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Wednesday, 29 April 2009


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I spilled my coffee laughing when I saw that last picture. The parents were surely aware of what they were doing, but that picture is priceless nonetheless. The light in the picture is really striking as well. Well exposed/processed for such conditions.

As for Greg Williams...I still say he should have used a Yashicamat!

JK - I'm done now.

I don't understand. Why change the colour of the swim trunks?

Who in the world sold Leica on the idea of a white M? Blindfolded and shot at dawn without a last cigarette, I say.

so, will steidl reprint Brooklyn Gang? does anybody know?

Re: Papageorge.
I understand what he's saying about students and recognition of visual possibilities. My photo 1 class is entirely digital. In photo 2, however, we back up and start out making pinhole cameras with cigar boxes. This causes a seismic shift in what they consider for subject matter and what they want to say. The pinhole experiment is only supposed to take 2 class sessions, but this last term I had two students who continued working with their cigar box cameras until the end of the term.
The other plus is that it gives me an excuse to smoke cigars...

1- Go Papageorge! Right on! Yeah! Somebody finally said it! Hoo-Humping Ray!

"This process is synthetic, and the results, for me, are often emotionally synthetic too. Sure, things have to change, but photography-as-illustration, even sublime illustration, seems to me an uninteresting direction for the medium to be tracking now, particularly at such a difficult time in the general American culture."

2- You'd think that a photographer who is directing a photo shoot would be able to tell the numbskull holding the Rolleiflex not to hold the lens hood as if her were trying to focus it! You'd think. Duh!

3- Too bad about the white M8, you can't use it after Labor Day without hearing the snickers of the upper crustics about how uncouth you are. You'll have to switch back to your all black model.

I wouldn't buy the white M8 unless it comes with a white strap.

"Using the RedONE, a video camera that captures images at four times the resolution of high-definition,

That would be nice if the cover occupied the full resolution. But given the nature of video shooting, the actual cover is apparently quite less than that.

So what did a glossy publication do with the cropped 3-4MP to make them technically acceptable?

1. How curious that "white shoes" make you think of John Fowles... Have you ever seen a picture of John Fowles??

I once bought a copy of "Finders, Keepers" by Rosamond Wolff Purcell (terrific photographer) from John Fowles in the Lyme Regis museum shop, and although I couldn't see his shoes, I'd have been very surprised if they were elegantly distressed white leather...

2. Those shirts! After the initial satisfaction of seeing how the patterns merge in the child's top, I then noticed the oncoming woman also in vertical stripes, and the man's slightly turned head, and the missing handhold between him and his partner... Every picture tells a story.

(1) re the white Leica: Why not just make a shell, without any internal mechanisms? The camera obviously isn't intended to be used, anyway, or to be bought by actual photographers (as opposed to camera collectors).

(2) re Papageorge: He's been saying the same thing for a long time now. Papageorge, along with Szarkowski and others from the same tradition, dislike (or find suspicious) photography in the "directorial mode" (A.D. Coleman's term), preferring straight photography to staged photography.

Personally, I share that inclination as a picture maker. But I do so only because I do not believe that my personal talents, such as they are, lie in the directorial direction. I don't discount the possibility, however, that others may be differently talented, and can do terrific work in the directorial mode (whether via staged scenes or post-exposure adjustments (chemical or digital)). Uelsmann, Lorca-Dicorcia, and Crewdson, e.g., come quickly to mind. I admire their work, and wish that I had their talent for staging (or post-exposure creations), but I don't. So, I'll stick to "straight" photography.

(Of course, the difference between directorial and straight photography, though clear at the extremes, is quite often not so obvious. Most portraiture and still-life, e.g., is as much staged as straight. Where, then, do Weston and Strand, often presented as exemplars of straight photography, fall?)

I think it's a mistake to tout a personal taste, or personal talent, for straight photography (in pictures generally or in picture-making) as, somehow, intrinsic to the medium of photography, as Papageorge does. There are as many ways of "doing photography" as there are creative individuals. The test is simply whether the final image "appeals," regardless of who made it or how.

Regarding today's post of girl being photographed by a rollieflex, did you notice the photographer is trying to focus it by using the lens and not the focus knob. strange. GB.

will I be able to use that Leica after Labor Day?

I always find something new or interesting in these ATW features.

I do think however, that the white M8 is less preppy and more Italian.. Think Formula1 or this.


BTW my last pair of white bucks were the color of Chicago in the winter! The trick when we were kids was to immediately send them through the washing machine before wearing them. My father still shakes his head...

Dirty by November or not, Mike, I hope you know better than to use if after Labor Day. You are, after all, a man of breeding, are you not?

The last picture, with the family on the boardwalk took me awhile to "get," but when I did, it made my week. Thanks.

