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Author Topic: Atelier  (Read 4017 times)
RSL
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« Reply #40 on: November 15, 2012, 10:20:17 AM »
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So, cropping isn't all bad, huh!

Actually Seamus, accusations to the contrary notwithstanding, I've never said it is all bad. However:

"If you start cutting or cropping a good photograph, it means death to the geometrically correct interplay of proportions. Besides, it very rarely happens that a photograph which was feebly composed can be saved by reconstruction of its composition under the darkroom’s enlarger; the integrity of vision is no longer there." Henri Cartier-Bresson

I agree with Henri on that one. But note the operative word, "good." Also note the word, "rarely." Within those limits I think cropping is just fine.
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nemo295
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« Reply #41 on: November 15, 2012, 04:38:10 PM »
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Cropping isn't either good or bad. It is what it is. The only thing that matters is the final outcome.
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kencameron
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« Reply #42 on: November 15, 2012, 06:05:30 PM »
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"If you start cutting or cropping a good photograph, it means death to the geometrically correct interplay of proportions. Besides, it very rarely happens that a photograph which was feebly composed can be saved by reconstruction of its composition under the darkroom’s enlarger; the integrity of vision is no longer there." Henri Cartier-Bresson
Interesting quote. Hard to disagree with the first sentence, since he is simply saying that if a photograph is perfectly composed in camera you won't improve it later. I find the second less persuasive as a generalisation, although of course entirely deserving of respect as an account of Cartier-Bresson's practice. Enlargers offered less, or less accessible, scope for creative play with an image than software, and I don't see why it isn't be possible to create a "geometrically correct interplay of proportions", or several of them, on screen, where none is present in the original. As for "integrity of vision", I don't see why it might not come into play while working on an image as well as when you press the button. In the end surely there are different ways of "doing photography", and only the result matters, although every photographer will have, and be attached to, his or her own distinctive approach.
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RSL
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« Reply #43 on: November 15, 2012, 06:40:28 PM »
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Hi Ken,

Of course the idea is to "perfectly" compose on the camera, and HCB pretty much had reached a point where he could do that. On the other hand, since he insisted his pictures be printed with their black borders showing, sometimes interspersed with sprocket holes, I often wonder how many almost perfect pictures he had to toss in order to keep up that practice. We all know you can't always fit what you're after into the aspect ratio of, say, a 35mm camera or a 4 x 5 camera or a four-thirds camera. As long as you can visualize the final product when you trip the shutter, I'd hardly call chopping off what was outside your visualization a "crop."

Yes, the result is what matters, but it seems to me that people who are able to compose on the camera get by far the best results. Those who go out and bang away, hoping to find something worthwhile once they get the stuff on a monitor and start cropping rarely get anything worthwhile. Another thing that strikes me is how often a cropper who knows his photography, after screwing around with various crops, comes back to the original, uncropped, version as the best rendition. If you know what you're doing, what you saw when you tripped the shutter almost always is what you really wanted.

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nemo295
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« Reply #44 on: November 15, 2012, 06:43:50 PM »
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I often wonder how many almost perfect pictures he had to toss in order to keep up that practice.


“Your first 10,000 photographs are your worst.”

― Henri Cartier-Bresson
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kencameron
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« Reply #45 on: November 15, 2012, 07:29:27 PM »
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Those who go out and bang away, hoping to find something worthwhile once they get the stuff on a monitor and start cropping rarely get anything worthwhile.
Mmmm. Sounds plausible - but how would you know? I also think most photographers occupy the extensive middle ground between only composing in camera and "going out and banging away". But how would I know? Smiley
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