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Author Topic: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment  (Read 137488 times)

LKaven

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Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
« Reply #140 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.
« Last Edit: January 29, 2013, 10:07:29 AM by LKaven »
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Rob C

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Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
« Reply #141 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

Rob C

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Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
« Reply #143 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



Alan Klein

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Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
« Reply #144 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.
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Isaac

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Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
« Reply #145 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 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?
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Rob C

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Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
« Reply #146 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
« Last Edit: February 13, 2013, 12:41:29 PM by Rob C »
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Isaac

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Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
« Reply #147 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."
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RSL

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Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
« Reply #148 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.

nemo295

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Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
« Reply #149 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.
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RSL

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Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
« Reply #150 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.

Isaac

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Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
« Reply #151 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?

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RSL

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Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
« Reply #152 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.

Isaac

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Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
« Reply #153 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?
« Last Edit: February 14, 2013, 02:25:59 AM by Isaac »
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Rob C

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Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
« Reply #154 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

RSL

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Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
« Reply #155 on: February 14, 2013, 06:04:57 AM »

You didn't answer my question, Isaac. When did HCB call himself an artist?

Isaac

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Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
« Reply #156 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.
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Isaac

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Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
« Reply #157 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?
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Rob C

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Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
« Reply #158 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

Isaac

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Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
« Reply #159 on: February 14, 2013, 01:14:22 PM »

So what would persuade you that your interpretation should be revised?
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