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Author Topic: Garry Winogrand: MonkeyCam Redux  (Read 82705 times)

Isaac

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Garry Winogrand: MonkeyCam Redux
« on: July 15, 2014, 12:16:06 pm »

Quote
Garry Winogrand (1928-1984) was nothing more nor less than still photography’s version of “MonkeyCam”: a restless, anxious primate with camera attached, constantly scanning — unaware of, unresponsible for and uninterested in the results.
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RSL

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Re: Garry Winogrand: MonkeyCam Redux
« Reply #1 on: July 15, 2014, 12:40:44 pm »

What this article says is what anybody familiar with Winogrand's work already knows: He was a hell of a photographer but a lousy editor. I consider myself fortunate to have a copy of Winogrand, Figments From the Real World, the catalog from the 1988 retrospective at MoMA, in which Szarkowski, who was a very good editor, showed how good Garry really was. I think he went off the deep end toward the end of his life, but even then there were treasures in those undeveloped rolls that continue to show up.
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Isaac

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Re: Garry Winogrand: MonkeyCam Redux
« Reply #2 on: July 15, 2014, 02:40:16 pm »

If Szarkowski edited MonkeyCam would that make the monkey "a hell of a photographer"?
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RSL

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Re: Garry Winogrand: MonkeyCam Redux
« Reply #3 on: July 15, 2014, 03:48:23 pm »

What are you trying to say, Isaac? That Winogrand had the eye of a monkey? Or are you saying that the average monkey is as good a photographer as Winogrand? Don't beat around the bush. Just say what you mean.
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Slobodan Blagojevic

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Re: Garry Winogrand: MonkeyCam Redux
« Reply #4 on: July 15, 2014, 04:01:34 pm »

Finally someone to put street photographers in their place :P


P.S. A tongue-in-cheek retaliation for constant bashing of landscape photographers

RSL

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Re: Garry Winogrand: MonkeyCam Redux
« Reply #5 on: July 15, 2014, 04:25:10 pm »

It's not that landscape photographers are bad photographers, Slobodan. It's just that they don't quite understand what photography really is for. Painting is for landscapes; photography is for people.
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Russ Lewis  www.russ-lewis.com.

Slobodan Blagojevic

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Re: Garry Winogrand: MonkeyCam Redux
« Reply #6 on: July 15, 2014, 04:26:40 pm »

... Painting is for landscapes; photography is for people.

Which apparently any monkey with a camera could do  :P

RSL

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Re: Garry Winogrand: MonkeyCam Redux
« Reply #7 on: July 15, 2014, 05:54:47 pm »

Oh, come on, Slobodan, your work isn't that bad.
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Russ Lewis  www.russ-lewis.com.

mezzoduomo

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Re: Garry Winogrand: MonkeyCam Redux
« Reply #8 on: July 15, 2014, 09:31:47 pm »

....photography is for people.

Ok, now this ^ is a fascinating statement. Are you suggesting that you have a preference (as a producer or consumer...or both) for photographs that contain or are about people, or are you suggesting that people are the only appropriate (legitimate?) subjects for photography?
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Telecaster

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Re: Garry Winogrand: MonkeyCam Redux
« Reply #9 on: July 15, 2014, 11:16:51 pm »

I took RSL's comment as being tongue-in-cheek.

Now the notion of Winogrand being unaware of, unresponsible for and uninterested in the results of his work...that strikes me as assinine when applied to his entire body of work. But count me among those folks who feel his obsession with taking photos deteriorated into mere compulsion during the final decade or so of his life.

-Dave-
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Isaac

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Re: Garry Winogrand: MonkeyCam Redux
« Reply #10 on: July 16, 2014, 11:45:20 am »

“You see something happening and you bang away at it. Either you get what you saw or you get something else–and whichever is better you print.”
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RSL

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Re: Garry Winogrand: MonkeyCam Redux
« Reply #11 on: July 16, 2014, 12:12:42 pm »

Right. The key phrase, Isaac, is "You see something happening. . ." What's implied in that phrase is that the photographer understands what "something" means. Monkeys don't understand that. Far too many photographers don't understand that. Happily for them, landscape photographers don't need to understand that because what they're looking at isn't "happening." It's just lying there.
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Russ Lewis  www.russ-lewis.com.

Slobodan Blagojevic

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Re: Garry Winogrand: MonkeyCam Redux
« Reply #12 on: July 16, 2014, 12:41:43 pm »

... landscape photographers don't need to understand that because what they're looking at isn't "happening." It's just lying there.

Indeed, Russ. For those "landscape photographers" who snap it mid-day, fair weather, from a parking lot, it indeed might be "just lying there". For the rest of us, rare moments when that landscape looks quite different might be just as fleeting as your street.

RSL

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Re: Garry Winogrand: MonkeyCam Redux
« Reply #13 on: July 16, 2014, 12:59:20 pm »

In other words, when it's lying there in different light.
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Isaac

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Re: Garry Winogrand: MonkeyCam Redux
« Reply #14 on: July 16, 2014, 01:00:33 pm »

The key phrase…

In a group of people there's always something happening, that's why in a studio audience “MonkeyCam” works.
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RSL

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Re: Garry Winogrand: MonkeyCam Redux
« Reply #15 on: July 16, 2014, 01:13:45 pm »

I don't recall that Garry's work was confined to studio audiences. Maybe you can give me a reference to that, Isaac.
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Isaac

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Re: Garry Winogrand: MonkeyCam Redux
« Reply #16 on: July 16, 2014, 03:46:54 pm »

I don't recall that Garry's work was confined to studio audiences. Maybe you can give me a reference to that, Isaac.

We can all see the words "In a group of people…" -- ignoring what was written doesn't make it invisible to others.
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RSL

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Re: Garry Winogrand: MonkeyCam Redux
« Reply #17 on: July 16, 2014, 04:01:33 pm »

Oh. Okay. So Garry only shot groups of people? Again, I need a reference. Googled it, but simply couldn't find it.
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Russ Lewis  www.russ-lewis.com.

Isaac

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Re: Garry Winogrand: MonkeyCam Redux
« Reply #18 on: July 16, 2014, 05:04:10 pm »

Again, we can all see that what was actually written isn't the same as your tendentious rewrite.
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Isaac

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Re: Garry Winogrand: MonkeyCam Redux
« Reply #19 on: July 16, 2014, 05:11:50 pm »

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