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Author Topic: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment  (Read 243121 times)

jjj

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Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
« Reply #260 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.
« Last Edit: January 19, 2015, 11:20:42 am by jjj »
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jjj

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Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
« Reply #261 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.
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amolitor

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Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
« Reply #262 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.


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jjj

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Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
« Reply #263 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.
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RSL

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Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
« Reply #264 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.
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LKaven

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Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
« Reply #265 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.  

RSL

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Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
« Reply #266 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?
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RSL

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Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
« Reply #267 on: January 19, 2015, 12:29:59 pm »

Post some pictures, Isaac.
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LKaven

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Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
« Reply #268 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.

RSL

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Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
« Reply #269 on: January 19, 2015, 12:39:18 pm »

Post some pictures, Isaac.
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LKaven

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Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
« Reply #270 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.

jjj

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Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
« Reply #271 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.

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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.

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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.
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jjj

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Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
« Reply #272 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.

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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.

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RSL

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Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
« Reply #273 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.
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LKaven

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Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
« Reply #274 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.

LKaven

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Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
« Reply #275 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.

amolitor

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Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
« Reply #276 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.
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RSL

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Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
« Reply #277 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.
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Ray

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Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
« Reply #278 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.  ;)
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Ray

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Re: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment
« Reply #279 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


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