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Author Topic: Nice Sentiments  (Read 5312 times)

Rob C

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Nice Sentiments
« on: August 01, 2016, 05:15:23 AM »

GrahamBy

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Re: Nice Sentiments
« Reply #1 on: August 01, 2016, 05:48:25 AM »

Makes me think about the "do what you love" idea though. At base of course it's great, but very few people are both a) brilliant enough at what they love; and b) love something that other people will want to buy in some way, that they will ever live by it.
What we are left with is life coaches, new-age gurus and so on up to Leica and Nike taking people's money by telling them "they can do it if only they want it enough". Which would make them (the coaches and so on) parasites.
I'm also intrigued by the script given to the Chinese-American guy at the start, who has absolutely appalling grammar "they is" "I seen" and etc etc. I'd have to assume this is a deliberate choice, I doubt they allowed a speech like that to be ad-libbed given the cost/minute of the production. So they are aiming at people who really didn't do too well at school, but have some dollars in a drawer and a desire to express themselves, to please themselves and their family. Nice touch, the family bit.

I just read this piece, which doesn't go as far as it could but starts to lay out some reality:
http://us10.campaign-archive2.com/?u=40ecd15f62b5465cf7f52ca73&id=f0957b78e7
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RSL

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Re: Nice Sentiments
« Reply #2 on: August 01, 2016, 09:13:26 AM »

It's an interesting approach, Rob. I wish more camera manufacturers would take it. They all seem to feel that you need EVERYTHING in a camera, including the kitchen sink. I loved my M4, and M2. They did exactly what I wanted them to do and didn't include crap like a movie feature. If I want a movie I'll buy a movie camera. I'd run out and buy the simplest Leica in a heartbeat, except for one detail: they've turned themselves into a company that's selling bling instead of cameras. The price is absurd. In 1967 I bought my M4 for about $550. It included a 50mm Summicron. That's roughly the equivalent of $3,970 nowadays. But nowadays the damn M-D goes for six grand, and the simplest Summicron goes for about $2,200. I wish some outfit like Olympus would learn something from Leica and build a super simple street camera. I love my Pen-F, but it would help if I could get rid of some of the unnecessaries on the camera.

GrahamBy

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Re: Nice Sentiments
« Reply #3 on: August 02, 2016, 12:02:43 PM »

You could buy an APC DSLR and put a modest 50/1.8 on it, or even a Sigma 17-50/2.8, and be good to go for $1200-$1500. When it arrives, rip out all the manual pages about stuff you'll never use :) It will be a little bulkier than the Leica, but not so much... particularly if you had added a grip to the Leica so you could easily hold it in one hand without fear of dropping it...

I've got to say I found the style of the n° 2 American quite invasive: sticking a camera that close into people *with a flash*... I'd be pissed off. Of course it looks cool when he has a video production team behind him so his subjects are well primed. Do that in some of the less salubrious parts of Lyon or Paris and you could easily lose teeth. Plus of course the irony that shooting at arms length like that would be one place where a pivoting live-view screen would be a huge advantage.
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PeterAit

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Re: Nice Sentiments
« Reply #4 on: September 26, 2016, 10:30:54 AM »

It's an interesting approach, Rob. I wish more camera manufacturers would take it. They all seem to feel that you need EVERYTHING in a camera, including the kitchen sink. I loved my M4, and M2. They did exactly what I wanted them to do and didn't include crap like a movie feature. If I want a movie I'll buy a movie camera. I'd run out and buy the simplest Leica in a heartbeat, except for one detail: they've turned themselves into a company that's selling bling instead of cameras. The price is absurd. In 1967 I bought my M4 for about $550. It included a 50mm Summicron. That's roughly the equivalent of $3,970 nowadays. But nowadays the damn M-D goes for six grand, and the simplest Summicron goes for about $2,200. I wish some outfit like Olympus would learn something from Leica and build a super simple street camera. I love my Pen-F, but it would help if I could get rid of some of the unnecessaries on the camera.

