the anti-crop crowd is the implicit condescension in their arguments. Russ throws around words like 'sloppy' and 'lazy', and the implication is that anybody who doesn't subscribe to his view on cropping is just "banging away and hoping you can find a picture later in Photoshop." While I respect Russ's opinion on many other things, I happen to think this sentiment is hogwash. There are plenty of valid reasons to crop in post, many of which have already been mentioned concerning aspect ratios, lack of 100% viewfinders, etc.

I'd also point out that arguments which hold for one's preferred genre or style of shooting don't necessarily  apply to the more general case, and may in fact be completely invalid for some other types of photography.

As just one example, consider the situation where you have 24mm and 35mm lenses, but the composition you want is really something closer to 28mm. What do you do? If you say move, or "zoom with your feet", I would say "wrong answer". I won't argue whether or not zooming with your feet is a good approach to documentary/street photography; but as a landscape shooter I can tell you it often doesn't work for me. For a lot of the shots I take, precise selection of perspective (meaning, camera position) is key to the image. Moving forward to shoot an un-cropped 24mm shot, or backing up to use the 35mm, would result in substantially different images from what I would get by using the 24mm at my original location and cropping after the fact.

For landscape photography, even small changes in perspective can make or break an image; and I'm sure that's equally true for some other types of photography as well. So zooming with your feet just doesn't cut it. Sometimes, using a zoom lens might allow you to get your desired crop in-camera; but I often use the perspective controls on my T/S lenses, and I'm not going to give up that capability just so that I can say I got the crop right in-camera.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: RSL on October 03, 2010, 05:17:46 PM
...the implication is that anybody who doesn't subscribe to his view on cropping...

Jeff, I assume you've read the thread. How about summing up what you think my view on cropping is.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: Ken Bennett on October 03, 2010, 05:48:33 PM
The problem I have with the anti-crop crowd is the implicit condescension in their arguments.

Thank you, you have captured my sentiments exactly. Every time this topic comes up, it just raises my blood pressure. I try to ignore it, but what can I say, I'm a sucker for punishment. 

"Precise" versus "sloppy" can be recast easily as "anal-retentive" versus "fluid." I think I choose sloppy, er, fluid.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: feppe on October 03, 2010, 05:53:46 PM
Thank you, you have captured my sentiments exactly. Every time this topic comes up, it just raises my blood pressure. I try to ignore it, but what can I say, I'm a sucker for punishment. 

"Precise" versus "sloppy" can be recast easily as "anal-retentive" versus "fluid." I think I choose sloppy, er, fluid.

Whatever works.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: welder on October 04, 2010, 01:02:50 AM
Quote
As I remarked, more buyers are insane than are photographers; as for your 'artist' being considered artist or not is hardly a matter of open-mindedness, but a matter of common sense and observation; charlatan come to mind, but that might be unfair.

Yeah and lots of people have claimed that photography isn't art either. Ayn Rand had quite a nice logical explanation of why photography isn't art, for instance. So who's "common sense" are we to rely on?

Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: stamper on October 04, 2010, 03:49:56 AM
Yeah and lots of people have claimed that photography isn't art either. Ayn Rand had quite a nice logical explanation of why photography isn't art, for instance. So who's "common sense" are we to rely on?



Photography can be what you want it to be. From a snap shot that records the scene through to heavily manipulated images. It all depends on the audience it is aimed at? As to the process, authenticity etc etc then that doesn't show up in the final print .... it is for the satisfaction of the person who processed it. Hopefully the next thread that is started on this subject will be quickly locked by the moderator and we all can go back to politics? :) ;) ;D
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: Rob C on October 04, 2010, 04:07:14 AM
Yeah and lots of people have claimed that photography isn't art either. Ayn Rand had quite a nice logical explanation of why photography isn't art, for instance. So who's "common sense" are we to rely on?





Personally, I'd begin with relying on mine, the one that counts most with me. Eff the crowd - what does it know other than how to make more noise than I can?

Rob C
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: welder on October 04, 2010, 12:05:41 PM
Quote
As to the process, authenticity etc etc then that doesn't show up in the final print .... it is for the satisfaction of the person who processed it.
Like I said, authenticity is only applicable personally as it relates to the artist fulfilling their vision. Process itself has nothing to do with whether art is authentic, good, bad or whatever. But process can set up a broader philosophical framework for the work. Or it can be irrelevant. That is up to the artist.

I personally fall on the side of "it's the final image that matters" and I use whatever means necessary to get there without self-imposed restrictions. I only ask people to judge what they see. But some photographers do adpot restrictions as part of their process (e.g. not ever cropping) and it's important to them. You can say it's only for their own satisfaction, and you might even be right. But if they make the claim that their process is important to their artistic concept, I will respect that and at least try and understand where they are coming from with the art. Because after all, art would be really boring if everyone else just made art and thought about art the same way I do.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: Luis Argerich on October 04, 2010, 12:30:55 PM
Luis, Sorry, but I have to ask: did you actually read the thread before you made this post?

Unfortunately I did.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: RSL on October 04, 2010, 12:41:10 PM
I agree. That's unfortunate!
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: JeffKohn on October 07, 2010, 05:18:11 PM
Jeff, I assume you've read the thread. How about summing up what you think my view on cropping is.
I've read the thread and I'm also familiar with your statements from similar threads in the past. Your position on the matter is quite well known. You would probably like to think this statement of yours sums up your position:

Quote
It's worthwhile trying to get the picture right in the viewfinder before you trip the shutter. That's when you have options that'll never be open to you during post-processing.

But the thing is, you also constantly say stuff like the two statements below:

Quote
You're never going to convince the loose shooters that cropping isn't the way to make photographs with visual integrity. But HCB wasn't
talking about "authenticity." He was talking about integrity of vision. That's the thing that the croppers don't understand, and as a consequence, miss.
Quote
In other words, shooting loose and hoping to find a picture later not only is sloppy work, it's lazy work and a sign that you're not quite sure what you want to do -- a deadly state of mind for a photographer.

The implication about photographers who don't share your philosphy on cropping is quite clear, and it should come as no surprise to you that people might find such statements condescending.

There are plenty of reasons one may choose to crop after shooting; the fact that some of these reasons haven't occurred to you or don't apply to your style of shooting doesn't make them any less valid.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: RSL on October 07, 2010, 06:46:06 PM
Thanks, Jeff. You're pretty close. Going back, of the statements I've made in this thread, this one comes closes to what I see as my view on cropping:

Look, nobody on here is saying you must not crop! What the sensible voices are saying is this: It's worthwhile trying to get the picture right in the viewfinder before you trip the shutter. That's when you have options that'll never be open to you during post-processing. In other words, shooting loose and hoping to find a picture later not only is sloppy work, it's lazy work and a sign that you're not quite sure what you want to do -- a deadly state of mind for a photographer.

If you find that condescending, so be it. I'll stick by it.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: rsn48 on October 15, 2010, 08:22:31 PM
Late to the party and new to Luminous Landscape, but not new to photographic forums.

And now about cropping.  If the original image is "authentic" then the cropped image is also authentic, a crop is a pic from within a pic. Inauthentic is when something is added or subtracted from the scene with the intention of changing emotional and intellectual reaction.  You just need to talk to photojournalists who have been bounced from jobs because of "inauthentic" photos to understand my last statement.  Or talk to Ansel A about some of his pussy cat skies when after much burning and dodging looked like a dark looming storm cloud (something that wasn't there at the time).

I teach photography to teens.  I tell them there are two primary skills in the moment of capturing an image.  First, you must learn you are painting with light so use the light to your advantage, and secondly, to see with the photographic eye.  The teaching method I use to help develop some aspects of the photographer's eye is to ask the students to crop at least three different pics from the original image they captured.  The images don't have to be sharp and can be falling apart at the seams in terms of IQ, the exercise is to help them see images they didn't see, but were there, in the first place.  As they do this exercise more and more, the lessons can be transferred to the "field" so that they can see these "cropped images" in their minds eye and learn how to capture them "live."
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: RSL on October 15, 2010, 09:01:57 PM
48, Whatever... What I don't understand is how the question of "authenticity" keeps popping up. The OP used that term, but since then no one has suggested that anything other than a heavily Photoshopped file is "inauthentic." If you've actually read this thread you must know that the question is one of visual integrity and knowing what you're after, not "authenticity."
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: rsn48 on October 15, 2010, 10:24:30 PM
Is what Ansel Adams did during his printing process, "visual integrity?"
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: Christoph C. Feldhaim on October 16, 2010, 03:53:35 AM
.... What I don't understand is how the question of "authenticity" keeps popping up. The OP used that term, but since then no one has suggested that anything other than a heavily Photoshopped file is "inauthentic." If you've actually read this thread you must know that the question is one of visual integrity and knowing what you're after, not "authenticity."

We all must become more autistic ... oh yes ... yeah ....
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: RSL on October 16, 2010, 11:54:00 AM
Is what Ansel Adams did during his printing process, "visual integrity?"

Absolutely. Ansel knew exactly what he was after and had all the visual elements distributed on his ground glass before he tripped the shutter. Are you suggesting he shot more or less randomly with an 8 x 10 or 11 x 14 view camera and then tried to find a picture later in the darkroom? Have you ever heard of the zone system? Ansel took many light meter readings around the scene before he made the exposure. The dodging and burning he did in the darkroom converted his carefully composed negative into a print that contained what he had in mind when he made the shot. Maybe you've never heard about his statement that "The negative is the score. The print is the performance." That certainly doesn't imply random shooting.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: rsn48 on October 16, 2010, 08:12:22 PM
Ansel was one of the original "photoshop freaks," what was on his negative versus the final print, which he said in his biography he could spend two days manipulating the image, could differ significantly.  He wasn't shy about his skills and the amount of time modifying his final image from beginning to end; he was quite proud of his printing skills - justifiably so.  Did he crop, with many of his prints we don't know.

I don't think my question suggested random shooting, Ansel was methodical.  But was the final print image, the image he captured on his negative - no; he said so himself.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: RSL on October 16, 2010, 10:36:01 PM
In other words, you don't think he knew what he was after when he made the exposure. You think he made that determination in the darkroom.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: feppe on October 17, 2010, 06:46:13 AM
In other words, you don't think he knew what he was after when he made the exposure. You think he made that determination in the darkroom.

You make it sound like that's a bad thing.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: Rob C on October 17, 2010, 09:08:47 AM
You make it sound like that's a bad thing.

I think it would be.

It represents an uncertain mind, something that the heat of the shoot absolutely abhors!

There may well be a current space, even need for it in today's amateur world. After all, it seems to me that the name of the game is playing with gear, be it cameras, zooms, computers or any other stage in the game of photography.

For the serious, there's no room for anything except getting the image you wanted, needed, in the first place. Second-guessing yourself is a whole other pastime. I have done it on my own websit; but that`s for me, not at the time and money of a client; I suppose it really does divide the two worlds.

But wasn't that St Ansel's big problem? Not a helluva lot of clients when it mattered.

Rob C
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: Christoph C. Feldhaim on October 17, 2010, 09:45:41 AM
.... It represents an uncertain mind, something that the heat of the shoot absolutely abhors! ....

Art often needs space for uncertainty, doubt, re-evaluation and the like.
Surely most commercial photography doesn't fall into this category ....
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: RSL on October 17, 2010, 10:20:21 AM
You make it sound like that's a bad thing.

Come on Harri. I've seen enough of your work that I can't believe you don't know what you're after when you trip the shutter.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: feppe on October 17, 2010, 11:08:10 AM
Come on Harri. I've seen enough of your work that I can't believe you don't know what you're after when you trip the shutter.

Thanks, and I think I do. But that's not to say that I have the final image in mind when I take the picture every time. Sometimes when I open the images in LR I see a different picture than what I saw on location.

It's the dogmatic approach to photography I reject. If I get a better shot in post than I imagined on location, I'll crop, convert to B&W, what have you, even if I didn't plan to do so when I took the shot.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: RSL on October 17, 2010, 11:35:16 AM
Thanks, and I think I do. But that's not to say that I have the final image in mind when I take the picture every time. Sometimes when I open the images in LR I see a different picture than what I saw on location.

It's the dogmatic approach to photography I reject. If I get a better shot in post than I imagined on location, I'll crop, convert to B&W, what have you, even if I didn't plan to do so when I took the shot.

Harri, sorry, but I can't believe you don't have a final image in mind when you shoot. I can believe that sometimes you see a crop that improves the shot once you bring up the file. I crop fairly often, but not because I didn't know what I was after when I tripped the shutter. When I crop it's because I couldn't get quite what I was after -- often because I had to snap-shoot. I've posted a number of demos of that on LuLa. Other times it's because I didn't quite have the camera level when I shot -- again, often because of the need for haste. I very often convert to B&W. Silver Efex Pro is my favorite plugin. A couple of the pictures that'll appear on my spotlight pages in issue 81 of B&W were converted from color transparencies. So, I can't convict myself of dogmatism. Sounds as if you and I do pretty much the same thing.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: feppe on October 17, 2010, 12:20:49 PM
Harri, sorry, but I can't believe you don't have a final image in mind when you shoot. I can believe that sometimes you see a crop that improves the shot once you bring up the file. I crop fairly often, but not because I didn't know what I was after when I tripped the shutter. When I crop it's because I couldn't get quite what I was after -- often because I had to snap-shoot. I've posted a number of demos of that on LuLa. Other times it's because I didn't quite have the camera level when I shot -- again, often because of the need for haste. I very often convert to B&W. Silver Efex Pro is my favorite plugin. A couple of the pictures that'll appear on my spotlight pages in issue 81 of B&W were converted from color transparencies. So, I can't convict myself of dogmatism. Sounds as if you and I do pretty much the same thing.

I rarely do B&W, but I'd say half the cases are where I planned to make it B&W when shooting, and half when I found out in post it works better in B&W rather than color. I often do cropping due to same limitations you described (why isn't artificial horizon standard on cameras?), but almost as often to get rid of unnecessary elements or make the composition stronger.

I just went through the photos I edited earlier today from a recent trip to Ireland, and all 11 good enough to put on my site were as planned at time of shooting - so I guess we do pretty much the same thing, indeed.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: RSL on October 17, 2010, 12:39:42 PM
Harri, One thing I forgot to mention is that often I'll make a B&W of a picture I'm not sure about and then look at both color and B&W versions side-by-side before I decide which is the definitive version. In the sixties and seventies I used to shoot B&W almost exclusively and I got used to seeing in B&W, but nowadays my B&W pre-judgment isn't that good. Often I can tell in advance, but not always.

There's an artificial horizon on my D3. I use it when I'm shooting off a tripod, or hand-holding a static picture, but on the street, it's useless.

I just went through the photos I edited earlier today from a recent trip to Ireland, and all 11 good enough to put on my site were as planned at time of shooting - so I guess we do pretty much the same thing, indeed.

That reinforces what I've said many times in discussions like this one: A very, very large percentage of the time your first shot is the right one. I find the same thing. When I shoot a series it's unusual for one of the later shots to be the best one.

Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: stamper on October 17, 2010, 01:13:41 PM
.
. When I shoot a series it's unusual for one of the later shots to be the best one.


Unquote.

An interesting point. With me it is the other way around. If I take a series then it is usually one of the last that is my best. I find that I "work my way" into a scene and the more I "see it" then the better shots I seem to get. If I arrive at something I quickly take a couple of shots in case the light gets worse which means I have got something. Then I can take my time and then you really seem to "see it". Bracketing for light and composition.  :)
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: ChrisS on October 17, 2010, 03:31:03 PM
RobC:

"You seem to be confusing photography with some major science; you can teach a friggin' monkey how to point a camera; when you try to interfere beyond that, in my opinion, you are interfering with the virgin mind and you just shouldn't do that [...] as both Russ and I have written here ad nauseam, the way to find out how to do it is to look at the world of existing images already around you and discover where you fit, not where some third party is trying to encourage you to go, however subtle (or otherwise) the encouragement."

This seems a really odd position to adopt - did you have some bad educational experiences? The idea that a third party - particularly one with considerable experience in the subject - couldn't possibly help somebody who's new to the subject think through where they stand in relation to existing images is clearly daft. Maybe you had tutors who tried to force you to do things you didn't want, rather than helping you decide what you did value? Most university lecturers would encourage their students to look at as much existent work as possible and to consider what importance it has for them - I do this all the time with my students. But I also work hard to help them think through and achieve what is important to them. I guess you think this last stage is useless (from what you and Russ have written ad nauseam), but maybe you're wrong?
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: Rob C on October 17, 2010, 04:34:26 PM
The idea that a third party - particularly one with considerable experience in the subject - couldn't possibly help somebody who's new to the subject think through where they stand in relation to existing images is clearly daft. Maybe you had tutors who tried to force you to do things you didn't want, rather than helping you decide what you did value? Most university lecturers would encourage their students to look at as much existent work as possible and to consider what importance it has for them - I do this all the time with my students. But I also work hard to help them think through and achieve what is important to them. I guess you think this last stage is useless (from what you and Russ have written ad nauseam), but maybe you're wrong?


Indeed, the possibility is always there. I have often been wrong; but that's not usually on basics such as this we are discussing.

It's all there in your post: "help...... think through where they stand in relation to existing images..." I already said they should do that: read magazines, look at film, tv and all sources available to them. But they have to do the looking; it's a lonely, singular person, journey. Neither you nor anyone else, to my mind, can really help; they can certainly influence, and there's the rub. Influence in such a direct and personal situation is too strong. It will overpower the native thinking of the neophyte. On the other hand, such searching through available images, done alone, will create an understanding of the type of thing, the genre, that really appeals to the person. It has to come from within, cleanly and uniquely. Or at least, that's how I see it.

Tutors that I had? The good ones were fellow photographers in my first photographic employment; the worst was in the night school course I was obliged to attend in parallel. A 100% waste of my evenings and the taxpayers' money.

In fact, you are right: I have stated ad nauseam that you can’t teach people how to see, which I believe is the part of teaching/learning that we find difficult to agree upon.

A far as teaching the mechanics, sure, that’s pretty essential, particularly in the digital age: wish I knew a hell of a lot more about it, but then, for what I do, I know more than enough.  Were I to be into professional retouching and things like that, then I would need tuition, badly; but fortunately, it’s another world.

The important thing, thinking an image in a genre I love, has never been a problem for me; as I think I posted somewhere on LuLa, when I did my first model shoot I had never, by definition, done one before. But it never struck me that I wouldn’t be able to wing my way to that particular heaven. It just comes naturally, and it’s the same with models, as I discovered around fifty years ago: those that can do, and those that can’t fail. They recognize it in you; the feeling is what it’s all about, and I’m sorry, but you can’t fake it. That’s why good shooters still can’t get heavenly results from lousy models. It’s a team of talents, nothing more and nothing less. It’s why one stellar lady looks great with top snapper A, but only so-so with top snapper B; they are all good people in that situation, but personality comes into play, as ever, and the magic might still not be there.

Well, I guess we all have axes to grind – somewhere, but mine has pretty well rusted to the shaft and so there’s not a lot of point in my whipping the fog, if I may mix a variety of metaphors for a moment.

Maybe you might be wrong? It's all possible.

Rob C
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: RSL on October 17, 2010, 05:18:46 PM
An interesting point. With me it is the other way around. If I take a series then it is usually one of the last that is my best. I find that I "work my way" into a scene and the more I "see it" then the better shots I seem to get. If I arrive at something I quickly take a couple of shots in case the light gets worse which means I have got something. Then I can take my time and then you really seem to "see it". Bracketing for light and composition.  :)

Stamper, It depends. If I'm shooting for something like the Downtown Partnership and trying to make a specific point it may work that way for me too. But when I'm not doing that kind of "assignment," what I see that makes me raise the camera in the first place usually turns out to be the best shot. I may try to improve on that initial impression, but doing that rarely improves anything.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: stamper on October 18, 2010, 04:11:58 AM
Stamper, It depends. If I'm shooting for something like the Downtown Partnership and trying to make a specific point it may work that way for me too. But when I'm not doing that kind of "assignment," what I see that makes me raise the camera in the first place usually turns out to be the best shot. I may try to improve on that initial impression, but doing that rarely improves anything.

Assuming something is pretty static then the first time you see something then it isn't possible to "see" all of it. First impressions aren't always the best? Different angles and light can change your mind for better or worse. I used to know someone who thought that taking just one shot of a subject was enough. On another forum Nikon Talk UK which has just closed down there was a thread in which a few photographers stated that they thought likewise. Russ you are primarily a street photographer so your subjects are pretty fast moving which means you can't dwell too much on something? Then the after thoughts when you see something on the monitor which you took and thought why the f***k did I take that? And then the record shot that you didn't think much about at the time and it hits you and you think that is good! None of this process is written in stone? 8)
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: Rob C on October 18, 2010, 09:10:18 AM
None of this process is written in stone? 8)



Stamper, you have unwittingly just answered another question, that where some say they can 'teach' another how to see, and I doubt.

The editing of life is in your own mind; your mental process is really just the same as mine. I don't see that as 'cropping' at all; I see it as exploration of the reality in front of your camera, something very different to pointing and peeing!

Rob C
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: stamper on October 18, 2010, 09:45:09 AM



The editing of life is in your own mind; your mental process is really just the same as mine. I don't see that as 'cropping' at all; I see it as exploration of the reality in front of your camera, something very different to pointing and peeing!

Rob C

I call it imagination. Rob I agree with on this point. You can't improve someone's imagination but you can show them the mechanics of the process and hope they can couple them with what imagination they inherently possess? :-\
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: LKaven on October 19, 2010, 01:26:33 AM
Assuming something is pretty static then the first time you see something then it isn't possible to "see" all of it. First impressions aren't always the best? Different angles and light can change your mind for better or worse. I used to know someone who thought that taking just one shot of a subject was enough. On another forum Nikon Talk UK which has just closed down there was a thread in which a few photographers stated that they thought likewise. Russ you are primarily a street photographer so your subjects are pretty fast moving which means you can't dwell too much on something? Then the after thoughts when you see something on the monitor which you took and thought why the f***k did I take that? And then the record shot that you didn't think much about at the time and it hits you and you think that is good! None of this process is written in stone? 8)
As you suggest, there is room for many ways of working.

But I think one can argue that the time you took the picture is when you had special knowledge, much of it non-conscious.  That non-conscious knowledge can be made conscious at some point later on, but only through an effort.  It is sometimes hard to know in those occasions where I think I "see" something in an image long after the fact, whether I have ever really added anything to what I "saw" at the moment I took it.

In my case, I don't feel that I've ever been able to do more than elaborate on what I saw at the time.  Add to that that I have no reason to think the "right" picture ought to be a proper subset of another as a matter of anything but chance.  So I print full frame. 
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: ihv on January 07, 2011, 10:40:05 AM
Very interesting reading.

I think cropping later is perfectly fine if it is foreseen or planned, calculated in in your final composition due to output constraints (format requirements) or having not enough reach etc.
Moreover, small accidents can happen easily, go ahead and fix that slight horizont tilt, crop away a tiny distractive side element which wasn't seen through the VF etc.
I also agree that when disconnected from your photo, much later another composition might be very interesting.

However, it kind of looks one's inability when it is used for most of the images as a measure to correct framing mistakes, when all the centers of interest never match your initial framings.

Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: tom b on January 07, 2011, 01:18:42 PM
My friend Stephen Wilson, who is an artist and photographer, believes that every interesting image can be cropped to give you images that can be valid in their own way.

He has a series of images on his blog to demonstrate the point here:

http://balmainartschool.blogspot.com/2010/09/crop-that.html

Stephen is a rare individual that has the patience to get to know a landscape/environment deeply. He has been photographing 100 metres of the Fish River at Flat Rock for the past two years and this has guided that philosophy. When you know an area so deeply, he spends around six hours a day photographing a 20x20 metre area, then you can see crops within crops within crops.

Cheers,
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: ihv on January 07, 2011, 06:39:29 PM
Very true. For every field of view (from the same scene) a composition can be found.

[start: friday late night quote]
Just a terapixel camera is missing - with only one shot, pick your favorite scenes from a street filled with people and there you go, make your exhibition filled with images.
Must be very unlucky, but if one shot will not do, take two.
[end: friday late night quote]

My friend Stephen Wilson, who is an artist and photographer, believes that every interesting image can be cropped to give you images that can be valid in their own way.

He has a series of images on his blog to demonstrate the point here:

http://balmainartschool.blogspot.com/2010/09/crop-that.html

Stephen is a rare individual that has the patience to get to know a landscape/environment deeply. He has been photographing 100 metres of the Fish River at Flat Rock for the past two years and this has guided that philosophy. When you know an area so deeply, he spends around six hours a day photographing a 20x20 metre area, then you can see crops within crops within crops.

Cheers,
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: John Gellings on November 30, 2012, 09:43:23 AM
One of his most famous photos... of the guy jumping the puddle...was cropped.  

http://lourceyphoto.com/the-decisive-moment/

Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: brandtb on December 04, 2012, 10:36:07 AM
Quote
Why, I guess just to be obnoxious and rebel against trends.
Perhaps that's a bit like saying..."Hell, I'm not going to ride my bicycle with its front wheel anymore, because everybody does that..."
Title: HE DID CROP!!!
Post by: Kirk Gittings on December 04, 2012, 12:22:09 PM
Please! And there are other examples I have seen too (that I can't find right now): http://www.galerielux.com/?p=429 (http://www.galerielux.com/?p=429)

Oops I just noted that this was mentioned above. As an absolute it is a myth. The point is this was a target for him that he couldn't always meet but used the image anyway if it was strong even cropped. How is that any different than most of the rest of us?
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: popnfresh on December 07, 2012, 05:25:57 PM
I couldn't care less if a photographer crops or not. The only thing that matters to me is the final image. How they arrive at that image is their concern. The truth is that among the masters of photography, HCB was something of an anomaly with respect to his attitude toward cropping. Far more of the greats cropped when they felt it was called for, than not. This is not to say that they were pro-cropping, it only means they weren't dead set against it. HCB himself cropped early in his career, before he became obsessed with the infallibility of first impressions.

No one should feel constrained by what HCB advocated. What worked for his style of from-the-hip street photography doesn't make sense for a landscape photographer trying to line up the best shot. Nature doesn't always cooperate. Sometimes you shoot knowing that afterwards you're going to crop and how. And anyone can see things the second time around they missed the first time. It doesn't impugn your artistic talent.

The list of great photographers who occasionally cropped is as long as your arm, but here are a few to ponder: Ansel Adams, Robert Frank, Walker Evans, W. Eugene Smith (frequently), Edward Weston, Alfred Eisenstaedt, Man Ray, Arnold Newman, Alberto Korda, Josef Koudelka, Andreas Feininger.

None of them thought they were lesser artists for cropping, and neither should anyone else.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: popnfresh on December 07, 2012, 05:47:27 PM
[quote author=popnfresh link=topic=45987.msg580443#msg580443 date=1354919157

None of them thought they were lesser artists for cropping, and neither should anyone else.



Only the image matters, how one gets there who cares.

Peter

obviously, great minds think alike.   ;D ;D ;D
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: LKaven on December 07, 2012, 09:51:33 PM
Understanding that, once in a while, HC-B would crop if necessary, does not take away from the point of 'the decisive moment.'  In the act of will, and the simultaneous realization of the various element of the picture, there is a special status.  Nothing says that this is inviolate, only special.  One might argue that HC-B saw the shot behind the Gare St Lazar wholly within the frame as he took the picture, understanding the practical constraints on framing under the circumstances.  He didn't go looking for it afterwards.  On probability alone, however, one would expect that only rarely is 'the shot' a proper subset of another shot.

Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: Rob C on December 15, 2012, 05:18:21 PM

The list of great photographers who occasionally cropped is as long as your arm, but here are a few to ponder: Ansel Adams, Robert Frank, Walker Evans, W. Eugene Smith (frequently), Edward Weston, Alfred Eisenstaedt, Man Ray, Arnold Newman, Alberto Korda, Josef Koudelka, Andreas Feininger.

None of them thought they were lesser artists for cropping, and neither should anyone else.


But did many of them actually state that they thought of themselves as artists? I'd be surprised.

I tend to believe that this thing about photographer as artist is relatively new, and where not, confined to the Man Ray and Weston type of shooter who probably didn't subscribe to the feeling of ever being commercial or even something as vulgar as a professional. Folks mainly judged themselves as being or not being good photographers.

Speaking of myself, I certainly didn't think of my work in photography as art during the 50s when it started to creep under my skin; I did think of myself at that time as an artist when I drew or painted (not well, not badly), but the association of what I did as a photographer with art was something that only came along in the very late 60s, some time after I'd already opened my own business. I did think I was the hottest shot in the world, but that was only the fuel that powered me into independent life. Without it, however unrealistic, I'd never have had the balls to jump out of employment. I never even thought about failure. I wish I had that mindset now!

Rob C
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: LKaven on December 16, 2012, 03:19:46 AM
This debate is perennially confused between the normative claim about cropping (e.g., you must not/should not/ought not to crop) versus the claim that the decisive moment has a /special status/. 
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: Rob C on December 25, 2012, 10:11:43 AM
This debate is perennially confused between the normative claim about cropping (e.g., you must not/should not/ought not to crop) versus the claim that the decisive moment has a /special status/. 



Especially during Christmas, the decisive moment certainly does have a great importance; shame that HC-B's contact sheets can reveal so many decisive moments running so close together!

;-)

Rob C
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: LKaven on December 25, 2012, 01:52:08 PM
Especially during Christmas, the decisive moment certainly does have a great importance; shame that HC-B's contact sheets can reveal so many decisive moments running so close together!

Though HC-B does not go through enough pains to describe or locate it, the idea of "decisiveness" is not strictly speaking something in the event itself, nor something in the mind, but a phenomenon of mind-world relations. 

He would have done better to call it the "moment of commitment."  It is the event coupled with the simultaneous recognition of its significance.  It's not like asking "what was the 'decisive moment' of the Battle of Agincourt?" with the presumption that there should be just one.  In photography, there can be many such moments of smaller scope, close together or not.

Really the entire question should have moved into philosophy of mind, but cognitivism didn't really take hold in western philosophy until at least a decade after "Images à la Sauvette."
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: RSL on December 25, 2012, 02:28:55 PM
He would have done better to call it the "moment of commitment."

That's almost exactly what he did mean. Most people, unfortunately including many who write on the subject think the decisive moment has to do with what's happening in front of the photographer, but what HCB meant was the moment when the photographer himself is committed. There's a pretty good riff on the subject in "Bystander: A History of Street Photography."
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: Rob C on December 25, 2012, 03:34:17 PM
That's almost exactly what he did mean. Most people, unfortunately including many who write on the subject think the decisive moment has to do with what's happening in front of the photographer, but what HCB meant was the moment when the photographer himself is committed. There's a pretty good riff on the subject in "Bystander: A History of Street Photography."

That becomes a pretty wide time-scale then; perhaps moment isn't the correct word at all. I always believed it to mean the moment when the action in front of the camera had reached its natural climax, its moment of truth, as it were. The photographer can sustain that feeling (if it really means his) of commitment for hours on end if he's happy with what he's doing, as a good model shoot will show: many good shots at the right 'moment' of which some will always be that tiny bit better than the rest. If it's truly meant to suggest the shooter's period of maximum receptivity, then it hardly has any currency at all and might be best forgotten.

IMO.

Rob C
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: RSL on December 25, 2012, 03:56:58 PM
That's what it's come to mean, Rob, but it's not what HCB meant. I agree that the converted meaning is more meaningful. Remember, though, that the book that became "The Decisive Moment" in the U.S., started out, as Kaven said, as "Images à la Sauvette," in other words (more or less) "Images on the run." Nothing terribly decisive about that.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: LKaven on December 25, 2012, 06:29:17 PM
That becomes a pretty wide time-scale then; perhaps moment isn't the correct word at all. I always believed it to mean the moment when the action in front of the camera had reached its natural climax, its moment of truth, as it were. The photographer can sustain that feeling (if it really means his) of commitment for hours on end if he's happy with what he's doing, as a good model shoot will show: many good shots at the right 'moment' of which some will always be that tiny bit better than the rest. If it's truly meant to suggest the shooter's period of maximum receptivity, then it hardly has any currency at all and might be best forgotten.

There was some historical precedent for the use of 'decisive moment' in the sense of a 'turning point' in an event, and so the phrase itself is laden with that history.  Attempts to do exegesis on Images a la Sauvette yield limited understanding, and you see this reflected in the secondary literature.  But this is understandable, since HC-B was not a philosopher, but an artist with philosophical ideas.  He exemplified his philosophy better than he could write of it. 

I do think that "moment" or "instant" is essential to making the point.  There is a moment, perhaps the time when signals are just dispatched from the brain to the motor neurons in the finger, where the photographer becomes committed to the undertaking.  Depending upon the action being undertaken, all due knowledge is brought to bear leading into that moment, and this in turn supplies the content and explanatory context for the act.

Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: Patricia Sheley on December 26, 2012, 05:58:55 PM
Henri Cartier-Bresson to The Washington Post ,1957. "Photography is not like painting- there is a creative fraction of a second when you are taking a picture. Your eye must see a composition or an expression that life itself offers you, and you must know with intuition when to click the camera. That is the moment the photographer is creative."  further on... "The Moment! Once you miss it, it is gone forever."
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: Rob C on December 27, 2012, 04:59:26 AM
Henri Cartier-Bresson to The Washington Post ,1957. "Photography is not like painting- there is a creative fraction of a second when you are taking a picture. Your eye must see a composition or an expression that life itself offers you, and you must know with intuition when to click the camera. That is the moment the photographer is creative."  further on... "The Moment! Once you miss it, it is gone forever."




Thank you Patricia, I think you've confirmed my own understanding of the legitimate application of the term, at least, insofar as we apply it to the works of HC-B. I've not heard it applied specifically to the work of other shooters in the sense that it has been called their modus operandi or anything like that, despite that it's recognition has been the key to many PJ success stories; certainly it's applied to the world of business, if only in the sense of getting to see the right person at the right time. Truthfully, I guess it could apply to all aspects of life, far beyond just business; meeting the right mate, for example, the greates decisive moment ever experienced. Or not.

Rob C
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: LKaven on December 27, 2012, 02:19:43 PM
Truthfully, I guess it could apply to all aspects of life...

Hi Rob.  In contemporary semantics, this moment could be considered the crux of our theories about mind, agency, and meaning -- especially as it involves an agent's /purpose/ in doing something.  It goes from the "momentous" to the most mundane, whether one is photographing a moment of global significance, or typing the letter "e".

In photographic terms, the moment of commitment is the moment in which the purpose of your doing so becomes fixed.  This in turn invokes all of the explanatory apparatus (in contemporary semantics) which looks backwards to the causes leading up to that instant. 

Of course, merely snapping away randomly -- literally randomly -- involves the same semantic apparatus.  Your pictures are in a special sense "about that", although they may acquire a social meaning of greater significance subsequently.  So in a sense HC-B is talking about experience par excellence in a certain combination of personal and social significance.  But the deeper issues of agency and mind he points to are true of the mundane as well.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: Corvus on January 27, 2013, 01:38:56 AM
"Henri Cartier Bresson refused to crop insisting that this lends authenticity"

In a word - humbug
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: Rob C on January 27, 2013, 05:11:32 AM
"Henri Cartier Bresson refused to crop insisting that this lends authenticity"

In a word - humbug



Humbug? No, I don't think so. More, I think he was ahead of his time in understanding the harm that an art director's cropping can do your own great piece of art! That a cropped image may suit the client's purpose isn't the point: the point is your personal evaluation of your own work in any specific shot. These are very often different things, especially if your pic wasn't shot to a layout or even a commission. Bad presentation/usage of one's stock images somewhere can be painful.

Rob C
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: Corvus on January 27, 2013, 02:43:43 PM
"Henri Cartier Bresson refused to crop insisting that this lends authenticity"

This is a categorical statement without qualification and as such it's humbug.

Any further editing of any sort, cropping or otherwise, by a third party with or without the consent of the photographer is irrelevant to this statement.
Clearly the statement was not referring to such editing but rather to his basic view as to what does and does not make a good final image.

Assuming I understand this correctly my opinion is that the statement is over the top humbug whoever made it.

Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: LKaven on January 27, 2013, 03:07:03 PM
But you skipped over 7 pages of discourse.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: RSL on January 27, 2013, 04:40:36 PM
Henri composed in the Leica's viewfinder. Remember, Cartier-Bresson was a painter before he was a photographer. He'd learned composition in his painting sessions with Andre Lhote, who, reportedly, was a real nitpicker, and he'd internalized the lessons. That 's something any photographer needs to achieve if he hopes to do original work, but that few do. Anybody who thinks that half-baked composition in the vewfinder can be corrected in post-processing doesn't really understand his craft.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: Rob C on January 28, 2013, 05:09:37 AM
Henri composed in the Leica's viewfinder. Remember, Cartier-Bresson was a painter before he was a photographer. He'd learned composition in his painting sessions with Andre Lhote, who, reportedly, was a real nitpicker, and he'd internalized the lessons. That 's something any photographer needs to achieve if he hopes to do original work, but that few do. Anybody who thinks that half-baked composition in the vewfinder can be corrected in post-processing doesn't really understand his craft.



But Russ, that's become the norm in some quarters. It's also one of the best reasons for starting your photography using the 2:3 ratio and on 135 film format: you learn the importance of real estate and how not to waste it. In short, you pay for your mistakes. And as a result, you learn the important things quickly. Making a cock-up on digi costs nothing; you can crop, stretch do any number of tricks later on, but all you really do is try to cover up your errors. Not really the same thing as learning.

But that was always the great thing about learning with film, and looking at a jpeg on a monitor isn't the challenge of facing a print on the wall or on the client's desk.

Rob C

Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: opgr on January 28, 2013, 05:15:42 AM
… but all you really do is try to cover up your errors. Not really the same thing as learning.

On the contrary, a good teacher would understand that you're half way there if you actually know what the errors are...
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: hjulenissen on January 28, 2013, 05:45:08 AM
Photographing at any consciously chosen time, place or FOV is in my view dishonest. Why should I try to embed my own preconcieved view of the world (or what is interesting, pretty or important about it in my images?) Why should I use my viewfinder and feet (or, perish the thought, my zoom lense) to include or exclude certain elements in my scene?  As a consequence, I shall try to airdrop my camera at some place chosen at random with a 180 degree fish-eye, with a random timer that will shoot an image at some point in time. I shall frame this image, now matter how it looks on my wall as a token of my artistic integrity.

-h
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: Tony Jay on January 28, 2013, 06:03:38 AM
...Anybody who thinks that half-baked composition in the vewfinder can be corrected in post-processing doesn't really understand his craft...
Rob is only half correct in his assertion.
Occasionally it is possible to fix a composition with cropping and other measures, but apart from cropping many of the measures are more trouble, and time, than they are worth.
In fact, if you can't compose in camera everything becomes hard work after that.
Even of you plan to crop upfront before shooting close attention to detail is required.
Same goes for exposure.
GIGO.

Tony Jay
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: stamper on January 28, 2013, 06:07:57 AM
Russ & Rob are obviously good, respected photographers who have contributed a lot to this forum. However I feel it is their Achilles heel in contribution terms when they keep posting their ideas on cropping. Ideas that most photographers ignore and produce outstanding images. I have just bought the Canon Sx50 after reading Michael's review and I discover it has 5 choices of aspect ratio. These obviously change the FOV and crop pixels. This is cropping imo. Which one should I choose if I want to slavishly follow Henri's advice?
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: stamper on January 28, 2013, 06:14:58 AM
Quote Rob.

But Russ, that's become the norm in some quarters. It's also one of the best reasons for starting your photography using the 2:3 ratio and on 135 film format: you learn the importance of real estate and how not to waste it.

Unquote.

If I was to use that ratio on the Sx50 the images would be 11mb instead of 12mb. I think most photographers nowadays start with a small compact camera so the advice though well meaning is limited? :)
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: Rob C on January 28, 2013, 09:51:26 AM
Stamper,

My reasons for suggesting one crops in-camera are simple: it focusses the photographer's own mind/vision prior to going 'click!', a process that can become blindingly fast with practice, and also, importantly, teaches him to make the best of the available real estate at his disposal. All that film or film format has to do with it is that learning with a small format teaches the value of not wasting space, and if you use film, the cost makes you concentrate more than does a card, which once you've bought it, is essentially a no pain no gain option.

But as I seem to remember, you grew up with film, so why do I feel any need to tell you what you must already know?

;-)

Rob C
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: LKaven on January 28, 2013, 10:55:16 AM
I have just bought the Canon Sx50 after reading Michael's review and I discover it has 5 choices of aspect ratio. These obviously change the FOV and crop pixels. This is cropping imo. Which one should I choose if I want to slavishly follow Henri's advice?

What the viewfinder gives you is not a crop; it's a frame.  And what HC-B wrote of I wouldn't call advice.  It was an attempt to characterize the act of taking a photograph and the special nature of the moment in which a photographer commits to the act. 

Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: Isaac on January 28, 2013, 10:58:55 AM
I shall try to airdrop my camera at some place chosen at random with a 180 degree fish-eye, with a random timer that will shoot an image at some point in time. I shall frame this image, now matter how it looks on my wall as a token of my artistic integrity.

Camera Toss – HowTo (http://www.cameratossing.de/JensLudwig/Camera-Toss-HowTo/page38086.cameratoss)
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: stamper on January 29, 2013, 04:35:39 AM
Quote Rob.

But as I seem to remember, you grew up with film, so why do I feel any need to tell you what you must already know?

Unquote

Not me! I started out in digital nearly 13 years ago. I did buy a second hand manual film camera once. Loaded it with a B&W film and took some shots with it. The film jammed when trying to take it out of the camera and I haven't touched it since. Any ways the subject of framing and cropping isn't different between digital and film. I like to think I am more flexible in my approach and crop when I think an image can benefit from it. Sometimes to get everything in horizontally you have to include extra pixels vertically and vice versa. Hence a crop. :)
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: stamper on January 29, 2013, 04:42:31 AM
Quote LKaven.


What the viewfinder gives you is not a crop; it's a frame.

Unquote

When you frame something you are cropping out the scene that is outside the frame in order to get a view that suits your vision. Impossible to fit all of the world into a frame so framing is a crop? I think the distinction you make is essentially semantics. I pity the photographer who shoots fast moving motor sports and tries to get a tight frame.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: LKaven on January 29, 2013, 09:00:53 AM
LKaven: "What the viewfinder gives you is not a crop; it's a frame."

When you frame something you are cropping out the scene that is outside the frame in order to get a view that suits your vision. Impossible to fit all of the world into a frame so framing is a crop? I think the distinction you make is essentially semantics. I pity the photographer who shoots fast moving motor sports and tries to get a tight frame.

In ordinary language, you "frame" something with the viewfinder, then you "crop" it.  If you are suggesting that all framing is cropping, then it would be a trivial truth with no bearing on the topic.  The topic is about the moment at which you commit to tripping the shutter and what led into that moment.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: Rob C on January 29, 2013, 09:46:55 AM
Quote Rob.

But as I seem to remember, you grew up with film, so why do I feel any need to tell you what you must already know?

Unquote

Not me! I started out in digital nearly 13 years ago. I did buy a second hand manual film camera once. Loaded it with a B&W film and took some shots with it. The film jammed when trying to take it out of the camera and I haven't touched it since. Any ways the subject of framing and cropping isn't different between digital and film. I like to think I am more flexible in my approach and crop when I think an image can benefit from it. Sometimes to get everything in horizontally you have to include extra pixels vertically and vice versa. Hence a crop. :)



I apologise; no offence intended, I just thought you'd been at it longer.

;-)

Rob C
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: stamper on January 30, 2013, 05:38:43 AM
Rob no offence taken but I am sure some film photographers will wonder why it is an offence to call someone a film photographer? ;)
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: Rob C on January 30, 2013, 12:08:11 PM
Rob no offence taken but I am sure some film photographers will wonder why it is an offence to call someone a film photographer? ;)



I hope they don't: that was not the sense of what I wrote - I hope! I was just thinking that you'd been doing photography a lot longer than the advent of digital, and I was sorry to have assumed something you hadn't actually implied anywhere. Those damned conclusions again!

;-)

Rob C



Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: Alan Klein on February 12, 2013, 07:45:55 AM
If you're shooting street photography like HCB, action is possibly more critical than space for the 'decisive moment'.  If you missed the fellow mid-air in his jump, no amount of cropping afterwards will catch the jump.  Cropping will adjust the space around the jump to make it more "pleasing" to the eye, but that's all. 

I crop my pictures although I often stick to the same format as the camera if it's a series of shoots for a slide show.  I want all the pictures to have the same ratio.  I crop less so for landscapes where I have more time to setup.  More cropping if I'm at a family function with everyone running around and I'm shooting unposed pictures.  It's hard to catch a perfect composition in the family activity.  However, the basic framing, action and the perspective have to be caught in camera. 

Shooting a little wide also allows space for matting and framing where part of the image will be covered up.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: Isaac on February 12, 2013, 05:38:19 PM
Quote
"The search for Cartier-Bresson's roots begins with his own one-sentence declaration: 'I consider myself a Surrealist.' ... Cartier-Bresson said that he was 'an observer of chance.' Twenty-five years before, Cartier-Bresson had verbalized why he had set about pictorializing chance: 'In photography there is a new kind of plasticity, a product of instantaneous lines made by the movements of the subject. We work in unison with movement as though it were a presentiment of the way life itself unfolds. But inside movement there is one moment at which the elements in motion are in balance. Photography must seize upon this moment and hold immobile the equilibrium of it.' Photography appears to fit as a transitional element between Dada and Surrealism. Cartier-Bresson viewed his photograph as a kind of ready-made object ... The photograph itself resulted from a process of visual automatism -- a kind of automatic writing favored by Surrealists."

Counterparts: Form and Emotion in Photographs (http://books.google.com/books?id=90K07xjYRI4C) p16-17

Would cropping the print have undermined Cartier-Bresson's idea of himself as a Surrealist?

Would dodging and burning and other darkroom alchemy have undermined Cartier-Bresson's idea of himself as a Surrealist?
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: Rob C on February 13, 2013, 04:20:10 AM
Would cropping the print have undermined Cartier-Bresson's idea of himself as a Surrealist?

Would dodging and burning and other darkroom alchemy have undermined Cartier-Bresson's idea of himself as a Surrealist?




I think both answers are negatives.

The problem is that other people have deified the man to the level of 'artistic' cult, whereas I don't believe there's a single instance where HC-B himself even referred to his photography as art - of any kind.

As so often happens, it's other people who create the myths and the eventual bullshit that bring in the art dollar. It's a pity, really, because it detracts from the photography itself which, though passing far from the mundane on many occassions, was also pretty darned average on others. If you look at his pictures of street fighting as the Nazis were being crushed in Paris, they are singularly lacking in visual excitement. Which is surprising, but does, by contrast, highlight his abilty with turning the really mundane into something else. That a gathering of women in saris looking at some mountains - what more mundane for those people in that location? - was enough to inspire David Bailey into photographic life says a lot.

Rob C
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: Isaac on February 13, 2013, 10:20:05 AM
The problem is that other people have deified the man to the level of 'artistic' cult, whereas I don't believe there's a single instance where HC-B himself even referred to his photography as art - of any kind.

I agree that we should listen when he expresses obvious disdain for the way he was labelled as a celebrity artist - "I'm not an actor. What does it mean, 'celebrity'? I call myself an artisan. Anyone with sensitivity is potentially an artist. But then you must have concentration besides sensitivity."

I think we should also listen when he says --  "I consider myself a Surrealist."
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: RSL on February 13, 2013, 12:11:05 PM
The problem is that other people have deified the man to the level of 'artistic' cult, whereas I don't believe there's a single instance where HC-B himself even referred to his photography as art - of any kind.

Right on, Rob. He made it pretty clear. As I said before, if somebody had called him a photographic artist he'd have been rolling on the floor laughing.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: nemo295 on February 13, 2013, 02:54:20 PM
Right on, Rob. He made it pretty clear. As I said before, if somebody had called him a photographic artist he'd have been rolling on the floor laughing.

Cartier-Bresson was an art student and an aspiring painter. He used to hang out with surrealist painters in the cafes of Paris in the 1920's. When he decided to take up photography in the early 1930s, he wasn't abandoning being an artist, he was an artist who had finally discovered his true medium. Everything he learned about composition as an art student he carried over into his photographic work. I'm sure he would have shunned celebrity status, but if Cartier-Bresson ever denied being an artist, and I don't know that he ever did, it would have been out of modesty and not a denial of what he was really about.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: RSL on February 13, 2013, 03:58:13 PM
I didn't say he'd have denied it. I said he'd have been rolling on the floor laughing. He never considered his photography to be art. He considered his drawing and painting to be art. I think he was wrong on both counts, but I'm quite sure he'd have disagreed.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: Isaac on February 13, 2013, 07:11:45 PM
I said he'd have been rolling on the floor laughing. He never considered his photography to be art.

Do you base that on something M. Cartier-Bresson communicated to you personally?

Do you base that on something M. Cartier-Bresson said in an interview -- which interview?

Do you base that on something M. Cartier-Bresson wrote -- which passage in which book?

Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: RSL on February 13, 2013, 07:17:45 PM
I base it on everything I've read that he wrote, which is a lot. And I'll turn it around and ask you to give me a reference to a single instance where HCB claimed his photography was art.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: Isaac on February 13, 2013, 09:05:35 PM
So, you don't know of a specific, unambiguous, statement made by M. Cartier-Bresson -- I do not consider my photography to be art -- which supports what you say?

Further, should we understand you to mean -- M. Cartier-Bresson never considered any of his photography to be art?
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: Rob C on February 14, 2013, 04:24:50 AM
So, you don't know of a specific, unambiguous, statement made by M. Cartier-Bresson -- I do not consider my photography to be art -- which supports what you say?

Further, should we understand you to mean -- M. Cartier-Bresson never considered any of his photography to be art?



Don't know about Russ, but that would be my interpretation drawn from everything I ever read or heard him say in filmed interviews.

Whether he was or wasn't an art student at one time is immaterial: to see the drift of that idea as to imply that his work in photography was art is tantamount to saying that once someone claims themself artist, everything that person does, however flawed, is art. That's patently not the case, any more than it's the case that it can be described as good art or bad art. It's just not connected.

If we assume Pablo P. to have been a 'great' artist rather than a charlatan, can we then say that his holiday snaps were also art? Of course not. But I'm sure that they would be very marketable as such! Even his last toilet roll must have a commercial value based on the creases on the final sections as they hang from the roll...

Rob C
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: RSL on February 14, 2013, 06:04:57 AM
You didn't answer my question, Isaac. When did HCB call himself an artist?
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: Isaac on February 14, 2013, 12:07:10 PM
Russ, I didn't wish to draw further attention to the Argument from Ignorance you seem set upon.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: Isaac on February 14, 2013, 12:16:13 PM
So, you don't know of a specific, unambiguous, statement made by M. Cartier-Bresson -- I do not consider my photography to be art -- which supports what you say?

Further, should we understand you to mean -- M. Cartier-Bresson never considered any of his photography to be art?

Don't know about Russ, but that would be my interpretation drawn from everything I ever read or heard him say in filmed interviews.

I presume you also don't know of a specific, unambiguous, statement made by M. Cartier-Bresson that supports or contradicts what you say -- so what less obvious information would persuade you that interpretation should be revised?
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: Rob C on February 14, 2013, 12:59:22 PM
Don't know about Russ, but that would be my interpretation drawn from everything I ever read or heard him say in filmed interviews.

I presume you also don't know of a specific, unambiguous, statement made by M. Cartier-Bresson that supports or contradicts what you say -- so what less obvious information would persuade you that interpretation should be revised?


You've lost me: whose interpretation should we revise? Does someone require to claim they are not murderers for you to accept that only any evidence to the contrary would change your belief in their status of being murderers?

That's probably why I seem to have less and less hair these days. It's the tearing at wot does it.

Rob C
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: Isaac on February 14, 2013, 01:14:22 PM
So what would persuade you that your interpretation should be revised?
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: RSL on February 14, 2013, 02:18:25 PM
Here's what Henri said photography meant to him:

"To take photographs is to hold one's breath when all faculties converge in the face of fleeing reality. It is at that moment that mastering an image becomes a great physical joy.

"To take photographs means to recognize -- simultaneously and within a fraction of a second -- both the fact itself and the rigorous organization of visually perceived forms that give it meaning. It is putting one's head, one's eye, and one's heart on the same axis.

"As far as I am concerned, taking photographs is a means of understanding which cannot be separated from other means of visual expression. It is a way of shouting, of freeing oneself, not of proving or asserting one's originality. It is a way of life." (From The Mind's Eye. I think this originally was in Images a' la Sauvette)

He didn't specifically say, "I am not an artist," but he sure didn't say he was. Without question he was one of the great artists of the twentieth century, but he didn't think of himself that way. He always downplayed photography as art. He wanted to be a painter.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: Isaac on February 14, 2013, 08:48:29 PM
He didn't specifically say, "I am not an artist," but he sure didn't say he was.

Door #3



He always downplayed photography as art. He wanted to be a painter.

Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: Kirk Gittings on February 14, 2013, 10:44:24 PM
Wow haven't visited this thread in awhile. It really went downhill after awhile..............
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: Isaac on February 15, 2013, 02:33:51 AM
... I don't believe there's a single instance where HC-B himself even referred to his photography as art - of any kind.

We've all been young:

Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: Rob C on February 15, 2013, 05:07:18 AM
We've all been young:

  • "Later I met photographers who had some of Atget's prints. These I considered remarkable and, accordingly, I bought myself a tripod, a black cloth and a polished walnut wood camera three by four inches. The camera was fitted with -- instead of a shutter -- a lens cap, which one took off  and the put on to make the exposure. This last detail, of course, confined my challenge to the static world. Other photographic subjects seemed to me to be too complicated, or else to be 'amateur stuff'. And by this time I fancied that by disregarding them, I was dedicating myself to Art with a capital 'A'."attributed "The Decisive Moment" 1952.



That's hardly claiming oneself artist; it's one thing to say that you might think of the genre as artistic in nature (especially, as you indicate, when young) but putting oneself into the rôle of artist is another, which I don't read that quotation as declaring. If anything, his use of the past tense indicates he has dismissed any sense of such an idea (regarding his time in photography).

Many creative endeavours are artistic by nature, and many people who indulge in them are artists and others not. Many would like to consider themselves artists, for whatever reason, but wishing and being are not one...

Rob C
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: Rob C on February 15, 2013, 05:09:06 AM
So what would persuade you that your interpretation should be revised?


At the moment, not a lot I've read convinces me that I'm misinterpreting what I've read.

Rob C
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: Rob C on February 15, 2013, 05:10:48 AM
Wow haven't visited this thread in awhile. It really went downhill after awhile..............


Come back again in a week or so and you'll also consider the 'good old days' a reality!

;-)

Rob C
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: RSL on February 15, 2013, 05:34:57 AM
We've all been young:

  • "Later I met photographers who had some of Atget's prints. These I considered remarkable and, accordingly, I bought myself a tripod, a black cloth and a polished walnut wood camera three by four inches. The camera was fitted with -- instead of a shutter -- a lens cap, which one took off  and the put on to make the exposure. This last detail, of course, confined my challenge to the static world. Other photographic subjects seemed to me to be too complicated, or else to be 'amateur stuff'. And by this time I fancied that by disregarding them, I was dedicating myself to Art with a capital 'A'."

    attributed "The Decisive Moment" 1952.

Hi Isaac, Yes, he wrote that. And if you read it in context you'll understand he was laughing at himself. It quite clearly bears out what Rob and I have been saying.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: Isaac on February 15, 2013, 11:30:01 AM
So what would persuade you that your interpretation should be revised?

At the moment, not a lot I've read convinces me that I'm misinterpreting what I've read.

What would?


That's hardly claiming oneself artist...

That's M. Cartier-Bresson laughing at the younger Cartier-Bresson, for thinking that disregarding other photographic subjects was dedicating oneself to Art with a capital 'A'.

Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: Rob C on February 15, 2013, 12:13:40 PM
"At the moment, not a lot I've read convinces me that I'm misinterpreting what I've read."

1.  What would?

"That's hardly claiming oneself artist..."

2.  That's laughing at oneself, for believing in the past that one had dedicated oneself to to Art with a capital 'A'.




1.  Presumably, if someone unearthed a statement in the man's fair hand where he consciously declares himself photograpic artist. As I have repeatedly written, I have not seen anything that fulfils that notion.

2.  Exactly, we agree. It's not a claim to being a photographic artist.

Rob C
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: Isaac on February 15, 2013, 12:33:45 PM
Presumably, if someone unearthed a statement in the man's fair hand where he consciously declares himself photograpic artist.

I presume you would say it was forged :-)

We already have his statement that rejects the question -- ‘I do not know if photography is an art or not.’


It's not a claim to being a photographic artist.

I'm sure you can make-up some convenient definition of "a photographic artist" to support that comment ;-)

Meanwhile the rest of us can meditate on the hair that supposedly splits "dedicating myself to Art with a capital 'A'" from "claiming oneself artist".
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: Rob C on February 15, 2013, 03:08:31 PM
I presume you would say it was forged :-)

We already have his statement that rejects the question -- ‘I do not know if photography is an art or not.’


I'm sure you can make-up some convenient definition of "a photographic artist" to support that comment ;-)

Meanwhile the rest of us can meditate on the hair that supposedly splits "dedicating myself to Art with a capital 'A'" from "claiming oneself artist".


Better than on the head of a pin!

Regarding the other points: thanks for the vote of confidence in my varied abilities - it means a lot to me!

;-)

Rob C
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: LKaven on February 15, 2013, 03:34:35 PM
I'd say "art with a capital 'A'" had a special kind of meaning in this historical context.  I think it refers more to a kind of classicism.  It took an awfully long time before modernism got any hold on photography in the mainstream, in spite of the fact that people like Man Ray had been working that way for some time.  It's a long way from Man Ray to Robert Frank, and even then, "The Americans" only sold 500 copies in its first printing.   H-CB was seen more as a journalist with a good aesthetic, and a rather classical aesthetic at that.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: Isaac on February 15, 2013, 05:01:21 PM
There was some historical precedent for the use of 'decisive moment' in the sense of a 'turning point' in an event, and so the phrase itself is laden with that history.

You refer to Cardinal de Retz "Il n'y a rien en ce monde qui n'ait un moment décisif." ?

Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: LKaven on February 15, 2013, 06:03:46 PM
You refer to Cardinal de Retz "Il n'y a rien en ce monde qui n'ait un moment décisif." ?

Exactly, Isaac.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: Rob C on February 16, 2013, 02:31:43 PM
Which has moved us where?

Rob  C
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: Isaac on February 20, 2013, 09:11:52 PM
I'd say "art with a capital 'A'" had a special kind of meaning in this historical context.  ...

iirc He was talking about how he felt in the late 1920s.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: Isaac on February 20, 2013, 09:37:51 PM
Which has moved us where?

To remember that M. Cartier-Bresson often alluded to French literature.

(Perhaps to remember that the publishers were responsible for both book titles: "Images à la Sauvette" and "The Decisive Moment").

To remember that there are French language radio interviews with M. Cartier-Bresson, and many articles and letters in Le Monde (http://books.google.com/books?id=cXpLAQAAIAAJ), and interviews in French language photo magazines.

Quote
"Great artists, like Edward Weston, Paul Strand or Adams, those with talent, concentrate first and foremost on the natural, the geological, the landscape and monuments. As for myself, I focus almost entirely on people. I go for immediacy. Landscapes represent eternity."

"Un Reporter", Photo France 7, May 1951, p18

I wonder what question he was answering.

Also a somewhat grander statement -- "My photographs are variations on the same theme: Man and his destiny. No one is infinitely versatile; each one of us carries within himself a particular vision of the universe. It is this view which makes for the unity in our work and ultimately its style." Harper's Magazine, November 1961.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: LKaven on February 20, 2013, 11:32:09 PM
I think of those artists such as Stieglitz and Steichen as being in the "Art with a capital 'A'" group.  They are classical, fine arts-oriented, and in a sense saw the task of "legitimizing" photography as an art form as measured against the extent to which they could emulate some of the classical forms of painting and drawing.

Much as H C-B had his own somewhat classical ideas about composition and form, his images were still the result of a different kind of process with an urgency and immediacy that was different from his predecessors.  The way he articulates his process I think addresses just that. 
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: Isaac on February 21, 2013, 12:42:26 PM
Much as H C-B had his own somewhat classical ideas about composition and form, his images were still the result of a different kind of process with an urgency and immediacy that was different from his predecessors.

You seem to be thinking of what came later -- the later photojournalism and the photos from '29-'33 Spain Italy Mexico France which were for sale at Julien Levy's New York gallery in 1933.

(Some of those prints are in the Art Institute of Chicago collection (http://www.artic.edu/aic/collections/artwork/artist/Cartier-Bresson%2C+Henri) labelled "Julien Levy Collection, Gift of Jean and Julien Levy".)

M. Cartier-Bresson describes what came before -- when he confined his challenge to the static world, when he was dedicating himself to Art with a capital 'A'.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: Isaac on February 21, 2013, 03:55:24 PM
That's hardly claiming oneself artist; it's one thing to say that you might think of the genre as artistic in nature (especially, as you indicate, when young) but putting oneself into the rôle of artist is another, which I don't read that quotation as declaring.

I wonder how many whom you do regard as artists would be disqualified by the criteria you apply to M. Cartier-Bresson :-)


Quote
Interviewer: Why did you choose photography?

Cartier-Bresson: Photography enables me to grasp the world directly through the medium of a particular and significant detail. There is no such thing as an art of generalities. It's a way of understanding and a way of living more intensely. ... I have a great time and I work for the love of the subject not for the sake of the magazine that ordered the pictures. ... once I start working, I work for the subject only. I don't refuse assignments, if they are not gimmicky. What Renaissance artist would have thought of despising a commission?"

"In photography, as in the other arts, talent only gives us the right to work even harder."

"Ours is a very small profession. While literally speaking, there is no competition, the market is very limited. Yet the contrived stories which magazines so often ask for become handicaps to photography as an art."

1961 Henri Cartier-Bresson: on the art of photography (http://harpers.org/archive/1961/11/henri-cartier-bresson-on-the-art-of-photography/) an interview by Yvonne Baby, translated by Elizabeth Carmichael.


Given how this discussion began, I'll include this quotation from the same interview:

Quote
"My greatest joy is the surprise of facing a beautiful organization of forms, the intuitive recognition of a spontaneous -- not contrived -- composition; naturally with a subject that moves. I think it's only when handled this way that a subject takes on its full significance.

I never crop a photograph. If it needs to be cropped I know it's bad and that nothing could possibly improve it. The only improvement would have been to have taken another picture, at the right place and at the right time."
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: LKaven on February 21, 2013, 06:28:50 PM
You seem to be thinking of what came later -- the later photojournalism and the photos from '29-'33 Spain Italy Mexico France which were for sale at Julien Levy's New York gallery in 1933.

I think you're right here.  Thanks for the added qualification.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: RSL on February 21, 2013, 07:27:10 PM
Hi Isaac, I'm out of this thread as far as the primary topic is concerned, but I have a couple questions for you:

(1) It's pretty obvious that your research on HCB and your knowledge of the subject is pretty extensive. But why are you so concerned about whether or not he saw himself as an "artist?" Without question he was one of the most effective artists of the twentieth century, but why does it matter to you whether or not he identified himself that way?

(2) Are you as interested in his pictures as you are in whether or not he saw himself as an artist? The pictures themselves never seemed to come up in the discussion.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: Isaac on February 22, 2013, 03:46:26 PM
It's pretty obvious that your research on HCB and your knowledge of the subject is pretty extensive. But why are you so concerned about whether or not he saw himself as an "artist?"

I'm not; the question simply provides an excuse to look purposefully at the photographs, and listen purposefully to what M. Cartier-Bresson had to say for himself.


(I think my research on HCB and knowledge of the subject is very preliminary, and strictly limited by lack of access to French language material and my lack of fluency in French. From what I've seen the French language material professionally translated into English is far more coherent than M. Cartier-Bresson's English language statements.)
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: RSL on February 23, 2013, 01:32:54 PM
(I think my research on HCB and knowledge of the subject is very preliminary, and strictly limited by lack of access to French language material and my lack of fluency in French. From what I've seen the French language material professionally translated into English is far more coherent than M. Cartier-Bresson's English language statements.)

I'd be quick to agree on that point, Isaac. But though I'm very interested in what he said, I'm a lot more interested in his photographs. Of course I can say the same thing about a bunch of other people, with Walker Evans probably at the top of the list and Elliott Erwitt a close second.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: Isaac on December 08, 2014, 02:10:03 PM
Remember, though, that the book that became "The Decisive Moment" in the U.S., started out, as Kaven said, as "Images à la Sauvette," in other words (more or less) "Images on the run."

Incidentally, the translation for à la Sauvette provided by Babelfish and Google Translate is on the sly, which seems a very expressive description of the photography.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: RSL on December 08, 2014, 04:06:30 PM
Fair enough Isaac, but I don't like the word "sly." If you become comfortable enough with street shooting you're not actually making pictures on the sly. You're right out there in the open, but like The Shadow, you've learned to cloud men's minds. You do that by being totally non-threatening and, somehow, subliminally transmitting that understanding to your subjects. I know Henri was chased a time or two, but I think the original title referred more to the quickness of the whole process. Another problem: as near as I can tell, "à la Sauvette" isn't precisely translatable into English.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: Isaac on December 08, 2014, 06:46:20 PM
As-if a furtive pick-pocket is a thief but a bold pick-pocket is an honest man! :-)

"on the sly": secretly (http://dictionary.cambridge.org/us/dictionary/american-english/on-the-sly)

Perhaps the original title expressed Cartier-Bresson's opinion and a sly sense of humour.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: amolitor on December 08, 2014, 06:51:53 PM
<i>à la sauvette</i> is an idiomatic expression, "on the sly" is a terrible translation. HCB was probably NOT making some complicated multilingual pun. He was surely just using an idiomatic expression to mean the thing it means.

