The End is Near - Beckerman Goes Digital

Discussion in 'Leica and Rangefinders' started by troll, Aug 11, 2004.

  1. New York City photographer, Dave Beckerman, is the only person I know
    of who actually makes a living(?) from B&W street photography. No
    weddings, no commercial, no newspaper, no annual reports, just great
    reportage. His first-person user reports on the Contax G2 and Leica
    M6 (www.davebeckerman.com) have become standards for aspiring street
    photographers. Then, about a year ago, Dave switched from his M6 to
    a Canon Elan (SLR). Now, (gasp), he's gone full-time DIGITAL with a
    Canon Rebel! Not even a Digilux. Oh, the times they are a
    changing. Indeed.
     
  2. Let's hope it helps his photography.
     
  3. Sounds like an excellent move.
     
  4. Why was he using a leica in the first place? He could of used a
    4x5 for those b+w shots. Beckerman isn't very bright.
     
  5. Exactly what I was thinking, Leslie. For Beckerman's staid style of formally composed
    shots, printed large, I would have thought moving to a small frame digital camera
    wasn't a terribly good move. On the other hand, I suppose he needs to worry about
    costs, especially as he doesn't charge much for his prints (anyone know how many he
    sells?).
     
  6. At least he had the sense to keep the G2
     
  7. Why should I care what this photographer does in choice of camera?
     
  8. Who is Dave Beckerman, and why should we care what camera he's using? There are plenty of people that support themselves doing street photography -- just look at all those guys with their little display stands in New York's touristy areas. A lot of them do pictures that look a lot like Beckerman's, actually.

    Anyway, photographers (particularly the less celebrated ones) tend to change their gear often as the years pass. He's not the first guy to sell a Leica, and he won't be the last. It's just a tool, and while I personally think an M is the best tool available for me at the moment, I'd be happy to buy some other tool if I saw it make pictures that, to my eye, looked better than what I'm achieving. Why worry?
     
  9. What does this have to do with Leica photography?
     
  10. << The End is Near - Beckerman Goes Digital >>

    Presumably the end of Beckerman, whoever he is. I am unaware of his influence.
     
  11. Bill,

    The sky is falling!

    Jerry
     
  12. My Goodness. So much Sour Grapes already!
     
  13. just goes to show you that the cam doesnt make the images, bc his stuff sux....
     
  14. Hm, his reasoning for the G2 over the M3 and then the M6 over the G2 don't convince me in any case. I don't shoot mashine gun style with film anyways, a roll HP5 plus chemicals equals a Big Mac with fries and a coke or a package Drum (40 grams here) including papers and matches :)
    0098uY-19158584.jpg
     
  15. This thread reminds Bin Leican of the Frankenstein movies where all the villagers are
    coming after the monster with pitchforks and torches- I found the site interesting- a
    shame he doesn't live up to the high standards of photography here-
    Remain blessed
     
  16. Let's really rip this guy...

    OK, is he related to Kosoff?
     
  17. What kind of a bird is that and why is he looking at me that way?
     
  18. What is there to admire about a street photographer who admits that he shoots from the hip, because he doesn't have the balls to take the chance that one of his subject may see him raising his camera to his eye?

    I'm sorry, but after reading the articles on his site I have to conclude that this chap is a dilettante.


    Feli
     
  19. O.B. I haven't heard of that guy before and certainly not about his user reports.
    So I read his reports and wasn't very impressed.
     
  20. John, its a magpie fledgling which fell out of the nest.
     
  21. No sour grapes: just seeded ones. ;-P
    <p>
    I just gone thru his web site and I sincerely wish him the best. That's his style and his choice. He's under no obligation to conform to anything or any manufacturer.
    <p>BTW, where did you first hear about him?
     
  22. Bill M,

    I enjoyed visiting Beckerman's site, and appreciate you starting the thread. I sorry that it roused so many retarded, mean spirited nazi's
     
  23. He's not a REAL Leica photographer--where are the bad pictures of his grandchildren, or snaps of his wife/girlfriend in coffeeshops throughout the world??? What polish does he use to remove the fingerprints from his cameras after he doesn't use them???
     
  24. James, please take care with your wording. Apply the old usenet rule, think before posting.
    0098vo-19158884.jpg
     
  25. While I have no problems w/his "modern-day Stieglitz" stuff (which certainly "sux" no more than much of the stuff that's posted here or my pix for that matter), I hardly think that his switch to digital means the end of the film photography. It's the millions of other photographers, mostly amateurs, whose switch to digital means the end of film photography.
     
  26. He's actually going to be seen with a Canon Rebel, are those the things with the wire security cord glued on the back at Wal-mart, I saw one of those, their cute, I think you get one free if you buy a memory card. Who is Dave Beckerman and why should I care if he buys a Canon Rebel, maybe he is afraid of having it stolen and has chosen a camera which crack addicts shy away from.
     
  27. Volker, somethings in focus here, give me a few minutes, I'm bound to find it.
     
  28. A lot of people are going digital. So what? Why should we care what some guy named Beckerman is using.
     
  29. i actually own a Beckerman print (which by the way was taken with a 4x5 as someone pointed out "should" be his tool - I personally don't understand that line of reasoning).