Amen.
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Peter
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RSL

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Re: Nice Sentiments
« Reply #5 on: September 26, 2016, 10:50:17 AM »

You could buy an APC DSLR and put a modest 50/1.8 on it, or even a Sigma 17-50/2.8, and be good to go for $1200-$1500. When it arrives, rip out all the manual pages about stuff you'll never use :) It will be a little bulkier than the Leica, but not so much... particularly if you had added a grip to the Leica so you could easily hold it in one hand without fear of dropping it...

Hi Graham, I already own a Nikon D3, which I've now had for 8 1/2 years. It's the camera I use most often. It has no movie feature. It has a 12 mpx sensor which is more than enough for most of the stuff I do. I also have a D800 which I used yesterday to make this shot. I use it almost exclusively on a tripod. It takes the place of my old 4 x 5. Finally, I have an Olympus Pen-F, which I use mostly on the street. That's the one, above all, that I wish had a lot fewer bells and whistles. I'll never use its movie feature. I'll never use at least two-thirds of the "features" on it. It takes the place of my old Leica M4, and does the job quite well. But I sometimes have to work around the "features." It does have a hand grip, which I use very often.

JNB_Rare

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Re: Nice Sentiments
« Reply #6 on: September 26, 2016, 02:09:21 PM »

Hi Graham, I already own a Nikon D3, which I've now had for 8 1/2 years. It's the camera I use most often. It has no movie feature. It has a 12 mpx sensor which is more than enough for most of the stuff I do. I also have a D800 which I used yesterday to make this shot. I use it almost exclusively on a tripod. It takes the place of my old 4 x 5. Finally, I have an Olympus Pen-F, which I use mostly on the street. That's the one, above all, that I wish had a lot fewer bells and whistles. I'll never use its movie feature. I'll never use at least two-thirds of the "features" on it. It takes the place of my old Leica M4, and does the job quite well. But I sometimes have to work around the "features." It does have a hand grip, which I use very often.

The Leica that really appeals to me is the Q. But it's a lot of cash for a fixed 28mm.

Like your 'Pen', my E-M5ii has a cornucopia of features and an insanely detailed menu structure (it's my first Oly, but not my first micro-4/3 camera – earlier choices were Panasonic). 90% (or more) of what's there goes unused, or set and forgotten. I use the two dials to control shutter speed and aperture (or aperture and EV compensation in Av mode). I also have a selection on the 'mode' dial with a preset for tripod work (stabilization off, base ISO). The video button on my camera has been programmed to toggle manual focus. The button just ahead of that one is programmed to toggle 10X magnified EVF view, for critical focusing. The fully articulated LCD is pretty much permanently turned in toward the body.

I do love the size and weight, and the IQ is perfectly acceptable for what I'm after. If there was one thing I'd love for Olympus to do it would be to make the SCP (Super Control Panel) customizable. I don't need to see all those choices, just the ones I use regularly. If they really wanted to do it right, they'd allow you to do customization of the SCP and programmable buttons through a computer program with a decent interface. You could make it as spare and simple as you like.

John.

John R

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Re: Nice Sentiments
« Reply #7 on: September 27, 2016, 01:29:05 AM »

I was wholly unimpressed by the style and technique of the guy taking images while walking. Not exactly thoughtful, either with with his subjects or his compositions. One can be spontaneous and motivated without taking a machine-gun approach. I have yet to see a good photographer do this. Would never occur to me even try it. So invasive.

JR
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Rob C

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Re: Nice Sentiments
« Reply #8 on: September 27, 2016, 06:24:05 AM »

I'm surprised you were disappointed, John. I don't feel any serious sense of 'invasion of privacy', so to speak; in fact it seemed to me that some subjects were actually asked to 'hold it' for a moment. There's much less invasion than I felt myself doing when my watch was away for its service: I'd ask folks what time it was, and they sometimes looked at me as if this old guy was about to try to mug 'em! An attempt which would have been hilarious to observe. Maybe I need to wear suits.

