Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2006/04/07

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Subject: [Leica] Alternate Whispering
From: bdcolen at (B. D. Colen)
Date: Fri Apr 7 04:53:00 2006
References: <> <> <>

I'm curious, Adam - how does "the very fact of Tina's image diminish (my) 
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...... Original Message .......
On Thu, 6 Apr 2006 20:56:23 -0700 "Adam Bridge" <> wrote:
"That's ONE philosophy B D but it's not the ONLY one.
"There is something to be said for the text reconceptualizing what you
"see, changing the context so what you thought you understood you now
"understand differently.
"It's not PURE but it can be very effective in the circumstance where
"the story the image tells is either incomplete or made into something
"else by the situation.
"There's no way we could know he was whispering a prayer or the nature
"of his faith. Tina's reportage adds to the image, frames it in
"context, we gain.
"We are creatures of vision and language - so combining them makes sense to 
"The very fact of Tina's photograph and caption diminish your argument.
"Adam Bridge
"On 4/6/06, B. D. Colen <> wrote:
"> Sorry, Gary - if a photograph is presented as a photograph, that is,
"> presented on its own and not as an illustration for text, or as an 
excuse to
"> avoid writing text - a freestanding photo in a newspaper with explanatory
"> caption - then it should speak for itself, without explanatory footnotes.
"> Giving a photo a title - and that's really what we're talking about 
"> than captions - is a copout.
"> Tina's photo is a lovely photo. As I said, I think it's one of the best
"> image's she presented. But by itself it says none of the things Tina 
says it
"> says. And if it is presented as a photo that supposedly says those 
"> it fails. One of the things I tell students is that they have to remember
"> that what they saw, heard, smelled, perhaps touched, thought or otherwise
"> took in while they were photographing is utterly irrelevant to the 
"> all that matters is what is captured in that 60th of a second - 8000th 
of a
"> second - in which the shutter opens and closes. All that the viewer can 
"> is what is printed on a single sheet of photographic paper, or projected
"> the screen. So if Tina was caught up in the ceremony she witnessed, by 
"> beauty, the warmth, the sounds of the father whispering the call to 
"> to the baby, and wanted to convey that in a photograph, she failed. 
"> And all writing the title does is admit that failure.
"> Again, all of that said, I am not saying that the photo in question is 
not a
"> wonderful photo - I love it. And I have great admiration for Tina as a
"> photographer. But that's not what we're talking about here; we're talking
"> about photography as a visual, rather than written, medium.
"> B. D.
"> On 4/6/06 9:40 PM, "Gary Todoroff" <> 
"> > Oh boy, a chance to debate with both Ted and B.D. at the same time! 
"> > a great photo can indeed stand on its own, words along with a photo can
"> > provide a synergy that goes well beyond either.
"> >
"> > For me, the work of writing a good caption is usually more effort than 
"> > photograph, and I would love to agree with you both, just for the sake 
"> > eliminating all that work! However, communication is a commitment and
"> > obligation in which the extra effort of writing can often make a 
"> >
"> > I will agree that it is important to let a photograph "speak" to you 
"> > I have to remind myself to *look* at a photograph in order to *hear* 
"> > photograph, an oxymoron that becomes understandable with the lingering
"> > effort.
"> >
"> > However, depth of understanding can come with words that take you even
"> > further into the world of a photo. Tina's photograph, I think, is good
"> > example of that combination at work. Gents and lady - what a great 
time we
"> > could have on an evening over these ideas!
"> >

In reply to: Message from datamaster at (Gary Todoroff) ([Leica] Alternate Whispering)
Message from bdcolen at (B. D. Colen) ([Leica] Alternate Whispering)
Message from abridge at (Adam Bridge) ([Leica] Alternate Whispering)