It means "in the manner of an unlicensed street vendor" and as such as a bundle of connotations, "sly" figuring small among them. A sense of motion, a sense of quickness of transaction, a sense of blending in and being part of the scene perhaps.

A sense of the illicit, sure, but that is by no means all of it.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: LKaven on December 08, 2014, 08:56:43 PM
<i>à la sauvette</i> is an idiomatic expression, "on the sly" is a terrible translation. HCB was probably NOT making some complicated multilingual pun. He was surely just using an idiomatic expression to mean the thing it means.

It means "in the manner of an unlicensed street vendor" and as such as a bundle of connotations, "sly" figuring small among them. A sense of motion, a sense of quickness of transaction, a sense of blending in and being part of the scene perhaps.

A sense of the illicit, sure, but that is by no means all of it.

Glad you came in with this.  One should not trust google translate for colloquial idioms.  Some things just do not translate, and you have to be among the community of people who uses the idiom to understand it.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: Isaac on December 09, 2014, 01:15:16 PM
It means…

Are you a native French speaker?

Are you saying that's what it means now, or that's what it meant in the 1950's?
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: Jonathan Wienke on January 09, 2015, 12:52:06 PM
IMO, cropping for reasons other than the necessity of fitting an aspect ratio represents a failure to capture the image properly in the first place.

Obviously, if an image works best cropped square and your camera is 4:5, you will need to crop. But if you have to do more than crop the :5 down to :4, you screwed up the capture.

What people do to an image to make a square peg fit in a round hole in a layout after the fact is a separate issue entirely, and out of the photographer's control.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: amolitor on January 09, 2015, 01:04:03 PM
Arguably, if your camera is 4x5, you would do well to find pictures that work best in a 4:5 ratio.

This is the essence of the anti-cropping argument. Work with the camera, not against it.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: RSL on January 09, 2015, 01:26:10 PM
What people do to an image to make a square peg fit in a round hole in a layout after the fact is a separate issue entirely, and out of the photographer's control.

Unless you're HCB, who insisted on having his pictures printed with their irregular black borders intact. If you can get away with that, you've arrived.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: Jonathan Wienke on January 09, 2015, 02:57:45 PM
This is the essence of the anti-cropping argument. Work with the camera, not against it.

To which I would say that using your camera's native aspect ratio to dictate what you shoot is bass-ackwards.

Which aspect ratio is superior? 1:1? 4:5? 2:3? 16:9? 11:51? How can you know which aspect ratio will be best when buying a camera? Wouldn't that require some psychic ability?

I would argue that the composition dictates (final) aspect ratio, not the other way around. If you're standing in front of a capture-worthy scene, figure out what the best composition is, including aspect ratio, and then use the tools you have to capture that with the least post-capture cropping possible.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: amolitor on January 09, 2015, 03:30:20 PM
... and that would be where you differ from the anti-cropping side of the debate. Some people find limitations, artificial or otherwise, to be quite stimulating.

Horses for courses.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: LKaven on January 10, 2015, 01:01:40 AM
To which I would say that using your camera's native aspect ratio to dictate what you shoot is bass-ackwards.

Which aspect ratio is superior? 1:1? 4:5? 2:3? 16:9? 11:51? How can you know which aspect ratio will be best when buying a camera? Wouldn't that require some psychic ability?

I would argue that the composition dictates (final) aspect ratio, not the other way around. If you're standing in front of a capture-worthy scene, figure out what the best composition is, including aspect ratio, and then use the tools you have to capture that with the least post-capture cropping possible.

So the core of the "does not crop" stance is underwritten by the idea that there is a special significance to the moment in which you committed to the picture, the moment in which the photographer's reasons for committing were realized.  One could argue that this is the moment that confers meaning on a photograph.  And actually this line of argument gets pretty good support in contemporary philosophy.

Another part of the stance involves the idea that the odds of finding "the picture" as a proper subset of another picture are astronomically small.  Surely one would have moved an inch here or there, or more, had one known what was really there to explore within that subject space. 

To those ends, one will work with the tool in hand accordingly.  The exact crop that matters is the one your camera will permit with a finder mask.  [And yes, you could envision a "crop" at the moment of capture as well without the aid of a finder mask, but it is harder.]

I personally would love it if my Nikon would offer a square crop mask.  Some things really look good in a square.  But the same could be said for any crop.  The X-Pan 24x60 format looks very nice for many things.  There is no limit.  The real issue here is what the photographer is doing at the moment s/he commits to tripping the shutter, and that includes the "seeing it" part as well as the "knowing why" part.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: stamper on January 10, 2015, 03:13:30 AM
IMO, cropping for reasons other than the necessity of fitting an aspect ratio represents a failure to capture the image properly in the first place.

Obviously, if an image works best cropped square and your camera is 4:5, you will need to crop. But if you have to do more than crop the :5 down to :4, you screwed up the capture.

What people do to an image to make a square peg fit in a round hole in a layout after the fact is a separate issue entirely, and out of the photographer's control.

If you are an architectural photographer shooting a scene with sloping verticals and you frame too tightly then you can't straighten them in post processing. With a moving subject it's better to have a loose crop than a tight one which means that you might frame into to the subject? Be flexible in your approach rather than dogmatic? Jonathan it didn't take you long to stirs things up? Just like the "old days" ;) :)
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: FranciscoDisilvestro on January 10, 2015, 07:36:41 PM
O LORD, have mercy on me; heal me, for I have cropped my pictures
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: RSL on January 11, 2015, 08:27:45 AM
Right, Peter. Two for sure that I can think of: Behind the Gare Saint-Lazare because the plank in the fence cut off part of the picture and Cardinal Pacelli at Montmartre because he had to hold the camera over his head and shoot by guess. There's a third one, but I don't remember which one it was at the moment. But these were far from the rule for him. I've gradually moved away from the idea of never cropping, though I never was an absolute stickler for that. Still, it's much, much better to frame what you want when you go click.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: Ken Bennett on January 11, 2015, 09:34:06 AM
O LORD, have mercy on me; heal me, for I have cropped my pictures

I've often felt that the whole "never crop" thing is purely a religious belief. Cropping is sin, and suggesting that sometimes cropping might be okay is blasphemy. There's just something about the virginal purity of the uncropped image, I guess. :)

Me, I'll stick with cropping as needed, though I understand that means I am not a real photographer.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: RSL on January 11, 2015, 10:00:28 AM
There are two kinds of cropping, Ken. First, there's the grab-bag approach to photography where you don't really know what you're after and you bang away and then try to make a decision later on your computer by cropping something out of the random crap in your new files. Second, there's the situation you get into where you know what you want in the frame, but you can't get in position to frame it. In a case like that you shoot loose knowing you'll have to crop to what you wanted. HCB was the second kind of cropper -- in spades.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: Ken Bennett on January 11, 2015, 10:14:03 AM
Oh, I understand that, Russ. I'm just reacting to the suggestion (not yours) that the second kind of cropping represents "a failure to capture the image properly in the first place."

That's nothing more than a dogmatic belief.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: Jonathan Wienke on January 14, 2015, 09:46:33 AM
Oh, I understand that, Russ. I'm just reacting to the suggestion (not yours) that the second kind of cropping represents "a failure to capture the image properly in the first place."

Actually, my comment was directed toward the first sort of cropping--where one doesn't have a clear idea of what the final image should be while shooting, and cropping is done in an attempt to clarify a fuzzy concept.

Being limited in vantage points to shoot from is no different than being limited by the native aspect ratio of the camera in hand. You get as close as you can to what you really want, so you minimize the amount of negative/RAW you have to discard in post.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: RSL on January 14, 2015, 10:03:10 AM
Exactly!
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: Jonathan Wienke on January 15, 2015, 03:56:39 PM
Is that something you do / you have done?

Do you know anyone who says they do that? Have you seen anyone do that? It isn't something I recall doing.

Quote
Looking at my current batch: 10 weren't cropped, 5 were cropped tighter by about 1/10th, and 1 cropped 3:2 to 4:3 from bottom-right. (13 still to do and 28 deleted, with some more deleted from the camera).

You're either schizophrenic, have Alzheimers, or are being intentionally obtuse. The "5 were cropped tighter by about 1/10th" is exactly what I'm describing as "sharpening a fuzzy concept". If you'd shot a bit tighter in the first place, you'd have gotten a better capture of the final image.

Nobody's perfect, and nobody always gets the ideal framing without having to crop. But IMO one should always strive to shoot to minimize the cropping needed to get the best final image.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: RSL on January 15, 2015, 04:15:10 PM
Isaac, have you ever posted anything on LuLa? Do you actually make photographs or only criticize?
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: amolitor on January 15, 2015, 04:26:14 PM
The question really seems to be

"did you see, more or less, the final picture before you pressed the button, or after?"

I find this to be a pretty arbitrary distinction. In essence, you're either doing the Photography at the camera, or at the contact sheet, and
what does it matter where and when you do it?

Doing it at the camera is a lot more efficient, certainly, but photography isn't a very efficient process at the best of times, and anyways,
why do I care what you do with your time?

Some people choose to do it one way, others another. I don't judge your process. Or at any rate, I strive not to.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: LKaven on January 15, 2015, 04:38:10 PM
The question really seems to be

"did you see, more or less, the final picture before you pressed the button, or after?"

I find this to be a pretty arbitrary distinction. In essence, you're either doing the Photography at the camera, or at the contact sheet, and
what does it matter where and when you do it?

Doing it at the camera is a lot more efficient, certainly, but photography isn't a very efficient process at the best of times, and anyways,
why do I care what you do with your time?

Some people choose to do it one way, others another. I don't judge your process. Or at any rate, I strive not to.


The philosophy of the decisive moment is tied up with the idea that the meaning of the photograph is inherent in the photographer's act of taking the photograph, and explained by the history of reasons that led up to that action in that moment.  It is partly a philosophy about existential engagement in the moment. 
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: amolitor on January 15, 2015, 04:43:47 PM
Err, OK. That's new to me!
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: LKaven on January 15, 2015, 08:29:50 PM
The meaning of the photograph to whom?

It is an objective fact, not subjective.  It is only part of the entire picture of meaning, which may include subjective facts.

This is the meaning conferred on a work in the act of authorship, at the moment the photographer commits to tripping the shutter, situated as s/he is.  It is the answer to the question of why the photograph is here, and may include such things as why here, why this moment, why composed just as such.  It is explained by the causal history that led up to the moment of commitment, which supplies the reasons (beliefs, desires, etc) for the act of tripping the shutter. 

The existential part of "the decisive moment" affirms the virtue of "being there" for that moment.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: amolitor on January 15, 2015, 10:01:52 PM
Is this existentialist approach to the decisive moment yours or are you referring to someone else's ideas here?

How is the act of tripping a shutter fundamentally different, in these terms, from the act of drawing a red rectangle onto a contact sheet?
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: Jonathan Wienke on January 15, 2015, 10:59:34 PM
Have you ever photographed thinking - I could easily frame tighter without any risk but I'll just leave unnecessary margin so I'll have something to crop-out later - or - I don't know why I'm taking this photo but maybe if I crop the image something will turn-up ?

Perhaps there are people who've grown-up with digital and are so happy with the quality of heavily cropped images that they don't bother trying to frame tighter, they just crop the image. Has someone told you that's what they do?

No. And no. And no.

And if you think I've ever advocated any of those things, you need to improve your reading comprehension.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: LKaven on January 15, 2015, 11:40:50 PM
Is this existentialist approach to the decisive moment yours or are you referring to someone else's ideas here?

How is the act of tripping a shutter fundamentally different, in these terms, from the act of drawing a red rectangle onto a contact sheet?

The existentialist character of the theory is apparent.  I don't know whether HC-B took after Sartre intentionally or not.

In your question, the act of tripping the shutter where cropping is disallowed, and the act of cropping a previous capture, are both acts of committing to the final form.  So in that (narrow) sense, they are the same.  

In another way, they are different.  In the case of the former, the image is wholly the product of immediate engagement with the subject, and in the case of cropping, it is not.  The question when cropping is "what /were/ you engaged with when you committed to tripping the shutter that further change should be necessitated?"

If one stops looking at the thesis as a matter of what one should or shouldn't do, it becomes an interesting way to understand the process by which a photographer engages his/her subject, and how that engagement is or is not reflected in the final photograph.  

In my view, there is not just one right way.  But I do feel that one often underestimates the aesthetic complexity one can realize in a photograph at the moment of capture.  For me, I feel that with few exceptions, the picture is either all there when I tripped the shutter, or it isn't there at all.  And to my mind, it is very rare that "the picture" should ever be a proper subset of another picture.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: Ray on January 16, 2015, 07:59:39 AM
IMO, cropping for reasons other than the necessity of fitting an aspect ratio represents a failure to capture the image properly in the first place.

Obviously, if an image works best cropped square and your camera is 4:5, you will need to crop. But if you have to do more than crop the :5 down to :4, you screwed up the capture.

There seems to be a lot of confusion here, Jonathan. First, all images are cropped. It's not possible for a photographer to take an image without cropping it. He crops it first through choice of camera and lens (in relation to the scene), and crops it again, if required, during processing.

There's nothing wrong in revisiting a shot months or years later and cropping it yet again in accordance with an improved or different personal aesthetic.

Quote
Being limited in vantage points to shoot from is no different than being limited by the native aspect ratio of the camera in hand. You get as close as you can to what you really want, so you minimize the amount of negative/RAW you have to discard in post.

This is not always true. Getting as close as you can changes the perspective. In some shots you might want to stand back for the sake of the different perspective. If you don't have the appropriate telephoto lens, then there might be no other option than to crop in post processing, in order to achieve the desired perspective.

Now, I understand with the Canon 1Ds you will probably have a great incentive to get as close as possible to the imagined composition, because a mere 11 million, rather outdated pixels don't allow for much flexibility. If you decide the composition requires a square format, no matter how close you get, you're restricted to a 7.3 mp image, and any further cropping will reduce that number.

Those IDs pixels may be large, but they don't compare with a modern small pixel, such as the ones on the Nikon D810. In all respect, the D810 pixels are either equal to, or better than the IDs pixels. Something for you to consider.  ;)
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: RSL on January 16, 2015, 02:03:34 PM
...your forcefully stated opinion on cropping doesn't seem to be different, in any way that you-know-of, from what people ordinarily do when taking a photograph.

How would you know what people ordinarily do when taking a photograph? In order to know that you'd actually have to do it.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: Jonathan Wienke on January 16, 2015, 02:34:21 PM
In that case, your forcefully stated opinion on cropping doesn't seem to be different, in any way that you-know-of, from what people ordinarily do when taking a photograph.

In contrast to Cartier-Bresson's.


Put-downs and name-calling are certainly less challenging than conversation.

HCB advocated the notion of getting the image right at the time of capture, as opposed to sloppy composition and cropping after the fact. Which is exactly the approach I advocate. Explain how my views "contrast" with HCB's.

As to "put-downs", in your case they seem apt, since you seem to insist on pretending that everything I've written means the exact opposite of what I said, even if that means contradicting yourself in consecutive sentences. Having never met you, I don't know if you're truly that comprehensionally-challenged, or just being an ass for the sake of being an ass. Either way, it makes it difficult to have an intelligent conversation with you.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: Ray on January 16, 2015, 10:23:04 PM
Steady on! Jonathan. You're being a bit hard on Isaac.

One should bear in mind that HCB didn't develop, process and print his own photos. His situation was quite different to those of us with a modern DSLR and the opportunities offered by Photoshop.

As I understand, HCB was more of a photojournalist than a fine-art photographer. Cropping an image for him would have been a cumbersome process. He would have needed some shots to be printed twice, perhaps indicating with pencil and ruler on the first print how he wanted the final print to be cropped.

For him it was probably easier to spend more effort in framing the shot as precisely as possible to avoid as much as possible any perceived need to crop later.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: Jonathan Wienke on January 17, 2015, 12:40:58 AM
For him it was probably easier to spend more effort in framing the shot as precisely as possible to avoid as much as possible any perceived need to crop later.

And his work was the better for making that effort.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: Jonathan Wienke on January 17, 2015, 12:49:31 AM
Do you in-fact crop your photos?

I have on occasion, as did HCB occasionally. But it's not how I prefer to work.

Do you in fact have a point to make with the question?
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: stamper on January 17, 2015, 03:41:43 AM
And his work was the better for making that effort.

You can't possibly know that because you don't know what he left out when he framed his images. I find this homage to a long dead photographer
a little strange. The photographic world has moved on by leaps and bounds. :(
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: Jonathan Wienke on January 17, 2015, 07:49:08 AM
You can't possibly know that because you don't know what he left out when he framed his images.

Except that his images are well-known for their composition despite the fact he almost never cropped in post.

Do you have any examples of HCB images that would benefit from cropping? Citation, please.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: stamper on January 17, 2015, 08:14:22 AM
Except that his images are well-known for their composition despite the fact he almost never cropped in post.

Do you have any examples of HCB images that would benefit from cropping? Citation, please.

I don't but it would be a fruitless exercise because if I did have and I cropped them then it would highly subjective? Framing and cropping - imo the same thing - is definitely subjective and shouldn't be a matter that is down to "rules". For your proposal to be valid then I would need access to the original un cropped output and not what is presented on the internet or in books.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: LKaven on January 17, 2015, 08:30:08 AM
Steady on! Jonathan. You're being a bit hard on Isaac.

One should bear in mind that HCB didn't develop, process and print his own photos. His situation was quite different to those of us with a modern DSLR and the opportunities offered by Photoshop.

As I understand, HCB was more of a photojournalist than a fine-art photographer. Cropping an image for him would have been a cumbersome process. He would have needed some shots to be printed twice, perhaps indicating with pencil and ruler on the first print how he wanted the final print to be cropped.

For him it was probably easier to spend more effort in framing the shot as precisely as possible to avoid as much as possible any perceived need to crop later.

He did pen an entire philosophy to explain why he did this.  I don't think there's much point in second guessing him on the grounds of convenience.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: LKaven on January 17, 2015, 09:18:22 AM
You can't possibly know that because you don't know what he left out when he framed his images. I find this homage to a long dead photographer a little strange. The photographic world has moved on by leaps and bounds. :(

The photographic world has not moved on aesthetically much at all.  There is scarcely a single photojournalist out there who doesn't still take chapters out of HC-B's book.  The entire Magnum school was founded on it. 

To understand HC-B's thesis, one has to understand a certain amount of philosophy of mind and psychology on the subject of agency, the commitment to act, and the /reasons/ for doing so.  His views are best underwritten by an enormous body of literature that followed him.

There are many enduring approaches to photography that follow a certain aesthetic principle.  That principle is that the photograph in one important part is about the photographer and the subject together: the photographer's engagement with the subject, and the photographer's /reasons/ for committing to the picture just as it appeared and at just that moment.

This is fundamental theory in photography, all the more today. 
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: Ray on January 17, 2015, 10:07:18 AM
He did pen an entire philosophy to explain why he did this.  I don't think there's much point in second guessing him on the grounds of convenience.

Being a practical sort of person, I tend to feel that most philosophical considerations, and some religions ones, have a 'practical' origin, or at least a practical influence and concern relating to their origin. For example, as I understand, there were good practical reasons why Jews and Muslims refrained from eating pork. Disease.

With modern technology, the HCB method of capturing the moment should be a breeze. We now have cameras such as the Samsung NX1 producing high quality 4k video and the ability to extract any single frame from that video for an 8mp still. 8mp is not quite the resolution of Jonathan's 1Ds, but no doubt the Samsung pixels are better quality pixels, and 8mp should outperform any HCB shot, technically, on balance.  ;)
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: RSL on January 17, 2015, 10:25:41 AM
I don't but it would be a fruitless exercise because if I did have and I cropped them then it would highly subjective? Framing and cropping - imo the same thing - is definitely subjective and shouldn't be a matter that is down to "rules". For your proposal to be valid then I would need access to the original un cropped output and not what is presented on the internet or in books.

Stamper, I agree with you about arbitrary "rules," though I think you have to make a distinction between good practices and arbitrary rules. But it's not hard to confirm that HCB didn't crop his pictures after they came out of the camera. You can see the "original un-cropped output" in several of his books. He usually insisted on having his pictures printed with the uneven black borders around the exposed part of the frame showing. Sometimes you can see sprocket holes. The ones he did crop were the ones in which he was unable to look through the viewfinder. Check out this film clip: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z4qZ3Z8shZE&feature=related. This was one time he had to crop.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: RSL on January 17, 2015, 10:41:18 AM
With modern technology, the HCB method of capturing the moment should be a breeze. We now have cameras such as the Samsung NX1 producing high quality 4k video and the ability to extract any single frame from that video for an 8mp still. 8mp is not quite the resolution of Jonathan's 1Ds, but no doubt the Samsung pixels are better quality pixels, and 8mp should outperform any HCB shot, technically, on balance.  ;)

If you believe you can do street photography with a movie camera and that it can be a "breeze," then you don't understand what street photography is all about. In most situations you simply don't have time to capture a film clip. In street photography there's an instant when the picture is right. That's all. You have to anticipate it and grab it very quietly and unobtrusively. If you try to capture a film clip you're going to insert yourself into the situation and at that point what you're doing ceases to be street photography. I'm not going to beat this point to death. You can read what I have to say about it at http://www.russ-lewis.com/essays/OnStreetPhotography.html and http://www.russ-lewis.com/essays/WhyDoStreetPhotography.html.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: RSL on January 17, 2015, 10:46:13 AM
I find this homage to a long dead photographer a little strange. The photographic world has moved on by leaps and bounds. :(

Luke already has made the point, Stamper, but I'd add that though the photographic equipment world has moved on by leaps and bounds the esthetics of good photography haven't changed at all. Good photography has become easier in a mechanical sense, but in an esthetic sense it's no less difficult than it ever was.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: LKaven on January 17, 2015, 11:25:04 AM
If you believe you can do street photography with a movie camera and that it can be a "breeze," then you don't understand what street photography is all about.

Right.  Street photography is about the photographer's engagement with the millieu.  The more engaged one is, the more likely one is to find inspiration in a moment above all others that preceded it.  The taking of the picture should be a strong commitment to a simultaneous realization of meaning and form.  That /is/ the artistic act in this view of photography. 
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: RSL on January 17, 2015, 02:13:16 PM
Says the guy who evidently has never made a photograph or is too embarrassed by the disappointing results he gets to post them.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: Ray on January 17, 2015, 11:56:24 PM
If you believe you can do street photography with a movie camera and that it can be a "breeze," then you don't understand what street photography is all about. In most situations you simply don't have time to capture a film clip. In street photography there's an instant when the picture is right. That's all. You have to anticipate it and grab it very quietly and unobtrusively. If you try to capture a film clip you're going to insert yourself into the situation and at that point what you're doing ceases to be street photography. I'm not going to beat this point to death. You can read what I have to say about it at http://www.russ-lewis.com/essays/OnStreetPhotography.html and http://www.russ-lewis.com/essays/WhyDoStreetPhotography.html.

You seem to have completely misunderstood my point, Russ. I wasn't referring to the use of a dedicated movie camera, but one of the new, rather compact mirror-less cameras, such as the Samsung NX1 with much improved video capability and the facility to extract any single 8.8mp frame from a 4k video sequence.

There's no reason why shooting in video mode should be any more intrusive, or awkward, or time-consuming than waiting for an anticipated moment to press the shutter for a single shot. If you anticipate that something interesting might be about to occur, you can put the NX1 in video mode and. with eye to viewfinder, start shooting. At 24 or 30 fps, you're sure to capture the precise moment, if what you anticipate might occur does in fact occur.

In video mode, the NX1 effectively gives one a faster continuous frame rate but without the risk of the buffer filling up. If 8.8mp is too much of a resolution sacrifice, then the full resolution (28mp) continuous mode is still very impressive at 15fps for about 70 consecutive shots.

Of course, we should all understand that aesthetics is a different issue. Capturing the 'desired' moment is a factual issue. You either captured it or you didn't. Whether or not that captured moment is interesting and/or meaningful to others is in the realm of opinion.

As a matter of fact, all photos are 'captures of the moment'. That's what the camera does, in accordance with its shutter speed. The issues are, did you capture the moment you wanted to capture, or did you press the shutter too soon or too late.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: LKaven on January 18, 2015, 02:16:29 AM
You seem to have completely misunderstood my point, Russ. I wasn't referring to the use of a dedicated movie camera, but one of the new, rather compact mirror-less cameras, such as the Samsung NX1 with much improved video capability and the facility to extract any single 8.8mp frame from a 4k video sequence.

There's no reason why shooting in video mode should be any more intrusive, or awkward, or time-consuming than waiting for an anticipated moment to press the shutter for a single shot. If you anticipate that something interesting might be about to occur, you can put the NX1 in video mode and. with eye to viewfinder, start shooting. At 24 or 30 fps, you're sure to capture the precise moment, if what you anticipate might occur does in fact occur.

In video mode, the NX1 effectively gives one a faster continuous frame rate but without the risk of the buffer filling up. If 8.8mp is too much of a resolution sacrifice, then the full resolution (28mp) continuous mode is still very impressive at 15fps for about 70 consecutive shots.

Of course, we should all understand that aesthetics is a different issue. Capturing the 'desired' moment is a factual issue. You either captured it or you didn't. Whether or not that captured moment is interesting and/or meaningful to others is in the realm of opinion.

As a matter of fact, all photos are 'captures of the moment'. That's what the camera does, in accordance with its shutter speed. The issues are, did you capture the moment you wanted to capture, or did you press the shutter too soon or too late.

The "moment" in question is the simultaneous realization by the photographer of the elements of form and meaning in the real events as they occur.

The 'desired moment' is the one that you desire at the moment that you committed to tripping the shutter.  You tripped the shutter because you believed you would get the moment you desired by doing so.  This is supported by your other background beliefs and desires (e.g., about the subject, the significance of the moment, etc).

These facts, in this theory of photography, supply a good part of the aesthetic content of the photograph.  An HCB photograph, or a Robert Frank photograph are just about an inquiring, artistic engagement with the world in the moment.  The photographs are about the photographer as they are about the events being portrayed.  The acts of standing in a certain place, framing in an exact way, and selecting just a certain moment are always loaded with meaning.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: RSL on January 18, 2015, 06:30:53 AM
You seem to have completely misunderstood my point, Russ. I wasn't referring to the use of a dedicated movie camera, but one of the new, rather compact mirror-less cameras, such as the Samsung NX1 with much improved video capability and the facility to extract any single 8.8mp frame from a 4k video sequence.

I wasn't referring to a dedicated movie camera either, Ray, though I can see I gave that impression. Doesn't matter. The point's the same.

Quote
There's no reason why shooting in video mode should be any more intrusive, or awkward, or time-consuming than waiting for an anticipated moment to press the shutter for a single shot. If you anticipate that something interesting might be about to occur, you can put the NX1 in video mode and. with eye to viewfinder, start shooting. At 24 or 30 fps, you're sure to capture the precise moment, if what you anticipate might occur does in fact occur.

"Start shooting" is the operative phrase. When you do street photography you don't "start shooting," you shoot. That's it. It's done. If you haven't alerted your subjects by then you might shoot a second time, or even a third or fourth, but it's almost always true that that first shot is the one that counts. You can't stand there with a camera in your hands, banging away over a period of time -- even a relatively short period of time -- without blowing up the whole situation.

Considering what you're saying, I have to ask: have you ever done any street photography?

Quote
In video mode, the NX1 effectively gives one a faster continuous frame rate but without the risk of the buffer filling up. If 8.8mp is too much of a resolution sacrifice, then the full resolution (28mp) continuous mode is still very impressive at 15fps for about 70 consecutive shots.

All I can say is, show me. Let me see what kind of street photography you can do with a movie camera. Yes, I'm referring to an NX1 or its equivalent.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: LKaven on January 18, 2015, 11:03:03 AM
Well, the NX-1 can do 15 full-resolution still shots per second.  So it is technically easy to silently take high-speed shots for at least a few seconds.  And technically, you could harvest a picture out of that.  I think the more important point is how the photographer is engaged with the subject. 
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: Ray on January 18, 2015, 11:34:20 AM
You can't stand there with a camera in your hands, banging away over a period of time -- even a relatively short period of time -- without blowing up the whole situation.

This is where you seem stuck in the past, Russ. Banging away? Cameras like the NX1 have very quiet shutters, if not completely silent, especially in video mode.

The video feature, or simply continuous shooting, helps when anticipating fast action, as in the HCB example of the man jumping a puddle, which you referred to in your article.

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Considering what you're saying, I have to ask: have you ever done any street photography?

Of course I have. Street photography, desert photography, mountain photography, fine art photography, incidental photography, opportunistic photography, manipulated photography, etc etc. You name it and I've probably done it.

Some of my more interesting street photography shots, in my opinion of course, are of transvestites (or transgenders) showing off their wares in the streets of Phuket. Of course, I wouldn't want to post such images on this site. They'd probably get censored.  ;)

However, here's a recent shot I took just a few days ago, which might more correctly be termed a 'restaurant' shot, but I think it broadly fits into your 'street shot' category.

What! You don't like it! It's too cluttered? But you have to admit the sky is very nice. Not blown at all.  ;)

Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: RSL on January 18, 2015, 01:04:49 PM

Okay, if it bothers you, let's drop "banging away," and just say, holding the camera to your eye for any length of time. (Actually the camera is banging away even though it may be doing it quietly.) What's absolutely essential in street photography is for the photographer to be so non-threatening that though his subjects may know he's there, he's so much in the background, so unobtrusive, that his subjects aren't really aware of him. Holding a camera to your eye for more than a second at a time isn't the way to be unobtrusive and non-threatening. I often relate what a good street photographer does to what "The Shadow," in that long-ago radio series did: cloud men's minds.

I'm not going to try to beat the meaning of street photography to death, but as I said in "On Street Photography," "There must be interesting human behavior in the picture -- something beyond a simple shot of a person or people, no matter how weird the people are, no matter how much they fit stereotypes, no matter how briskly they walk, no matter how they slouch against the stoop. Often there's an element of mystery in the story, and unless the picture makes you think, it's not much of a street photograph."

I hate to say it, but I don't see anything terribly mysterious in this shot or anything that makes me think. Maybe you could consider the rugs and wall decorations to be mysterious or interesting, but if so they're not mysterious or interesting in the same way, say, HCB's "Behind the Gare Saint-Lazare" is interesting. In that shot there are three things: a story, mystery, and ambiguity. The story is that that guy is about to jump into the water, the mystery is why he's doing that, and the ambiguity involves his connection to the strange surroundings. I suppose that in your picture you could say the story is that the girl is making a phone call, the mystery is why she's doing that, and the ambiguity is her connection to these surroundings. If so, I have to say that the story is boring, the question regarding why she's doing that is nothing I'd be interesting in having answered, and the ambiguity is minimal if you've ever spent time in the East. I also get the feeling this is tone-mapped HDR, but I won't pursue that diversion.

In short, I'm not convinced that you can shoot street effectively with a camera in movie mode.
 
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: amolitor on January 18, 2015, 02:14:42 PM
In practical terms, the reason selecting the right ft frame after the fact won't work (or works a lot less well) is this:

If you are seeing the moment unfold, anticipating it, then you are moving yourself and the camera into the right spot before you shoot. Well. Really you are shooting and moving all at once, knowing, feeling, it's nearby in space and time, hoping to hit it or near enough. You cannot move the camera in post.

Occasionally, you will find that you were in the right spot anyways with your movie, so it does work occasionally. It's much less efficient than even the traditional methods, which are appallingly inefficient themselves.

I don't pretend to understand any of the philosophy, and honestly I'm not sure HCB would recognize any of it. My impression is of a much more pragmatic man. But what the heck do I know?
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: Isaac on January 18, 2015, 02:20:34 PM
Says the guy who evidently has never made a photograph or is too embarrassed by the disappointing results he gets to post them.

Evidently you regard your malicious speculations as fact.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: LKaven on January 18, 2015, 02:29:13 PM
If you are seeing the moment unfold, anticipating it, then you are moving yourself and the camera into the right spot before you shoot. Well. Really you are shooting and moving all at once, knowing, feeling, it's nearby in space and time, hoping to hit it or near enough. You cannot move the camera in post.

This is pretty good.  The odds that "the picture" is a proper subset of another picture are just astronomical.  In all reality, one would have been better to be situated somewhere else. 

There is a level of inspiration that can come from engagement with the subject /par excellence/ in the moment and brought to bear on the instant of capture.  This is the same kind of inspiration that comes during a jazz solo.  This kind of engagement can only rarely be matched after the fact. 
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: LKaven on January 18, 2015, 02:30:27 PM
However, here's a recent shot I took just a few days ago, which might more correctly be termed a 'restaurant' shot, but I think it broadly fits into your 'street shot' category.

To me, this is not an example of street photography in the style being discussed.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: Isaac on January 18, 2015, 02:41:28 PM
Do you in-fact crop your photos?

I have on occasion, as did HCB occasionally. But it's not how I prefer to work.


Let's consider the occasions when Cartier-Bresson's photo's were cropped.

In both examples mentioned so-far, Cartier-Bresson could not see through the view finder to frame the photo when the exposure was made -- it was not possible to frame the photo.