Of course, one must never forget that the video is a commercial advertisement, and what's what isn't always obvious; might even have used paid models here and there.

If anything, I took exception to the written stuff, where lack of a screen on the cameras is turned into a plus, when in my mind, it's anything but: I now never chimp unless specifically in a very backlit situation such as within a restaurant shooting outwards at something against a window onto daylight, in which case the natural reaction, even of Matrix, is to create silhouettes which may or may not be the intention. Then, I switch to manual metering and go from there. In normal outdoor backlight, I need not even move away from Matrix on Auto-ISO as it handles the scene perfectly within the DR of the camera, the old D200 system included.

So, the objection (mine) is to the policy of offering less as more and rationalising it as an improvement for the better photographer. Bullshit; I've been a pro photographer all my adult working life, and all of us need help in some circumstances unless we want to bracket our socks off, which is a bore unless we're getting paid to do it. A screen can be very handy indeed, even if the screen image is primitive, and a histogram is never a bad idea, either. Nothing forces anyone to be a constant chimper unless they want to be, in which case, it's their camera and their money. Which thought, of course, can be applied just as easily to anyone who wants to throw away an advantage and pay for the privilege.

I think Leica must have recently hired a psychologist to work in tandem with their marketing and development departments. There's nothing strange as folks, and they seem to have realised that.

Rob
« Last Edit: September 27, 2016, 06:30:38 AM by Rob C »
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JNB_Rare

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Re: Nice Sentiments
« Reply #9 on: September 27, 2016, 09:33:40 AM »

I was wholly unimpressed by the style and technique of the guy taking images while walking. Not exactly thoughtful, either with with his subjects or his compositions. One can be spontaneous and motivated without taking a machine-gun approach. I have yet to see a good photographer do this. Would never occur to me even try it. So invasive.

JR

I've certainly seen event photographers use the "rapid burst" approach. My wife an I attended a festival a few years back (Taste of the Danforth, in Toronto). She'd bought an ear of corn to eat. A newspaper photographer approached her and asked if she could take a picture as my wife took her first bite. Brrrrrip! Her camera was set to the highest frames per second it could muster. And I watched her take other shots, too – all using the machine gun style. Decisive moment? The new Olympus E-M1 mark 2 touts an electronic shutter that will do 60 fps!

I'm unimpressed with most current "western" street photography (with a few exceptions). 30 years from now these images may be of interest to someone (not me, I'll be dead) from a historical or nostalgic perspective, however. Or they may be more interesting to people from outside the locale or culture that has been captured. That's natural I suppose. I love looking at HCB's, or Elliott Erwitt's work, not only because they did manage to capture some incredible moments, but because of the era they display. Or Vivian Maier, or Weegee, or even Disfarmer's portraits. And I'm more drawn to international street work because the culture may be less familiar.

Rob -- I think "less is more" appeals to a certain segment of society who wish for less complexity and, sometimes, better quality than what we're typically offered. And for others (I'm thinking about my wife's family) there's a reverse snobbery attached  :). I have to admit that I love simplicity. However, the LCD on my camera is turned in toward the body because I can get all that information in my EVF. It's my dirty little secret - I chimp at eye-level! A few years ago I was a pretty active cyclist. There came a time when the cool thing was to have a fixed-gear (one-speed) direct drive, chromoly-framed bike. No gears, no brakes. Favoured by bicycle couriers and purists. Definitely NOT the kind of bike used by professional cyclists!

