Arrangement of a scene

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Vaughn

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Of course it is, and the same applies to the rest of the animals, in this case you can call it "animalipulation"
Guilty -- these three walked thru my camp, crossed the river, and I waited for them to take a break.

4x10 platinum print, Redwood Creek, Redwood Nat. Park -- a successful image? Not really, I'd give it a 5 out of 10, so it will not be going up on any walls.
 

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cliveh

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The question about people moving in and out a scene is interesting when discussing Atget, because he seems not to bother if they are in or out or partially in or out. It seems that precise timing for him is completely excluded from his artistic practise.
 

billbretz

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You wouldn't last long as a photojournalist!:whistling:
Photojournalists do a lot of storytelling with their cameras. And a lot of storytelling involves positive direction.
That being said, there is a small subset of photojournalism where the photographer doesn't do anything more than record what is happening.

No, there is a large subset that attempts to not interrupt or influence a scene. The minority group still exists (they are usually the contest winners).
 

billbretz

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A bit tangential to the discussion but I wanted to correct a statement above: There is one (1) documented instance of a body being arranged in Civil War photography that I am aware of. It was at Gettysburg, the classic "Home of a Rebel Sharpshooter." It was created by the photography crew headed by Alexander Gardner, a former employee of Brady's turned competitor.

Dead bodies were rarely photographed, and even more so rarely (apparently once) moved. There was another photo at Gettyburg, also by Gardner and co., where a dismembered hand is suspected of being arranged in the scene adjacent to its owner. In the first instance mentioned above, a youthful, fresh looking body (as opposed to more grisly decomposed and bloated subjects nearby) was photographed and then moved to a more compelling location about 70 yards away and rephotographed.

There were other instances of arrangements in the war, with an item moved in a frame with a body in at least one instance (Petersburg), but the "Rebel Sharpshooter" remains the only time a whole body was so known to be so manipulated. Photos of CW dead are rare, there were just less than 100 images of dead on the battlefield from, I don't know, maybe 6 or ten battles (so lots of groupings, different versions of same scene included in the total). Of those, btw, something like a third were made at Gettysburg alone.

Brady or a member of his studio (Brady didn't shoot much by then) might have never photographed ANY CW dead, except at Antietam, where Gardner, working for Brady, photographed the first CW dead on a battlefield. Those pictures caused a sensation and the immortal quote:

"Mr. Brady has done something to bring home to us the terrible reality and earnestness of war. If he has not brought bodies and laid them in our dooryards and along the streets, he has done something very like it."

I digress. But I wanted to dispel the oddly prevalent notion that 'photographers moved bodies in the Civil War all the time.'
 

removed account4

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The question about people moving in and out a scene is interesting when discussing Atget, because he seems not to bother if they are in or out or partially in or out. It seems that precise timing for him is completely excluded from his artistic practise.
hi clive
he was using dry plates at wee hours of the morning, there wasn't an enourmous amount of light ( and he needed a lot of time )
so if people moved in and out of his frame i am sure he shrugged seeing the photographs were about
the sculptural and non-ephemeral quality of the architcture he documented.
( i've photographed with paper or glass at similar times as he did low iso, high fstop is MINUTES, not seconds. and
a moving person or car or cart or animal or ... after 1second no longer exists, unless it is perpetually in the same spot )
as mentioned, he DID photograph people
he made portraits of (the little professions) "les petits métier" ( ragman &c ) who had carts &c and photographed them in
broad daylight as if THEY were bronze sculpture or buildings. he did the same thing for the homeless.
it must have been kind of interesting to be there, this little old man who looked like one of the old things he was photographing
lugging around a camera and tripod as big as him.

I would be very interested in reading more about this, any link or resource?

here's something, but i've read things more authentic .. someone must have moved the articles :wink:
https://www.wired.com/2009/06/weegee/
 

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here's something, but i've read things more authentic .. someone must have moved the articles :wink:
https://www.wired.com/2009/06/weegee/

Yes, I'm afraid that post is thin, only 'accuses' him in passing without any details. I'm not aware of moving bodies or staging a scene - a cigar?