    Dave Beckerman's site is actually one of the highest ranked/visited photo-related sites on the internet, I think a read a while back. Since he, once at least, was an avid Leica M user and don't see why the post is so far off topic (we've seen/are used to much worse), however, the fact that he went Digital Rebel is of little/no consequence what so ever.

    Thanks for info Bill!
     
  30. I remember reading Dave Beckerman's article two years ago, and then the postscript where he eventually sold the Leica equipment. The same thing happened with Kirk Tuck, who wrote the Leica M6 review on this site. Commercial pressures are intense these days, and digital provides instant results.

    At least these men put their experiential views on the web, which actually provides meaningful information to some, and don't waste time sniping at others! They're not trying to please everyone, as Beckerman clearly stated in his article. Also, these two gents are making a living via photography, which is more than can be said of their detractors.
     
  31. I didn't know there was a Russian firmware hack for the 300D! Thanks for steering me to the site.
     
  32. I don't understand. Why is the end near?
     
  33. ...more than can be said of their detractors.
    Gee Vic, tell us how much you love Thomas Kincaid while you're at it.
    Bland bland bland... and more bland... not theatening or challenging in any way shape or form... trivial, provincial taste- that's what spells success to some people. Read his very "insightful" comments to the photos too.
    No thanks.
     
  34. >>>>i actually own a Beckerman print (which by the way was
    taken with a 4x5 as someone pointed out "should" be his tool - I
    personally don't understand that line of reasoning). <<<<

    Whether one likes his photos is a matter of taste acourse but his
    subject matter and style could be had using a larger format cam.
    Why spend thousands of dollars on leicas when you could do
    much better with a $300 speed graphic or some MF for much
    less? Cameras doesn't matter much but some tools are better
    than others for certain jobs....like trying to shoot sports with a
    leica just makes me laugh.
     
  35. Bill,

    Thanks for the link to Beckerman's website. I've not heard of him before, so obviously, I
    wasn't familiar with his pics. After viewing his website... I must say that he does have some
    nice pictures but is it the "street photography images" that's sustaining him financially... or
    is it his fine art prints? I'd be interested in knowing the percentages of sales from each
    style before declaring that he "...actually makes a living from B&W street photography."
    Afterall, some of his images have absolutely nothing to do with street photography/
    shooting.

    "...Dave Beckerman, is the only person I know of who actually makes a living(?) from B&W
    street photography."

    Bill.... if Winogrand were still alive he would be reaping the rewards of all his photographs.
    I understand that his widow won't have to work another day in her life.

    And, what about Franks and Erwitt and Weegee... I wouldn't think they'd have much of a
    problem in selling their images either.

    The biggest challenge for photographers, in general, is that unless they're represented by
    a well-known gallery, the majority are ignorant of "marketing." There are many, many
    great images out there just awaiting the "right time to step into the limelight!"

    As for Beckerman switching to digital... who gives a flying leap? At the end of the day (in
    spite of all the purists here) the proof of the pudding has to be the final image. I really
    don't care if the image is made via digital or film...as long as it's a decent/great/fabulous
    image.

    A D100, Digilux, Olympus E1, M6, F100, Canon, M7, Pentax, or the future Epson RD-1
    will/can produce similarily great images. So, it's not entirely about whether one uses a
    Canon Rebel or a Digilus or a Leica M7. In spite of what all the "experts" say about the
    Digilux it's a marvellous camera and would work well for any street shooter (at least, for
    those who understand hyperfocal distance and DoF tables.)

    Again, who cares about which camera is being used... it's ALL about the final image and
    whether or not, the photographer gets the image. This is all that counts at the end of the
    day.

    Remember, a camera is no more than a well-designed box to hold a piece of film. In the
    case of a digital camera...it's no more than a well-designed box to capture (in the form of
    bits and bytes) an image and recorded in a digital language.

    Cheers
     
  36. " I sorry that it roused so many retarded, mean spirited nazi's"

    Nice!!!!

    NOT.
     
  37. Gentlemen:

    Please don't use the N-word (Nazi) on a site for German cameras!

    :)
     
  38. it will not be long before he drifts back to film... i know a lot of snappers who have missed film and re invested...
     
  39. I don't understand. Why is the end near?​

    Just more hyperbole. But the more general, and rather obvious, point about the decliuning future of 35mm film photography and Leica film photography is merely reinforced.
    it will not be long before he drifts back to film...​

    Yeah, like all the other pro photographers who did, huh.
     
  40. Surely no one really thinks you can adequately substitute b&w film for digital? Sure, you can play with the colour channels in Photoshop, but it just doesn't look the same.
     
  41. beckerman is not the end of film.

    when i switch from film to digital is the end for me.
     
  42. That's a shame, as Seinfeld would say. I've never heard of this photographer until I read this thread. Then, I checked out his website. I love the real B&W photographs he has on there.