N80

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Re: Nice Sentiments
« Reply #10 on: September 27, 2016, 11:11:32 AM »

Porsche will leave the radio, AC and door handles out of some of its track oriented, but fully street legal, 911s. And they will charge you a lot more to leave that stuff off. That's were "less-is-more" is really true. That's how I feel about the Leica. It is a fetish piece. Nothing wrong with that.
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George

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John R

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Re: Nice Sentiments
« Reply #11 on: September 27, 2016, 09:31:13 PM »

Hey Rob, just want to clear up something. I have nothing against the machine-gun technique per se, as long as it used with some thought behind it. Like sports people, or trying to capture fleeting moments or expressions. I do it with multiple exposures for effect. With an idea, a plan, for a purpose, and that is both reasonable and socially acceptable. I saw no such forethought in what that guy was doing. I would even characterize both his body and camera movements in peoples faces as quite dangerous and hardly worth the effort. His movements are erratic like a driver who weaves in and out of traffic endangering all the other traffic. If someone gets startled or was intending to move in a direction toward him or the camera, how would he justify the outcome? Such as knocking someone down. or hitting their chin.  "I didn't mean to" is a poor excuse.

JR

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GrahamBy

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Re: Nice Sentiments
« Reply #12 on: September 28, 2016, 04:18:47 AM »

I have nothing against the machine-gun technique per se, as long as it used with some thought behind it. [...] His movements are erratic like a driver who weaves in and out of traffic endangering all the other traffic.

Pretty much my thoughts too. What particularly annoys me is that he seemed to be getting away with it, partly because he had a camera crew behind him. People do not react the same way to a single person with a camera, as to that person obviously as the centre of attention of a professional video crew: he will have been perceived as "important." Plus of course, the incidences where someone might have told him off, pushed him away or just looked annoyed and uncomfortable will have been edited out. In fact, the crew (I'm guessing an attractive smiling woman, native speaker) must have been approaching the subjects to to get model releases signed.... or... it was all or partly staged. Using recognisable images of people for commercial ends in Europe without permission is a no-no.

So he will be setting a standard for bad behaviour among aspiring street photographers... which will make life harder for those of us who prefer not to act as though we are the centre of the universe.
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Rob C

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Re: Nice Sentiments
« Reply #13 on: September 28, 2016, 05:10:02 AM »

Pretty much my thoughts too. What particularly annoys me is that he seemed to be getting away with it, partly because he had a camera crew behind him. People do not react the same way to a single person with a camera, as to that person obviously as the centre of attention of a professional video crew: he will have been perceived as "important." Plus of course, the incidences where someone might have told him off, pushed him away or just looked annoyed and uncomfortable will have been edited out. In fact, the crew (I'm guessing an attractive smiling woman, native speaker) must have been approaching the subjects to to get model releases signed.... or... it was all or partly staged. Using recognisable images of people for commercial ends in Europe without permission is a no-no.

So he will be setting a standard for bad behaviour among aspiring street photographers... which will make life harder for those of us who prefer not to act as though we are the centre of the universe.

There's acting and then there's believing!

I wonder where fell/fall HC-B, Winogrand, Meyerowitz, Eggleston(?) et al. Shrinking violets? Doubt it very much! I'm shy as hell, hate being confronted in public for something to which there's no honest reply that will wash the situation clean.

Bottom line is that we all know that shooting others without express permission is an intrusion, that we deserve a sock on the nose for it, but we either do run the risk or we do not. If we are to be brutally honest, we simply can't buck the accusation of voyeurism. But yeah, it's an enjoyable vice with its risks adding spěce, that certain frisson for just as long as we get away with it! Butterflies, on the other hand, have no such protection. But then, we usually don't use pins or gas in our collecting.

Rob

Rob C

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Re: Nice Sentiments
« Reply #14 on: September 28, 2016, 05:14:47 AM »

"I have nothing against the machine-gun technique per se, as long as it used with some thought behind it. [...] His movements are erratic like a driver who weaves in and out of traffic endangering all the other traffic." John R

Editing? Cutting to the chase? Have you watched anyone else moving around in a crowd? The only dangerous guy is the large one who walks a straight line.