So much of what he did was what we would today call "authentic" but then he is believed to have posed his famous "The Critic" (in that he positioned the 'bag-lady' in the scene, at least according to an associate or assistant, if I recall). Certainly he was in keeping with contemporaries in that vein.

I'll keep an open mind, I don't doubt that the ethics of the day would have allowed some... play, but find dubious the idea he physically moved a body. Or even put a cigar is a corpse's mouth. I claim no authority but I can't recall reading or seeing such striking details, and have seen a couple of the ICP in-depth exhibits that were, um, staged since they acquired his archive. Those were some time ago, my memory could be faulty, otherwise I'd have to imagine such an act would be prominently discussed and detailed somewhere.
 

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Looking at picture in OP and it seems familiar with what I'm taking. I never hesitate to brake dried weed which sticks to my lens at close distance.
 

billbretz

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Search for "Weegee

I know you aren't trying to be helpful, and you succeeded.

Still looking for documentation, even an anecdote, about moving bodies. Seriously, would like to hear more about, I am skeptical but open-minded that could have happened.
 

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I know you aren't trying to be helpful, and you succeeded.

Still looking for documentation, even an anecdote, about moving bodies. Seriously, would like to hear more about, I am skeptical but open-minded that could have happened.

there is a record where he suggests "tips"
not sure if it comes from there or where ..
i have read it someplace besides reddit ..
someplace worthy of a "cited works" citation ..
how about this "

its kind of graphic ..
 
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billbretz

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there is a record where he suggests "tips"
not sure if it comes from there or where ..
i have read it someplace besides reddit ..
someplace worthy of a "cited works" citation ..
but after searching for IDK 20 mins just now
can't find it ..
if i can't i will post it for you ..
just searching "weegee" is pretty much a waste of effort

Agreed on that last point! Thanks for looking. It's curious.
 

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Gerald C Koch

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There is no possible profound truth to this question. I do whatever I want.

+1000

Painters do it all the time. They simply do not paint what they don't want in a scene. I don't hear anyone crying 'Hey Monet you moved that water lily." A news photographer for the Crimean war was regularly found to cleane up battle scenes and rearranged the cannon balls for effect. Unfortunately his name escapes me. There was a article on him documenting his changes.
 
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billbretz

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+1000

Painters do it all the time. They simply do not paint what they don't want in a scene. I don't hear anyone crying 'Hey Monet you moved that water lily." A news photographer for the Crimean war was regularly found to cleane up battle scenes and rearranged the cannon balls for effect. Unfortunately his name escapes me. There was a article on him documenting his changes.

Fenton, Roger Fenton. Believe it's the focus in a link by another poster in this thread. The image in question, and i believe it is only one scene, is one of the most well known in the history of war photography. Of course, what Fenton did would be considered inappropriate - scandalous, even - today, if he were to have the ethics of photojournalism applied to him and if he were to try to pass the scene off as something other than manipulated. Of course, that was 160 years ago and before the field of photojournalism existed, much less had a rigid set of ethics. But most of us here don't work within the tight confines of such a discipline, and, yes, personal ethos rules.
 

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I would l have looked for rocks and stones moving from the start. The shadows on the cannon balls would only tell one about the approximate time of day of only one photograph.
 

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I know you aren't trying to be helpful, and you succeeded.

Still looking for documentation, even an anecdote, about moving bodies. Seriously, would like to hear more about, I am skeptical but open-minded that could have happened.

He moved bodies in the movie so it must be true. The movie also showed him putting a cigar in a dead guy's mouth so that's definitely true. Of course, there were no eyewitnesses because he did it when nobody was looking. What did you expect?
 
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cliveh

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OK, let me exaggerate on my original question by showing this image by Atget. Here he has photographed a mantlepiece showing his own camera reflected in the mirror, with bits of his kit on the sofa. What do you make of this?



1666473793776.png
 
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