    I don't care what anyone says, there is more to the medium than the message. When it comes to art, how it's done DOES matter, the same way that, say, a beautiful building made with real bricks and mortar is better than an identical one made with brick veneer. No matter how nice it looks, a photo taken with a digital camera, photoshopped for a few minutes, and then printed on an inkjet means very little. It's just another of millions of snapshots taken every day, and it's to photography what CNN is to news - pablum for the masses.

    Wherever this photographer and others go, if it's "I went digital", good luck to them. Their work will just be so much technological junk a decade from now, in a world filled with technological junk.
     
  43. Gary Woodard , aug 11, 2004; 08:58 p.m. Volker, somethings in focus here, give me a few minutes, I'm bound to find it.

    Yes, there is! It's the obligatory snap of a girfriend in a coffeeshop for Michael :).

    I hope he'll excuse me using a Contax, the Leica is in an airtight glas case with a neutral atmosphere between CLAs :)
     
  44. This whole forum is predicated on the idea that the equipment matters. It's all a bunch of hooey. The camera doesn't matter, the film doesn't matter. It certainly isn't necessary to include what model Leica and what lens one used in the subtitle of one's picture. Almost as much hooey as the "Decisive Moment" p.r. crap.
     
  45. "Wherever this photographer and others go, if it's "I went digital", good luck to them. Their work will just be so much technological junk a decade from now, in a world filled with technological junk."

    What nonsense. How can their pictures be technological junk?
     
  46. To all BeckerBashers... I know Dave Beckerman... I've met Dave Beckerman... Dave Beckerman is my friend... .... and you're no Dave Beckerman! Hey, really gang, don't take all this too seriously! Dave is a great guy and a wonderful photographer, irrespective of his choice of tools. Also, his is the Mother of All Photoblogs, and he's been brave enough to let us peek in at a rough draft of his life (via his blog) for several years now. Regards to all, SteveR
    0099Fz-19165184.jpg
     
  47. I've been reading Dave Beckerman's Weblog (current and archives) on & off for a couple of years now. He's commented several times that he changes tools every few years to what works best for him at that time. I don't think he posts his reasons to convince, or request approval, but to inform readers about how he makes decisions as a (now) professional photographer. Read the 3 updates at his Leica M6 Review or his About page. It reads reasonable to me.
     
  48. >
    leslie cheung , aug 11, 2004; 06:35 p.m.
    Why was he using a leica in the first place? He could of used a 4x5 for those b+w shots. Beckerman isn't very bright.
    And the vast majority of shots posted to this forum could be made with an SLR or a Rollei zone-focus camera, for that matter.
    feli , aug 11, 2004; 08:27 p.m.
    What is there to admire about a street photographer who admits that he shoots from the hip, because he doesn't have the balls to take the chance that one of his subject may see him raising his camera to his eye?
    He has posted plenty of photos that make it obvious that he does, in fact, shoot candid photos by bringing the camera up to his eye. The fact that he sometimes does not is no reason to deride him.
    I'm sorry, but after reading the articles on his site I have to conclude that this chap is a dilettante.
    dilettante:
    An amateur who engages in an activity without serious intentions and who pretends to have knowledge.
    Showing frivolous or superficial interest; amateurish.
    Considering that he is making a living from his photos, I would hardly call him a dilettante. He's staking his livelihood on his ability to produce and sell photographs. That demonstrates a seriousness in his approach to photography that goes beyond what most of the participants on these forums are doing.
    Michael Darnton , aug 11, 2004; 08:42 p.m.
    He's not a REAL Leica photographer--where are the bad pictures of his grandchildren, or snaps of his wife/girlfriend in coffeeshops throughout the world???
    No kidding! My sentiments exactly. Gotta get a Noctilux to get a pic of the kid's face lit up by the birthday candles.
    While I don't like all of Dave's photos, I do admire many of them, and I certainly respect him as a photographer because he is putting his money where his mouth is and working to fulfilling the dream that many amateur photographers have. On top of all that, he is also giving us a candid insight into his life which is, for me at least, very entertaining.
    Gary Woodard , aug 11, 2004; 08:55 p.m.
    He's actually going to be seen with a Canon Rebel, are those the things with the wire security cord glued on the back at Wal-mart, I saw one of those, their cute, I think you get one free if you buy a memory card.
    I think that illustrates a key problem here: why do you care what camera you are seen with? Are we discussing personal image or photographic images?
    Basil Brush , aug 12, 2004; 09:09 a.m.
    Surely no one really thinks you can adequately substitute b&w film for digital? Sure, you can play with the colour channels in Photoshop, but it just doesn't look the same.
    It might not look the same, and it might not be a substitute, but it can be beautiful in its own right.
    Pierre Lachaine , aug 12, 2004; 09:49 a.m.
    Wherever this photographer and others go, if it's "I went digital", good luck to them. Their work will just be so much technological junk a decade from now, in a world filled with technological junk.
    This really is so much like the pot calling the kettle black. Photography was looked down upon since its inception as not being a legitimate art medium. And now, because the process is different, you are saying it can't be art but traditional chemical photos are?
    Look, folks, Dave has posted on his site that his opinions on cameras, and his reasons for choosing one over the other are his alone. What works for him may not work for you or anyone else. This whole thread reminds me of the Life of Brian when Brian becomes the unlikely target of a mob of messiah-seeking groupies. Dave's doing his own thing. Leave him be.
    Larry
     
  49. "No matter how nice it looks, a photo taken with a digital camera, photoshopped for a few minutes, and then printed on an inkjet means very little. "

    Uh, how do you figure that? Even if it looks really, really, really, nice? I mean, if it looks nice, it looks nice.. or am I too simplistic? Perhaps I slipped through a worm hole and popped out into a different dimension? If a film photo(especially if it's a "Leica film" photo) looks nice, really nice, and the inkjet print next to it looks the same, are you saying the latter lacks meaning? To who? When did photography become performance art? Maybe if the digital photographer wears spats that could make up for some of the meaning deficit?