So:


Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: RSL on January 18, 2015, 04:13:33 PM
You can believe that if you want to, Isaac, and since you don't actually practice what you're preaching about I suspect you can, as the duke said, believe anything. But here are a couple things HCB had to say about the subject. Seems appropriate considering the title of this thread:

"To me, photography is the simultaneous recognition, in a fraction of a second, of the significance of an event as well as of a precise organization of forms which give that event its proper expression."
 
"… For me, content cannot be separated from form. By form, I mean a rigorous organization of the interplay of surfaces, lines, and values. It is in this organization alone that our conceptions and emotions become concrete and communicable. In photography, visual organization can stem only from a developed instinct."

Both of these statements demand composition within the viewfinder, which he practiced, to my mind excessively, since I'm sure he missed pictures he otherwise could have captured. The two exceptions don't demonstrate anything other than that there were exceptions under unusual conditions.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: jjj on January 18, 2015, 05:05:36 PM
Okay, if it bothers you, let's drop "banging away," and just say, holding the camera to your eye for any length of time.
Russ, when did you last go to a camera shop, the 1990s?   ;)
Modern cameras with silent shutters, screens that flip up so you can use them at waist level or and turn 90 degrees sideways make it easier than ever to be discreet. If that is indeed your goal.

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What's absolutely essential in street photography is for the photographer to be so non-threatening that though his subjects may know he's there, he's so much in the background, so unobtrusive, that his subjects aren't really aware of him. Holding a camera to your eye for more than a second at a time isn't the way to be unobtrusive and non-threatening.
Funny as that's exactly how I do it at times. I will hide in plain sight often by pretending to be a gormless tourist. All the shots below were done exactly as you say you shouldn't do it.
The problem with you and street photography is that you are dogmatic about what it is and how it should be done. There are many kinds of street photography and even more ways of shooting it. Some like Bruce Gilden are literally and obnoxiously in your face.

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In short, I'm not convinced that you can shoot street effectively with a camera in movie mode.
Of course you can if you know what you are doing. It may be a lazy way getting the decisive moment, but it can be done.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: jjj on January 18, 2015, 05:27:20 PM
Except that his images are well-known for their composition despite the fact he almost never cropped in post.

Do you have any examples of HCB images that would benefit from cropping? Citation, please.
You do realise that the HCB images you tend to see are the good ones. The duff shots don't get shown/printed/published.
Here's a contact sheet of his work and just like most photographers and counter to the myth he didn't take just the one perfect and definitive shot.

(https://iconicphotos.files.wordpress.com/2013/09/hcb_seville.jpg?w=700&h=685)(http://erickimphotography.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/hcb_popup6.jpeg)
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: LKaven on January 18, 2015, 05:38:24 PM
The problem with you and street photography is that you are dogmatic about what it is and how it should be done. There are many kinds of street photography and even more ways of shooting it. Some like Bruce Gilden are literally and obnoxiously in your face.

Gilden is very directly engaged with his subjects (to say the very least), and is very much in the Magnum tradition of photojournalism.  I suspect Russ will actually agree. 

What I think we're responding to is the idea of using technology to capture a subject more mechanically in the mistaken notion that harvesting from a hundred frames will actually help us get "the moment" (since we've got so many).  I'm sure there are better and worse ways of using burst mode.  But as I suggested upthread, the "moment desired" has to do with the photographer desiring it as such, and especially in the instant itself.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: LKaven on January 18, 2015, 05:43:27 PM
You do realise that the HCB images you tend to see are the good ones. The duff shots don't get shown/printed/published.
Here's a contact sheet of his work and just like most photographers and counter to the myth he didn't take just the one perfect and definitive shot.

Those are all good shots.  Remember, the "decisive moment" is the moment when you decide to press the shutter in the simultaneous recognition of a convergence of events and forms.  There will be more than one.  Some will be more remarkable than others.  But it is an ongoing process of engagement with one's subject.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: jjj on January 18, 2015, 06:30:55 PM
Those are all good shots.
Really?   ???  How can you even tell from such a poor quality copy of a contact sheet.
As it happens enough, I came across an article which talked about this set of shots and comments that in their opinion after the first few shots, there is nothing very interesting in the contact sheet, because the subjects were too aware of the photographer.

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Remember, the "decisive moment" is the moment when you decide to press the shutter in the simultaneous recognition of a convergence of events and forms.  There will be more than one.  Some will be more remarkable than others.  But it is an ongoing process of engagement with one's subject.
So do you think taking lots of photos then of the same subject/scene is still hitting 'the decisive moment'? People usually refer to that as machine gun shooting these days.  :P
You seem to be tying yourself in knots here with regard to what the the decisive moment is and certainly do not seem to want to admit that HCB photos weren't all wonderful. I've seen work by him that wasn't that interesting/good, just like all photographer's work.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: amolitor on January 18, 2015, 07:47:02 PM
There is no myth to the effect that HCB only ever took the good ones. That is a straw man.

Anyone who's even slightly interested knows he shot lots of duds, and lots of near misses. It's not a secret.

Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: RSL on January 18, 2015, 08:05:41 PM
Russ, when did you last go to a camera shop, the 1990s?

Hi Jeremy, Yeah, I'm really out of touch. My D800 is an antique, and so I'm totally ignorant of the latest equipment. Fact is, I still prefer my D3, D800 and Olympus EP-1 with its 50mm equivalent Summilux and Leica bright-line finder. I'd go for a D4s except I want neither the extra weight nor the extra complexity of its movie capability. If I could get rid of the movie crap in the D800 I'd do it in a heartbeat.

You make it sound as if the point is that you can be as furtive with a film clip as you can be with a single shot, though you then admit that being furtive isn't what gets the job done. I like all three of your street shots, but you didn't really tell me whether or not you shot them in movie mode.

Regarding HCB's contact sheet: I have that book too. I've never said, and HCB's never said he always shoots a single shot and walks away. In fact in one of his essays he talks about moving around the subject, shooting, and moving in toward the central picture. HCB isn't the only photographer who's shown "only his good ones." As Joe McNally points out in one of his half-day lectures on the road, the best of every famous photographer boils down to thirty or forty frames, and behind those are thousands and thousands of outtakes. If you think that page of HCB's outtakes is revealing, go grab a copy of the book, Magnum Contact Sheets, or a copy of Looking In, Robert Frank's The Americans, which shows the contact sheets from each of the pictures in The Americans. Your remarks about Bruce Gilden, by the way, make it clear you haven't read the two articles I wrote, and to which I gave links earlier in this thread -- at least I think it was in this thread. If  you read them you'll find that in the end, I agree with you about Gilden.

Strangely enough, it sounds as if we're in fairly close agreement about all this, though I'll stay away from add-in movie capabilities. Unfortunately, for the time being I'm pretty much pinned down arranging for a new and final retirement home and there's no way I can get to places like St. Augustine to do street, so for now none of this matters much.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: Iluvmycam on January 18, 2015, 08:35:44 PM
You seem to have completely misunderstood my point, Russ. I wasn't referring to the use of a dedicated movie camera, but one of the new, rather compact mirror-less cameras, such as the Samsung NX1 with much improved video capability and the facility to extract any single 8.8mp frame from a 4k video sequence.

There's no reason why shooting in video mode should be any more intrusive, or awkward, or time-consuming than waiting for an anticipated moment to press the shutter for a single shot. If you anticipate that something interesting might be about to occur, you can put the NX1 in video mode and. with eye to viewfinder, start shooting. At 24 or 30 fps, you're sure to capture the precise moment, if what you anticipate might occur does in fact occur.

In video mode, the NX1 effectively gives one a faster continuous frame rate but without the risk of the buffer filling up. If 8.8mp is too much of a resolution sacrifice, then the full resolution (28mp) continuous mode is still very impressive at 15fps for about 70 consecutive shots.

Of course, we should all understand that aesthetics is a different issue. Capturing the 'desired' moment is a factual issue. You either captured it or you didn't. Whether or not that captured moment is interesting and/or meaningful to others is in the realm of opinion.

As a matter of fact, all photos are 'captures of the moment'. That's what the camera does, in accordance with its shutter speed. The issues are, did you capture the moment you wanted to capture, or did you press the shutter too soon or too late.


Shooting street shots with a  movie cam...GD what with the camera fondlers think of next? Why not pay someone to shoot for you or buy stock shots?

Yes, you can make movies for street photos. I don't. I got enough frames too look though. No time for zillions of frames. Also I don't see a movie providing great image IQ with the type of work I do.

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/9/98/Bikers%27_Mardi_Gras_no._36_Copyright_2014_Daniel_D._Teoli_Jr..jpg/1024px-Bikers%27_Mardi_Gras_no._36_Copyright_2014_Daniel_D._Teoli_Jr..jpg

Shot at ISO 4000. Just doable with Fuji X

If you want to do street shots with movies go ahead. Lets see em. But it is my view that movies is not holding you back, majority of forum photogs shoot low end street stuff and single or a hundred frames that is not their problem. They will just get 1 frame of crap or 100 frames of crap.

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/0/05/The_Plane_Worshipers_vers_1_Copyright_2014_Daniel_D._Teoli_Jr..jpg/1040px-The_Plane_Worshipers_vers_1_Copyright_2014_Daniel_D._Teoli_Jr..jpg

Just barley useable with 24 mp Leica.

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/f/fe/Pole_Dance_Selfie_%40_Bikers%27_Mardi_Gras_Copyright_2014_Daniel_D._Teoli_Jr..jpg/490px-Pole_Dance_Selfie_%40_Bikers%27_Mardi_Gras_Copyright_2014_Daniel_D._Teoli_Jr..jpg

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/b/be/%27The_Lost_Princess%27_Copyright_2013_Daniel_D._Teoli_Jr-mr.jpg/491px-%27The_Lost_Princess%27_Copyright_2013_Daniel_D._Teoli_Jr-mr.jpg

Same with Fuji.

A movie cam is going to do same IQ?

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/5/5b/Bikers%27_Mardi_Gras_no._6_Copyright_2012_Daniel_D._Teoli_Jr...jpg/575px-Bikers%27_Mardi_Gras_no._6_Copyright_2012_Daniel_D._Teoli_Jr...jpg

What about flash shots?

All these images are going to be deleted from wiki soon. They kinda banned me.






Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: LKaven on January 18, 2015, 08:47:55 PM
Really?   ???  How can you even tell from such a poor quality copy of a contact sheet.
As it happens enough, I came across an article which talked about this set of shots and comments that in their opinion after the first few shots, there is nothing very interesting in the contact sheet, because the subjects were too aware of the photographer.

I said "good"...meaning engaged...a long way from the final shot which was brilliant.  

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So do you think taking lots of photos then of the same subject/scene is still hitting 'the decisive moment'? People usually refer to that as machine gun shooting these days.  :P

I'm saying (and have been arguing for several posts) that continuous shooting is NOT hitting the decisive moment.  I spoke earlier of the importance of desiring a moment at the instant it occurs.  

Quote
You seem to be tying yourself in knots here with regard to what the the decisive moment is and certainly do not seem to want to admit that HCB photos weren't all wonderful. I've seen work by him that wasn't that interesting/good, just like all photographer's work.

Perhaps a bit of imprecision in my wording is preventing you from connecting with its intended meaning.  I've never thought as you suggest.  I don't think all his work was brilliant.  
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: amolitor on January 18, 2015, 08:51:40 PM
jjj has some history of willfully misconstruing and of nitpicking, in order to, I think, "win" in some incomprehensible sense. Although to be fair I can only speculate on motivations.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: Jonathan Wienke on January 19, 2015, 10:20:33 AM
You do realise that the HCB images you tend to see are the good ones. The duff shots don't get shown/printed/published.

Just like every other photographer. The really good images are less than 1% of total captures.

I've shot over 120,000 frames, and maybe 1/10 of 1% of those are worth publishing/exhibiting.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: RSL on January 19, 2015, 10:30:35 AM
Evidently you regard your malicious speculations as fact.

Post some photographs, Isaac, and remove all doubt.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: jjj on January 19, 2015, 10:31:31 AM
Just like every other photographer. The really good images are less than 1% of total captures.
My point exactly.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: jjj on January 19, 2015, 10:39:29 AM
jjj has some history of willfully misconstruing and of nitpicking, in order to, I think, "win" in some incomprehensible sense. Although to be fair I can only speculate on motivations.
If you think this forum is a competition where there are winners and losers, well that's your problem.
Same if you take issue with facts, precision and accuracy that run counter your opinions, that's something that you have to live with as well.

Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: RSL on January 19, 2015, 10:40:38 AM
Here are two of my favorite street shots from recent years. Neither one would have been possible in film-clip mode. I've posted them before.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: amolitor on January 19, 2015, 10:46:25 AM
I could not have constructed a more perfect example had I tried. Observe: I never even remotely suggested that I thought it was about winning. And jjj smoothly attributes it to me.

Beware of engaging. He's here to fight, not to talk.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: jjj on January 19, 2015, 11:04:11 AM
Hi Jeremy, Yeah, I'm really out of touch. My D800 is an antique, and so I'm totally ignorant of the latest equipment. Fact is, I still prefer my D3, D800 and Olympus EP-1 with its 50mm equivalent Summilux and Leica bright-line finder. I'd go for a D4s except I want neither the extra weight nor the extra complexity of its movie capability. If I could get rid of the movie crap in the D800 I'd do it in a heartbeat.
Being a bit literal there Russ. Of course you've been in a camera shop. But the point was there are new features on cameras that you are ignoring that facilitate shooting without having an eye to a viewfinder. Movie capability adds nothing to weight/complexity of modern cameras, unless a button with a red dot is complex/heavy.  :P Plus if you are not using a feature it has zero complexity anyway.

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You make it sound as if the point is that you can be as furtive with a film clip as you can be with a single shot, though you then admit that being furtive isn't what gets the job done. I like all three of your street shots, but you didn't really tell me whether or not you shot them in movie mode.
No, I said there are lots of ways to do street photography and being furtive is most certainly not the only way. The examples I posted were examples of shooting exactly the way you said was wrong/unviable. i.e. I stood in front of subject with camera held to eye for as long as it took to get photo. They were not done in movie mode, but most certainly could have been had I wanted to/camera been capable. In fact I can't think of any of my street work that couldn't have been done in movie mode to be honest. Though scrolling through and choosing between the silly number of frames you would accrue to find the best shot would be horrendously painful.

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Regarding HCB's contact sheet: I have that book too. I've never said, and HCB's never said he always shoots a single shot and walks away. In fact in one of his essays he talks about moving around the subject, shooting, and moving in toward the central picture. HCB isn't the only photographer who's shown "only his good ones." As Joe McNally points out in one of his half-day lectures on the road, the best of every famous photographer boils down to thirty or forty frames, and behind those are thousands and thousands of outtakes. If you think that page of HCB's outtakes is revealing, go grab a copy of the book, Magnum Contact Sheets, or a copy of Looking In, Robert Frank's The Americans, which shows the contact sheets from each of the pictures in The Americans.
Again, that was my point HCB is just like every other photographer and my remarks were not aimed at you specifically but the aura surrounding him and the decisive moment.

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Your remarks about Bruce Gilden, by the way, make it clear you haven't read the two articles I wrote, and to which I gave links earlier in this thread -- at least I think it was in this thread. If  you read them you'll find that in the end, I agree with you about Gilden.
Whatever you wrote at some other point is not relevant, as my reply mentioning him was in context of the specific post I was replying to.

Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: jjj on January 19, 2015, 11:12:29 AM
I could not have constructed a more perfect example had I tried. Observe: I never even remotely suggested that I thought it was about winning. And jjj smoothly attributes it to me.
Except you did. "jjj has some history of willfully misconstruing and of nitpicking, in order to, I think, "win" in some incomprehensible sense"

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Beware of engaging. He's here to fight, not to talk.
Says the person making unprovoked personal attacks that have zero to do with the debate.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: jjj on January 19, 2015, 11:15:09 AM
Here are two of my favorite street shots from recent years. Neither one would have been possible in film-clip mode. I've posted them before.
Of course they could have been done by shooting 25fps. Please explain why that would not have been the case.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: amolitor on January 19, 2015, 11:23:53 AM
In contemporary usage, the phrase 'street photography' doesn't mean anything. I can do street photography with a big stick, where by street photography I mean running up to people and knocking them down.

Street as practiced by HCB can't be done with a movie camera. Street as done by Winogrand in his last days practically WAS done with a movie camera.

Russ is pretty sticky about what he means by street, and he probably doesn't think that whatever you're taking about is street. He has not yet given up the idea that words have meanings, poor guy.


Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: jjj on January 19, 2015, 11:35:14 AM
In contemporary usage, the phrase 'street photography' doesn't mean anything. I can do street photography with a big stick, where by street photography I mean running up to people and knocking them down.
  Dear me.  ::)
Much how you like to debate it seems. Make things up, then get nasty and abusive.

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Russ is pretty sticky about what he means by street, and he probably doesn't think that whatever you're taking about is street.
Really? Sorry to be all boring and factual [or as you like to call it nit picking] but from Russ in reply to myself....

I like all three of your street shots....

...Strangely enough, it sounds as if we're in fairly close agreement about all this, though I'll stay away from add-in movie capabilities.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: RSL on January 19, 2015, 12:14:21 PM
Though scrolling through and choosing between the silly number of frames you would accrue to find the best shot would be horrendously painful.

The other thing you'd find horrendously painful would be to discover that the buffer had filled before the shot you wanted.

You're actually telling me that in the second shot you held the camera to your eye waiting for the two people on the end of the bench to kiss? I'm getting old but I'm not becoming gullible.

In order to make your point, Jeremy, you're going to have to show me some competent street shots done in movie mode. At this point you have the same problem Isaac has with his theories: a theory is fine but to become more than theory it needs to be demonstrated. The proof is in the photographs.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: LKaven on January 19, 2015, 12:24:22 PM
Let's try to put this back on the rails.

This thread is about HCB and the philosophy of the decisive moment and its relationship to cropping after the fact.  When we're talking about "street photography" we're talking about that school of thought.

There are a few maxims in this philosophy.  (1) The photographer's engagement with the subject is continuous; (2) this engagement can lead to a simultaneous realization of the significance of the event and the exact form in which that significance is expressed, known as a "decisive moment"; (3) the "decisive moment" is as much about the photographer and the act of commitment as it is about the events in the world being photographed; (4) the photograph is an artifact whose significance is partly about the events in the world, and partly about the photographer, and his/her engagement with them.

There is subsequent work in philosophy that further elaborates on this.  In the dominant philosophy of mind today, our actions (e.g., tripping the shutter) are /explained/ by complex beliefs and desires at the moment of commitment and leading up to it.  Those beliefs and desires supply /much/ of the aesthetic value of the work, as created in that moment, and they are /evident/ to a degree in the photographer's choice of position, framing, and moment.  

The use of a video DSLR (or burst mode) was mentioned in this context.  Clearly there are many ways to use this technology, some of which would run contrary to the philosophy above, and some of which would not.

a) Harvesting indiscriminately.  For example, running the continuous capture without engagement breaks with the maxim of contemporaneous engagement with the subject.  You might get some interesting photographs, but they will bear information about the circumstances under which they were created.  It is a different mode of engagement with photography than what is described above.

b) Assisting judiciously.  For example, it is possible to have the camera cover the period of about a second in 15 or so full-resolution stills (with the NX-1).  If the photographer is continuously engaged in the appropriate way, then s/he might very well have identified a given moment in that interval and intended to capture that moment.  If the burst capture feature helps assure that the intended moment was captured, then this does not necessarily violate any of the maxims.

The hard part of doing street photography in the HCB/Magnum school is in the engagement.  The camera part has never been the limiting factor.  With practice, and well developed intuitions, you can frame and shoot in under a second with a manual camera.  In fact, the more engaged you are in the moment, the faster and easier it will be to seize upon a picture in a moment, with all elements in the frame realized.  This is what we aspire to anyway, and it is something that can be learned given some talent.  
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: RSL on January 19, 2015, 12:26:39 PM
Of course they could have been done by shooting 25fps. Please explain why that would not have been the case.

Seems pretty obvious to me, but here goes:

In the first case I'd have run out of buffer waiting for this woman to come out of the place, and while I waited for it to clear I'd have missed the picture. Happily, the camera was in my hand and focussed on the door. I was waiting for somebody of an age with the folks in the poster to come out of the door. It finally happened in spades.

In the second case there was no indication at all that this was going to happen. Happily my EP-1 was on the table next to my plate. All I had time to do was grab it and snap. The little girl was pointing and rolling her eyes for less than a second. If I'd had a movie camera next to me I might -- but probably wouldn't -- have been able to catch this frame, but all the frames after it would have been crap. What would have been the point?
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: RSL on January 19, 2015, 12:29:59 PM
Post some pictures, Isaac.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: LKaven on January 19, 2015, 12:32:28 PM
Let's try to put this back on the rails.

I agree with myself.  It's getting too personal.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: RSL on January 19, 2015, 12:39:18 PM
Post some pictures, Isaac.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: LKaven on January 19, 2015, 02:23:03 PM
Not sure how you are relating those two things together.  The sense of "thinking" mentioned there is the sense of conscious reflection.  You could not consciously reflect on the minute positioning of your paddle while playing ping-pong.  But you are still obviously thinking a lot.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: jjj on January 19, 2015, 03:11:50 PM
The other thing you'd find horrendously painful would be to discover that the buffer had filled before the shot you wanted.
I don't think you get how filming works. You press record and camera keeps filming until card runs out or you hit some arbitrary time limit that the camera may happen to have of say 12 mins or 30 mins. No buffer problem. You do not simply press record and wave camera around. You do exactly what you would normally do when you take a series of shots, but press record just before you think something interesting is going to happen.

Quote
You're actually telling me that in the second shot you held the camera to your eye waiting for the two people on the end of the bench to kiss? I'm getting old but I'm not becoming gullible.
Why is that so hard to believe. I saw the couple being affectionate in contrast to the other two chaps and I pretended to be taking photos of what was behind them until something interesting happened. I took two shots 6 seconds apart, the first one is the one above.

Quote
In order to make your point, Jeremy, you're going to have to show me some competent street shots done in movie mode. At this point you have the same problem Isaac has with his theories: a theory is fine but to become more than theory it needs to be demonstrated. The proof is in the photographs.
Not necessarily as every objection you've raised as to why it cannot be done have been dismissed. You'd work in almost exactly the same way but then spend forever sifting when you got home.
I wouldn't use video to do that work anyway for numerous reason unrelated to practicality of getting shot. Currently the cameras I use for street do not even shoot 4k, which even then is way lower res than I prefer to shoot. Plus unless the camera shot raw footage why would I shoot jpeg after giving that up over a decade ago? Despite loving making films, personally I have no interest in doing street photography that way, heck I don't even use a motordrive to action photography, bar occasions when I only have one go at getting a shot.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: jjj on January 19, 2015, 03:24:15 PM
Seems pretty obvious to me, but here goes:
In the first case I'd have run out of buffer waiting for this woman to come out of the place, and while I waited for it to clear I'd have missed the picture. Happily, the camera was in my hand and focussed on the door. I was waiting for somebody of an age with the folks in the poster to come out of the door. It finally happened in spades.
Already addressed this, but worth repeating. There is no buffer problem, it's filming not recording high speed stills. Also if filming you press record just before the action happens, not whilst you are waiting for the action. Then stop recording as soon as it's finished.

Quote
In the second case there was no indication at all that this was going to happen. Happily my EP-1 was on the table next to my plate. All I had time to do was grab it and snap. The little girl was pointing and rolling her eyes for less than a second. If I'd had a movie camera next to me I might -- but probably wouldn't -- have been able to catch this frame, but all the frames after it would have been crap. What would have been the point?
If I'd had my pocket camera next to me the time taken to press record and point is no different from pointing and pressing shutter. Waiting for camera to turn on if it was switched off however, now that would be an issue with my small camera whilst it extends lens etc. Not with my DSLR though as I do not turn it off unless it's in bag and lens cap will also be off.

Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: RSL on January 19, 2015, 04:16:25 PM
When you get some good street shot in movie mode, post it -- along with a sequence of frames so we know it was done that way. I said a GOOD street shot. I'm sure it's possible to make all sorts of crap that way.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: LKaven on January 19, 2015, 04:33:38 PM
If you wish to include that as thinking then we'll have to accept that jumping spiders can think.

Indeed they can.  Thinking is a matter of level and degree.  That's widely accepted in philosophy of mind.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: LKaven on January 19, 2015, 04:45:04 PM
When you get some good street shot in movie mode, post it -- along with a sequence of frames so we know it was done that way. I said a GOOD street shot. I'm sure it's possible to make all sorts of crap that way.

So Russ, there are good and bad ways of doing this.

You know what "pre-roll" is in the digital audio world?  It's where your recorder is always recording into a 30 second buffer.  When you hit the record button, it starts a file beginning with material recorded 30 seconds before you hit the record button. 

It is possible to do just what one does in the preferred way of shooting street, augmented by the benefit of the camera's ability to collect, say 1/4sec before you hit the shutter, up to 1/4 after.  In a series of a half-dozen shots spanning 1/2 second, you just might get the very moment you committed to.  I don't have a problem with this.

This is a contrast to using "movie mode", with its suggestion of mere harvesting of frames in large numbers without the photographer's engagement.  I have a problem with this.  You don't /find/ a decisive moment in a dataset.  You /undergo/ the decisive moment.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: amolitor on January 19, 2015, 07:09:57 PM
Again:

You cannot change the camera position in post. This is a completely practical reason why movie mode Will. Not. Work.

If you think street is about capturing a specific moment from any old camera position, well, in the context of this thread, you are wrong. In the larger context, in which the phrase 'street photography' means whatever you like, well, sure. Whatever.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: RSL on January 19, 2015, 07:41:16 PM
I don't think you get how filming works. You press record and camera keeps filming until card runs out or you hit some arbitrary time limit that the camera may happen to have of say 12 mins or 30 mins. No buffer problem. You do not simply press record and wave camera around. You do exactly what you would normally do when you take a series of shots, but press record just before you think something interesting is going to happen.

Whatever, Jeremy. What you're telling me is that in both cases it would make sense to grab the shot you're after and then let the damned camera blast on for a few more seconds or minutes, recording nothing you'd want to keep. In the case of the first shot, I had no idea who'd come out of that door. I'd watched about six people come out -- most of them kids or tattooed teenagers. If I'd kept the camera in movie mode, grinding away, waiting for the next person to pop out I'd surely have filled a card before the shot materialized. In the second case, as I said, even if I'd been able to get the shot I got with the first frame of a burst, what would have been the point?

I've come to the conclusion that this whole thing is a futile discussion of something that simply doesn't make sense. I think Andrew made the point very well. When you get a really good street shot in movie mode, post it and we'll discuss it.

If I want to make movies I'll buy a movie camera. But I have absolutely no interest in making movies.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: Ray on January 20, 2015, 12:20:17 AM
Whatever, Jeremy. What you're telling me is that in both cases it would make sense to grab the shot you're after and then let the damned camera blast on for a few more seconds or minutes, recording nothing you'd want to keep. In the case of the first shot, I had no idea who'd come out of that door. I'd watched about six people come out -- most of them kids or tattooed teenagers. If I'd kept the camera in movie mode, grinding away, waiting for the next person to pop out I'd surely have filled a card before the shot materialized. In the second case, as I said, even if I'd been able to get the shot I got with the first frame of a burst, what would have been the point?

I've come to the conclusion that this whole thing is a futile discussion of something that simply doesn't make sense. I think Andrew made the point very well. When you get a really good street shot in movie mode, post it and we'll discuss it.

If I want to make movies I'll buy a movie camera. But I have absolutely no interest in making movies.

Crikey! Russ. You really do seem to be bound by a lot of rules.  ;)

Whether you decide to shoot in movie mode, or take a full-resolution continuous burst for 2 or 3 seconds, or just take a single shot, you should use your nous to determine which method would likely allow you to capture the best moment under the circumstances.

Obviously, if you see your card is almost full and you're not carrying a spare one, then it would be only sensible to stop shooting in movie mode, or alternatively delete sections of previous movie sequences, after assuring yourself there was nothing you wanted to keep.

Carrying sufficient memory for the style of shooting one intends to engage in, is a very basic, practical consideration. Memory cards are cheap nowadays.

In your example of waiting for someone interesting to emerge from a door, I wouldn't advise keeping the camera rolling unless there was a fairly continuous stream of people emerging from the door, that you found potentially interesting.

If you're looking directly at the doorway through the viewfinder, then as soon as someone begins to emerge, (you see the tip of his hat, for example), that is the time to press the movie button. During the next 2 or 3 seconds there might be a variety of postures and facial expressions, one or more of which are the best.

A similar procedure might apply to the situation of a man jumping over a puddle. Anticipating that something unusual is about to take place, you frame your composition in accordance with a pleasing sense of geometry (whatever), then as soons as the man begins to jump the puddle, you either hit the move button, or press the shutter button to take a burst of continuous frames for the following 2 or 3 seconds.

By the way, the reason I'm discussing this is not because I use movie mode myself, in order to extract the best still-image moment, but because of the potential I see in the new Samsung NX1.

Standard HD video is not high enough resolution for me, and I believe most DSLRs produce the 'rolling shutter' effect in video mode. The NX1 apparently has a global shutter in movie mode. In other words, each video frame is a full 28mp capture, downsampled and compressed, although I'm not entirely certain about this. The camera still seems to be in a process of firmware development.

Anyway, if 4k video stills do not provide sufficient resolution, and/or sufficient DR, the continuous frame rate is adjustable down to a slow 8fps, which should be fast enough to capture the perfect moment of someone emerging from a doorway.  ;)
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: Ray on January 20, 2015, 04:20:59 AM


I hate to say it, but I don't see anything terribly mysterious in this shot or anything that makes me think. Maybe you could consider the rugs and wall decorations to be mysterious or interesting, but if so they're not mysterious or interesting in the same way, say, HCB's "Behind the Gare Saint-Lazare" is interesting. In that shot there are three things: a story, mystery, and ambiguity. The story is that that guy is about to jump into the water, the mystery is why he's doing that, and the ambiguity involves his connection to the strange surroundings. I suppose that in your picture you could say the story is that the girl is making a phone call, the mystery is why she's doing that, and the ambiguity is her connection to these surroundings. If so, I have to say that the story is boring, the question regarding why she's doing that is nothing I'd be interesting in having answered, and the ambiguity is minimal if you've ever spent time in the East. I also get the feeling this is tone-mapped HDR, but I won't pursue that diversion.

In short, I'm not convinced that you can shoot street effectively with a camera in movie mode.
 

Just for the record, Russ, she's making a phone call in that position because the reception is better (it's a roof-top bar). After finishing the phone call she quickly departed. But that's incidental. The reason I took the shot is because I was struck by the way the lady's dress and tattoo seemed to match so well the background wall art.

For me it's just another rather colorful and bizarre scene I sometimes encounter on my travels, but it was definitely a 'capture of the moment'. When I arrived at the bar, the girl was paying her bill on the floor below. As I was pouring out my beer on the floor above, she suddenly rushed up the stairs to make a quick phone call. So I grabbed my camera and took the shot, a single and only shot.

If you think the image has an HDR appearance, that's probably because it was processed on my laptop. I've reprocessed it below, with deeper shadows and more contrast. Is that better?  ;D


Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: Jonathan Wienke on January 20, 2015, 05:50:10 AM
I'll take that evasion as an acknowledgement that you simply misunderstood the comment you were reading.

Says the guy who represents himself as an authority on photography, but has not shown a single frame of his work.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: Jonathan Wienke on January 20, 2015, 05:57:55 AM
Already addressed this, but worth repeating. There is no buffer problem, it's filming not recording high speed stills.

So then you're limited to the video resolution of the camera, rather than what the camera can shoot in still mode. So in addition to sacrificing resolution, because you're essentially shooting JPEGS, you're limiting your post-processing options significantly compared to RAW stills. That doesn't seem to be the technological panacea you're making it out to be.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: RSL on January 20, 2015, 06:38:08 AM
Crikey! Russ. You really do seem to be bound by a lot of rules.  ;)

Whether you decide to shoot in movie mode, or take a full-resolution continuous burst for 2 or 3 seconds, or just take a single shot, you should use your nous to determine which method would likely allow you to capture the best moment under the circumstances.

Obviously, if you see your card is almost full and you're not carrying a spare one, then it would be only sensible to stop shooting in movie mode, or alternatively delete sections of previous movie sequences, after assuring yourself there was nothing you wanted to keep.

Carrying sufficient memory for the style of shooting one intends to engage in, is a very basic, practical consideration. Memory cards are cheap nowadays.

In your example of waiting for someone interesting to emerge from a door, I wouldn't advise keeping the camera rolling unless there was a fairly continuous stream of people emerging from the door, that you found potentially interesting.

If you're looking directly at the doorway through the viewfinder, then as soon as someone begins to emerge, (you see the tip of his hat, for example), that is the time to press the movie button. During the next 2 or 3 seconds there might be a variety of postures and facial expressions, one or more of which are the best.

A similar procedure might apply to the situation of a man jumping over a puddle. Anticipating that something unusual is about to take place, you frame your composition in accordance with a pleasing sense of geometry (whatever), then as soons as the man begins to jump the puddle, you either hit the move button, or press the shutter button to take a burst of continuous frames for the following 2 or 3 seconds.

