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Wednesday, 31 August 2022

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You're on a roll . . .

Two films before breakfast. And HCB knew what he was doing. Of course we only see his best takes, but to have best takes you need a thousandfold more takes.

My sincere thanks to Jason who lent you the Sigma. So much new stuff to read about as a result; hardware, software, imaging . . finances.

I completely agree! I have not missed a day out with my camera in more than eleven years (a Project 365 on steroids). My first shots are generally throw-aways, but not always. When some photographers hear that I shoot and post to social media every day, I often get this “Well, I wouldn’t do that as I only want to take quality shots.” Having a plan, I’d guess. It’s not surprising that some of my best shots are unplanned and they found me - I’d never get them if I’d needed a plan and certainly not if I was sitting at home waiting to be inspired.

Your black and white quest is wonderful for your followers. We are getting to see more of, and more frequently, your own photography. Long may it continue and thank you.

Amen Mike, amen.

In the foreword to Leonard Freed's retrospective book, Stefanie Rosenkranz wrote that he used to say that when he picked up the camera, it was always the same story of St. George and the Dragon; you have to go out and kill the dragon.

That phrase has always rumbled around in my mind whenever I'm waffling about going outside in bad weather or I'm shy about taking a street photography shot--you just have to commit to killing that dragon, whatever it takes.

Ralph Gibson stated he doesn't even pick up his Leica unless he knows what he is looking for that day. Having a point of departure, he calls it. (something he learned from Dororthea Lange) In this way, I'd say Gibson's approach is different from Koudelka and Cartier-Bresson.

Great post Mike. I used to have two dogs and for sure and certain, I had to walk them every day. One died in 2006 and the other in 2013, so the walking has slowly reduced to almost nothing. I tell myself to get another dog, but then I remember the drawbacks - chewing, hairs, digging in the back yard, poos, vet bills, food bills and being tied to home. OTOH, the love I got from my dogs, unforgettable.

Re photographing, one thing I learnt many years ago - get the cliche shots out of the way early. With film, it cost money each shot, so I was always trying to economise, but with digital, no problem. Take far more shots than you think you need. One of them might surprise you.

Interesting anecdote about Bresson and Gibson. It got me to thinking why might one prefer a Leica if one also prefers shooting with a 90mm lens. Did he ever say?

[I believe he's on record talking about why, probably in many places, but you'd have to search for it yourself. --Mike]

I detest gear shopping. The last camera I bought was a Canon 40D (mid 1990s). Therefore I shoot film. Why would I waste a shot to "oil the tinma."

A quick correction for a poster above: The Canon 40D was released in March of 2006.

You've packed a lot of inspiration, motivation and wisdom into today's dispatch, Mike. "Just Do It." Nike.

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