    If someone shows you a photo, do you require knowledge of how it was made before you allow yourself to see it? This is absurd.
     
  50. Pierre Lachaine , aug 12, 2004; 09:49 a.m.
    No matter how nice it looks, a photo taken with a digital camera, photoshopped for a few minutes, and then printed on an inkjet means very little.
    Are you objecting to perceived lack of work after exposure? If so, then a slide would be utter crap, I guess. Or are you objecting to manipulations after the exposure? If so, then the manipulation of film during development, dodging and burning during printing, and selenium toning must reek of mind numbed pop art.
    I don't know about you, but I hate photos where the photographer used a meter to figure out the proper exposure. They're so banal.
    Larry
     
  51. Listen, use whatever the heck you want. If you think a digital B&W urban street photo is what you want to do, go to it. Some of us prefer the traditional way of doing things when it comes to producing art of any kind. BTW, enjoy emptying the kid's college fund to pay for the ink cartridges, and you had better hope nothing goes wrong with that complicated electronic beast.
     
  52. " BTW, enjoy emptying the kid's college fund to pay for the ink cartridges, and you had better hope nothing goes wrong with that complicated electronic beast"

    Pierre,

    Yawn. Now you're changing your rationale. Can't find the WMDs so try something else. Sure, ink is expensive, but so's film and processing (especially if you factor in time spent). The MTBF for most of these digital electronics is arguable greater than their mechanical counterparts too. No one has accused the film photographer of producing meaningless work on the basis of the process they've chosen. You on the other hand summarily trashed the value of a lot of good work because it's "digital". You don't have to "go digital". Of course we can all do what we want. That's the point. But it seems the point of this thread to decry anyone and especially one in particular, that choses to use the current technology, instead of everyone's pet rock, the Leica.

    I'm glad for this thread because it introduced me to Dave Beckerman's work, which I find quite good. And I appreciate the practical advice he is gracious enough to share on his website. He's obviously seriously into his art, and uses whatever tool works. I think this thread has probably increased his fan base instead of promoting the consternation that seems to be its intention.
     
  53. Pierre Lachaine , aug 12, 2004; 03:13 p.m.
    Listen, use whatever the heck you want. If you think a digital B&W urban street photo is what you want to do, go to it. Some of us prefer the traditional way of doing things when it comes to producing art of any kind.
    For the record, the vast majority of my shots are on colour and b/w film (I also use a "Leica compatible" which is why I read this forum), but for the past several months, I have been using digital. I've found that there is a learning curve in both mediums, and both require a fair bit of work to get good results. It all depends on what kind of work you prefer. Some love chemicals, others don't. Some love the one-off nature of a hand-made print while others crave the repeated perfection of making changes to a master image file. They're all valid mediums and given time, each will develop a tradition.
    BTW, enjoy emptying the kid's college fund to pay for the ink cartridges, and you had better hope nothing goes wrong with that complicated electronic beast.
    Emptying the kid's college fund is a humourous retort in this forum dedicated to some breathtakingly expensive film cameras. In any case, I get my digital prints from a lab, just like my colour prints. I have no inkjet printer so based on cost per print, I am actually spending less than were I shooting film. That leaves me more money for my kid's college fund. ;-)
    Larry
     
  54. Spearhead

    Spearhead Moderator

    Can't find the WMDs so try something else
    Hah, right on target.
     
  55. Pierre Lachaine , aug 12, 2004; 03:13 p.m.
    Listen, use whatever the heck you want. If you think a digital B&W urban street photo is what you want to do, go to it. Some of us prefer the traditional way of doing things when it comes to producing art of any kind.

    not any kind! No digital media, no digital art

    BTW, enjoy emptying the kid's college fund to pay for the ink cartridges, and you had better hope nothing goes wrong with that complicated electronic beast.

    You may not have heard of it, but 99% of the labs are digital now and print from digital media as good as from the scanned film.
    I've just fetched two of three rolls T400CN from the photoshop, the third got lost in the mail, and paid 30 Euro for development of two rilms and 70 prints which have a red tint in the mid greys and a green tint in the shadows. The scans on the CDs are 1532x1024 pixels highly compressed JPGs, I won't even try to print that crap. No loss in the third roll, we can redo that 30th birthday next year :-(.