By the way, the reason I'm discussing this is not because I use movie mode myself, in order to extract the best still-image moment, but because of the potential I see in the new Samsung NX1.

Standard HD video is not high enough resolution for me, and I believe most DSLRs produce the 'rolling shutter' effect in video mode. The NX1 apparently has a global shutter in movie mode. In other words, each video frame is a full 28mp capture, downsampled and compressed, although I'm not entirely certain about this. The camera still seems to be in a process of firmware development.

Anyway, if 4k video stills do not provide sufficient resolution, and/or sufficient DR, the continuous frame rate is adjustable down to a slow 8fps, which should be fast enough to capture the perfect moment of someone emerging from a doorway.  ;)

ROTFL! So instead of paying attention to what's going on around me, I should pay attention to whether or not my card(s) are full, and make sure I have plenty of cards so I can swap them out as I fill them with worthless crap. This isn't street photography; it's idiocy!
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: donbga on January 20, 2015, 07:31:20 AM
It is my recollection that HCB did have his work cropped in a small percentage of work though I can't point you to an example of his cropped work but I am thinking this may have occurred when he was shooting medium format or color work.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: Ray on January 20, 2015, 09:08:57 AM
ROTFL! So instead of paying attention to what's going on around me, I should pay attention to whether or not my card(s) are full, and make sure I have plenty of cards so I can swap them out as I fill them with worthless crap. This isn't street photography; it's idiocy!

Don't be silly. Determining how many shots you have left on the card requires no more than a glance, and replacing a 128 GB, or 256 GB SD card takes no more than a few seconds, and is a lot easier and less distracting than replacing a 35mm film.

You're the expert on HCB. Did he ever mention missing some critical shots because he'd run out of film?  ;)
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: Jonathan Wienke on January 20, 2015, 09:14:24 AM
By the way, the reason I'm discussing this is not because I use movie mode myself, in order to extract the best still-image moment, but because of the potential I see in the new Samsung NX1.

Translation:
I don't actually do what I'm recommending, but I might if the rumors about a certain camera turn out to be true.

Quote
Standard HD video is not high enough resolution for me, and I believe most DSLRs produce the 'rolling shutter' effect in video mode.

More reasons not to do what you recommend.

Quote
The NX1 apparently has a global shutter in movie mode. In other words, each video frame is a full 28mp capture, downsampled and compressed, although I'm not entirely certain about this. The camera still seems to be in a process of firmware development.

More hopeful speculation. And in the best case scenario, you're still trading away a 28MP RAW for an 8MP JPEG (2MP if your camera only does 1080p video).

Quote
Anyway, if 4k video stills do not provide sufficient resolution, and/or sufficient DR, the continuous frame rate is adjustable down to a slow 8fps, which should be fast enough to capture the perfect moment of someone emerging from a doorway.  ;)

At which point you go back to buffer limitations, etc., and still have to exercise good judgment regarding the proper moment to press the shutter release. I'm pretty much going to have to agree with Russ on this.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: donbga on January 20, 2015, 09:51:01 AM
One of HCB's most famous photos was cropped, the puddle jumper shot.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: Ray on January 20, 2015, 09:56:07 AM
Translation:
I don't actually do what I'm recommending, but I might if the rumors about a certain camera turn out to be true.

More reasons not to do what you recommend.

More hopeful speculation. And in the best case scenario, you're still trading away a 28MP RAW for an 8MP JPEG (2MP if your camera only does 1080p video).

At which point you go back to buffer limitations, etc., and still have to exercise good judgment regarding the proper moment to press the shutter release. I'm pretty much going to have to agree with Russ on this.

I think you've missed the main point here, Jonathan. I've seen an HCB exhibition in Australia, and I was not impressed with the over all technical quality of the prints. However, technical quality is a different issue from 'artistic' or 'visionary' quality. As Ansel Adams said, 'There's nothing worse than a sharp image of a fuzzy concept', a principle which you apparently agree with.

I entered this discussion making the point, if technical quality is not the major concern, but capturing the decisive moment is, as it appears to have been for HCB, then modern camera technology offers a wide range of options, some of which involve a sacrifice in technical quality in order to facilitate an enhanced opportunity to capture a decisive moment.

Each of those options has its advantages and drawbacks, so how you use those options and in what circumstances is dependent upon your skills as a photographer.

One should always exercise good judgement, whether it be the right moment to take a single shot, the right moment to begin a short, full-resolution burst lasting a second or two, or the right moment to begin, and to cease, shooting video.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: RSL on January 20, 2015, 10:08:08 AM
Hi Ray, You've GOT to be kidding -- or else you haven't a clue about street photography. While I'm paying attention to my camera, my cards, etc., the world is changing around me. I'll reiterate what I said in "On Street Photography":

". . .in many cases to wait for your conscious mind to register both the facts and the geometry is to miss the picture. So, the second thing you need to do is learn not to rely on your conscious mind, but to rely on your unconscious: to react instinctively. There simply isn't time to think about it."

While you're dorking around with your camera, I'll be getting the street shot of the day. Have fun dorking.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: Ray on January 20, 2015, 10:19:44 AM
Hi Ray, You've GOT to be kidding -- or else you haven't a clue about street photography. While I'm paying attention to my camera, my cards, etc., the world is changing around me. I'll reiterate what I said in "On Street Photography":

". . .in many cases to wait for your conscious mind to register both the facts and the geometry is to miss the picture. So, the second thing you need to do is learn not to rely on your conscious mind, but to rely on your unconscious: to react instinctively. There simply isn't time to think about it."

While you're dorking around with your camera, I'll be getting the street shot of the day. Have fun dorking.

Are you still using 4GB memory cards, Russ? They're up to 256 GB now, for just a couple of hundred dollars or so.  ;)

Correction: They're up to 512 GB, but rather expensive at $600 from B&H, but very fast. Ideal for those trying to outdo HCB.  ;D
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: stamper on January 20, 2015, 10:22:39 AM
Quote Ray

Don't be silly. Determining how many shots you have left on the card requires no more than a glance, and replacing a 128 GB, or 256 GB SD card takes no more than a few seconds, and is a lot easier and less distracting than replacing a 35mm film.
You're the expert on HCB. Did he ever mention missing some critical shots because he'd run out of film?  Wink

unquote

Ray you must be rich. 128 GB & 256 GB cards in your possession? How much shooting do you do to fill up a 128 GB card. Did you mean 128 MB & 256 MB ? My biggest card is a "modest" 32 GB and I haven't filled that up. :)
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: Ray on January 20, 2015, 10:40:58 AM
Quote Ray

Don't be silly. Determining how many shots you have left on the card requires no more than a glance, and replacing a 128 GB, or 256 GB SD card takes no more than a few seconds, and is a lot easier and less distracting than replacing a 35mm film.
You're the expert on HCB. Did he ever mention missing some critical shots because he'd run out of film?  Wink

unquote

Ray you must be rich. 128 GB & 256 GB cards in your possession? How much shooting do you do to fill up a 128 GB card. Did you mean 128 MB & 256 MB ? My biggest card is a "modest" 32 GB and I haven't filled that up. :)

I filled up my 128 GB Sandisk SD card within one month of my current travels. I popped into the local supermarket to buy another, but the largest they had was 64 GB, so that's what I'm currently using. The second slot in my Nikon D800E is filled with a mere 16 GB compact flash card.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: stamper on January 20, 2015, 11:12:41 AM
Ray you posted the 128 GB information in relation to Russ's street shooting. I don't think he is going to be on the street for a month?
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: RSL on January 20, 2015, 11:30:36 AM
Are you still using 4GB memory cards, Russ? They're up to 256 GB now, for just a couple of hundred dollars or so.  ;)

Correction: They're up to 512 GB, but rather expensive at $600 from B&H, but very fast. Ideal for those trying to outdo HCB.  ;D

Haven't checked lately but I think I have a 16gb card in the EP-1. I've never approached its limit because I don't dork around with stuff like that.

If you think any particular technology will let you, or even help you outdo HCB you simply don't understand the problem. To even approach what HCB did you need to shoot and shoot and shoot, internalize the fundamentals of composition, and learn what makes a good photograph. If you have to even so much as think about your camera you can blaze away all day -- in or out of movie mode -- and unless you happen to get very, very lucky, come up with a card full of crap. None of this has anything to do with technology, Ray. I've been doing street since 1953 with everything from a Kodak Pony, through a Canon 7, through three different Leicas, through the first point-and-shoot digitals, through the Nikon D-100, D-2x, D-3, D-800, and the Olympus EP-1 rigged up with a Leica lens and finder.

Here's a shot from 1953 Korea out of the Kodak Pony. I've posted it before. Do you really think technology would have made this shot easier? If that's what you think you need to do a lot more study and research.
Title: Some context
Post by: amolitor on January 20, 2015, 12:12:14 PM
The more I think about it, read, and look at the pictures, the more I think HCB was in fact sui generis, one of a kind.

It's helpful to think in terms of a painting. Consider, say, a painting of Children At Play. If it's an excellent painting, it depicts some sort of essence of Children At Play. In it, the children have not just scored a goal, the smaller child is not tackling a larger one. The children are simply engrossed in the game. Perhaps one child, in the corner, has been distracted by a coin he's spied on the pavement. The lines of the curb and the railing in the background are placed just so, as are the windows in the buildings.

The body language of the children is varied, as are their expressions. They are placed in the frame just so.

The moment depicted is not a special moment to the children, they would not recognize it as any different from the moment 10 seconds earlier or later. It is perhaps a completely typical moment in their play.

The painting is put into a canvas of such and such a size.

----

So what?

----

This right here is what HCB was up to. The Decisive Moment is not necessarily a human moment. It is not necessarily recognizable to to the people in the frame as special. It is not the moment the lovers kiss. It is not the moment the goal is scored. It is not the moment the milk spills. It is the moment when the painting of Children At Play, or The Lovers, or In The Kitchen appears in the viewfinder.

If you're out there looking for those human moments, those moments that the people in-frame would recognize as special, well, you can make some fine pictures. But your picture will be, most likely, of some children playing, some lovers kissing. They're not the pictures HCB was taking.

----

How do you do it? Well, he tells us. You become engaged with the scene. You move, as the players in the scene move, and together you move the forms in the finder around. This is important, so I will repeat it: TOGETHER you move the forms in the finder around. Until a painting appears. Ideally. In reality, you grope towards it, shooting, wondering if that was it, or is this next moment it, or this one. You work the scene, you try, you shoot, you get closer, perhaps, to the ideal form.

In the end you have 2 or 3 or 20 or 36 exposures, and one of them, perhaps, will be the best one.

Movie mode could help here, not as a substitute for technique, but as an add-on. If you could shoot 300 frames, then one would be the best. If you could shoot 1000, then one of those would be the best.

But you still move, you watch, you engage, you hunt for that "painting".

A strong argument can be made that the only tool that really works for this is a small rangefinder. I'm not going to make it, because others have made it before, and you can probably go find that.

-----

And finally, it is perfectly clear why one would not crop. If you bought a rectangular canvas, would you paint a square painting on it? No. The painting is fitted to the canvas. If the painting is fundamentally square, you get yourself a square canvas, or you don't paint it.

There are infinitely many 3:2 paintings to be made, why fuss around with the square ones, or the 4:5 ones? You've got a 3:2 canvas. Put a painting on it.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: RSL on January 20, 2015, 12:16:22 PM
Well said, Andrew, and right on. The problem isn't shortcomings in the technology. The problem is shortcomings in the people using the technology.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: Ray on January 20, 2015, 12:35:15 PM
Here's a shot from 1953 Korea out of the Kodak Pony. I've posted it before. Do you really think technology would have made this shot easier? If that's what you think you need to do a lot more study and research.

I wasn't there, but I imagine the kid would have had his hand out for several seconds; plenty of time to frame the shot and dilly dally before pressing the shutter. You might even have had time to change film and take another shot. Looks like a fairly static situation. I also think it's a shot that might have been better taken with a slightly wider angle lens and cropped in post processing. I don't like people's heads being cropped in half.

However, one clear advantage of modern technology which should make most, if not all street shots easier, is auto-focusing. I don't believe any camera had that facility in 1953.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: LKaven on January 20, 2015, 12:41:05 PM
I think Andrew said a number of important things quite well.  One thing I'd qualify though.

The reasons for not cropping have to do with the content of the photographer's decision to commit to the picture in the moment.  The picture is apprehended to the photographer in that instant as a whole, and explained by a complex of reasons that, in the ideal case, display a special level of inspiration that is manifest in that composition and only that composition.  There would be no reason to think that a "better" picture should lie as a proper subset of such a composition.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: LKaven on January 20, 2015, 12:44:55 PM
However, one clear advantage of modern technology which should make most, if not all street shots easier, is auto-focusing. I don't believe any camera had that facility in 1953.

In general, I find autofocus to be a distraction that exerts too much influence over my choices of composition.  There is no time to "focus and recompose" in these circumstances.  When I want the subject in focus in a corner of the frame, it is better to just have good manual focus skills and move to acquire the image where your aesthetic judgment would place it without any intervening steps.

PS -- chopping off parts of subjects is a time-honored tradition, though seldom practiced by HCB himself.  Larry Fink is a master of slicing through the darkness with a snooted flash, and parts of subjects connect disjointly in his compositions brilliantly.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: amolitor on January 20, 2015, 12:47:30 PM
AF can actually be a problem, as it adds delays, sometimes substantial (if the damned thing chooses that moment -- which it will! -- to decide to hunt around a bit).

The zone focused rangefinder, with the ability to see the frame in-context, to see beyond the edges of the frame, was a remarkably perfect instrument for HCB's methods. One wonders, in fact, how much of the method comes from the tool.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: LKaven on January 20, 2015, 01:35:28 PM
The zone focused rangefinder, with the ability to see the frame in-context, to see beyond the edges of the frame, was a remarkably perfect instrument for HCB's methods. One wonders, in fact, how much of the method comes from the tool.

A lot can be said for that.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: RSL on January 20, 2015, 02:39:05 PM
I wasn't there, but I imagine the kid would have had his hand out for several seconds; plenty of time to frame the shot and dilly dally before pressing the shutter. You might even have had time to change film and take another shot. Looks like a fairly static situation. I also think it's a shot that might have been better taken with a slightly wider angle lens and cropped in post processing. I don't like people's heads being cropped in half.

You're right, Ray. You weren't there. I'm still looking for a post from you or anybody on here that demonstrates any advantage of a movie camera in street shooting.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: amolitor on January 20, 2015, 02:44:35 PM
I think Nikon has not gotten around to this, but there are many useful things that could be done with the basic Nikon 1 system.

As I understand it, when you touch the shutter button, it begins to shoot 60 frames/second into a buffer, retaining the last second or so. Pressing the button is actually a signal to the camera to save a frame already shot - so the shutter lag is zero. Or can be. In fact, it could be slightly negative.

Another model of usage might be to capture a half a second slice of things, 30 frames, with 15 before and 15 after.

I have not tried it, I don't own a Nikon 1, and I don't think the firmware even allows this kind of usage. But there's no reason it could not, and it would be quite helpful, I believe.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: Isaac on January 20, 2015, 03:17:11 PM
I'll take that evasion as an acknowledgement that you simply misunderstood the comment you were reading.

Says the guy who represents himself as an authority on photography…

Not true -- I do not represent myself as an authority on photography.

It doesn't take an authority on photography to understand the difference between Cartier-Bresson's approach and your approach (http://www.luminous-landscape.com/forum/index.php?topic=45987.msg792922#msg792922).

It doesn't take an authority on photography to understand that some people have the grace to acknowledge their commonplace mistakes but others become belligerent (http://www.luminous-landscape.com/forum/index.php?topic=45987.msg793148#msg793148).


… but has not shown a single frame of his work.

Not true -- there are photos I've taken posted in the LuLa forums.

However I refuse to respond to Russ's repeated bullying, simply to demonstrate that Russ has no authority to tell other LuLa members what to do.

When Russ issues bullying commands (or you start name-calling) the argument is over, and all that's missing is your graceful concession.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: Jonathan Wienke on January 20, 2015, 03:48:52 PM
When Russ issues bullying commands (or you start name-calling) the argument is over, and all that's missing is your graceful concession.

Concede what? You've consistently misconstrued what I've written to mean the exact opposite of what I actually said. The links you cite do not support your points or arguments. I'm supposed to concede the argument just because you say you're right and I'm wrong, without any coherent reasoning as to why? It's a classic example of arguing from authority, with yourself as the authority.

If you are representing yourself to be an authority just because you said so, asking to see some samples of your work is not "belligerent", it is entirely reasonable. An alleged authority with no evidence to support his claim to authority is not credible.

And for the record, I looked through your profile and several months of your posting history before I made the comment about you not posting any of your work. You didn't have any image links or any attached images anywhere I could find.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: amolitor on January 20, 2015, 03:54:57 PM
Fixating on tiny throwaway side remarks or phrases is one of the classic moves of the Lesser Internet Troll (formerly: Lesser Usenet Troll)

Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: amolitor on January 20, 2015, 04:00:47 PM
And just for reference, Isaac, Jonathan appears to be exactly correct.

See, for example, your remarks in #220, You've carefully removed a great deal of context, but when reconstructed, it is clear that you are turning what Jonathan said around 180 degrees so that you can accuse him of self-contradiction. Unlike jjj, who boldly quotes what he's about to claim means the exact opposite, you're more careful to cover your tracks.

The goal is the same, though. To irritate, to annoy, and to consume people's time in attempting to endlessly "clarify" remarks you're lazily dismissing in a few moments, with enough of a sneer to keep the fight rolling.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: RSL on January 20, 2015, 04:11:10 PM
Not true -- there are photos I've taken posted in the LuLa forums.

Links, Isaac. Give us links to those photos. Or else actually post some photos. I'm wi8th Jonathan. I'm willing to concede you're fairly well read in the literature, but when you start talking about techniques you're talking through your hat unless we can see some examples.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: amolitor on January 20, 2015, 04:22:59 PM
Of the many remarks you have made in your no doubt long life, Isaac, you've chosen one that doesn't seem to construe much of anything about anything. And then you've demanded that Jonathan quote where you misconstrued. Now who's the bully?

Go take a peek at #220 instead, where you are in fact guilty as charged.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: mezzoduomo on January 20, 2015, 04:23:23 PM
Please show what parts of this comment (http://www.luminous-landscape.com/forum/index.php?topic=45987.msg792922#msg792922) you believe misconstrue what you've written. Quote what I wrote, alongside what you originally wrote.

Being 'right' (especially in a meaningless internet forum) is life's boobie prize.
Someone close to you should intervene on your behalf.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: RSL on January 20, 2015, 04:23:53 PM
However, one clear advantage of modern technology which should make most, if not all street shots easier, is auto-focusing. I don't believe any camera had that facility in 1953.

You're right. It was all manual focus. You learned zone focusing because you had to do that, just as you learned how to use guide numbers for flash bulbs because there was no such thing as Nikon's CLS. You no longer need to learn about guide numbers, though it's always a good thing to know, but you still need to know about zone focusing if you're going to try to do street photography.

Having said all that, do you really think any kind of automation would have made this shot better? We can quibble about how I should have framed the shot and about how long I had before the kid pulled his hand away or the major changed his "I'm deliberately ignoring you" expression (Actually it was about a second. As soon as the kid saw the reaction he moved on to somebody else.) But the point is that photographs aren't made by equipment. They're made by the photographer.

By the way, for those who might think the major was being mean to the kid: all you had to do was give something to a kid like that -- anything -- and you'd immediately be mobbed by hundreds of other kids. It was a sad fact, but it was a fact.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: Isaac on January 20, 2015, 04:29:11 PM
One of HCB's most famous photos was cropped, the puddle jumper shot.

In the case of "Behind the Gare St. Lazare" it seems as though Cartier-Bresson took the time to frame the scene as best he could, and then took several photos of puddle-jumpers (http://mrfox44.blogspot.com/2013/04/some-random-time.html). (But "I couldn't see a thing through the viewer" so what he hoped to be in the frame may not have been what was in the frame.)
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: RSL on January 20, 2015, 04:48:58 PM
Oh come on, Isaac. He could see through the crack in the fence. He just couldn't see the scene through the viewfinder. He couldn't be sure his framing was exact, but he could see the guy launch himself toward the water.

As he said, "It's all luck. You just have to be receptive, that's all." That's the point all the people suggesting we do street photography with a movie camera miss. You have to be receptive. That's what matters. If you have equipment equivalent to the earliest Leicas you can make great photographs if you're receptive. If you aren't you can't make squat, even with the most recent equipment.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: amolitor on January 20, 2015, 05:07:20 PM
Any progress on explaining how your post #220 isn't a complete and deliberate misconstruing of what Jonathan said, complete with an equally deliberate effort to conceal that fact?

Isaac?

Hello?
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: jjj on January 20, 2015, 05:17:07 PM
Let's try to put this back on the rails.

This thread is about HCB and the philosophy of the decisive moment and its relationship to cropping after the fact.  When we're talking about "street photography" we're talking about that school of thought.

There are a few maxims in this philosophy.  (1) The photographer's engagement with the subject is continuous; (2) this engagement can lead to a simultaneous realization of the significance of the event and the exact form in which that significance is expressed, known as a "decisive moment"; (3) the "decisive moment" is as much about the photographer and the act of commitment as it is about the events in the world being photographed; (4) the photograph is an artifact whose significance is partly about the events in the world, and partly about the photographer, and his/her engagement with them.......
As long as a good photo results, it doesn't matter one jot how a photographer produced it. The only maxims as such, apply to photography in general. Good composition taken at the right moment.  ;D

As for photographer's not cropping their work, that's an daft and arbitrary rule. Michael hit nail on head with regard to that daft idea of being limited to the sensor/film shape on the first page.
HCB not wanting other people to crop his work is a quite different thing and I'm much the same about that. But I'm happy to crop/change aspect ratio myself on my own work to get the best result. I usually shoot with a 3:2 sensor but I like 1:1 crops for some subjects. What I would really like is a proper square format sensor to maximise capture area and so I can choose my aspect ration in post and not have to turn camera for portrait shots. It would be very useful for shooting magazine or advertising work where you may need upright and horizontal shots of same subject. Though being able to mask to a shooting aspect ratio, which is then recorded to autocrop the raw file in LR, C1 etc like my pocket Sony does would be handy.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: jjj on January 20, 2015, 05:24:52 PM
So then you're limited to the video resolution of the camera, rather than what the camera can shoot in still mode. So in addition to sacrificing resolution, because you're essentially shooting JPEGS, you're limiting your post-processing options significantly compared to RAW stills. That doesn't seem to be the technological panacea you're making it out to be.
Try reading posts more carefully as I've already said that is why I wouldn't use it myself.
I'm simply pointing out why Russ's reasons why it can't be done are completely bogus - which are nothing to do with image quality.

When you get some good street shot in movie mode, post it -- along with a sequence of frames so we know it was done that way. I said a GOOD street shot. I'm sure it's possible to make all sorts of crap that way.
See above as to why I wouldn't use video to do this. And you can make all sorts of crap with stills. People make good pictures not the tools they use.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: amolitor on January 20, 2015, 05:25:59 PM
Aaaand we're back to the beginning. It's just nutty! I don't do it that way and cannot comprehend why anyone else would!

It's like talking to a wall.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: jjj on January 20, 2015, 05:45:47 PM
And just for reference, Isaac, Jonathan appears to be exactly correct.

See, for example, your remarks in #220, You've carefully removed a great deal of context, but when reconstructed, it is clear that you are turning what Jonathan said around 180 degrees so that you can accuse him of self-contradiction. Unlike jjj, who boldly quotes what he's about to claim means the exact opposite, you're more careful to cover your tracks.

The goal is the same, though. To irritate, to annoy, and to consume people's time in attempting to endlessly "clarify" remarks you're lazily dismissing in a few moments, with enough of a sneer to keep the fight rolling.

Your constant sniping and insulting is extremely tiresome. I don't even know why you are here considering you hate LuLa and think it it a load of wank (http://photothunk.blogspot.co.uk/2014/12/i-hate-lula.html)
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: amolitor on January 20, 2015, 05:52:09 PM
If you'd read the whole thing, you'd have seen that "the forums are pretty OK though" but you didn't, or you're pretending that you didn't.

Which would explain why I hang around in the forums. They're pretty OK.

ETA: Must say, so pleased to have another reader! I think that makes three now!
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: jjj on January 20, 2015, 06:18:19 PM
You're right, Ray. You weren't there. I'm still looking for a post from you or anybody on here that demonstrates any advantage of a movie camera in street shooting.
The handling when shooting with a movie camera is no different from shooting stills at 25fps. Just think of is as burst mode, albeit one without buffer issues.
All the reasons you have come out with against using movie mode only serve to illustrate that you do not know how video works or are clutching at straws with crazy claims like this...

ROTFL! So instead of paying attention to what's going on around me, I should pay attention to whether or not my card(s) are full, and make sure I have plenty of cards so I can swap them out as I fill them with worthless crap. This isn't street photography; it's idiocy!
Nonsense, a photographer should always have enough memory/film to do the job at hand and affordable large cards are easy to come by. Just for reference, you can shoot for more than two hours at 4k with Protune on a GoPro with a 64gb card. With say a two sec video clip for each 'photo' that's about 400 'shots' for a measly £25, which is far larger capacity than HCB with film. So more time to concentrate on shooting than HCB had.
Alternatively use a GoPro at 12mp in 30fps burst mode, which if you want to be discreet for Street Photography, there's probably nothing better, sadly JPEg only. I filmed undercover with a GoPro whilst making a documentary a while back as it was small enough to fit in my hand. I then used my phone to frame/control camera via wifi, so as far as people were concerned as I was simply faffing with my phone as people tend to do these days.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: amolitor on January 20, 2015, 06:25:02 PM
As always people are just talking past one another.

Russ, I am almost certain, agrees that using a movie mode in addition to all the rest of the technique he uses, would be fine. It would produce a pile of excess frames to be tossed, and the marginal benefit would be insignificant to him.

What he disagrees with, I am nearly certain, is the idea that you can substitute a movie mode for some of the techniques he uses.

It's a lot less fun because the argument probably just peters out, but it would probably be helpful to point out which one you're talking about when advocating some sort of movie camera for street shooting à la HCB.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: LKaven on January 20, 2015, 06:25:22 PM
As long as a good photo results, it doesn't matter one jot how a photographer produced it. The only maxims as such, apply to photography in general. Good composition taken at the right moment.  ;D

As for photographer's not cropping their work, that's an daft and arbitrary rule.

There is a principle (or set of principles) such that if one favors it, one may choose also to follow its practical implications.  I assume that one would not consciously adopt any habit unless there were a principled reason one accepts.  Since there is nothing that necessitates that one do photography this way, it's not much of a rule really.

It might not be the /only/ principle, but it's a good one.  It gets to the heart of both the philosophy and psychology of photography, and to some important elements of the idea of aesthetic value.

For me, I believe in the value of extemporaneous composition.  I've produced many jazz records and studied the music deeply, and I know that there is a level of inspiration one can reach in the moment that one could never attain otherwise.  [Only one or two jazz musicians that I've worked with would ever edit one of their solos in post, even given the technical capability.]  I've spent years studying things that musicians did in a minute.  

Similarly, when I'm doing my best, it is done this way, and I can spend quite a long time after the fact learning from the decisions I made in that moment.  
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: RSL on January 20, 2015, 07:33:50 PM
Nonsense, a photographer should always have enough memory/film to do the job at hand and affordable large cards are easy to come by. Just for reference, you can shoot for more than two hours at 4k with Protune on a GoPro with a 64gb card. With say a two sec video clip for each 'photo' that's about 400 'shots' for a measly £25, which is far larger capacity than HCB with film. So more time to concentrate on shooting than HCB had.
Alternatively use a GoPro at 12mp in 30fps burst mode, which if you want to be discreet for Street Photography, there's probably nothing better, sadly JPEg only. I filmed undercover with a GoPro whilst making a documentary a while back as it was small enough to fit in my hand. I then used my phone to frame/control camera via wifi, so as far as people were concerned as I was simply faffing with my phone as people tend to do these days.

What does that have to do with paying attention to what's going on around you?
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: amolitor on January 20, 2015, 07:54:23 PM
To summarize, in the most pragmatic possible terms, why movie mode for street is silly:

IF you propose to replace attentiveness with long bursts of frames, THEN it won't work because your camera position will likely be wrong.
IF you do not so propose, THEN it will work fine but be pointless because if you're attentive, you got the shot anyways.

Replace 'attentiveness' with other elements of technique, to suit.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: RSL on January 20, 2015, 07:56:46 PM
As always people are just talking past one another.

Russ, I am almost certain, agrees that using a movie mode in addition to all the rest of the technique he uses, would be fine. It would produce a pile of excess frames to be tossed, and the marginal benefit would be insignificant to him.

What he disagrees with, I am nearly certain, is the idea that you can substitute a movie mode for some of the techniques he uses.

It's a lot less fun because the argument probably just peters out, but it would probably be helpful to point out which one you're talking about when advocating some sort of movie camera for street shooting à la HCB.

Thanks, Andrew. You're right. I don't really care about equipment as long as I have what it takes to do what I'm setting out to do. I stick with the D3 instead of going to a D4s because the D3 does everything I need to do with it and I don't need the extra complexity of movie mode. I stick with the D800 instead of moving on to a D810 because it gives me everything I need in a stand camera. I stick with the EP-1 because I can't see any substantive improvements in later versions of that camera. I do love digital because I no longer have either to whip out a light meter or guess at exposures. I particularly love TTL flash because when you have to use guide numbers to calculate an exposure it takes time I'd rather spend concentrating on what the camera is seeing.

Bottom line, I guess, is the fact that in this thread I've read a bunch of theories about using movie mode to do street photography but I have yet to see an example -- good or bad. It's a lot like reading Isaac's unsupported theories about photography instead of seeing some work by him that can support his theories.

Oh, and Isaac, mea culpa. You're right. I didn't read your remarks about "Behind the Gare Saint-Lezare" carefully enough. I have to confess it's a habit I've fallen into gradually as I've read more and more of your theories. I now tend to scan. By the way, where did you read that HCB shot a series through that crack in the fence? I've never read that, and I've always noticed that the water was glassy still.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: Isaac on January 21, 2015, 12:54:17 PM
It's a lot like reading Isaac's unsupported theories about photography instead of seeing some work by him that can support his theories.

A straightforward hypothesis: Cartier-Bresson would not crop, if he had been able to see through the view finder to frame the photo when the exposure was made.

All it takes to disprove is an example where Cartier-Bresson had been able to see through the view finder and he still decided to crop the print.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: amolitor on January 21, 2015, 01:26:42 PM
I crop all over the place. I love cropping.

However, some people choose not to. Generally (always? almost always, surely) for artistic reasons, reasons having to do with the way they make photographs.

To propose that these people should just go ahead and crop is to propose that they do their art differently. You might as well call them "daft" for refusing to paint, or sculpt, or for crying out loud if you'd just LEARN TO DANCE you'd be able to do that SO MUCH BETTER.

So to all of you who think that everyone should just buckle under and learn to love cropping, I ask: Why are you not dancing your art? Why are you STUCK in this STUPID photography rut?
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: amolitor on January 21, 2015, 01:28:50 PM
Oh, Isaac, I insinuate nothing. I bluntly accuse. And the evidence is clear, to all who care to read the relevant posts in the proper order.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: amolitor on January 21, 2015, 01:34:56 PM
And this is the part where you spend a few seconds dashing off a response, intended to make me go spend a bunch of time, putting together a detailed evidence trail, which you can lazily dismiss.

Nope.

As you know, Isaac, I am on to your game. I've been on the Internet and before that Usenet for a long, long, long, long time. You have to get up much earlier in the morning to put one over on me.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: amolitor on January 21, 2015, 01:46:11 PM
Oh lawsy me, I am the victim here

Anyone interested, go peek at post #220 and the precursors to it. Please note what Jonathan is saying "No" to and then note the conclusion Isaac draws from the three "No" responses. Isaacs conclusion is the exact opposite of what Jonathan intended.

God help you if you're interested, though. Troll watching is a boring passtime.

With any luck, someone will lock this thread shortly.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: amolitor on January 21, 2015, 01:47:07 PM
Slobodan! Not true! About one post in ten has some interesting content loosely related to the actual thread title!
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: Eric Myrvaagnes on January 21, 2015, 02:01:20 PM
Oh, boy! 18 pages of pure, unadulterated, UFC style, mudslinging, mud-wrestling, hairsplitting, anal-retentive, much-ado-about-nothing fun. How did I miss this one?  ;D
I read the first few posts when this thread started, and then I stopped since nothing new seemed to be happening.
Recently I checked in again because I couldn't imagine how the topic could have run to well over 300 posts.

It seems I was right. Nothing meaningful has really been added.

Some time ago I put a certain troll on my "ignore" list, and out of curiosity I have checked at least a dozen of his recent posts in this thread, and I see that I have not missed anything worth reading.

