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

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Subject: [Leica] another couple of posts
From: bquinn at (Barney Quinn)
Date: Fri Apr 7 09:57:40 2006
References: <> <> <>


I have been reading, but not commenting on, the exchange between you, Tina
and several other members of the LUG about the state of the world and the
power of images ( and words ) to change it. I am not a photojournalist like
you and Ted and Tina. I haven't seen the things which all of you have seen,
and I certainly haven't photographed it. I very much doubt that I could. I
don't have that kind of strength.

The other day Ted made some comments about "pre visualization," whatever that
means precisely. If I remember his words properly they went something to the
effect that he didn't "pre visualize," he worked on the "Holy Cow Look at
that. Click" system. I was tempted to reply, but, as usual didn't. What I
wanted to say was that perhaps for a photojournalist "pre visualization"
isn't seeing the image in your head, it is seeing the situation for the
photographic possibilities it offers, exposing yourself to that situation,
and then capturing what you can of it on film.  As BD said the other day, the
"decisive moment" is when you see the situation for its photographic
possibilities, get out your camera, and start making images.

The history of the twentieth century is horrific, by any known standard. If
there is a God ( I believe there is ) then he, she, or it must have tears
running down their face. I can understand how someone who shot what you shot
in Haiti would never want to go back. I understand how covering such horror
could totally burn out a person. I can certainly understand how someone who
has covered the last century (and I have been in the news business myself)
could be discouraged by it. In fact, if you weren't, I would have to say that
there is something quite wrong with you. I can see how someone would want to
give up. I've been there. Depression is sometimes a very rational response.

But, having said all that, I also have to say that I don't agree with the
negative comments about the power of images to change and motivate people.
There are lots of instances where images and words have motivated people to
act. this threat reminded me of what my Doctor says that he tells his cancer
patients. "Fighting will not guarantee that you will live, but giving up may
very well guarantee that you will die." It's true that far too little has
been done to help New Orleans, but I don't think that it follows from that
the reason is because images no longer work to move people. Many, many
citizens have been motivated to help the victims. This may well start a flame
war, but if images had lost their power to effect things then the approval
rating of the boys in DC would be a whole lot higher than it is.


Walt Johnson wrote:

> Barney
> I try to remember a few of the things I've photographed over the years
> and how fortunate many of us are. Were I a religious person I'd ask God
> to forgive me. Not for doing bad things (like wanting to photo hooters
> :-P ) which are run of the mill, but for ever feeling sorry for myself.
> When I think of  the shooters I've know who fall into "world class"
> category I wonder how they feel about it all.  Maybe things are better
> now than when we burned people at the stake or put millions in gas
> chambers. It could be that the trek toward universal humanitarianism
> requires more time than we each have but will come.
> Walt
> Barney Quinn wrote:
> >Walt,
> >
> >The shots you posted today and the ones which you posted yesterday are a
> >stunning series of images. The one of the skull is still reverberating in
> >my mind. Your pictures certainly provided me with a jolt and a reminder
> >many of us may need from time to time.
> >
> >Barney
> >
> >
> >Walt Johnson wrote:
> >
> >
> >
> >>Here are a few more scanned earlier but not posted.
> >>
> >>Thanks
> >>
> >>walt
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >>The ditch in the last image is one of many open sewers  running through
> >>Cite Soleil in Port au Prince. It serves  thousands of people who are
> >>crowded into their own version of hell.
> >>
> >>_______________________________________________
> >>Leica Users Group.
> >>See for more information
> >>
> >>
> >
> >--
> >Barney Quinn, Jr.
> >(301) 688-1982 (O)
> >(240) 535-3036 (C)
> >(877) 220-0981 (P)
> >
> >
> >
> >_______________________________________________
> >Leica Users Group.
> >See for more information
> >
> >
> >
> >
> _______________________________________________
> Leica Users Group.
> See for more information

Barney Quinn, Jr.
(301) 688-1982 (O)
(240) 535-3036 (C)
(877) 220-0981 (P)

Replies: Reply from walt at (Walt Johnson) ([Leica] another couple of posts)
In reply to: Message from walt at (Walt Johnson) ([Leica] another couple of posts)
Message from bquinn at (Barney Quinn) ([Leica] another couple of posts)
Message from walt at (Walt Johnson) ([Leica] another couple of posts)