    With my D60 I'd have nice prints from the keepers, they don't do processing only anymore, for less money. From now on, it's only traditional B&W which I can develop at home, everything else is digital. And B&W film, developer, stop bath, fixer, destilled water and photoflow aren't for free either.
    In other words, although I'm far from professional my D60 payed for itself in saved film and development. This is much more true for the PJs shooting a couple 100 pictures a day so that I can pick one for publishing which earns them a living.
     
  56. "No matter how nice it looks, a photo taken with a digital camera, photoshopped for a few minutes, and then printed on an inkjet means very little. It's just another of millions of snapshots taken every day, and it's to photography what CNN is to news - pablum for the masses." - Pierre Lachaine
    You are hereby awarded the Grand Prize for having the most miniscule and deluded understanding of what photography is. Congratulations!
     
  57. whatever works for you and your happy with i say!

    it really is irritating when i read in digi mags that the end of film is here...

    photographers have been sucked into the digi world by nikon, canon, olympus etc... film cameras (in theory) reached there peak in the late 90's... when you bought an f5 etc it really will last 30 years or so... the manufacterers came up with digi capture to obsolete what they had already produced to make us buy more of their products! it certainly wasnt to make our lives easier! just look at the increased profits these companys are making now compared to the film 'era'. however... digis are a godsend to the manufacterer... they can obsolete them every 6-10 months.. tweak the software, add a little extra functions ... what you buy tommorow will be bettered... you will want that camera because they now you lust after the latest gizmos!! it most certainly will not make you a better photographer! shooting digi takes away the imaging process that we must all use when we are out shooting. i love adjusting nothing more than the shutter speed and aperture.. 2 things. with digi the list is a lot longer..

    as far as i'm concerned digi is nothing more than a 5th emulsion (colour neg, b/w neg, b/w pos, slide) that i have the choice to use. you may well think its a labour saving method of shooting and also cost effective... if you do i dont agree.

    i shoot a lot of weddings in the summer and this is my first full 'season' of shooting them purely digi. last year i shot 50%. i decided to shoot them fully digi this year to save money (?60 per wedding x30 weddings...) i'm sitting here with a lap full of prints that i shot (with leica ms) and a screen full of images shot with a canon 1dmk2...

    as far as i'm concerned the prints are streets ahead of any digi print produced with the canon.. you cannot get away from the fact that digi images exhibit a different look and feel.

    my main issue with shooting weddings with a digi is that it takes the best part of a day to edit through 800 shots... adjust exposure and colour balance if necessary then burn onto dvd.. with film it was just a case of dropping into the lab and picking up the prints the next day.. 2 hours of editing finished the job. for pr and news nothing beats digi. i shoot 40 odd pics... edit for 15 minutes and wire... no more rushing to the lab, scanning negs etc.

    digi has its place for me with my work but i have now reinvested in film and i'm happy. every pro photographer now needs a digi for some element of his/her work. if mr beckerman has gone completely digi then i guess he's thought about it long and hard.

    i do suspect however that this is a marketing ploy! if a top class camera maker gives you a digi and says go shoot some pics and we will pay you money you will! they get pr and marketing and you get cash

    as a documentary photographer i also have a big problem even thinking about shooting digi... pixels can be moved and messed about with which in turn devalues any image which you want to have a historical value in years to come... law enforcement agencys still only shoot film because digi film cannot be trusted...

    i also believe that the perceived value of film images is increasing... its going to become even more accepted as 'art' and certainly isnt going to die anytime soon!
     
  58. < i love adjusting nothing more than the shutter speed and aperture.. 2 things. >

    Two things, but something feels missing. What could it be? You have to forgive some of us Leica shooters, we're a bit slow...
     
  59. Stewart: "as a documentary photographer i also have a big
    problem.......pixels can be moved and messed
    about........which......devalues.......historical
    value.......digi......cannot be trusted..."

    Throughout photography's history images have been
    manipulated, both by staging (which means there's no definitive
    proof guaranteed by the presence of the neg) and in the
    darkroom. The issue of trust lies with the photographer not the
    medium - is Jim Nachtwey less trustworthy in 2004 (working
    largely with EOS1Ds bodies) than he was in 2001 (working with
    1v bodies)?

    "... the perceived value of film images is increasing... its going to
    become even more accepted as 'art'........."

    Do you have any evidence to support this? The "craft" element of
    photography counts for nothing in the art world.
     
  60. but I have to respond to Stewart

    This is how it is for me

    Digital
    Film

    Whitebalance
    choosing film and filters
    RAW conversion
    developing
    Print
    Print​

    You can shoot in JPEG only and drop your memory card at a lab as you can drop your film there. If you shot RAW, you can preview your images on a "digital" lighttable and drop the keepers at the lab to have them printed.
    I like to shoot RAW and work on the images as I like to shoot a specific film in a specific lighting situation.
    I have one big reason to keep my Rangefinders, there is no digital camera capable of high ISO, and I don't consider ISO400 high, with a wide angle lens in a small form factor suitable for small clubs or as a daily walkaround.
    The digital Rebel, Nikon D70, and Pentax *istD are very capable SLRs with reasonable kit lenses small and light enough for extended use.
    And I know for sure from thousands of photos that you can use a Canon 1D or Nikon D1x as a point and shoot. PJs don't adjust much or they won't get the picture! There was one freelance photographer with two Leicas at this years six days bicycle race here to shoot celebrities in the VIP lounge, I've never seen any of his shots in the media.
    I manage the press center at the six days, we'll see what is used next year.
     