So, Russ, Jonathan, and Andrew: I heartily recommend using the "ignore" feature on the troll. You won't miss a thing.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: amolitor on January 21, 2015, 02:06:53 PM
While there's been a lot of dreck in the last 10 pages or so, I think Ray (?) did spark an interesting discussion. Thinking through why a movie camera is or is not a good approach to street turns up some interesting ideas and discussion.

It's a bit like picking corn out of poop now, but it was pretty interesting at the time.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: LKaven on January 21, 2015, 02:11:43 PM
Did Roy DeCarava crop his photos?
I don't know.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: LKaven on January 21, 2015, 02:15:07 PM
This is intrinsically one of the most interesting topics in photography.  It touches on philosophy of mind, ethics, aesthetics in some deep ways.  It should be possible to have an intelligent discussion of it. 
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: Isaac on January 21, 2015, 02:28:43 PM
Did Roy DeCarava crop his photos?
I don't know.

I guess so: afaict DeCarava used a 35mm Argus Model A camera, and as-a-sample "The prints … range in image size (https://books.google.com/books?ei=bCjAVNHNDIe0mAWtk4CgCQ&id=rTvrAAAAMAAJ&dq=roy+decarava+retrospective&focus=searchwithinvolume&q=range+in+image+size) from 8 11/16 x 12 inches … to 10 3/4 x 13 11/16 …"
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: Ken Bennett on January 22, 2015, 08:19:01 AM
I crop all over the place. I love cropping.

However, some people choose not to. Generally (always? almost always, surely) for artistic reasons, reasons having to do with the way they make photographs.


Nobody is proposing to make the non-croppers crop. We croppers would just appreciate it if they would stop telling us that we're doing it wrong. :)
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: Ray on January 22, 2015, 08:56:25 AM

There are a few maxims in this philosophy.......  (3) the "decisive moment" is as much about the photographer and the act of commitment as it is about the events in the world being photographed; (4) the photograph is an artifact whose significance is partly about the events in the world, and partly about the photographer, and his/her engagement with them.


These points merit discussion. A photograph is always a capture of a moment in time, whatever the skills and character of the photographer. If you accidentally trip the shutter, you've captured a moment in time. The 'selfies' in the attached link were taken by a macaque monkey. The monkey stole the photographer's camera. Most of the photos were out-of-focus, not surprisingly. However, the few that were in focus do not tell you anything about the photographer whatsoever. It is a verbal communication that tells you the photographer was a monkey.So this notion you have, that a photograph is as much about the photographer as the event, seems false.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/howaboutthat/8615859/Monkey-steals-camera-to-snap-himself.html

However, perhaps you would argue that a rare exception does not invalidate a general rule. Perhaps you would say that 'on average' the photo is as much about the photographer as the event.

Well, that doesn't seem true to me either. Whenever I go travelling and visit places of touristic interest, I'm amazed that about 90% or more of the other tourists are only concerned with photographing themselves in front of the scene they've visited. They seem to be asserting the fact that they, themselves, are always more interesting and more significant than the famous, or historical, or naturalistic background they are standing against.

So, I would say that, for about 90% of all photos taken, the photo is more about the photographer than the event, although one might argue that such people with iPhones attached to 'selfie sticks' are not 'real' photographers.

Here, we come up against the perennial problem with all philosophy on all subjects, the precise definition of the key words used. What is a photographer?
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: LKaven on January 22, 2015, 08:59:24 AM
Nobody is proposing to make the non-croppers crop. We croppers would just appreciate it if they would stop telling us that we're doing it wrong. :)

But how many crops could a crop-stopper stop if a crop-stopper could stop crops?

In all seriousness, understanding the ideas behind the "decisive moment" and what they mean in some measure is fundamental to the study of photography.  One may elect to do things differently in the end, but at least one will do so knowingly.

I'd also say I can't call you a real jazz musician unless you understand Thelonious Monk well, but you don't have to sound like him.  
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: Ray on January 22, 2015, 09:08:54 AM
Bottom line, I guess, is the fact that in this thread I've read a bunch of theories about using movie mode to do street photography but I have yet to see an example -- good or bad. It's a lot like reading Isaac's unsupported theories about photography instead of seeing some work by him that can support his theories.

Russ, it's been explained by both Jeremy and me, that using a camera in video mode to capture the best moment of a rapidly changing scene is simply an alternative approach to setting the camera in 'continuous frame' mode. The advantage is, you won't fill up the buffer within a couple of seconds. The disadvantage is, there will be a sacrifice in resolution, and possibly dynamic range, but that shouldn't bother those who subscribe to the Ansel Adams maxim that there's nothing worse than a sharp image of a fuzzy concept.

For me, the 2mp frame size of an HD video 'still' is not enticing, because I'm a bit obsessed with resolution, which is why I don't use HD video for this purpose. However, my recommendation related to the new 4k video format with double the resolution and 4x the file size of standard HD.

The second DSLR I bought in my life was the 8mp Canon 20D. I was very impressed with it. The Samsung NX1 in 4k video mode produces similar file sizes to the Canon 20D, and I imagine similar, or even better quality.

All modern DSLRs have a 'continuous frame' mode. Do you think this is just a gimmick, Russ, and an unsubstantiated theory of a method for capturing the 'moment'?  ;D
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: amolitor on January 22, 2015, 09:45:03 AM
I assume you're joking, Ken?
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: RSL on January 22, 2015, 09:57:30 AM
Russ, it's been explained by both Jeremy and me, that using a camera in video mode to capture the best moment of a rapidly changing scene is simply an alternative approach to setting the camera in 'continuous frame' mode. The advantage is, you won't fill up the buffer within a couple of seconds. The disadvantage is, there will be a sacrifice in resolution, and possibly dynamic range, but that shouldn't bother those who subscribe to the Ansel Adams maxim that there's nothing worse than a sharp image of a fuzzy concept.

Fine, Ray. Now show me an example of good -- I emphasize good -- street photography shot either in video mode or burst mode. I've played with burst mode in the past and I've never been entranced by the results. I'm talking about burst mode with the Nikon D3, which in 14 bit raw mode gives you a bit more than 9 frames a second for 16 frames. If you need more than 4 seconds and 16 frames for a street shot, you're screwed any way you slice it.

Luke understands the problem. Using burst mode or video mode is a mechanical approach detached from the situation. To do good street you need to be wholly captured by and involved in the action. Everybody seems to think that HCB was talking about an external event when he coined the phrase "the decisive moment." Actually, he was talking about the moment when the photographer is totally involved in the event and recognizes that it's reached the instant when he needs to capture it. The "decisive moment" is something in the mind of the photographer and in some ways it's almost like an orgasm.

Quote
For me, the 2mp frame size of an HD video 'still' is not enticing, because I'm a bit obsessed with resolution, which is why I don't use HD video for this purpose. However, my recommendation related to the new 4k video format with double the resolution and 4x the file size of standard HD.

If you understand street photography you'll understand that high resolution isn't a requirement. Look at HCB's early work. The film was slow, and even with dead-bang-on focus a lot of stuff is a bit out of focus because of shallow DOF. Compared with what's available now, resolution was lousy. And yet, people like Kertesz, HCB, Evans, Riboud created classics that stand alone. If you're shooting architecture or landscape you need to be concerned about resolution. If you're shooting street it's a minor consideration. I've attached a shot I made in 2000 with a Casio QV-3000EX, which had just come out. It has 3 mpx resolution. It makes a quite acceptable 8 x 10.

Quote
All modern DSLRs have a 'continuous frame' mode. Do you think this is just a gimmick, Russ, and an unsubstantiated theory of a method for capturing the 'moment'?  ;D

I think video in a still camera is a marketing gimmick. We've had compact movie cameras for years. There was no reason to add video mode to a still camera, but the camera manufacturers were running out of gimmicks, like more and more pixels and jazzier focusing mechanics, and sales were falling. Being able to make a short movie with a still camera really appealed to point-and-shooters, and caused some of them to switch to more expensive mid-market cameras. It did give the industry a boost. Now that point-and-shoot cameras have been driven out by cell phones the industry needs another boost. What jazzy but unnecessary accoutrement will come along next?
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: Isaac on January 22, 2015, 01:46:04 PM
Kertész too -- "Kertész was an expert printer and a precise technician, even as he strove for spontaneity and naturalism in his imagery and, with the exception of cropping, was apparently averse to manipulations such as experimental darkroom techniques and photomontage."
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: amolitor on January 22, 2015, 01:49:41 PM
I've seen in a few places the assertion that HCB didn't crop because he didn't print.

This is ridiculous, you can easily indicate a desired crop on the contact sheet. I've done it myself.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: Isaac on January 22, 2015, 01:51:53 PM
The disadvantage is, there will be a sacrifice in resolution, and possibly dynamic range, but that shouldn't bother those who subscribe to the Ansel Adams maxim that there's nothing worse than a sharp image of a fuzzy concept.

As you are aware, that is not to praise the fuzzy image but to condemn the fuzzy concept.

“You have beautiful calligraphy, but it’s up to you what you write with it.” Kertész

“Technique is only the minimum in photography. It’s what one must start with. I believe you should be a perfect technician in order to express yourself as you wish and then you can forget about the technique.” Kertész
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: kers on January 22, 2015, 02:37:04 PM

Using a Leica- you never see exactly what will be on the picture so you should crop for that reason alone...
 ;)
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: Isaac on January 22, 2015, 03:26:28 PM
Evans too -- "Of those 54 common images, there were at least three variants—Alabama Tenant Farmer Family Singing Hymns (1936), Alabama Cotton Tenant Farmer Wife (1936), and Arkansas Flood Refugee (1937)—and most had different croppings (http://www.moma.org/explore/inside_out/2013/08/01/two-views-of-walker-evanss-american-photographs), either with more or less information along the edges (such as Westchester, New York, Farmhouse) . This suggests that Evans did not fetishize a single image, cropping, or even selection of works, but rather was interested in the mutable and indefinite aspects of photography…"
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: RSL on January 22, 2015, 04:01:22 PM
Evans never claimed he did, Isaac. As far as I know, HCB was the only one who avoided cropping wherever possible -- which meant everything he did with two exceptions forced on him by circumstances.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: amolitor on January 22, 2015, 04:06:01 PM
I'm pretty sure Emerson didn't crop, but Robinson did (obviously). And on and on.

ETA: The FSA photographers, with the exception of Evans, did not crop while working for the FSA.  Roy Stryker cropped for them.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: LKaven on January 22, 2015, 04:19:25 PM
Why would we be going down a list of "photographers who sometimes crop"?  Is there a comparison forthcoming?  It's a little like giving a list of musicians who don't play jazz.  What would be the point?

In both cases, there's something special that happens in that moment as a consequence of the moments leading up to it.  You either dig it or you don't, but there's no reason that says you have to go that way.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: Isaac on January 23, 2015, 11:20:40 AM
Riboud aussi -- 'Of Cartier Bresson he retained this worrying of detail and of perfect composition, but Oh so much rebelled to dare say " I’m not against (http://collectifdetroit.com/en/gallery/serie/marc_riboud) a little crop times to another".'


As far as I know, HCB was the only one who avoided cropping wherever possible -- which meant everything he did with two exceptions forced on him by circumstances.

Previously you thought there was a third example, which you were unable to recall.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: amolitor on January 23, 2015, 11:54:26 AM
Firstly, you're not going to determine that there was only ever one non-cropper by enumerating photographers who do sometimes crop. The method itself is silly.

Secondly, there have been other photographers philosophically opposed to cropping (which is a better description of HCB, he DID crop from time to time, as is well documented, as if that proves anything). I have given you some, and there are others, and there are a couple active in this thread right now.

So not only is the method silly, it cannot succeed because we have already demonstrated the opposite conclusion to be true.
 
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: amolitor on January 23, 2015, 12:11:59 PM
Weston didn't crop (natch)
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: LKaven on January 23, 2015, 01:21:36 PM
If you found there was only one musician who played jazz, would you see the point?

Previously you mentioned subsequent work in philosophy, what specific work are you referring to?

I think the entire Magnum school was influenced by the concepts of HCB, and a lot more.  It's a philosophy that one acts on when one believes it is meaningful for one, and otherwise not.

I wonder whether you have either a positive or a negative thesis to state?  It seems sometimes you are involved in endless qualifying of remarks without appearing to build to a point.  If you have a point, I'd be interested to hear it, so I could address myself to it directly.

As far as philosophy, I'd cite most work done since Kripke's Naming And Necessity.  The return of metaphysical realism around 1970 underwrote the cognitivist theories of behavior we have today.  A good example of one might be Dretske's _Explaining Behavior_.  I draw more heavily on Ruth Millikan, William Lycan, Peter Godfrey Smith and teleological functionalism.  My personal interests (in a half-finished thesis) are on the nature of committing and act, and thereby becoming committed to undergoing its consequences.

I also think you could go to Dewey (cf, Experience, Nature and Art), or to Sartre on this.

Put more simply, there is a lot that can be said about the moment of commitment, in terms of the reasons for doing so (beliefs and desires) and the expectation of what the consequences will be.  HCB pointed out something of genuine and enduring interest. 
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: RSL on January 23, 2015, 07:49:25 PM
If you have a point, I'd be interested to hear it, so I could address myself to it directly.

Forget it, Luke. Isaac just trolls. All he knows about the subject is what he reads. As far as anyone knows he's never held a camera in his hands, so he has no way of knowing what he's talking about. It appears he's pretty widely read on the subject, and sometimes he comes up with a worthwhile reference. But as far as a point of view based on experience, forget it.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: amolitor on January 23, 2015, 08:08:53 PM
I have no trouble understanding Jonathan.

You have the cart before the horse on the other. The commitment is not to use the photo as framed, but to frame the photo so it can be used.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: jjj on January 24, 2015, 01:56:15 PM
What does that have to do with paying attention to what's going on around you?
Are you being deliberately obtuse in denying an alternative way of working Russ?
The fact that a large card's capacity mean you can concentrate on shooting and not worrying about how many shots you have left counteracts one of your many inaccurate reasons why 'movie mode' is useless.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: jjj on January 24, 2015, 02:02:12 PM
To summarize, in the most pragmatic possible terms, why movie mode for street is silly:

IF you propose to replace attentiveness with long bursts of frames, THEN it won't work because your camera position will likely be wrong.
IF you do not so propose, THEN it will work fine but be pointless because if you're attentive, you got the shot anyways.

Replace 'attentiveness' with other elements of technique, to suit.
That's not a summary, that's your inaccurate view and deliberate misinterpretation.
You seem to confuse your opinion with facts. Again.

Shooting a burst of shots using movie mode is no different from using a motordrive to capture something, other than FPS. And has zero impact on attentiveness.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: amolitor on January 24, 2015, 02:11:05 PM
WAT?
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: RSL on January 24, 2015, 02:16:49 PM
The fact that a large card's capacity mean you can concentrate on shooting and not worrying about how many shots you have left counteracts one of your many inaccurate reasons why 'movie mode' is useless.

Movie mode isn't useless because of the card's capacity, Jeremy. It's useless for street shooting because it's a different kind of shooting. Being totally connected to the action is the essence of street, and you can't be totally connected if you're banging away with a movie camera.

I have yet to see a good street shot made in movie mode. Show me one that you think is good and we can discuss it.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: jjj on January 24, 2015, 02:50:13 PM
Movie mode isn't useless because of the card's capacity, Jeremy. It's useless for street shooting because it's a different kind of shooting. Being totally connected to the action is the essence of street, and you can't be totally connected if you're banging away with a movie camera.
Utter nonsense. Every single reason you have come out with has been shown to be based on lack of knowledge of what movie mode even is and more likely I think a fear of a new way of working.

Quote
I have yet to see a good street shot made in movie mode. Show me one that you think is good and we can discuss it.
As already mentioned more than once, why would anyone currently use it when it results in poorer quality images? Why would you move from 20-26mp raw files to 4mb jpeg images?
The technique of capturing the image is not an issue, the file quality is not there yet. It will be with time, just like the early digital cameras were crap compared to film but soon surpassed them
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: jjj on January 24, 2015, 02:54:13 PM
Nobody is proposing to make the non-croppers crop. We croppers would just appreciate it if they would stop telling us that we're doing it wrong. :)
Exactly.

But how many crops could a crop-stopper stop if a crop-stopper could stop crops?
That make me laugh a lot. ;D

Quote
I'd also say I can't call you a real jazz musician unless you understand Thelonious Monk well, but you don't have to sound like him. 
So what about all the jazz musicians that came before him?   :P
I like jazz, but can't stand TM and that style of jazz myself. I prefer music from the swing era, probably because I like dancing to music, not nodding my head in appreciation at its cleverness.  ;)
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: LKaven on January 24, 2015, 03:10:51 PM
Quote
Nobody is proposing to make the non-croppers crop. We croppers would just appreciate it if they would stop telling us that we're doing it wrong. Smiley
Exactly.

This is a needless conflict.  The question of whether movie mode is compatible with the philosophy of the decisive moment is simple.  It is a matter of whether someone is appropriately engaged in the process.  If someone is appropriately engaged in the process, then movie/burst mode is acceptable.  For example, I wrote about pre-roll earlier, where the photographer indicates a given moment, and the camera captures a few frames before and a few after.

We were originally responding to something that Ray said about movie mode making street photography "a breeze".  That clearly isn't true.  And his remark colored the dialog about movie mode that followed subsequently.  The idea of taking frames en masse and harvesting them later without the characteristic form of engagement would not be compatible with this philosophy. 
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: jjj on January 24, 2015, 03:24:53 PM
Luke understands the problem. Using burst mode or video mode is a mechanical approach detached from the situation.
No it isn't. It's just another way of capturing scene, certainly increasing the chance for the less skilled to get a decent shot, which I think is fundamentally the real objection.

Quote
If you understand street photography you'll understand that high resolution isn't a requirement. Look at HCB's early work. The film was slow, and even with dead-bang-on focus a lot of stuff is a bit out of focus because of shallow DOF. Compared with what's available now, resolution was lousy. And yet, people like Kertesz, HCB, Evans, Riboud created classics that stand alone. If you're shooting architecture or landscape you need to be concerned about resolution. If you're shooting street it's a minor consideration. I've attached a shot I made in 2000 with a Casio QV-3000EX, which had just come out. It has 3 mpx resolution. It makes a quite acceptable 8 x 10.
High quality not being available is not the same as having high quality and deliberately forsaking it. Resolution of 35mm film or MF is most certainly not lousy either. I've done 20x16 from 35mm, not to mention that resolution is less important than raw capability for many people.

Quote
I think video in a still camera is a marketing gimmick. We've had compact movie cameras for years. There was no reason to add video mode to a still camera, but the camera manufacturers were running out of gimmicks, like more and more pixels and jazzier focusing mechanics, and sales were falling. Being able to make a short movie with a still camera really appealed to point-and-shooters, and caused some of them to switch to more expensive mid-market cameras. It did give the industry a boost. Now that point-and-shoot cameras have been driven out by cell phones the industry needs another boost. What jazzy but unnecessary accoutrement will come along next?
The more you talk about video, the more obvious how little you know about it. P+S digital still cameras have had video for at least 13 years. People who shoot film/video have wanted larger sensor digital cameras to also shoot video for even longer. The camera companies did not really want to add it as they were afraid that it would damage their video camera sales. But they reluctantly gave into consumer demand and found it created a whole new market and had to rapidly adapt. The 5DII I'd also argue was the first compact [digital] movie camera as opposed to a video camera with a small chip that didn't give the look 'movie' makers preferred.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: jjj on January 24, 2015, 03:34:25 PM
This is a needless conflict.  The question of whether movie mode is compatible with the philosophy of the decisive moment is simple.  It is a matter of whether someone is appropriately engaged in the process.  If someone is appropriately engaged in the process, then movie/burst mode is acceptable.  For example, I wrote about pre-roll earlier, where the photographer indicates a given moment, and the camera captures a few frames before and a few after.
Needless, indeed.
What anti-video people seem to be doing is verging on the camera takes the photo, rather than the photographer way of thinking.
My engagement in this particular process would not be affected by using video with say pre-roll, but my miss rate would definitely drop.
What people also seem to miss is that shooting good video is most certainly not easier than shooting stills.

Quote
We were originally responding to something that Ray said about movie mode making street photography "a breeze".  That clearly isn't true.  And his remark colored the dialog about movie mode that followed subsequently.  The idea of taking frames en masse and harvesting them later without the characteristic form of engagement would not be compatible with this philosophy.  
I think his saying video made it easier, which it certainly will for those with less skill is definitely what upset people. But making it a breeze, no definitely not.
Machine gun photography whether with shooting hundreds of digital stills or thousands of frames will never help those who cannot see a shot in first place to get a good photograph. For those who have the eye, it's simply another tool in the arsenal.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: Iluvmycam on January 24, 2015, 03:49:42 PM
Alternatively you could look at the contact sheet and simply reject pictures that were not framed to your satisfaction, like Cartier-Bresson.

I think the real question, the acid test question is this....

If you had to crop a photo to make it useable, would your reject cropping in favor of ruining a photo that was museum quality otherwise if it was cropped and perfected?

Now, here is such a case.

nsfw

http://rangefindercamera.tumblr.com/image/108384883244

It is in a number of museum and public collections. I wont show you the uncropped version - it is worthless as it was taken, just pitiful. It is not that I am not a decent doc photog...I am an outstanding doc photog. If I was not, this photo would not be before you. The problem was the circumstances of getting an out of the corner of your eye, sideways hip shot perfect...before you can blink an eye twice. In such cases you make the most of the circumstances or...you let your ego ruin the pix.

In my case, I have NO problems cropping. I crop almost ALL my pix.  Seldom does a pix come out perfect with a millisecond of notice for pressing the button. And as was mentioned, imperfections is esp prevalent with a rangefinder Leica and parallax to deal with.

Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: mezzoduomo on January 24, 2015, 03:52:36 PM
Forget it, Luke. Isaac just trolls.

"Feed the conversation, not the trolls..."
                                              -thus sayeth Isaac

390 posts on this topic? Stunning.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: RSL on January 24, 2015, 04:12:25 PM
As already mentioned more than once, why would anyone currently use it when it results in poorer quality images? Why would you move from 20-26mp raw files to 4mb jpeg images?

So why are you even suggesting it? According to you it's an exercise in pure guesswork until the technology is there. We may have intercontinental aircraft that fly on fusion reactors in the future too.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: LKaven on January 24, 2015, 04:15:09 PM
I wont show you the uncropped version - it is worthless as it was taken, just pitiful.

I'd be very interested as an instructive example to see the uncropped version of this.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: jjj on January 24, 2015, 04:17:39 PM
I think the real question, the acid test question is this....

If you had to crop a photo to make it useable, would your reject cropping in favor of ruining a photo that was museum quality otherwise if it was cropped and perfected?

Now, here is such a case.

nsfw

http://rangefindercamera.tumblr.com/image/108384883244
You may want to make the nsfw notice a lot more obvious! Before someone scares their co-workers.  :P
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: jjj on January 24, 2015, 04:27:22 PM
So why are you even suggesting it? According to you it's an exercise in pure guesswork until the technology is there. We may have intercontinental aircraft that fly on fusion reactors in the future too.
I'm not saying you should do or not do it. I'm simply saying your objections as to why it will not work are groundless. Objections which had nothing to do with image quality.
To use an analogy to show how oddly you are arguing - You say hang gliding is impossible and I describe how it is in fact possible. This does not therefore mean I want to go hang gliding or that I think everyone else should get one and start soaring on thermals.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: amolitor on January 24, 2015, 04:33:31 PM
Russ isn't asking you to go hang gliding. He's wm asking if anyone ever has.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: LKaven on January 24, 2015, 04:52:23 PM
I think it's very clear that there are many ways to produce good art.  I don't know of any argument that says that the philosophy of "the decisive moment" is such that it must be followed.  

What the thesis amounts to is a mid-level theory about engagement with the world, the moment of commitment to action, the explanation of the action, and how that influences the aesthetic interpretation of the product of that action.  This is topic-neutral.  It applies to doing any of a wide range of things.  And it touches on a number of questions of deep interest in philosophy and psychology.

There are similar theories about playing jazz and the process of extemporaneous compositions.  Those theories apply more broadly than in just music.

In both of these areas, there are no explicitly normative claims (i.e., the claim that you "ought" to create art this way).  There are lots of good kinds of music that aren't jazz.  There are lots of good photographers that don't do photojournalism according to the Magnum school.

But.  Of course the psychological and philosophical claims, if they are true at all, are true in general.  You don't have to subscribe to theory of gravity, but you will be subject to gravity nevertheless.  In that sense, you don't have to subscribe to the philosophy of the decisive moment as a way to create art.  But if its philosophical and psychological foundations are true, then everyone is subject to their implications, whether one knows it or not.

One of the things that makes jazz (like photography) great is that we actually discovered a wonderful creative engine that works in the moment.  There is considerable gain to be had from exploring and exploiting that process for creative purposes.  

Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: jjj on January 24, 2015, 05:04:26 PM
Russ isn't asking you to go hang gliding. He's wm asking if anyone ever has.
Try and understand the concept of addressing a specific sentence in a post, as opposed to all posts made by someone in an entire thread.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: amolitor on January 24, 2015, 05:05:49 PM
Oh, I understand nitpicking. I choose not to.

Nitpicking is a device for carrying on fights, not for having discussions. In a thesis defense every word counts. In casual conversation what normal people look for is overall thrust of argument.

Normal people overlook the occasional misstatement, the occasional poor word choice, and try to grasp the larger point at each stage, and to speak to that.

Unless, of course, they're interested in counting coup rather than conversing. Then it's normal to nitpick.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: RSL on January 24, 2015, 06:36:22 PM
I'm not saying you should do or not do it. I'm simply saying your objections as to why it will not work are groundless.

Jeremy, You're the one who's telling me it's not worth doing because of low pixel count. I showed you a perfectly good street shot done with 3 mpx.

I'll say again: show me an example of a good street shot made in either movie mode or burst mode.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: LKaven on January 24, 2015, 07:22:33 PM
I'll say again: show me an example of a good street shot made in either movie mode or burst mode.

So Russ, I think we can get a range of possibilities that others have recognized.  Imagine if you carried your favorite street camera (a Leica or whatever), and you went about your work in your customary way.  Except when you press the shutter release, there is a feature that gives you the 1/10th second before that and 1/10th second after that as well.  Imagine it does this silently and transparently.  The only difference is that when you read your memory card, there are three images where you pressed the shutter release once.

This is a simple modification which preserves our intuitions about doing street photography a la mode.  There are times when you just might catch the moment you /really/ intended this way.  So we've maintained the veridical connection.

The questions start to arrive when you move from there closer to the idea of "harvesting" images with only minimal engagement in the moment.  And I think we all agree that this is among the possibilities that would be inconsistent with doing street photography a la mode. 
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: amolitor on January 24, 2015, 07:48:27 PM
And there you have it. The false dichotomy at hand, perfectly stated by Isaac.

If you can't get past that, then you're just not in the discussion at all.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: amolitor on January 24, 2015, 08:33:32 PM
Neither do you show yours. Since I merely state that another possibility may exist, and you make the absolute claim that it does not, I think the necessity for proof lies with you.

And around we go.

Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: LKaven on January 24, 2015, 09:29:46 PM
Ok, so the OP started this thread more than four years ago.. and left LuLa soon thereafter, forgetting to turn off the lights and lock the door on his way out.

You realize of course this is one of the few official sticky threads in the history of photography.  The "Migrations" threads might be another.  The issue can never be solved and it can never die.  It can endure an infinite number of "threadkillers".  
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: LKaven on January 24, 2015, 09:42:59 PM
Quote
Using a Leica- you never see exactly what will be on the picture so you should crop for that reason alone...  Wink
Alternatively you could look at the contact sheet and simply reject pictures that were not framed to your satisfaction, like Cartier-Bresson.

This seems like a real non-issue.  Best not to try to glean a point from it.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: amolitor on January 24, 2015, 10:02:54 PM
See post #379 for the alternative to the dichotomy proposed by Isaac.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: Isaac on January 25, 2015, 12:24:48 PM
Using a Leica- you never see exactly what will be on the picture so you should crop for that reason alone...  ;)

Alternatively you could look at the contact sheet and simply reject pictures that were not framed to your satisfaction, like Cartier-Bresson.

This seems like a real non-issue.  Best not to try to glean a point from it.

This "non-issue" was raised by the OP.

This "non-issue" is a tell-tale of principled action when we are told: "IMO, cropping for reasons other than the necessity of fitting an aspect ratio represents a failure to capture the image properly in the first place (http://www.luminous-landscape.com/forum/index.php?topic=45987.msg790398#msg790398)."

This "non-issue" is a tell-tale of principled action when we are told: "In the case of the former, the image is wholly the product of immediate engagement with the subject, and in the case of cropping, it is not (http://www.luminous-landscape.com/forum/index.php?topic=45987.msg792387#msg792387)."
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: LKaven on January 25, 2015, 03:00:30 PM
So you quote me where I say this:

Quote
The existentialist character of the theory is apparent.  I don't know whether HC-B took after Sartre intentionally or not.

In your question, the act of tripping the shutter where cropping is disallowed, and the act of cropping a previous capture, are both acts of committing to the final form.  So in that (narrow) sense, they are the same. 

In another way, they are different.  In the case of the former, the image is wholly the product of immediate engagement with the subject, and in the case of cropping, it is not.  The question when cropping is "what /were/ you engaged with when you committed to tripping the shutter that further change should be necessitated?"

If one stops looking at the thesis as a matter of what one should or shouldn't do, it becomes an interesting way to understand the process by which a photographer engages his/her subject, and how that engagement is or is not reflected in the final photograph. 

In my view, there is not just one right way.  But I do feel that one often underestimates the aesthetic complexity one can realize in a photograph at the moment of capture.  For me, I feel that with few exceptions, the picture is either all there when I tripped the shutter, or it isn't there at all.  And to my mind, it is very rare that "the picture" should ever be a proper subset of another picture.

What part of this exactly are you taking issue with?
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: RSL on January 25, 2015, 03:22:11 PM
So Russ, I think we can get a range of possibilities that others have recognized.  Imagine if you carried your favorite street camera (a Leica or whatever), and you went about your work in your customary way.  Except when you press the shutter release, there is a feature that gives you the 1/10th second before that and 1/10th second after that as well.  Imagine it does this silently and transparently.  The only difference is that when you read your memory card, there are three images where you pressed the shutter release once.

This is a simple modification which preserves our intuitions about doing street photography a la mode.  There are times when you just might catch the moment you /really/ intended this way.  So we've maintained the veridical connection.

The questions start to arrive when you move from there closer to the idea of "harvesting" images with only minimal engagement in the moment.  And I think we all agree that this is among the possibilities that would be inconsistent with doing street photography a la mode. 

Right, Luke. In line with what these folks are suggesting, here's another way to do street photography: Set up a surveillance camera on a post, aimed at a crowded part of a downtown sidewalk. Run it for 24 hours and then sit down and review 24 hours worth of results. Reminds me of the old saw about monkeys with an infinite amount of time on a typewriter writing the Encyclopedia Britannica.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: mezzoduomo on January 25, 2015, 03:40:49 PM
Ok, so the OP started this thread more than four years ago.. and left LuLa soon thereafter, forgetting to turn off the lights and lock the door on his way out. As with most abandoned buildings, it was soon occupied by squatters and drug addicts. 20+ pages and 400+posts later, it reminds me of the babbling of met addicts in Breaking Bad.  ;)

+1000, but what do I know?  8)
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: amolitor on January 25, 2015, 07:53:27 PM
In completely practical terms:

There will be no photographs which are correct save only for the framing.

(Excepting, of course, in rare and special circumstances. See above.)

Why?

Because if the framing is wrong, the camera position is also wrong. The camera position is, by definition and as part of the method, ones best attempt at the correct position for the entire frame. The odds that it would provide the correct camera position for some crop of the entire frame are substantially against, and this would occur only as random happenstance.

What all who would simplify street and make it easy miss, is the critical role of camera position. To repeat myself: if you think street is interesting moments captured from any handy camera angle whatever, then in the context of this thread you are wrong and completely missing the point, and in the larger context, who cares?
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: AreBee on January 26, 2015, 04:32:27 AM
Andrew,

Quote
...if the framing is wrong, the camera position is also wrong.

Do you consider this to be true for all genres of photography, or only for Street photography?
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: amolitor on January 26, 2015, 05:02:08 AM
Only for the specific style of photography under discussion in this thread. There's a very specific method of shooting we're talking about.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: Ray on January 26, 2015, 09:53:08 AM
The real issue here is whether the "less skilled" (and i assume it to mean not technically, but lets just say for simplicity sake "esthetically") will be able to recognize that "decent shot" in post if they are unable to see it in real life in the first place. And since I am already in animal metaphors, it is more like "pearls before swine" type of thing.

I'm surprised at the confusion on this issue. Even Slobodan is confused, as evidenced by his above comment.  ;)

Surely it is obvious that what constitutes a 'good' photo is always in the eye of the beholder. I'm sure there will be some folks who think HCB's shot of a man jumping a puddle is rather banal.

Now, you might criticise such people for having a lack of taste and a lack of discernment, but that is a different issue to whether or not a burst of images will allow one to capture what, in one's own opinion, is a better shot than the single, first shot.

