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Old 05-10-2019   #41
ptpdprinter
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What are you guys trying to prove with this discussion? Who cares if he developed his own film or had it done by a lab?
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Old 05-10-2019   #42
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this kind of discussion is what i love on RFF
so many different perspectives on a matter.
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Old 05-10-2019   #43
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My only point was that if you look at the finished product, the print, there isn't anything that HCB did in particular in his development or printing process that is worthy of particular praise or emulation.

They are pretty average prints. The ones I've seen are low contrast, not particularly sharp or well made. They are serviceable but somewhat beside the point. They neither distract from nor enhance the subject matter.

The genius of his work is in his eye rather than as a technician.

My assumption was that the OP was wondering if developing his own negatives was an important part of HCBs process and genius. With other photographers, like say Ralph Gibson or William Klein or Sebastiao Salgado I feel like their development and printing process is part and parcel of their work. With HCB not so much.
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Old 05-10-2019   #44
Erik van Straten
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The vintage prints of Henri are not remarkable, but the newest prints I have seen are great. The materials have improved very much and nowadays there is split grade printing.


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Old 05-10-2019   #45
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"My assumption was that the OP was wondering if developing his own negatives was an important part of HCBs process and genius. With other photographers, like say Ralph Gibson or William Klein or Sebastiao Salgado I feel like their development and printing process is part and parcel of their work. With HCB not so much."

Apart from a few iconic images, i don't really know the work of Wm Klein. With S Salgado he's shooting & printing digitally now. I did see a somewhat odd exhibition at the Whyte Museum in Banff, of prints from Kluane National Park (across the glacer border from Mt St Elias). The prints were aerial mountain landscapes of the area & were on loan. The photographers were Bradford Washburn (large format & silver gelatin) & Sebastiao Salgado (digital). There was quite a difference in the print quality as well as the photographic style and the emotional impact of the prints. I'm sure there was a time when HCB processed his own film, but as mentioned, the value of his contribution to photography had to do with strong image making and not printing. I've seen exhibits of his work both in Tokyo & Paris and they were worth going out of your way to see. There are many other notable photographers who interest me not only for what they photographed but how they printed. Whether you care for the quality of the prints or not, HC Bresson had a big impact on rangefinder photography.
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Old 05-10-2019   #46
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It's not without precedent. Rodin had others chisel for him, Warhol had others make his silkscreens, Claes Oldenburg's wife sewed for him.

Also, don't forget Thoreau at Walden His mom actually lived up the street. Brought him sandwiches and did his laundry. Deliberate Living and all that.

True story!

Anyway, interesting discussion. I'm finding it interesting to see the humanness in all of these artists that have become as myths. I've seen proof that HCB cropped sometimes. And there's also strong evidence, that he *did* take multiple shots of subjects from different angles, clearly implying there was verbal interaction and some degree of staging involved:

http://zonezero.com/en/open/157-debu...ecisive-moment

Doesn't make him any less great, just tempers the idolization a tad.
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Old 05-11-2019   #47
DanskDynamit
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Imagesfromobjects View Post
I've seen proof that HCB cropped sometimes. And there's also strong evidence, that he *did* take multiple shots of subjects from different angles, clearly implying there was verbal interaction and some degree of staging involved:

http://zonezero.com/en/open/157-debu...ecisive-moment

Doesn't make him any less great, just tempers the idolization a tad.
in my opinion, working a scene is far from staging.
That article does not debunk any "myth of the decisive moment" but just make the concept more clear to the author who, as himself says "I had the wrong impression that he only took one photo of a scene"
taking multiple shots and find the decisive moment (and click right then!) are compatible.
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Old 05-11-2019   #48
Highway 61
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DanskDynamit View Post
That article does not debunk any "myth of the decisive moment" but just make the concept more clear to the author who, as himself says "I had the wrong impression that he only took one photo of a scene"
taking multiple shots and find the decisive moment (and click right then!) are compatible.
Absolutely.

Also - the "decisive moment" (or instant décisif) being a concept invented by Henri Cartier-Bresson is a forgery.

Who told about that concept was Jean-François Paul de Gondi, cardinal de Retz (1613-1680) : "Il n'y a rien dans le monde qui n'ait son moment décisif, et le chef-d'œuvre de la bonne conduite est de connaître et de prendre ce moment".

(There is nothing in this world which wouldn't have its decisive moment, and to achieve your perfect behaviour you must know and grab this moment).

HCB used that sentence in the foreword of his early book "Images à la sauvette" to illustrate how he sometimes felt while making an image in a lapsetime of 1/125s, but later on he kept explaining that people who repeatidly pasted this onto every of his photographs were going the wrong path.
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Old 05-11-2019   #49
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Wink

Quote:
Originally Posted by Imagesfromobjects View Post
It's not without precedent. ...
...

Rodin had others chisel for him, Warhol had others make his silkscreens, Claes Oldenburg's wife sewed for him.

Also, don't forget Thoreau at Walden His mom actually lived up the street. Brought him sandwiches and did his laundry. Deliberate Living and all that.

True story!


...
Man, this is like finding out the Easter Bunny isn't real!
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Old 05-12-2019   #50
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While I am not sure who developed HCB's film, I do know that Voja Mitrovic was his favored printer for the last 30 years or so of his life. I met Voja at a street photography workshop led by Peter Turnley in Paris in 2012. Voya gave us a wonderful talk in which he held up a work print in one hand and a final print in the other hand of photographs by HCB, Koudela, and others, and then spoke about how he got from one to the other. I own an HCB print that was printed by Voja. It's a beautiful print.


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Old 05-17-2019   #51
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My "does it really matter?" question was intended to be taken, that if it did not matter to HCB that he didn't do his own darkroom work, should it matter to us as viewers?

We wouldn't, for instance, look at work by Mondrian and wonder if his work would be better if he had concocted his own paints.
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Old 05-17-2019   #52
Erik van Straten
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I very much like the split grade prints of Henri's work by Daniël Mordac (from Pictorial Service).


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