  61. "as a documentary photographer i also have a big problem even thinking about shooting digi... pixels can be moved and messed about with which in turn devalues any image which you want to have a historical value in years to come... law enforcement agencys still only shoot film because digi film cannot be trusted... "

    Quite apart from what Boris said, this betrays a complete misunderstanding of what documentary is. Forensic photography and documentary are driven by and have to answer to completely different concerns.
     
  62. I can?t believe this arrogant group. Just like a bunch of Leica snobs. Take a look at what he has accomplished in such a short time. He's not out to promote "Leica" or any other camera. Contax G2, Rebel, Elan, it makes no difference. This man is good with any camera. If you don't find his particular style appealing, MOVE ON! We all have our opinions about ART. What I see on his site is just that, BEAUTIFUL ART! Stop bashing the MAN and HIS choices! Get a life!
     
  63. It seems as if the end of this thread is not near!
     
  64. Hello to All.

    Going Digital is a choice of no choice to most Pro.

    Even in France, My Street Corner Photog, much involved in weddings is thinking about it.

    Most of the jobs they are requested such as Catalogs, illustrations, etc are requested in Digital format. They had to invest in a camera (Olympus).

    So? This guy Dave B. is just changing the tools to keep on. We amateurs, can carry on with the M6 or R7. After all we will be in the same position as the medium format mob is.
     
  65. "Let's hope it helps his photography."
    Yeah, just like using Leicas helps so many around here. LOL
     
  66. Henri used a manual camera with film to explore his vision, didn?t he. It worked for him, didn?t it?and for many others. Has photography changed that much that you really need the latest techy thing.

    The latest techy thing might make photography easier, but not better.

    Personally I like to explore my vision with both. The disciplines of manual and film, the adventure and possibilities of digital.

    And as a footnote?. those we slag off other folk?s photography are telling a story about themselves.

    They are insecure about their own, or, maybe they believe they are from Atlantis, and are some sort of superior life form.
     
  67. I suspect that most of the "film only, by Gawd" don't (and probably never have) done their own darkroom work.
     
  68. All this angst over film is so pointless. There's nothing to worry about, 35mm film will never die. It may eventually become an art and crafts material, and you'll be able to buy it at places that stock things like decoupage supplies. "Aisle B, next to the glitter glue" So you can all relax.
     
  69. Allen, HCB started photography in the 1930s and gave it up some 30 years ago.
    Cameras changed a lot since then!
     
  70. Cameras changed a lot since then!

    So, he still managed some great photos, don't you think? Does your choice of camera really matter. It's about what works for you.
     
  71. Allen, he did, thats beyond any doubt. But as a son of wealthy parents he got the best small format camera money could buy then.

    Paddy Hopkirk won the Rally Monte Carlo with a Mini Cooper in 1964, do you think it's still competetive?
     
  72. Paddy Hopkirk won the Rally Monte Carlo with a Mini Cooper in 1964, do you think it's still competetive?

    Before my time, you must be nearly as old as Harvey.

    On a more serious note, what has Art got to do with being competetive?

    Some folks can use a manual camera as quick as a auto. It's about practice makes perfect.
     
  73. Allan: "Henri used a manual camera with film.........Has
    photography changed that much that you really need the latest
    techy thing."

    No, you don't need the latest techy thing to make compelling
    photographs. However, the Leica Taliban (and I'm not referring to
    you Allan) who use the example of HCB as a means to attack
    "plastic cameras" and digital are wide of the mark. When HCB
    began using Leicas he was using the Canon EOS of it's day,
    and when the M series appeared he wasn't slow to adopt it.
     
  74. Spearhead

    Spearhead Moderator

    Boris hits the nail on the head.

    HCB was an "early adopter" of new technology. It allowed him to do things many of his contemporaries couldn't, at least not with the same ease. It wasn't that it couldn't be done - Bravo continued to do street photography with a camera using sheet film - but it was so much easier the way HCB did it.

    It doesn't take much thought...
     
  75. This thread has gone on so long, I think Beckerman has gone back to film by now.
     
  76. And Vic's wrong again....
     
  77. well, HCB didn't miss the decisive moment because his battery died. i amuse myself by picturing the SPs out there with their huge lenses finding their battery dead and then going home to find a power outage. the comparison between the current crop of digital guys and the old manual guys is wishful thinking. and you don't have to be a leica fascist to see the irony.

    also, i am detecting that the guys who have to spend so much time in front of the 'puter to produce their images tend to render the subjects of their photos as objects instead of real fleshy people. just an observation.

    when i look at the older SPs work i see more connection with the subject, more psychological connection. less scientific observation as if the subject were an insect.
     
  78. Spearhead

    Spearhead Moderator

    images tend to render the subjects of their photos as objects instead of real fleshy people.
    This has been especially problematic for me with mannequins.
     
