Great Quotes

I’ve been reading “Street Photography for the Purist” by Chris Weeks. It’s brilliant, funny, obscene (don’t read it if you object to the F-word), on point and off point. I could never write like Chris does. And I couldn’t take photographs like he does either.

I have not finished reading yet, but I am keeping note of some quotes that caught my eye:

The people who defend digital and how much better they think it is than film only think that way because they don’t have the balls to make an exposure they can’t see a second afterwards. They’re insecure. Daddy beat them.

Instant gratification isn’t everything. Unless you’re a porn star and you can only enjoy sex whilst on drugs.

You’ll have a leg-up on digital photographers who depend on their insecurity that is the monitor and is used as their visual crutch.

All the greats from back in the day survived with just a rangefinder and film. Why can’t you?

Not everything is at f/8 aperture priority. Or programme.

When I see a shooter’s camera set to programme I lose all respect.

I don’t know why anyone would want to use shutter priority.
I mean … let a fucking camera pick the f/stop?

A sin.

A camera does not or should not think. That is the job for a photographer.

Fuck batteries.
That’s all one needs.

That’s all the masters of this genre ever had.
Why should you be any different?
Why should I?

Honestly, don’t do this for anyone else but yourself.
Perhaps others will enjoy what you’ve seen and recorded but that really isn’t the point.
This is for you. I do this for me.

The last is particularly apposite.

OK, I’ll try.

I choose to shoot digital. I have an unobtrusive Nikon. But it isn’t a rangefinder. And sometimes I use it on auto. Maybe I am not a man. But I do it for myself.

Some chances are too good to waste. I don’t want to lose a chance because the light changed or the sangtheaw went over a bump. I want to know now. Because now I can shoot again. Without worrying about 36 shots to the roll.

I have many failures. Only I see them.

I post pictures I like to Flickr. But I do not care if others favourite or not.

But I do care if some Flickr support engineer labels me as a “creepy guy”. I should not care but I do.

I like colour. I like highlights as much as I like shade. I like b&w too. But I don’t want to be restricted because the greats chose to be.

I like freedom.

The world is a colourful place. Don’t insist on losing it because b&w was good enough for the greats.

There will be greats of the digital era. Not me, but somebody. Maybe she posts to Flickr.

I like instant gratification. I chimp and rotate my pictures on the subway.

When I am not trying to get the perfect picture of the students sharing an iPod.

And I delete a lot. Save trees, save poisonous developer and silver salts.

Maybe the greats used a horse and buggy to get to town. Does that mean I have to?

Obviously I am not a purist. Only to myself. Isn’t that the point?


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5 Responses to “Great Quotes”

  1. planetcity1 Says:

    Hi. Here’s a link to someone who, in my opinion, does street photography well:

  2. BKKPhotographer Says:

    Yes, it is excellent! There are some amazing pictures on there. Thank you.

  3. Entry Level Leica – The X1 « Bkkphotographer's Blog Says:

    […] wonder what Chris Weeks would say about […]

  4. The Stanford Frankencamera « Bkkphotographer's Blog Says:

    […] Of course “real  photographers”  don’t take them seriously (just imagine what Chris Weeks would say about street photography with a camera phone) but they are a real factor in the […]

  5. Michael Willems Says:

    I think you are right, and Chris is wrong. He is, of course, entitled to his opinion.

    Street photography is about getting onto a printed page or screen what is happening. Characters. Poignant situations. character of the city. I couldn’t are a hoot whether the pictures are taken with film or digital, SLR or Leica or Kodak Instamatic. It makes no difference to me whether the photographer chimped or not, Whether he is a man or she is a woman. Whether she is Lesbian or he is gay or he used to be a she. Whether he or she quietly takes the pictures or screams afterward.

    Other than the obscenities, he is now reflective of my opinion. Although I do agree you should pick your own aperture rather than your own shutter speed, most of the time. But in the end: what do I care what technical decisions are behind the image?

    It’s about the image. and not about the tools. Self evident, I am afraid. I don’t care whether Michelangelo used hammers or screwdrivers to make “la Pieta”. I care only about the statue. If Leonardo was so bad that he did 800 out-takes of the Mona Lisa, what do I care? I am evaluating the one he left us with.

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