Why does Slobodan imagine that anyone would bother to take a photo, whether a single shot, a full-resolution burst or a short video, if he is unable to recognise a 'decent shot' in the first place? Surely it is always the recognition of a potentially interesting shot, in the eye of the person with the camera, that motivates the person with the camera to take the trouble to shoot the scene.

Whether or not Slobodan or Russ happens to agree with the photographer, that his shot was worth taking, or that his selection from a dozen shots is the best one, is a separate issue.

There might be exceptions of course, to this motivation to shoot a scene which one genuinely thinks is interesting, meaningful and/or beautiful. I can imagine that sometimes a photographer might think "there's nothing particularly interesting here, but I might as well take a shot just for the record", in which case, if he were to shoot a short video, there's at least a possibility that some unforeseen event might occur which would make the shot interesting, such as an unnoticed falcon suddenly swooping down to catch a squirrel that was hidden on the other side of a tree trunk.  ;)

I can also imagine that certain professional photographers, in the interests of earning a living, might be in the habit of capturing images which they personally think are ordinary or uninteresting, but know that their clients will like them.

But generally, whether one is a novice with little artistic nous, or an experienced photographer with an artist's background, one points the camera at scenes that one finds interesting. If the scene involves movement, as most street scenes do, then something as simple as the main subject deciding to blink at the precise moment the photographer presses the shutter, can spoil the shot.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: LKaven on January 26, 2015, 11:03:33 AM
[...] Surely it is obvious that what constitutes a 'good' photo is always in the eye of the beholder. I'm sure there will be some folks who think HCB's shot of a man jumping a puddle is rather banal.

The thing is that moral realism is very much alive and well.  Some things through dialectical stress can be argued objectively to have a special value.  The preponderance of critical discourse on Behind The Gare St Lazare can be taken to indicate a convergence of opinion.  

Quote
Now, you might criticise such people for having a lack of taste and a lack of discernment, but that is a different issue to whether or not a burst of images will allow one to capture what, in one's own opinion, is a better shot than the single, first shot.

Why does Slobodan imagine that anyone would bother to take a photo, whether a single shot, a full-resolution burst or a short video, if he is unable to recognise a 'decent shot' in the first place? Surely it is always the recognition of a potentially interesting shot, in the eye of the person with the camera, that motivates the person with the camera to take the trouble to shoot the scene.

Yes.  This is a minimal form of engagement.  We are interested in engagement /par excellence/.

There are actually people who mine Google Street for images not of their own making, to be presented as their artwork subsequently.  They find some good things.  And this says more about one's editorial eye than one's ability as a photographer.  

Quote
There might be exceptions of course, to this motivation to shoot a scene which one genuinely thinks is interesting, meaningful and/or beautiful. I can imagine that sometimes a photographer might think "there's nothing particularly interesting here, but I might as well take a shot just for the record", in which case, if he were to shoot a short video, there's at least a possibility that some unforeseen event might occur which would make the shot interesting, such as an unnoticed falcon suddenly swooping down to catch a squirrel that was hidden on the other side of a tree trunk.  ;)

There are a lot of ways to get shots, including by the photographic equivalent of data mining.  But the aesthetic is different and less personal.  There was an exhibition by someone who took a very high speed camera in the back of a car going down a busy city street.  He shot people moving along the street in ultra slow motion, and created an exhibition from a few minutes of footage.  Slowed down as such, one could easily judge whether there were possibilities in this long continuous street for still images of special artistic value.  There weren't, even in the final master.  And the reason there weren't is because the camera was just not situated meaningfully, and there was no engagement.  There was no /reason/ in the camera being where it was.  Nothing was grasped.  

Quote
I can also imagine that certain professional photographers, in the interests of earning a living, might be in the habit of capturing images which they personally think are ordinary or uninteresting, but know that their clients will like them.

Some people shoot stock, but don't call it art.

Quote
But generally, whether one is a novice with little artistic nous, or an experienced photographer with an artist's background, one points the camera at scenes that one finds interesting. If the scene involves movement, as most street scenes do, then something as simple as the main subject deciding to blink at the precise moment the photographer presses the shutter, can spoil the shot.

We've all agreed by now that a "time bracketing" feature would not disrupt a photographer's engagement with the subject.  
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: jjj on January 26, 2015, 11:26:05 AM
I think it's very clear that there are many ways to produce good art.  I don't know of any argument that says that the philosophy of "the decisive moment" is such that it must be followed. 

What the thesis amounts to is a mid-level theory about engagement with the world, the moment of commitment to action, the explanation of the action, and how that influences the aesthetic interpretation of the product of that action.  This is topic-neutral.  It applies to doing any of a wide range of things.  And it touches on a number of questions of deep interest in philosophy and psychology.

There are similar theories about playing jazz and the process of extemporaneous compositions.  Those theories apply more broadly than in just music.

In both of these areas, there are no explicitly normative claims (i.e., the claim that you "ought" to create art this way).  There are lots of good kinds of music that aren't jazz.  There are lots of good photographers that don't do photojournalism according to the Magnum school.

 
Absolutely, anyone who says absolutely that "this is the [only] definitive way to do" something in art is usually only demonstrating how little they know about the creative process and how lacking in empathy they are.
When say for example a jazz musician describes how he works and produces his creations he is only completely correct when talking about himself and his motivations. They may also apply to other people, but there will be many others who have very different creative processes and motivations. However there can be many overlaps in the process and some guidelines that are very useful to most practitioners.

Quote
But.  Of course the psychological and philosophical claims, if they are true at all, are true in general.  You don't have to subscribe to theory of gravity, but you will be subject to gravity nevertheless.  In that sense, you don't have to subscribe to the philosophy of the decisive moment as a way to create art.  But if its philosophical and psychological foundations are true, then everyone is subject to their implications, whether one knows it or not.
Comparing gravity which is present regardless of any opinion we hold to a philosophy, which is simply a particular way of thinking is not a good analogy.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: jjj on January 26, 2015, 11:44:50 AM
Jeremy, You're the one who's telling me it's not worth doing because of low pixel count. I showed you a perfectly good street shot done with 3 mpx.

I'll say again: show me an example of a good street shot made in either movie mode or burst mode.
Still missing the point. Your example was from a long time ago when I also had a low pixel count, jpeg only pocket camera. I only used it as it was all I had at the time. I wouldn't use it now as it is garbage compared to my current camera's abilities. Why would one deliberately use an inferior low MP jpeg when you have access to much higher quality raw files. My iPhone can capture much better quality images than your example. Yet the quality is not particular nice as far as I'm concerned when viewed on my desktop monitors, as opposed to a small phone screen. I do not like grading video footage for film work, because it is so limiting compared to grading raw files.
As for your 'perfectly good street shot'. Looks like a poor quality snapshot with missed focus to me. If you are happy with it fine. I wouldn't be.

Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: LKaven on January 26, 2015, 11:49:45 AM
Comparing gravity which is present regardless of any opinion we hold to a philosophy, which is simply a particular way of thinking is not a good analogy.

Saying that gravity is present regardless of any opinion we hold /is/ a philosophy.  And like much philosophy, it is not simply a particular way of thinking -- not in your view or mine.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: amolitor on January 26, 2015, 11:53:41 AM
It's about what's in the frame, not how sharp it is. I quite like Russ's shot, and I find it telling that jjj does not. Not to suggest that everyone ought to love the shot, merely that those who "get it" fall in one camp, and those who do not fall into a different one. And never the twain shall meet.

Also, Luke's statement was not "You are subject to X" but rather "If X is true, then you are subject to it" which is quite a different statement, and one which is tautologically true.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: RSL on January 26, 2015, 12:03:32 PM
Still missing the point. Your example was from a long time ago when I also had a low pixel count, jpeg only pocket camera. I only used it as it was all I had at the time. I wouldn't use it now as it is garbage compared to my current camera's abilities. Why would one deliberately use an inferior low MP jpeg when you have access to much higher quality raw files. My iPhone can capture much better quality images than your example. Yet the quality is not particular nice as far as I'm concerned when viewed on my desktop monitors, as opposed to a small phone screen. I do not like grading video footage for film work, because it is so limiting compared to grading raw files.

If you think technical perfection is the factor that determines the quality of a street shot then you obviously don't understand street photography. And, after yawning my way through your "observed" shots I see that that's your problem. You seem to be a fairly competent wedding photographer, and that's fine, but it's not the same thing.

Quote
As for your 'perfectly good street shot'. Looks like a poor quality snapshot with missed focus to me. If you are happy with it fine. I wouldn't be.

Please. . . Be my guest.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: jjj on January 26, 2015, 12:08:48 PM
We've all agreed by now that a "time bracketing" feature would not disrupt a photographer's engagement with the subject.  
Even Russ? Not sure he's convinced.

Right, Luke. In line with what these folks are suggesting, here's another way to do street photography: Set up a surveillance camera on a post, aimed at a crowded part of a downtown sidewalk. Run it for 24 hours and then sit down and review 24 hours worth of results. Reminds me of the old saw about monkeys with an infinite amount of time on a typewriter writing the Encyclopedia Britannica.
Here's another way to do street photography: Sit with a camera which aimed at a interesting location. Take photos for for 24 hours and then sit down and review 24 hours worth of results.
The problem with your monkey comparison is that  there is no editing or choice involved by the monkeys. Photography is editing reality, you choose what to leave out and what to keep. You can do it live by pressing shutter after composing or by choosing frames after composing. When doing street photography, I often see a situation and wait for people to fall into place to make the composition/idea work. Setting up a camera on tripod and videoing the same location is just changing the time when you decide to pick the moment. Doing it that way can make for a different end result as rather than a single decisive moment you have a collection of images with numerous decisive moments, which may actually be stronger than just the single shot. Now I've written that, I recall a recent series of shots done just that way (http://nickturpin.com/portfolio/winter-bus/), though they may not fit Russ's idea of what street photography is.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: jjj on January 26, 2015, 12:11:01 PM
Saying that gravity is present regardless of any opinion we hold /is/ a philosophy.  And like much philosophy, it is not simply a particular way of thinking -- not in your view or mine.
No gravity's existence is science, not a philosophy. Getting meta about how people view gravity, does not alter anything about how gravity works.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: amolitor on January 26, 2015, 12:13:57 PM
No gravity's existence is science, not a philosophy. Getting meta about how people view gravity, does not alter anything about how gravity works.

You and Luke are talking past one another. The word "philosophy" means different things to you two. You are arguing about the definition of "philosophy", possibly without knowing it.

And thus are born and sustained internet flame wars.

Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: jjj on January 26, 2015, 12:18:18 PM
It's about what's in the frame, not how sharp it is. I quite like Russ's shot, and I find it telling that jjj does not. Not to suggest that everyone ought to love the shot, merely that those who "get it" fall in one camp, and those who do not fall into a different one. And never the twain shall meet.
Liking or not liking a single photograph proves nothing at all.
If you think I'm obsessed with sharpness, that only shows how ignorant you are of what I like. No more, no less. But then you don't like to let facts get in the way of your opinion, do you.
My favourite shots are in fact mostly quite lo-fi. Deliberate low quality as opposed to poor quality is very different. I want to be able to choose when my image is sharp or not as opposed to having poor quality forced on me by inferior equipment, which could result in missing a shot or making it inferior to how I saw it.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: jjj on January 26, 2015, 12:19:49 PM
You and Luke are talking past one another. The word "philosophy" means different things to you two. You are arguing about the definition of "philosophy", possibly without knowing it.

And thus are born and sustained internet flame wars.


Stop being an inflammatory troll. We are debating politely. You however take every opportunity to make nasty personal digs.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: amolitor on January 26, 2015, 12:27:57 PM
Blah blah blah. I'm done with you, jjj. First you make an inflammatory remark, and in the next post you quote me being fairly polite and tell me to stop making inflammatory remarks.

You're apparently 6 years old. I KNOW U R BUT WHAT AM I! NO U! HA HA HA! I WIN!

Ignored.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: LKaven on January 26, 2015, 12:35:29 PM
You and Luke are talking past one another. The word "philosophy" means different things to you two. You are arguing about the definition of "philosophy", possibly without knowing it.

The difference is that I have years of post-graduate training in philosophy, and Jeremy doesn't.  

Gravity is unobservable, and falls partly into the domain of metaphysics, even though it has empirical support.  A theory that asserts the existence of gravity is a philosophical construct.  It is scientific realism that takes our theory terms such as "gravity" as referring terms that, through our socially-coordinated uses of the term "gravity" establish epistemic access to the referent.  In positivism, gravity is a fiction that appears as a mediating term among a group of observation sentences.  

The question of whether gravity exists independently of our theories, or is for example a fiction used in theoretical bookkeeping, is a philosophical problem.  
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: amolitor on January 26, 2015, 12:40:40 PM
jjj is using the word "philosophy" in the colloquial english sense, meaning more or less "a way of thinking" and you are using it to mean "such and such an academic discipline" and the two meanings barely overlap, if at all. This is gonna make conversation difficult.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: jjj on January 26, 2015, 12:41:32 PM
If you think technical perfection is the factor that determines the quality of a street shot then you obviously don't understand street photography. And, after yawning my way through your "observed" shots I see that that's your problem. You seem to be a fairly competent wedding photographer, and that's fine, but it's not the same thing.
Sadly, you seem to be turning into Amolitor, substituting personal attacks for debating. The poor technical quality is not why I did not like your shot, if it was pin sharp and 36mp, it would still be a family snapshot in my view. I simply don't like that particular shot, no big deal. I don't expect everyone to like all my pics or even any of them.
I posted some of my observed shots earlier and your response was
I like all three of your street shots
and suddenly you're getting all nasty about the same work.  ::)
Now if you had actually bothered to look at my 'observed shots' rather than take cheap shots, you would have seen than technical perfection is not really what those shots are about. As explained above, I want to be able to choose when to do lo-fi and when to do high quality. Some of them are made to look lower quality than straight out of camera, some are not. But I have the choice, it is not forced upon me.
I often say that limitations can make for great creativity, but at other times they can be simply limiting if you want to do something quite specific.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: amolitor on January 26, 2015, 12:55:14 PM
A depressingly high percentage of arguments, especially on the internet, break down thus:

Person A: Under my set of definitions and axioms, such and such is true.
Person B: Under my, differing, set of definitions and axioms, the opposite it true. THEREFORE YOU ARE WRONG!!!1!!!!11!!

and sometimes, all too often:

Person A: NO U R WRONG!!!11!!!!!

without either person realizing (or admitting it, if they do realize it) is that they're not arguing about "such and such" at all, they're arguing about definitions and axioms.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: jjj on January 26, 2015, 01:02:43 PM
The difference is that I have years of post-graduate training in philosophy, and Jeremy doesn't. 
The difference is that I have years of training in science and you don't
Although I shouldn't actually say that as in fact I have zero knowledge of your academic background as you have of mine. 
I could also claim I have more experience of photography than you do, so a big  :P  to your philosophy about photography.  ;)  But I have zero evidence of that though either.


Quote
Gravity is unobservable, and falls partly into the domain of metaphysics, even though it has empirical support.  A theory that asserts the existence of gravity is a philosophical construct.  It is scientific realism that takes our theory terms such as "gravity" as referring terms that, through our socially-coordinated uses of the term "gravity" establish epistemic access to the referent.  In positivism, gravity is a fiction that appears as a mediating term among a group of observation sentences. 

The question of whether gravity exists independently of our theories, or is for example a fiction used in theoretical bookkeeping, is a philosophical problem. 
Ah academic style writing, a great way of rendering simple ideas impenetrable to most people. The oxymoronic phrase 'eschew obfuscation' always springs to mind when I read such text.  ;D

Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: LKaven on January 26, 2015, 01:23:21 PM
The difference is that I have years of training in science and you don't
Although I shouldn't actually say that as in fact I have zero knowledge of your academic background as you have of mine. 
I could also claim I have more experience of photography than you do, so a big  :P  to your philosophy about photography.  ;)  But I have zero evidence of that though either.

Ah academic style writing, a great way of rendering simple ideas impenetrable to most people. The oxymoronic phrase 'eschew obfuscation' always springs to mind when I read such text.  ;D

I actually have years in science as well Jeremy. 

I'm saying these things only to help point out precisely what it is I'm trying to communicate to you.  Though I don't know your background specifically, since you didn't pick up on some introductory level knowledge, I took a few moments to supply it.  If it struck you as impenetrable at first, it might take some additional effort for you to figure out why it is written the way it is.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: jjj on January 26, 2015, 02:00:15 PM
I actually have years in science as well Jeremy. 
Like I said, it would be wrong to assume you hadn't.

Quote
I'm saying these things only to help point out precisely what it is I'm trying to communicate to you.  Though I don't know your background specifically, since you didn't pick up on some introductory level knowledge, I took a few moments to supply it.  If it struck you as impenetrable at first, it might take some additional effort for you to figure out why it is written the way it is.
I spent a long time in academia and one thing that always bugged me was how some people trying to appear smarter than others by over complicating how they 'explain' things. Not saying that is what you are doing here [it may be just stylistic habit] or that I can't understand academic writing. But mostly when I read it, it comes across that it's more about trying to impress other people with overwrought erudition rather than communicating clearly. There's a certain style in some academic writing which simply grates with me because of that. I have no problem with subject specific jargon or writers using less common words for precision, but there's there's the other overly tortuous kind. That kind of academic style writing seems particularly out of place here in a public forum about photography.

Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: Jonathan Wienke on January 26, 2015, 02:02:45 PM
This "non-issue" is a tell-tale of principled action when we are told: "IMO, cropping for reasons other than the necessity of fitting an aspect ratio represents a failure to capture the image properly in the first place (http://www.luminous-landscape.com/forum/index.php?topic=45987.msg790398#msg790398)."

It's fairly simple logic. All else being equal (focus, camera settings, composition, etc.), a capture that does not require cropping to obtain the final image is always better than one that does.

In real life, all things are usually not equal, and sometimes one does not have a capture that can be used uncropped. In those cases, one has a choice of either cropping or going without a usable image, and using a cropped image is generally better than being empty-handed. But that doesn't change the fact that all else being equal, having a capture that does not need cropping is always the best-case scenario.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: RSL on January 26, 2015, 02:05:10 PM
Sadly, you seem to be turning into Amolitor, substituting personal attacks for debating. The poor technical quality is not why I did not like your shot, if it was pin sharp and 36mp, it would still be a family snapshot in my view. I simply don't like that particular shot, no big deal. I don't expect everyone to like all my pics or even any of them.

As I said, be my guest.

Quote
I posted some of my observed shots earlier and your response was and suddenly you're getting all nasty about the same work.  ::)

I've always know that fudging the truth in order to be "nice" is bad practice. It's just that I sometimes forget that. I'll try to remember that in the future when discussing photographs with you, Jeremy.

Quote
Now if you had actually bothered to look at my 'observed shots' rather than take cheap shots. . .

Actually I spent more time looking at them than the experience warranted.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: amolitor on January 26, 2015, 02:38:38 PM
Yes, and apparently Cartier-Bresson chose to reject cropping and therefore reject photos that were not satisfactorily framed.

I am puzzled as to how I can explain several times why this is not the case, and yet, you can still appear to cling to the idea. Furthermore, since he DID crop on those extremely rare occasions where the picture was right but the framing was not (and I have explained, carefully and precisely, why this might occur only very very rarely), your statement is demonstrably false.

Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: Isaac on January 26, 2015, 02:48:52 PM
Furthermore, since he DID crop on those extremely rare occasions where the picture was right but the framing was not…

As before:

A straightforward hypothesis: Cartier-Bresson would not crop, if he had been able to see through the view finder to frame the photo when the exposure was made.

All it takes to disprove is an example where Cartier-Bresson had been able to see through the view finder and he still decided to crop the print.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: amolitor on January 26, 2015, 02:52:05 PM
Yes. So?

If he could see through the finder, the framing was either right, or the picture was wrong. Not "wrong but fixable with a crop", but simply wrong.

Please review post #417.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: amolitor on January 26, 2015, 03:13:24 PM
Please review post #417
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: Eric Myrvaagnes on January 26, 2015, 03:42:23 PM
Not to suggest that everyone ought to love the shot, merely that those who "get it" fall in one camp, and those who do not fall into a different one. And never the twain shall meet.
I think this one remark summarizes this entire thread quite adequately. And nothing new or useful has been added by either faction since Andrew made this remark, IMHO (or is it "in my humble Philosophy?)
 ::)
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: RSL on January 26, 2015, 03:48:52 PM
I think you're right, Eric. And I have to add: This may not be absolutely the most asinine thread I've ever read on LuLa, but it's definitely in the running for that hotly contested distinction. I'll also add: I'm outta here!
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: amolitor on January 26, 2015, 04:24:42 PM
Apparently the salient comment is number #414. Either I've lost my mind, or some posts got deleted.

My apology for the confusion either way.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: LKaven on January 26, 2015, 05:43:55 PM
Like I said, it would be wrong to assume you hadn't.
I spent a long time in academia and one thing that always bugged me was how some people trying to appear smarter than others by over complicating how they 'explain' things. Not saying that is what you are doing here [it may be just stylistic habit] or that I can't understand academic writing. But mostly when I read it, it comes across that it's more about trying to impress other people with overwrought erudition rather than communicating clearly. There's a certain style in some academic writing which simply grates with me because of that. I have no problem with subject specific jargon or writers using less common words for precision, but there's there's the other overly tortuous kind. That kind of academic style writing seems particularly out of place here in a public forum about photography.

Glad you said "not saying that is what you are doing here". 

When you do philosophy, you need to use language with a kind of mathematical precision.  There's no way around it.  If you don't know how to read it, it seems torturous.  But every word is intended to have a function.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: mezzoduomo on January 26, 2015, 08:37:13 PM
"Isaac, jjj, and amolitor walked into a bar."

Can't anyone just stop?
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: Ray on January 26, 2015, 10:21:16 PM
We've all agreed by now that a "time bracketing" feature would not disrupt a photographer's engagement with the subject.  

Good! I wasn't aware of that. I thought there were still posters in this thread arguing that multiple shots constituted a lack of engagement with the subject. I was puzzled what you meant by that. Now I see that what you and others deduced from the mere mention of the word 'video', was placing the camera in a fixed location on a tripod in video mode whilst one had breakfast (for example), then examining the individual frames after breakfast to see if there was anything interesting.

That approach definitely wasn't what I was suggesting. I was suggesting that 4k video had reached a level of technical quality such that any single frame could at least equal, and in some respects surpass, the quality of the 35mm film used by HCB.

I was suggesting that any photographer who wants to emulate the style of HCB should be able to do so much more easily with the benefits of modern cameras such as the Samsung NX1 which allow one to select any individual frame from a 4k video sequence.

I was suggesting using such a camera, with 4k video capability, with the same level of engagement that is involved in the taking of a single shot, but with the result of getting a greater choice of interesting moments, each perhaps only slightly different from the others, but sometimes radically different, especially when the video sequence lasts a few seconds.

I'm glad we've cleared all that up.  ;D
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: Jonathan Wienke on January 27, 2015, 10:43:41 AM
Glad you said "not saying that is what you are doing here". 

When you do philosophy, you need to use language with a kind of mathematical precision.  There's no way around it.  If you don't know how to read it, it seems torturous.  But every word is intended to have a function.

But when you argue that gravity is a philosophical construct rather than a measurable and observable physical phenomenon, it appears you've crossed the line from precisely-worded language to fatuous pomposity for pomposity's sake.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: Jonathan Wienke on January 27, 2015, 10:47:24 AM
Yes, if the shot was better then the shot would have been better (http://www.luminous-landscape.com/forum/index.php?topic=45987.msg792313#msg792313).

Yes, and apparently Cartier-Bresson chose to reject cropping and therefore reject photos that were not satisfactorily framed.

So if you agree with me, why are you arguing with me?
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: amolitor on January 27, 2015, 11:02:14 AM
I don't think Luke said that gravity was a philosophical construct.

Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: LKaven on January 27, 2015, 01:24:10 PM
But when you argue that gravity is a philosophical construct rather than a measurable and observable physical phenomenon, it appears you've crossed the line from precisely-worded language to fatuous pomposity for pomposity's sake.

I don't think Luke said that gravity was a philosophical construct.

Exactly right, Andrew, I didn't say that.

Jonathan, you don't seem to understand the textbook concepts of Logical Empiricism and Scientific Realism or the distinction between them, which I described faithfully.  Rather than ask, you decided to insult me.  I hope you will take back what you said.

These are two very different views of science, the former pre-1970, the latter post-1970.  Most scientists that I've worked with believe in a patchwork of things, much from pre-1970, that don't actually form a coherent theory.  When you press them on the key questions, their logic falls apart.

Gravity, like causation, is an unobservable.  All reasoning about unobservables is metaphysics.  As such, it is treated very differently under these two views of science.  In Logical Empiricism, metaphysics is forbidden, and unobservables are treated as explanatory fictions, often in spite of what scientists actually believed.  In Scientific Realism, metaphysics (in the form of causal realism) is acceptable, you can reason to the existence of unobservables, and can accept them as real and existing independently of our beliefs.  While the latter makes much more sense to me, most scientists tend to believe an inconsistent version of the former that they picked up along the way.

Does that help?
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: Jonathan Wienke on January 27, 2015, 01:57:08 PM
So if you agree with me, why are you arguing with me?


Do you choose "going without a usable image" or do you choose "cropping"?

I've already answered that.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: LKaven on January 27, 2015, 02:00:03 PM
Of course not, it just flaunts your specialized knowledge.

I'm using specialized knowledge in the subject of the thread topic, which is a philosophical thesis.  I'm attempting to answer someone else's question here.  If you don't understand what's being said, you should ask.  Otherwise perhaps you're in the wrong place, engaging for the wrong reasons.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: Jonathan Wienke on January 27, 2015, 02:47:41 PM
Exactly right, Andrew, I didn't say that.

Actually, you did.

The difference is that I have years of post-graduate training in philosophy, and Jeremy doesn't. 

Gravity is unobservable, and falls partly into the domain of metaphysics, even though it has empirical support.  A theory that asserts the existence of gravity is a philosophical construct.  It is scientific realism that takes our theory terms such as "gravity" as referring terms that, through our socially-coordinated uses of the term "gravity" establish epistemic access to the referent.  In positivism, gravity is a fiction that appears as a mediating term among a group of observation sentences. 

The question of whether gravity exists independently of our theories, or is for example a fiction used in theoretical bookkeeping, is a philosophical problem.


...

Gravity, like causation, is an unobservable.  All reasoning about unobservables is metaphysics.

Contrary to your multiple assertions, gravity is a phenomenon which can be both observed and measured, and its effects are consistent and repeatable, regardless of the religious, philosophical, metaphysical, or religious opinions one may hold. One may debate what causes it, the causal relationship (if any) between gravity and the associated warping of spacetime, or the mechanism by which its force is transmitted from one mass to another, but to say that gravity is an "unobservable" metaphysical construct is a trivially disprovable statement.

Quote
Jonathan, you don't seem to understand the textbook concepts of Logical Empiricism and Scientific Realism or the distinction between them, which I described faithfully.  Rather than ask, you decided to insult me.  I hope you will take back what you said.

Probably not. IMO, your postings appear to be pseudointellectual psychobabble intended primarily to "prove" you are smarter than the rest of us, as exemplified by your "I have years of post-graduate training in philosophy, and Jeremy doesn't" remark. I would say you owe him an apology more than I owe you one.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: amolitor on January 27, 2015, 03:08:07 PM
With respect, the statement that gravity itself is a philosophical construct appears nowhere in the quoted text.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: Jonathan Wienke on January 27, 2015, 03:12:05 PM
You've said --

You haven't said if you only crop when you were not able to see through the view finder to frame the photo when the exposure was made.

My strong preference for composing such that cropping in post is either minimal or unnecessary applies regardless of whether I can see through the viewfinder.

I couldn't see through the viewfinder when I shot this:
(http://visual-vacations.com/images/9-1-1.jpg)
but it's an uncropped image. I shot maybe 20 or 30 frames to get exactly what I wanted, rather than settling for something I had to crop or straighten. I may not always have that luxury when shooting models or live events, but either way, I always prefer composition to cropping.

Does that answer your question?
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: amolitor on January 27, 2015, 03:12:25 PM
Philosophy, as Luke means it, is about the nature of knowledge.

You don't need to understand any of it to do science, any more than you need to understand mathematical philosophy to do mathematics.

You can argue that it's all bullsh*t if you like, angels on the head of a pin sort of stuff, and I might even agree with you up to a point. But it doesn't change the fact that philosophy is a well defined thing, an area of study and thought, that has certain properties. All this stuff about gravity being real or not, or whether Luke is a pompous prat, is irrelevant. Luke is talking about the nature of knowledge, how we know that we know things, and so on.

I confess that I don't grasp Luke's remarks about philosophy's relationship to photography and the decisive moment, but I'm not going to get all huffy just because I don't understand something. I'm not going to say 'well, I don't understand it, so it must be a load of bollocks'.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: Jonathan Wienke on January 27, 2015, 03:47:57 PM
With respect, the statement that gravity itself is a philosophical construct appears nowhere in the quoted text.

Not in those exact words, no. But that's the gist of the statements he made that I quoted in bold text.

Quote
I confess that I don't grasp Luke's remarks about philosophy's relationship to photography and the decisive moment, but I'm not going to get all huffy just because I don't understand something. I'm not going to say 'well, I don't understand it, so it must be a load of bollocks'.

It's not a matter of not understanding it. It's a matter of accepting the notion that the emperor's new clothes really exist, or have any relevance to the discussion beyond being an attempt to prove how sophisticated the emperor is.

There are some aspects of the phenomenon we call "gravity" that we cannot observe, and do not understand, such as whether gravity causes spacetime to warp, the warping of spacetime by the presence of mass causes gravity, the interaction of particles with the Higgs field causes both gravity and the warping of spacetime, etc. Those questions can be the subject of metaphysical or philosophical debate. But the existence of gravity is something that can be observed, measured, and tested, with repeatable results, in any number of ways.

If you're going to argue that gravity isn't "observable", then to be logically consistent, you have to argue the same is true of electromagnetism, which would eventually lead one to the conclusion that light itself isn't "observable". Which if true, would mean that photography couldn't exist. If that isn't pseudointellectual BS, I don't know what is.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: Isaac on January 27, 2015, 03:57:43 PM
Does that answer your question?

I suppose "My strong preference for composing such that cropping in post is either minimal…" and "I may not always have that luxury when shooting models or live events…" means that your answer is:

That's what we ordinarily do; but Cartier-Bresson seems to have acted differently.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: amolitor on January 27, 2015, 03:58:30 PM
Ugh. I don't see any value in getting drawn in to a discussion about this. I think you're simply wrong on this point, Jonathan, because you're being insufficiently imprecise in your reading.

I admit that you need to be extremely precise to see the differences, but where I know what's going on, they are present, and where I do not I suspect they are. I don't know what Luke means by an "unobservable" for instance, but I suspect it means something quite precise, and not at all the same as what you think it means.

But I am fine with simply differing on these... what are they, three degrees removed from the original topic, or is it four?

Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: LKaven on January 27, 2015, 04:37:40 PM
Ugh. I don't see any value in getting drawn in to a discussion about this. I think you're simply wrong on this point, Jonathan, because you're being insufficiently imprecise in your reading.

I admit that you need to be extremely precise to see the differences, but where I know what's going on, they are present, and where I do not I suspect they are. I don't know what Luke means by an "unobservable" for instance, but I suspect it means something quite precise, and not at all the same as what you think it means.

But I am fine with simply differing on these... what are they, three degrees removed from the original topic, or is it four?

You are right.  Jonathan did not read precisely in an area where the precise wording is critical.  In his attempts to restate my explanation, he's stated nothing close, or even sensible.  This is strictly first year textbook stuff I'm giving him.  I'm surprised at his behavior. 

This is a forum for critical analysis, and the subject of this thread has to do with HCB and the combined philosophies of his.  Any arguments in favor of or against this are in the domain of philosophy coupled with subject-matter specific considerations.  That's just where these ideas have their foundations in meaning.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: amolitor on January 27, 2015, 04:43:53 PM
As a philosopher you would of course think that. Philosophy positions itself as the basis of everything!

As an alternative, though, Russ and I have been at some pains to show thoroughly pragmatic reasons for a no-cropping approach.

Both ways of grasping the point are probably equally valid.


Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: Jonathan Wienke on January 27, 2015, 04:51:52 PM
You are right.  Jonathan did not read precisely in an area where the precise wording is critical.  In his attempts to restate my explanation, he's stated nothing close, or even sensible.  This is strictly first year textbook stuff I'm giving him.  I'm surprised at his behavior.

Please explain why if gravity is "unobservable" by your definition, light (a form of electromagnetism) is not also "unobservable" by your definition.

While you're at it, define "unobservable", explain how your usage and definition differs from the commonly understood usage of "unobservable", and explain why said differences are legitimate.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: LKaven on January 27, 2015, 05:00:26 PM
As a philosopher you would of course think that. Philosophy positions itself as the basis of everything!

As an alternative, though, Russ and I have been at some pains to show thoroughly pragmatic reasons for a no-cropping approach.  Both ways of grasping the point are probably equally valid.