  79. well, HCB didn't miss the decisive moment because his battery died.
    More likely from loading a new roll of film, or reaching in his pocket and not finding one...
    also, i am detecting that the guys who have to spend so much time in front of the 'puter to produce their images tend to render the subjects of their photos as objects instead of real fleshy people.
    Nothing wrong with that if it's your vision. Imagine if everyone's work today, 50 years later, looking just like HCB's. No thank you...
     
  80. What have you got against insects?
     
  81. Huh, I always thought the people in my photos were fleshier than yours Brad... :p
     
  82. Bigger butts?
     
  83. Quiche: "when i look at the older SPs work i see more
    connection with the subject, more psychological connection........"

    You see that in the work of HCB? Regardless of the quality of his
    images it's difficult to imagine a more detached photographer.
    As you seem to live in Taliban territory I'll put it down to your veil
    obscuring the view.
     
  84. i think some less twitchy and reactive readers might be mulling over what i said so i am happy. guess i hit a couple of nerves.
     
  85. Well, it's a novel critique of digital, I'll say that.

    No Brad, yours are fleshier I think. Amazing you could do it with your cam.
     
  86. Quiche, I'll ask again. Do you think that HCB made an unusually
    close connection with his subjects?
     
  87. well, HCB didn't miss the decisive moment because his battery died.​

    In later years, Cartier-Bresson used a Leica point-and-shoot. One powered by batteries.
    Next.
     
  88. I just looked at his site for the first time in over 2 years.........the use of digital didn't help him a bit. I seriously don't understand the facsination some people have with this Beckerman photographer. He's very, very bland with the images he shows. His composition does nothing to enhance the feel of the pic, sometimes it's even counter to the natural flow. That new digital pic of someone walking through man hole steam........almost makes a decent street shot, but his comp on it absolutely destroys the flow. I could go on, but he is just not that "exciting" a photographer............IMHO.

    As for the rest of the discussion above...........it is NOT the equipment, it is the photographer that makes the difference. Actually, Beckerman is a perfect example of that.......he's still doing the same bland stuff, regardless of equipment.
     
  89. I just looked at his site for the first time in over 2 years.........the use of digital didn't help him a bit​

    Straw man argument. He didn't go digital in order to improve his photography but, like many pros, in order to make himself more profitable. Whether or not you like his photography (I like some, am uninterested in most of it), he's apparently comfortable with his style and he gets enough work to do this for a living while residing in an expensive city.
    At least he had the sense to keep the G2​

    He's got a Hexar, an Elan, the digi Rebel and maybe still his LF gear, but I'm pretty sure he sold off his G2.
     
  90. In later years, Cartier-Bresson used a Leica point-and-shoot. One powered by batteries
    hardly the big power draw that digi_s are! not the point. and then of course he went to the pencil and brush so you could say he was technically devolving. next! ')
     
  91. if i was smarter i'd stay away from this thread, however, for the records, HCBs was not, as far as i understand, an early adopter of technology, he simply found a tool that fitted his needs and stuck with it.

    he is well known for disdaining the technical aspects of photography, he never cropped his images, didn't do his own development/souping, and he has been quoted several times of saying something along the lines of 'taking photos with an automated camera is like shooting birds with a machine gun'.

    Here is an exact quote from the NYT obituary:

    "My contact sheets may be compared to the way you drive a nail in a plank," he said. "First you give several light taps to build up a rhythm and align the nail with the wood. Then, much more quickly, and with as few strokes as possible, you hit the nail forcefully on the head and drive it in."

    Equipment doesn't matter to anyone else, but it is BS to say it doesn't matter to the photographer per se.

    And once for all, people do photogrpahy for different reasons. For it is all about the results, e.g. Jeff Spirer, which is fine and dandy by me, however, other people do photography for the experience, others for the interest in mechanical precision instruments. I'm confident that the sea is big enough for all fish to swim there...
     
  92. Well, I'm sort of two thirds in the Jeff camp. However, I can't help thinking about that bloke who uses a Hassy to take photos of pub signs; that's what he enjoys doing.

    He's enjoying himself..........does anything else matter. Of course, you could argue it does.
     
  93. I didnt say he went digital to improve his photography. I said going digital didnt improve his photography. There is a difference between those two sentences.

    And I didnt say equipment shouldnt matter to the photographer. I said that equipment does not make the difference, the photographer does. Again, there is a difference between those two sentences.
     
  94. so you could say he was technically devolving.​

    You claimed he didn't use a battery-dependent camera. He did. Tangential suppositions don't interest me, sorry.
     
  95. Maybe you should ask her to put her hands up on her desk so you can smack them with a wood ruler. Then have her write on the blackboard 100 times "HCB used a battery operated camera".

    I mean, who the f*ck really cares?
     
  96. One of lifes little mysteries.
     
  97. People who make incorrect claims surely don't care about the facts. But Ray apparently
    cares enough to declare, with profanity, that he doesn't care. Curious.
     
  98. What facts? Unsubstantiated counter arguments? HCB may have used a battery powered
    camera, but not to shoot seriously... he already "quit" photography by then. In which case
    who cares? He was just another tourist with a point-and-shoot. If he published work from
    such efforts, I never saw it.