If we keep getting SARs, Mexican Swine Flu, salmonella (not Sal Monella, the fictional head of NBC's commissary while Carson was still hosting the tonite show, but the peanut butter tainting salmonella), bird flu, dysentery, etc, outbreaks, "sterile white" will become all the rage.

BTW, if you've never looked at Flickr's Commons, you should. Was just looking at this http://www.flickr.com/photos/statelibraryofnsw/3481163841/ before I stopped by.

That white M8 sure is purty. I'd take it over the army green version.

Presumably the special edition M8 is for pimps, drug dealers and those who want it to be mistaken for the Pentax KM 'Stormtrooper'?

Having had the misfortune to buy a UV filter with a light colored ring, I have to say that having a white camera strikes me as really limiting.

Have you ever tried taking a picture of a reflective surface without getting the camera or photographer in the picture? I find that with a dark camera, and dark clothing, it's not that difficult.

But when I've tried it with the lens with that filter on it, bam! - it is impossible to ignore that little white circle in the reflection. An all-white camera body seems guaranteed to magnify that problem ten-fold.

I wonder too about things like glare - since I wear glasses, I can't press my eye socket directly to the viewfinder window frame, and so I'm always a bit aware of the rest of the camera in my peripheral vision. I think that a shiny white body, in bright sun, would be distracting.

I also wonder if, like with the white Macs, there might not develop an unattractive greenish-grey tint around the areas where you hold it or manipulate the dials.

That said, as an aesthetic object, rather than a piece of functional technology, it does look pretty cool.

I am disappointed that NGS thinks this is good practice. From their terms of use for the Your Shot:
5. By uploading material, posting comments, or providing other content to the Site ("User Content"), you grant National Geographic (which includes its subsidiaries, affiliates, joint venturuers, and licensees) the following rights: a royalty-free, worldwide, perpetual license to display, distribute, reproduce, and create derivatives of the User Content, in whole or in part, without further review or participation from you, in any medium now existing or subsequently developed, in editorial, commercial, promotional, and trade uses in connection with NG Products.

What's with the 'first time' photographer-director? It's a well-known, oft-used contraction in the film business [or at least in film criticism]; Gordon Parks comes to mind, as does David Hamilton - and these are only the originally-still-photographers-turned-movie-director examples. Jan de Bont would be a relatively current DoP cum director.

Or did I miss something?

Mike C.,
Sorry, I was thinking of John *Knowles*, author of "A Separate Peace," a forgettable book which for some reason was read in prep school English classes for thirty years or so. I hope and trust it's drifted out of the curriculum by now.


the white m8 is real? i thought that was a photoshopped joke. the only good thing about this and the safari m8.2 is the silver 28mm elmarit asph, which i wish was a regular production item. *sigh*

@ Robert
I don't understand. Why change the colour of the swim trunks?

I guess it's because the blue shorts clashed with the otherwise 'red on black' theme of the rest of the cover.

As a Leica owner, I have to say that the white camera seems to me to represent Leica's definition of "creativity." In the meantime, their camera concepts are stuck in the 1950s -- even those with digital sensors.

Papageorge: right on. I think that beginning with Picasso and perhaps James Joyce , "imagination" has been so dominant in the arts that the insistence on its dominance (along with politics) has severely damaged all of them. IMHO, imagination should be a leavening that makes the material an artist is working with, combined with high craft, into something extraordinary; attempts to extract it as pure essence wind up creating unreadable books and "un-lookable" paintings and unlistenable music. This is a problem even in the hands of genius, as Picasso (after about 1940) Joyce (Finnegan's Wake) or John Cage (4'33").


Surely the biggest sin in this entire post isn't the white Leica. Just take a look at the tacky body art all over the very beautiful Megan Fox!

"Yes, hello, I have this smokin' hot '86 Ferrari and I'm looking for some furry dice and those really cool go-faster stripes."

The person holding the Rollei also seems to be holding a microphone so I guess the mic must be hooked up to the Rolleiflex and maybe this is the first picture of the much anticipated "Rolleiflex Professional Camcorder." I hope it is available in white.


Re: Sensitive Summicron surgery.
That moment where a small and vital component escapes at high speed is known as a 'Pingfuck'.
Thus: Ping! (Moment of disbelief) 'Fuck!'
Had one this evening.

A random thought. Is ironic the correct term for the fact that of the many forums I participate in, T.O.P. is one of the few that does not permit readers to insert (guess what?) photos directly in their responses?

Thank you for linking the "Bomb interview", I wouldn't have found it otherwise.

"(1) re the white Leica: Why not just make a shell, without any internal mechanisms? The camera obviously isn't intended to be used, anyway, or to be bought by actual photographers (as opposed to camera collectors)."

What makes you think they didn't? It's not like anyone would ever find out.

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