Rob

GrahamBy

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Re: Nice Sentiments
« Reply #15 on: September 28, 2016, 10:01:43 AM »

Sigh. Of course you are right about the voyeurism. And one has to respect one's natural limits: I have a facebook friend in Helsinki, ex model, blond, still quite stunning in her late 40's/early 50's. She seems to have no problem finding subjects who smile when they find her camera pointing at them. I mean Finns, smiling? It's unnatural...
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Rob C

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Re: Nice Sentiments
« Reply #16 on: September 28, 2016, 02:31:46 PM »

Sigh. Of course you are right about the voyeurism. And one has to respect one's natural limits: I have a facebook friend in Helsinki, ex model, blond, still quite stunning in her late 40's/early 50's. She seems to have no problem finding subjects who smile when they find her camera pointing at them. I mean Finns, smiling? It's unnatural...


Maybe not if you are female and good-looking behind that lens! I'd probably smile too. Doesn't look like any threat, but honey traps are always there to worry about, I suppose.

;-)

Rob
« Last Edit: September 29, 2016, 03:51:05 AM by Rob C »
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N80

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Re: Nice Sentiments
« Reply #17 on: September 28, 2016, 08:31:55 PM »

I used to live in Charleston, SC. Thought I'd do a little street photography. This was years ago. There was a basket lady in the market, making her sweet water basket in her lap. A perfect post card. I was fairly close to her and before I could even get my camera up she put the basket down and pulled her apron up in front of her face. I was very embarrassed. There she was in a public place, making and selling her wares and was unwilling to have her picture taken. This was in a very touristy part of town and I'm sure she got sick of people taking her picture. She must have had her apron over her head all day. Now, I think it was silly for her to behave that way. But then and now, it is her prerogative and not my part to judge.

But it really turned me off from street photography. Maybe I could have asked her? Offered to pay her? Not my style. I'd rather just not do it.
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George

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Rob C

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Re: Nice Sentiments
« Reply #18 on: September 29, 2016, 04:11:29 AM »

I used to live in Charleston, SC. Thought I'd do a little street photography. This was years ago. There was a basket lady in the market, making her sweet water basket in her lap. A perfect post card. I was fairly close to her and before I could even get my camera up she put the basket down and pulled her apron up in front of her face. I was very embarrassed. There she was in a public place, making and selling her wares and was unwilling to have her picture taken. This was in a very touristy part of town and I'm sure she got sick of people taking her picture. She must have had her apron over her head all day. Now, I think it was silly for her to behave that way. But then and now, it is her prerogative and not my part to judge.

But it really turned me off from street photography. Maybe I could have asked her? Offered to pay her? Not my style. I'd rather just not do it.


It's a complicated issue - never a simple answer!

There's a musician I know who plays in a band - a chap in his late seventies, and very competent. He sometimes does a touch of busking by sitting down at a café table and playing his music. I was having a passing chat with him one day when somebody stopped to take a picture, and though he didn't say anything to the snapper, he did say to me in Spanish: why doesn't he just give me some money too? Does he think I sit here and do this for the fun of it?

On the other hand, offering money first can appear insulting, and patronising at best, so it's probably a no-win situation.

My own sentiment is that I feel folks shouldn't do it, that I can understand the thrill of doing it, and that whenever I have done it, I try to do so unseen, except for once, when I saw a woman carrying a child. At first sighting, she and the child were alone, and she had this constant, beatific smile on her face, so as I saw she was coming my way, I got ready and when she was about close enough, made my couple of rapid takes. I vaguely realised another person had joined her, but still carried on shooting. Nothing was said, but seeing the pictures later told me enough just by looking at the guy's face.



The woman, on the other hand, seemed totally at ease the entire time. I think she was used to it, and possibly expected to create such reactions. Maybe she was in the business of photography.

Rob

GrahamBy

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Re: Nice Sentiments
« Reply #19 on: September 29, 2016, 06:49:53 AM »

I think there may also be an issue of showing some interest in the music too. I can well imagine that a musician is frustrated by tourists who see him or her purely as visual decoration. To some extent a musician is doing it "for the fun of it"... not entirely, but I've never met a musician who treats performing in the same way as a job in a bank.

In my experience, staying to listen, givng a bit of money and saying thank you for the music is always appreciated.
« Last Edit: September 29, 2016, 06:53:32 AM by GrahamBy »
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