    Subjectivity, no matter how loudly shouted, is still subjectivity. I subjectively think digital
    is highly acceptable because it is being accepted by more and more people who can't tell
    the difference. In which case I give it to them because I never forgot the old advertising
    saying ... "they wrap fish with your ad the next day". But I have never kidded myself that it
    was superior to film for certain applications.
     
  99. now hes dead...
     
  100. Subjectivity, no matter how loudly shouted, is still subjectivity. </ blockquote>​

    Like your assertion that HCB wasn't seriously using his p&s Leica. Says who? Get a grip.​
     
  101. As Picasso said " a picture kept in the closet, might as well be kept in the head".

    Show me HCBs published works with the "battery powered" P&S AZ.

    He may have been serious, but you don't know it, nor does anyone else ... except him, and
    he ain't telling ; -)
     
  102. The claim was that he didn't use such a camera. He did.

    Then you made the claim he wasn't serious with those photos. You made the claim,
    back it up. Stop being ridiculous.
     
  103. Point taken AZ.

    But let's cut to the chase. Your real agenda is to somehow further the notion that the gear
    doesn't matter, it's the photographer that matters. Which I don't disagree with, except
    when it becomes an evangelistic mantra in answer to every supposition of preference on a
    site dedicated to that preference.

    IMO, your first post was on the money... "what does this have to do with Leica
    photography?"
     
  104. My "agenda" here is to point out fallacies and suppositions.

    As for my first post, you are among those who are fooled by someone using my
    moniker, and inapppropriately attributing to me what he wrote; if you pay attention you
    can see that he is not a paying member while I am.
     
  105. Name theft understood AZ. Will keep an eye out for that in future.

    ....My "agenda" here is to point out fallacies and suppositions....

    IMO, you can protest your pure intentions all day long, but the sum total is one of an
    intellectual cop, with a self-important agenda, policing some obscure outpost of the
    internet for God knows what reason. A site mostly peopled by those with a preference
    defined by the site itself, who are here to share their preferences. Not a hard concept to
    grasp.

    If you are such a paragon of photographic knowledge, why are you squandering it here?
    Why not do something of consequence, rather than knuckle rapping enthusiastic
    supporters of a tiny brand of camera on a site dedicated to that little camera? Every time
    someone expresses their enjoyment or preference, the evangelistic elite "Rodney King"
    them into intellectual submission ... when it is all actually subjective emotional preference
    that's being expressed.
     
  106. with a self-important agenda, policing some obscure outpost of the internet for God knows what reason

    It's a tough and lonely job for Z.

    But, hey, somebody has got to do it.
     
  107. Do you believe in re-incarnation Mark? It's based on more than supposition. Perhaps Z was a Roman Soldier guarding some lonely outpost at the edge of the Empire. Somewhere like Hadrian's wall.

    Can't you visualise him standing firm as he stares across the barren moors: like smoke drifting across the horizon came the hordes.

    " Z, we want you to hold the fort while we bugger off....oops! We mean save the women and children".

    It was a tough and lonely life.
     
  108. i don't believe i ever made the "claim" that HCB never used a battery powered camera. i think Z is wrong on that point.
     
  109. Drinking and typing is a lonely job for Allen, but someone's got to do it.
     
  110. quiche claimed that HCB never lost a decisive moment because his battery died. What
    the f%uck is she, psychic? No, the obvious inference is that he never used a battery --
    meaning she's wrong. Or if she does think thaty she's psychic she should use her
    alleged yet dubious talents somewhere else for the betterment of mankind. Nice
    attampt at a tapdance away from your assertion, but you need a few more lessons to
    make it seamless.
     
  111. "Here" means this thread, Marc, nothing more, despite your reading between the lines.
    As for cop-outs, yours is quite amusing.
     
  112. Z is wrong

    Z is wrong

    Z is wrong
     
  113. "Can't you visualise him standing....a tough and lonely life."
    Allen, priceless.
     
  114. May I sum it up like this:


    • The Leica M System is the be all end all of cameras.
    • HCB was the only photographer worth talking about
    • The moon pictures are the best proof that nobody ever was on the moon as every sentinent beeing would have sent HCB with his Leica for a job important as that one instead of an airforce officer with a Hassy

    [​IMG]
     
  115. quiche, my ass.
     
  116. Quite right, Volker -- forget the people who don't need or want or use Leicas, and
    especially ignore or disparage or belittle those who once used Leicas but chose another
    piece of gear. They are clearly the deluded ones, ja.
     
  117. sorry Z

    i forgot you are infallible. also a poor sport but hey......
     
  118. Claidia, why are you ignoring the claim you made about HCB? Or are you retracting it?

    Or is this how you think you're being a good sport?
     
  119. i didn't make the claim you claimed i made. simple. and good sports such as moi overlook it when people mangle their name ;)
     
  120. What claim to yout think you made, Clausia?
     
  121. have another cupa java. you can have the last word since you seem so needy. ciao!
     
  122. Z, you're really losing it, why not give it a break.
     
  123. Fine, Caldia, you never made any claims you needed to try to forget you made. Kneel
    and Bob, thanks too for your input.
     

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