You've been doing philosophy the entire time in this thread, and with quite good intuitions.  What is pragmatism here but your philosophy?  What else does one have to hang one's hat on?  Do you really think there's an alternative?

When you pose and answer a question, what do you believe would underwrite your claim that your answer should be true, necessarily true, approximately true, assertible, or what?  What grounds the meaning of the terms you use?
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: Ray on January 27, 2015, 11:56:09 PM
If you're going to argue that gravity isn't "observable", then to be logically consistent, you have to argue the same is true of electromagnetism, which would eventually lead one to the conclusion that light itself isn't "observable". Which if true, would mean that photography couldn't exist. If that isn't pseudointellectual BS, I don't know what is.

I have to agree with Luke on this point, Jonathan. Do you really not see the distinction between the situation of an observable/detectable photon, or electromagnetic particle/wave, and an unobservable, undetectable so-called 'graviton'?

Whilst the effects of some force we call gravity can be observed and measured in a consistent manner, the actual nature of gravity, what the force actually consists of, remains a mystery. As I understand, no-one has ever detected a 'graviton'. It's existence is pure hypothesis.

It might also be the case that, on the very large macro scale, our theories of gravity are wrong. There appears to be some inconsistency in our observations of the behaviour of distant galaxies. If our current theories of gravity are in fact correct, then we have the huge problem of discovering what 90% of the matter and energy in the universe consists of. Currently, we simply don't know. We call it Dark Matter and Dark Energy, a completely invisible and undetectable form of matter and energy, completely in the realm of hypothesis.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: Jonathan Wienke on January 28, 2015, 05:52:02 AM
I have to agree with Luke on this point, Jonathan. Do you really not see the distinction between the situation of an observable/detectable photon, or electromagnetic particle/wave, and an unobservable, undetectable so-called 'graviton'?

You can observe the existence of gravity in the same way you can observe the existence of electromagnetic photons--by measuring their effect on/interactions with matter. You can measure photons with a photodector, or an antenna, depending on the frequency of the photon. These devices convert photons to an electrical signal that we can measure, amplify, digitize, or synthesize into a sound or image.

You can similarly measure the acceleration effect of gravity by using a piezo sensor or laser interferometry to create an electrical signal to measure the deformation of a mass with a known elasticity. You're using a defferent sensor to create the electrical signal, but the concept is exactly the same.

Also, note that there are situations where electromagnetism can exert a force without photons being involved, such as the attraction between the plates of a charged capacitor, and the attraction or repulsion between two adjacent magnets fastened to a rigid object. In those instances, it is unknown whether there is a particle that carries the force from one object to another, but observing that the force exists is easy. All you have to do is place a pair of 2x2x1" NdFeB magnets on opposite sides of your thumb, and you will quickly observe a variety of phenomena that will vigorously confirm the existence of a force between the magnets. And if you receive immediate and competent medical attention, you may even be able to continue to use your thumb!

You are correct to say we don't know for sure if there is any such thing as a "graviton" particle that carries the force of gravity from one mass to another. It is also correct to say we don't know if there are particles that carry forces from one electrically charged capacitor plate to another, or from one stationary magnet to another. That doesn't make the existence of any of those force phenomena "unobservable".

We can know something exists without understanding every aspect and detail of its existence. Otherwise it would be impossible to know anything without knowing everything.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: amolitor on January 28, 2015, 07:10:25 AM
A Google search for 'unobservable' turns up the relevant Wikipedia page as the first hit, for me.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: LKaven on January 28, 2015, 09:55:46 AM
We can know something exists without understanding every aspect and detail of its existence. Otherwise it would be impossible to know anything without knowing everything.

You are actually onto something important in saying this.  But it doesn't pertain directly to observability.  It pertains to 'reference'.  And in modern philosophy of science (post-1970), reference does some of the work that your intuitions suggest needs to be done.  Google terms here would be "naming and necessity", "the causal theory of reference", all taken together under "scientific realism".

There is a classical problem in counting the use of instruments as observations, especially where those instruments presuppose the existence of the very thing under question.

A Google search for 'unobservable' turns up the relevant Wikipedia page as the first hit, for me.

:-)
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: LKaven on January 28, 2015, 11:49:14 AM
Is Cartier-Bresson's solo a single exposure or the whole sequence?

Music is serialized in time and involves diachronic perception (e.g., how beat 1 in measure 4 relates to beat 1 in measure 1).  Unless the photographer was composing a serialized work, I'd say the extemporaneous composition is in the individual image, certainly so in HCB's case.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: Jonathan Wienke on January 28, 2015, 11:58:56 AM
According to Google:
ob·serv·a·ble
əbˈzərvəb(ə)l/
adjective
adjective: observable

    able to be noticed or perceived; discernible.
    "observable differences"
    synonyms:   noticeable, visible, perceptible, perceivable, detectable, conspicuous, distinguishable, discernible, recognizable, evident, apparent, manifest, obvious, patent, palpable, overt, clear, distinct, plain, unmistakable


According to Wikipedia:
Observable

In physics, particularly in quantum physics, a system observable is a measurable operator, or gauge, where the property of the system state can be determined by some sequence of physical operations. For example, these operations might involve submitting the system to various electromagnetic fields and eventually reading a value off some gauge. In systems governed by classical mechanics, any experimentally observable value can be shown to be given by a real-valued function on the set of all possible system states.



Even by the Wikipedia definition, the existence of gravity is "observable". Try holding your arm out horizontally for a few minutes, and you will perceive all sorts of sensations caused by gravity interacting with your arm. How are the neural impulses caused by gravity interacting with sensory cells in your arm any different than the neural impulses generated by photons interacting with the sensory cells in your retina?

Stated differently, why would you consider sensory data captured by the retina to be an "observation", but not sensory data captured by other sensory organs? We don't "observe" anything directly; every sensory notion we have about the world around us is the product of some physical phenomenon stimulating sensory cells in our bodies, which stimulates neural activity, which is then interpreted by our brains. On what basis do you argue that only one human sensory apparatus can "observe" the world around us? On what grounds do you make that distinction?
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: stamper on January 28, 2015, 12:21:40 PM
Moderator please put them out of their misery.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: amolitor on January 28, 2015, 01:08:32 PM
You looked up unobservable and found the definition unsatisfactory, didn't you?
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: Eric Myrvaagnes on January 28, 2015, 01:08:53 PM
I think the important issue here is this: What did Cartier-Bresson have to say about photons vs. gravitons?   ???
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: amolitor on January 28, 2015, 01:12:13 PM
Good lord. Are you guys seriously arguing about the definitions of words which in  first place have essentially nothing to do with the questions at hand and which in the second place have perfectly good definitions which you can just look up?


Is there anyone here who isn't here just to fight, fight about anything, at this point?
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: RSL on January 28, 2015, 02:35:24 PM
Moderator please put them out of their misery.

+1. Please!
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: LKaven on January 28, 2015, 03:00:50 PM
Good lord. Are you guys seriously arguing about the definitions of words which in  first place have essentially nothing to do with the questions at hand and which in the second place have perfectly good definitions which you can just look up?

Is there anyone here who isn't here just to fight, fight about anything, at this point?

Obviously, I came here to talk about HCB and photography, which involves philosophical issues.  It is necessary sometimes to clarify a point using examples that are not directly about photography. 

However, this digression has not been a productive one.  Jonathan needs to take his side questions to PM where I'll be glad to answer them, and he needs to apologize for his earlier cruelty.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: ErikKaffehr on January 28, 2015, 03:51:29 PM
Hi,

I would say that HCB's photography is neither about physics or philosophy. I don't like to see this confrontation between two guys who used to make good contributions to these forums.

Although I have some training in science I cannot follow all this discussion. But, I am pretty sure that Luke is on solid ground on this, he used to be. Modern science is not always easy to grasp. It used also be the way that in some areas we have pretty solid knowledge and in some areas a more general understanding. A colleague used to have a sign on his door: "Simple is beautiful. When simplicity is not at hand, beauty will do."

Best regards
Erik


Obviously, I came here to talk about HCB and photography, which involves philosophical issues.  It is necessary sometimes to clarify a point using examples that are not directly about photography. 

However, this digression has not been a productive one.  Jonathan needs to take his side questions to PM where I'll be glad to answer them, and he needs to apologize for his earlier cruelty.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: LKaven on January 28, 2015, 05:06:34 PM
I would say that HCB's photography is neither about physics or philosophy. [...]

But certainly HCB's /philosophy/ is partly about philosophy.  His philosophy includes things such as the treatise on "decisive moment", and the related reasons why he did not crop except in rare circumstances.  That's what the topic of this thread is.  These things are all of course implicated in the semantics and aesthetics of his work, which is also philosophy.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: Isaac on January 28, 2015, 05:39:45 PM
Quote
"With me," he says, "photography is a way of drawing. It is not philosophy, or literature, or music : it is a strictly visual medium, grasping at the evidence of reality. … A photograph is made on the spot and at once."


"I never crop a photograph. If it needs to be cropped I know it's bad and that nothing could possibly improve it. The only improvement would have been to have taken another picture, at the right place and at the right time."

Henri Cartier-Bresson on the art of photography (http://harpers.org/archive/1961/11/henri-cartier-bresson-on-the-art-of-photography/)
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: LKaven on January 28, 2015, 05:54:16 PM
Quote
"With me," he says, "photography is a way of drawing. It is not philosophy, or literature, or music : it is a strictly visual medium, grasping at the evidence of reality. … A photograph is made on the spot and at once."


"I never crop a photograph. If it needs to be cropped I know it's bad and that nothing could possibly improve it. The only improvement would have been to have taken another picture, at the right place and at the right time."

Yep.  That's his philosophy.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: amolitor on January 28, 2015, 06:27:40 PM
Rocketry is not mathematics. And yet, mathematics is what we must use to understand it.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: LKaven on January 28, 2015, 09:02:20 PM
It's the way Cartier-Bresson thought about and dealt with photography -- philosophy informal (http://dictionary.cambridge.org/us/dictionary/british/philosophy).

Rather than Philosophy the academic study of knowledge, reality and existence.

Not sure what you mean, since there's a continuity between these things.  He absorbed a number of philosophical ideas that were going around at the time, and after some reflection, arrived at something that was more or less coherent, wrote about it, and of course, practiced it. 
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: RSL on January 29, 2015, 06:40:55 AM
Moderator please put them out of their misery.

Actually, Stamper, no. Consider: this is keeping Isaac busy and away from other threads.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: stamper on January 29, 2015, 07:03:12 AM
Russ, I think you have just encouraged him?
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: amolitor on January 29, 2015, 09:04:39 AM
FOUR MORE YEARS!
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: Eric Myrvaagnes on January 29, 2015, 09:36:39 AM
 
Actually, Stamper, no. Consider: this is keeping Isaac busy and away from other threads.
;D    ;D    ;D
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on January 29, 2015, 12:45:51 PM
Yep.  That's his philosophy.

Ahmmm... about philosophy... and this thread:
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: Isaac on January 29, 2015, 01:41:33 PM
Not sure what you mean, since there's a continuity between these things.

Oh well.

Augenblick (http://www.academia.edu/3745989/An_Investigation_into_the_Concept_of_the_Decisive_Moment_Augenblick_as_Found_in_Nineteenth_and_Twentieth_Century_Western_Philosophy)!
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: Ray on January 30, 2015, 06:29:03 PM
I think the important issue here is this: What did Cartier-Bresson have to say about photons vs. gravitons?   ???


Well first Eric, I think one has to admit that every photo he took was absolutely dependent on the existence and behaviour of photons. Without them the photographic process wouldn't exist.

Secondly, without the effects of gravity, we wouldn't exist, and probably no other form of life either.

Thirdly, HCB's most famous photo of a man jumping a puddle, captures through the existence of photons, a moment of a balance between two opposing forces of kinetic energy and gravitational attraction.

Have I answered your question?  ;D
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: Eric Myrvaagnes on January 31, 2015, 12:12:42 AM
Well first Eric, I think one has to admit that every photo he took was absolutely dependent on the existence and behaviour of photons. Without them the photographic process wouldn't exist.

Secondly, without the effects of gravity, we wouldn't exist, and probably no other form of life either.

Thirdly, HCB's most famous photo of a man jumping a puddle, captures through the existence of photons, a moment of a balance between two opposing forces of kinetic energy and gravitational attraction.

Have I answered your question?  ;D

No.

 Because you didn't provide a quote from HCB, so although I now know what Ray has to say, but I don't know what HCB had to say on this subject.   ;)
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: Ray on January 31, 2015, 10:35:19 AM
No.

 Because you didn't provide a quote from HCB, so although I now know what Ray has to say, but I don't know what HCB had to say on this subject.   ;)

Surely his photos are a better expression of anything he had to say verbally; and his photos were heavily dependent upon the existence of photons and the mysterious gravitons.  ;)
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: Eric Myrvaagnes on January 31, 2015, 11:20:36 AM
Surely his photos are a better expression of anything he had to say verbally; and his photos were heavily dependent upon the existence of photons and the mysterious gravitons.  ;)
Since this entire thread is devoted to blind nit-picking, whatever HCB expressed in non-verbal ways is clearly irrelevant. So perhaps your answer is: "Nothing."   8)
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: Ray on January 31, 2015, 07:59:17 PM
Since this entire thread is devoted to blind nit-picking, whatever HCB expressed in non-verbal ways is clearly irrelevant. So perhaps your answer is: "Nothing."   8)

If you think that's the case, Eric, we should try to steer the thread away from blind nit-picking towards photon-reception clarity, which is what I've tried to do.  ;)
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: jjj on February 22, 2015, 12:28:07 PM
Glad you said "not saying that is what you are doing here".  

When you do philosophy, you need to use language with a kind of mathematical precision.  There's no way around it.  If you don't know how to read it, it seems torturous.  But every word is intended to have a function.
I can read, parse and understand such writings, but too often it simply comes across as a stylistic tic rather than something being written for clarity. There is a skill to writing accurately and without such mannerisms, one many academics lack.

But when you [LKaven] argue that gravity is a philosophical construct rather than a measurable and observable physical phenomenon, it appears you've crossed the line from precisely-worded language to fatuous pomposity for pomposity's sake.
Describes what I've been talking about very well.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: jjj on February 22, 2015, 12:32:24 PM
But if we stopped you'd have nothing to snark about.
Ha, ha!
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: LKaven on February 22, 2015, 06:01:32 PM
You walked into a thread after a month off just to post that?  Really Jeremy?

You posted one of Jonathan's mistakes again as well.  Yes, in the course of this exchange, Jonathan used three or so separate concepts and treated them as though they were one.  These are common mistakes that first and second year undergraduates make.

Actually, Jonathan did speculate on something that is plausible in later work, though in doing so, he missed the point of what was being said, was completely incurious about the distinction, decided to resort to invective in order to protect his ego, and then felt he had nothing to apologize for.

There's no mystery here.  I put in the years with top scholars in this area, who showed me day in and day out where the difference was between saying one thing and saying another.  This understanding of language is reflected in thousands of peer-reviewed journal articles, and my usage reflects community standards, which exist for a reason.  All routine stuff.

If you weren't so incurious, you and Jonathan might learn something interesting.  [I don't doubt that you have other areas of knowledge where you might teach me as well.]  But instead, you need to feel powerful with your invective, which is exactly an argument against /nothing/.  A real scientist would be curious.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: Jonathan Wienke on February 23, 2015, 05:35:01 PM
Actually, you're the one making elementary mistakes. The great majority of real scientists (as opposed to philosophers, which are another thing entirely) do not regard the retina as the only means by which humans can perceive the world around them. As such, an "observation" as defined by the scientific community can include phenomena that can be perceived by any of the senses, as opposed to being limited to the minuscule segment of the electromagnetic spectrum that can be perceived by the human eye. Gravity cannot be seen with the eye, but its existence certainly can be felt, and it can be measured with a great deal of precision with the right equipment. To call it an "unobservable" is ludicrous. It cannot be seen, but it certainly can be perceived.

I'm curious why I should occupy my limited free time pondering a philosophical construct that is so obviously flawed.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: amolitor on February 23, 2015, 05:49:28 PM
Luke is using words in very specific ways. He's made it completely clear that he's using them in the strict senses used in a particular field of study.

As far as I can tell, he's using them correctly.

Arguing that he's *wrong* is silly. You can argue that he should not use technical terms in this venue. You can argue that philosophy as a whole is wrong. But you cannot argue that he's using the words incorrectly unless you can demonstrate that -- within the system he's made clear he is operating -- he in fact is. Since he's using the word "unobservable" correctly within that system, simply saying "well you're wrong" isn't even silly, it's a non sequitur.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: Jonathan Wienke on February 24, 2015, 06:56:58 AM
Except that he claims to have a scientific background as well as a philosophical background. And in science all sorts of things are called "observations" that cannot be seen directly.

Also, his philosophical definitions are contradictory. If you look at the definitions for "observable" and "unobservable" cited earlier, "unobservable" is anything that cannot be seen, and "observable" is anything that can be perceived. So by those definitions, gravity is simultaneously "observable" (because it can be perceived) and "unobservable" (because it cannot be seen).

If you use "unobservable" as he defines it, then the logical confusion one must come to based on that premise is that a blind man couldn't be a philosopher, because a blind man can't see anything, and therefore could never understand truth. OTOH, if you narrow the definition of "unobservable" to exclude things that can be "perceived" vice things that can be "seen", then gravity is not an unobservable, because it can be perceived. So his choices are:

A. Blind people are lesser beings because they lack the only sense capable of truly perceiving and understanding the world around them.

or

B. Gravity is not an "unobservable".

Luke, you've accused me of not being curious. Here's some questions for you:

What is so special about the sense of sight that would lead one to define it as the exclusive means of discovering the truth of the world around us?

Do you believe that our other senses are somehow less reliable, valid, or truthful?

If so, what is the basis of that belief?
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: Ray on February 24, 2015, 08:54:57 AM
I think you are being just a little bit obtuse, Jonathan, if you'll forgive me for saying so.  ;)

We can certainly observe the effects of a force which we call gravity, but we can't identify any particle or wave which is responsible for those effects. In this sense, gravity can be said to be unobservable. Its fundamental nature is still a mystery.

Following is an interesting article by String Theorist, Erik Verlinde who seems to be of the opinion that gravity doesn't actually exist and is possibly an illusion. Give it a read.

http://www.dailygalaxy.com/my_weblog/2012/11/gravity-doesnt-exist-is-gravity-an-illusion.html
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: amolitor on February 24, 2015, 09:19:49 AM
I think it is true that 'observable' and 'unobservable' are not antonyms when use as technical terms of philosophy.

So?

Flammable and inflammable mean the same thing, too.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: Jonathan Wienke on February 24, 2015, 12:08:04 PM
I think you are being just a little bit obtuse, Jonathan, if you'll forgive me for saying so.  ;)

We can certainly observe the effects of a force which we call gravity, but we can't identify any particle or wave which is responsible for those effects. In this sense, gravity can be said to be unobservable. Its fundamental nature is still a mystery.

I'm not being obtuse. We don't completely understand any of the four known fundamental forces. We don't know if there is any particle that carries gravitational force, but the exact same thing is true of the electromagnetic force. We know that when the electromagnetic force is made to vibrate, those vibrations form particles we call photons, which move at the speed of light, and transfer energy from one place to another. But when it is static, a force can still be transmitted.

Consider the case where two permanent magnets are mounted to a rigid surface adjacent to each other. There are no known particles being emitted by the magnets, but yet there is a force between those magnets. What carries that magnetic force from one magnet to the other is unknown. A similar case exists between two electrically charged plates, such as the ones in a capacitor. Depending on the polarity of the charge, those plates attract or repel each other. How that electrostatic force is transferred from one plate to the other is also unknown.

We can't really understand why photons behave as they do without understanding how the magnetic and electrostatic aspects of the electromagnetic force propagate and transmit force from one body to another. If you use our ignorance of whether gravitational force is carried by some particle to define gravity as "unobservable", then you have to use our ignorance of whether the electrostatic and magnetic aspects of the electromagnetic force are carried by some unknown particle or particles to define photons as "unobservable" as well. The fundamental nature of photons and the electromagnetic force is just as mysterious as the fundamental nature of gravity.

Defining photons as "unobservable" opens a Pandora's box of of illogical contradictions. But so does defining gravity as "unobservable" without doing the same to photons.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on February 24, 2015, 12:12:19 PM
How does one get out of a thread that becomes unbearably unobservable (in the sense "painful to follow/watch/read")?
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: LKaven on February 24, 2015, 12:42:42 PM
I'm under a deadline for a research report right now, so only have a few moments.

The observable/unobservable distinction has historical roots in an attempt to create a science that was built out of pure observations.  This is why I mentioned the historical "observation sentences" earlier.  This research program, called variously "logical empiricism" or "logical positivism" is now seen as a failed research program.  Thank god.  In contemporary philosophy, the distinction is not so clean.  This is why I said Jonathan's point was "plausible", though it was not the thing that I was discussing at the time.  It would be equally difficult to argue that gravity is any kind of pure observable even when one admits the sense of "feel".  More paradigmatic forms of "unobservables" are causation and belief.

Jonathan, it pays to sort out perceived disagreements before insulting people personally.  In this case, you've been pointing fingers at a place where I wasn't standing.  None of the discourse on this subject is simple. 
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: LKaven on February 24, 2015, 12:49:27 PM
How does one get out of a thread that becomes unbearably unobservable (in the sense "painful to follow/watch/read")?

Apparently you can't resist it.  You should ask Jeremy why he walked back in a month after the thread shut down just to stick hot needles into someone in case they had forgotten about it.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on February 24, 2015, 12:55:57 PM
Apparently you can't resist it...

Look away.

I wish it is that easy. I participated in this thread at some point and now it pops-up every time I click on the "Show new replies to your post" link at the top of the page. On certain threads, where I regretted participating, I can go and delete my posts (not something I like doing, btw), but this one has 26 pages to wade through. Yes, I can also do use the search function to find my posts in this thread, but that might be more work than I a prepared to do. I wish there is a simpler way to stop following a certain thread.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on February 24, 2015, 02:22:37 PM
You can probably remember the recent discussions that still interest you. If you can't remember them, maybe you should forget them :-)

As you can appreciate, I participated in many discussions over the years, not just "recent." Some I remember, some I forgot, some I wish I could forget (http://forum.luminous-landscape.com/index.php?topic=62949.msg507145#msg507145). :P
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: Ray on February 24, 2015, 08:55:05 PM
I'm not being obtuse. We don't completely understand any of the four known fundamental forces. We don't know if there is any particle that carries gravitational force, but the exact same thing is true of the electromagnetic force. We know that when the electromagnetic force is made to vibrate, those vibrations form particles we call photons, which move at the speed of light, and transfer energy from one place to another. But when it is static, a force can still be transmitted.

Consider the case where two permanent magnets are mounted to a rigid surface adjacent to each other. There are no known particles being emitted by the magnets, but yet there is a force between those magnets. What carries that magnetic force from one magnet to the other is unknown. A similar case exists between two electrically charged plates, such as the ones in a capacitor. Depending on the polarity of the charge, those plates attract or repel each other. How that electrostatic force is transferred from one plate to the other is also unknown.

We can't really understand why photons behave as they do without understanding how the magnetic and electrostatic aspects of the electromagnetic force propagate and transmit force from one body to another. If you use our ignorance of whether gravitational force is carried by some particle to define gravity as "unobservable", then you have to use our ignorance of whether the electrostatic and magnetic aspects of the electromagnetic force are carried by some unknown particle or particles to define photons as "unobservable" as well. The fundamental nature of photons and the electromagnetic force is just as mysterious as the fundamental nature of gravity.

Defining photons as "unobservable" opens a Pandora's box of of illogical contradictions. But so does defining gravity as "unobservable" without doing the same to photons.


I'm having some trouble with your logic here, Jonathan. Can't photons be counted? If they can be counted, then they can be observed, surely.

I would say that the electromagnetic force is in the same category as the gravitational force in the sense we can only observe its effects.

Anyway, it seems that such discussions cause some folks to get a headache. Apologies to them.  ;)

The reason why such matters spark an interest for me is because I still remember my amazement a few years ago when I learned about the current situation regarding Dark Matter and Dark Energy.

Would you agree that 95% of the matter and energy in our universe is unobservable, undetectable and indiscernible, or would you argue that the observed effects of this hypothesized Dark Matter and Energy, make it observable, even though we haven't a clue what it consists of?

ps. For the benefit of those who are not into such weighty matters, the observed effects of Dark Matter and Dark Energy basically consist of the faster-than-expected rotation of distant galaxies, and the speeding up of the expansion of the universe, as opposed to the expected slowing down in accordance with our current theories of gravity.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: Jonathan Wienke on February 25, 2015, 11:11:29 AM
I posted a reply in a new thread here (http://forum.luminous-landscape.com/index.php?topic=98214.0) so the discussion can continue on its own without cluttering this thread any further.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: LKaven on February 26, 2015, 12:11:25 AM
Maybe we could get back to discussing HCB, if anyone still cares to.  I brought philosophy in originally because the thesis of The Decisive Moment is inherently philosophical and has a enduring value.  Now that we're free of gravity, perhaps the discussion can lighten up.  :-)
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: jjj on October 26, 2015, 08:32:28 PM
Glad you said "not saying that is what you are doing here". 
When you do philosophy, you need to use language with a kind of mathematical precision.  There's no way around it.  If you don't know how to read it, it seems torturous.  But every word is intended to have a function.
I can read, parse and understand such writings, but too often it simply comes across as a stylistic tic rather than something being written for clarity. There is a skill to writing accurately and without such mannerisms, one many academics lack.
I was reminded of this conversation whilst reading this Atlantic article on  The Needless Complexity of Academic Writing (http://www.theatlantic.com/education/archive/2015/10/complex-academic-writing/412255/)
I found this reseach quite ironic, seeing as opaqueness is often used as a way of impressing peers.

"In 2006, Daniel Oppenheimer, then a professor of psychology and public affairs at Princeton University, published research arguing that the use of clear, simple words over needlessly complex ones can actually make authors appear more intelligent. "

Doubly ironic as ..

"In other words, sometimes it’s simply more intellectually challenging to write clearly. “It’s easy to be complex, it’s harder to be simple,” Bosley said. “It would make academics better researchers and better writers, though, if they had to translate their thinking into plain language.” It would probably also mean more people, including colleagues, would read their work."
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: jjj on October 26, 2015, 08:59:53 PM
You walked into a thread after a month off just to post that?  Really Jeremy?
Post what?
If you want to communicate clearly, try using the quote function so people know what you are refering to

Apparently you can't resist it.  You should ask Jeremy why he walked back in a month after the thread shut down just to stick hot needles into someone in case they had forgotten about it.
I probably looked at thread because I'd been away from LuLa for a while and clicked on unread replies and this popped up. Found it today as I happened to glance down unread replies and this thread was there.
No idea what you mean by hot needles.

Quote
There's no mystery here.  I put in the years with top scholars in this area, who showed me day in and day out where the difference was between saying one thing and saying another.  This understanding of language is reflected in thousands of peer-reviewed journal articles, and my usage reflects community standards, which exist for a reason.  All routine stuff.
The reason being trying to impress others.  ::)

Quote
If you weren't so incurious, you and Jonathan might learn something interesting.  [I don't doubt that you have other areas of knowledge where you might teach me as well.]  But instead, you need to feel powerful with your invective, which is exactly an argument against /nothing/.  A real scientist would be curious.
Say he, whilst being insulting,  patronising and incorrect. Does your linguistic skill set include the word hypocrite?
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: LKaven on October 27, 2015, 02:08:27 AM
I probably looked at thread because I'd been away from LuLa for a while and clicked on unread replies and this popped up. Found it today as I happened to glance down unread replies and this thread was there.

Coming back after 8 months to resume a nasty personal attack against me over an intellectual question is going to some bizarre lengths.  You are making me very uncomfortable.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: amolitor on October 27, 2015, 09:08:19 AM
I think you may safely assume that jjj is simply bored and looking to start (restart) a fight.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: RSL on October 27, 2015, 09:43:39 AM
"Bizarre" is the right word, Luke.  "Unexpected" would be the wrong one.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: jjj on October 28, 2015, 07:22:07 PM
Coming back after 8 months to resume a nasty personal attack against me over an intellectual question is going to some bizarre lengths.  You are making me very uncomfortable.
No I simply came across an article that reminded me of this conversation. Wasn't going to waste time looking for the thread, but because this conversation still happened to be in my unread replies as I'd not looked at it in months, my memory was jogged. So added the germane link to the conversation.

Not a nasty personal attack on my part either, I simply responded  to your sneering personal attacks on myself [and Jonathan] after looking through other replies in the thread. You're a hypocrite to complain about what you yourself are doing.

I think you may safely assume that jjj is simply bored and looking to start (restart) a fight.
You and Russ can assume what ever you like. Doesn't mean there is any veracity in your assumptions.
Didn't realise conversation had turned nasty until revisiting it.

Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: LKaven on October 29, 2015, 12:08:01 PM
Well about a year ago, those who still had an interest in the subject were invited to another thread started by Jonathan.  There's nothing of further interest here.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: BobShaw on November 19, 2015, 06:29:39 AM
It used to be that if you entered an image in a PJ competition that you had to be able to see the the negative border to ensure it was authentic. These days there is a plug in in Photoshop for that.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: tom b on December 02, 2015, 11:36:13 PM
It used to be that if you entered an image in a PJ competition that you had to be able to see the the negative border to ensure it was authentic. These days there is a plug in in Photoshop for that.

These days you have to fight the internet.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-11-10/nikon-walkley-finalist-withdraws-entry-after-altering-photo/6926964 (http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-11-10/nikon-walkley-finalist-withdraws-entry-after-altering-photo/6926964)

Cheers,
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: brandtb on December 03, 2015, 09:44:14 AM
...remembering the dinner party in Lyon where Henri Cartier-Bresson famously face to face with William Eggleston blurted out...'William, color is bullshit!". Mais oui, pour certains... everything in the world is always...black and white...
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: Rob C on December 03, 2015, 11:02:07 AM
...remembering the dinner party in Lyon where Henri Cartier-Bresson famously face to face with William Eggleston blurted out...'William, color is bullshit!". Mais oui, everything in the world is always...black and white.


Dare I say that, in this context, Henri avait raison?

Rob C
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: torger on January 20, 2016, 04:09:00 AM
Is this thread about cropping? It's hard to know but I think it once was at least. That original subject does interest me.

I think the idea of not cropping is that for the image to be real art it should be experienced ("felt") and captured at the scene. Cropping in post-processing is retrospective and a sort of manipulation of the original experience. I also think it's a sporting element to it, that a skilled photographer should be able to frame right in the moment, and not cropping is a way to show how skilled you are.

The key problem with not cropping is however that some compositions work better with other aspect ratios, and some compositions require a specific camera location and you may not have the right focal length to get the framing you want, so you need to shoot wider.

I'm no purist in this regard and I don't really care how people choose to do it, but for my own photography I have noted how much more pleasing shooting experience it is to frame it right on the ground glass and have the finished image when the shutter is pressed. I carry seven lenses with my tech cam which is more than most, and the reason is that it gives me a more pleasing shooting experience when I can frame more precisely. My camera's aspect ratio is 4:3, and I'm glad it's not 3:2, as I'm not so much into panorama framings but more 4:3 or 4:5. When I do a different aspect ratio I generally have it planned at shooting time, although the choice between 4:3 or 4:5 is quite often done in retrospective.

Today's tech cams is a natural evolution of large format and you shoot in the same way. However it seems to be changing towards more focus stacking, fewer heavier and more expensive lenses with the inbetween field of views handled with cropping, limited shifting and instead keystone correction in post. To me this takes away some of the essence of what I want photography to be. To me the shooting process is important, it's not just about the end result. It is in this context I see cropping, which certainly is not forbidden in my book, but it's not entirely uncontroversial.

It's also worth noting that when you present a work as a series of images it's easier to make it look good if you have the same aspect ratio on all images and I see many do that. I've chosen to not do it though as being able to choose aspect ratio and landscape/portrait orientation depending on subject is a key element of my shooting style.
Title: Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
Post by: GrahamBy on January 20, 2016, 04:40:19 AM
but for my own photography I have noted how much more pleasing shooting experience it is to frame it right on the ground glass

Yes, that's how I feel, although I'm happy with 3:2 and the view-finder (I was about to say focusing screen... times change) of an slr. It has been part of my semi-conscious self-training to learn to look at the image and where it sits in the frame, and to pre-visualise according to the frame I'm used to, which is always 3:2. A few times I've though that it would be fun to have a square or 3:4 format camera, but it's never happened. I guess I could try to teach myself to compose according to an imaginary square, then I could join the cool people posting to instagram... but really, there are very few of my existing images I'd be happy to crop so brutally.

In fact one thing I'm very happy about in the transition to digital printing is that in the part of the world where I live, paper aspect ratios are far friendlier to 3:2 (ie A-series paper is 1.41:1). I used to find 8x10 paper incredibly frustrating, and an example of the industry continuing to impose standards that had no relevance to common practice. Maybe another 20 years and frame sizes will adapt as well...