Discussion in 'Street and Documentary' started by dmitry_kiyatkin, Apr 29, 2010.
I read that Pete Souza uses the Canon 5D Mark II cameras on his White House photography.
That is what the EXIF snippets seem to say. Lots with a fixed 35mm as well.
This Flickr feed is so fascinating. I've checked in on it every month or so since he was inaugurated. Can you imagine how cool it would be to have that job?
Also, I'm really impressed that, at least of the images I checked, he seems to be using manual exposure mode all the time. I don't know if I could work that fast. His camera must be an extension of his body at this point. I'd be using Program, or at least Aperture Priority, for sure.
Average shots with some very good ones... question is not one of competency but of volume... If not for the subject, who would really care about these pictures?
IMO, there are 2 ways to get good pics:
1. Spectacular pictures of the ordinary
2. Ordinary pictures out of the spectacular
Both have their merits, because not everyone can get to the spectacular
The photos are much better than average, but they are basically of a utilitarian purpose. The brillance is that the photog has a keen sense of the moment based on his understanding of the players, the dynamics and the context. He also uses the light he has well and composes and shoots at the right moment. All those things underlie good photo documentary and are what makes these good. The photos themselves aren't so concerned with photography, but instead simply try to get out of the way of the moment, and yet still let you know they are "photoraphs" Of course, if you judge on whatever your aesthetic is for street photography or fine art photography or fine art portraiture, these may be found wanting. But even then they are pretty good.
How about "memorable"... there isn't a single shot (I've looked at 24 or 30 of them) that's truly memorable. Again, it's a matter of volume... The photos all look the same... pretty flat, very little drama, and too many pictures of a guy on the telephone
. I'm not looking at these as "street photography" but as a person who just likes to look at pictures... You've got a photogenic subject and this is the best the guy can do?
Using Dmitry's formula these photos accomplish neither.
"memorable"....that's not the basis of my judgement.. what I think of as so called "memorable" photographs happen once every 5 years or so or even rarely. There are many not monumentally powerful but interesting small memorable photos if you will, Obama and Hilary is a very good photo, Obama and the Russian Prime Minister is very good. They only mean anything because of the personalities involved and the events, but that subtext informs the photos. It's like the photo is the tip of an iceberg. These are good photos by a good photographer. Sometimes I think people seem to think a photo has to hit you over the head to be good. It's not the picture of Kennedy funeral or the Cuban missile crises or the Ruby murder, or the "kiss" by Eisenstadt, the iconic photos etc. But then none of the events portrayed are of that level. It's simple day to day documentary, and I like em. Let's put it this way, I haven't seen anything from anyone on this forum or photo.net for that matter who do this kind of photo as good, much less better than this guy. He has to follow these people around all day, and his job is to document Obama's daily interactions. He does that well. Dimitry 's formula is just a formula, a concept, and I usually find that in the real world such concrete absolutes mean very little.
This isn't the real world, Barry.... this is Photo.net...
Anyhow, that's not what I mean by "memorable"... memorable, simply means, that I can hardly remember a single picture among the 100 or so that I looked at, that's all. Not to flatter you to death, Barry (or to beat this dead horse), I think you could do just as well if not better. The same goes for plenty of people whose work I've seen here... Access, subject matter, etc... and, from the "official photographer" I'd expect more than just competence. On 3rd and 4th look at these pictures all he's getting is the tip of the iceberg... but you're right... as the above poster said, "If not for the subject, who would really care about these pictures?
Tomato / Tomah-to...
Your last sentence is probably right, but its the subject that counts. I will remember the one with hilary when they are both laughing. Maybe a couple with the kids.. no problem, thx for the complement, flattery works .
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