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Author Topic: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment  (Read 134217 times)

stamper

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Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
« Reply #100 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)

Rob C

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Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
« Reply #101 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
« Last Edit: October 18, 2010, 10:33:24 AM by Rob C »
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stamper

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Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
« Reply #102 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? :-\

LKaven

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Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
« Reply #103 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. 

ihv

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Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
« Reply #104 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.

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tom b

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Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
« Reply #105 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,

ihv

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Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
« Reply #106 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,
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John Gellings

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Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
« Reply #107 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/

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brandtb

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Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
« Reply #108 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..."
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Kirk Gittings

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HE DID CROP!!!
« Reply #109 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

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?
« Last Edit: December 04, 2012, 12:32:14 PM by Kirk Gittings »
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Kirk

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popnfresh

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Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
« Reply #110 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.
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popnfresh

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Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
« Reply #111 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
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LKaven

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Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
« Reply #112 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.

Rob C

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Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
« Reply #113 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
« Last Edit: December 15, 2012, 05:19:58 PM by Rob C »
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LKaven

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Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
« Reply #114 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/. 

Rob C

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Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
« Reply #115 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

LKaven

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Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
« Reply #116 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 la Sauvette."

RSL

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Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
« Reply #117 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."
« Last Edit: December 25, 2012, 02:36:00 PM by RSL »
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Rob C

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Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
« Reply #118 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

RSL

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Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
« Reply #119 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 la Sauvette," in other words (more or less) "Images on the run." Nothing terribly decisive about that.
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