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Witness

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Colin
I've just started watching "Witness", an HBO documentary about combat photojournalists produced by directors Michael Mann and David Frankham. It's graphic and powerful and well worth your time.

HBO says that "Witness" strives to show viewers "why, when everyone else seeks cover, the war photographer stands."
 

Dioptrick

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Interesting that the trailer starts with a quote by Robert Capa... which some have adopted as their mantra for street photography.


Colin, if you haven't already... go see the 1983 movie "Under Fire" (Gene Hackman, Nick Nolte, Ed Harris). I think it is still the best photojournalist movie ever made, not that there's many. That HBO trailer immediately reminded me of it.
 

applemint

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Can also recommend a book called 'The Bang-Bang Club: Snapshots from a Hidden War' by Greg Marinovich - about 4 photographers covering the end of apartheid in South Africa. (It's also been made into a film of the same name, but try and read the book first - it's better than the film).
 

Dioptrick

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GAS warning alert!

I like Gene Hackman. I'm surprised I haven't seen that one. I'll definitely check it out.

Thanks.
Just so you know, watching this film could induce LLL syndrome (legacy lens lust)... and may also cause MCBL syndrome (multiple camera body lust).

Nick Nolte who plays the role of the photojournalist in this film, ALWAYS carries three film SLR Nikons with various prime lenses and motordrives - PLUS one Leica Rangefinder... this was during the 1980s remember!

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You can't say I didn't warn you, lol.
 

Dioptrick

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Just the movie is more recent... the time/gear is older.
Yes I had a quick look. It's got mixed reviews, but the previews look very interesting and the movie plot 'period' seems to be similar, around the 1980s? Haven't seen it yet but I think it's gonna be good. As customary in those times, the photojournalists in this movie also carry several film-SLR bodies.

Living today in a world of ultra fast AF and sophisticated electronics, imagine that these guys have to check light meters, calculate exposure on full manual shutter and aperture control while being under fire. A camera can only hold 36 shots per roll of film and a good motor drive would chew that in about 5 seconds. There's certainly no time to change and load films in the middle of a gun fight. Their situational awareness and head-space must've been unreal (keeping up with how many shots left in each body, which body got loaded with colour and which one had B&W film, how many rolls of new film they've got left, which vest pocket the exposed film went into, all this while running straight into battle and manually focusing several dissimilar lenses). Those were certainly different times in comparison to the HBO doco...
 

applemint

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On a similar theme, there is also a documentary called 'Shooting Robert King' which sounds quite interesting (I have not seen it though) - the trailer is here (warning contains images some may find disturbing): Shooting Robert King Trailer - YouTube

If you are interested in the life story of a war photographer (although he photographed other news events too) then the autobiography of British photographer Don McCullin is worth a read (it's called "Unreasonable Behaviour").
A life in photography: Don McCullin | Culture | The Guardian
 

Dioptrick

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On a similar theme, there is also a documentary called 'Shooting Robert King' which sounds quite interesting (I have not seen it though) - the trailer is here (warning contains images some may find disturbing): Shooting Robert King Trailer - YouTube
Is that a true to life doco, or a movie with proper actors made to look like a doco? I honestly couldn't tell from the trailer. I just can't understand why a video crew would follow an unknown photographer very early on in his career...

Pretty gritty though... not for the faint hearted that's for sure.
 

Dioptrick

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Hence the "Sunny 16 Rule" and hyperfocal distance shooting. Old short cuts to fast great photos. Ah the things in our heads no longer relevant... shame.
Yes, and many more techniques than just that rule... now lost. No longer relevant but then again, I'd like to think that these prior disciplines had given us a more diverse 'headspace' when we do shoot with modern equipment. :)
 

freddytto

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Interesting that the trailer starts with a quote by Robert Capa... which some have adopted as their mantra for street photography.


Colin, if you haven't already... go see the 1983 movie "Under Fire" (Gene Hackman, Nick Nolte, Ed Harris). I think it is still the best photojournalist movie ever made, not that there's many. That HBO trailer immediately reminded me of it.
That was one of my favorite movies, it is a war in Nicaragua, apparently the movie has been considered to be problematic in the U.S. Because It openly takes position for the Nicaraguan revolution.


The topic of War and Journalism always makes me uneasy. :D
 

freddytto

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Yes, and many more techniques than just that rule... now lost. No longer relevant but then again, I'd like to think that these prior disciplines had given us a more diverse 'headspace' when we do shoot with modern equipment. :)
that's right ,more easy
 

Bimjo

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Hence the "Sunny 16 Rule" and hyperfocal distance shooting. Old short cuts to fast great photos. Ah the things in our heads no longer relevant... shame.
Ah, but still very relevant if you shoot a NEX with legacy glass. The more things change the more they stay the same. 8^)
 

Dioptrick

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Ah, but still very relevant if you shoot a NEX with legacy glass. The more things change the more they stay the same. 8^)
Ah yes, master Yoda. lol

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What I really like about the NEX is hyperfocal distance shooting at a fixed aperture, but I can still use any shutter speed I want (within reason) and still get the correct exposure. The NEX just goes on auto ISO from 100 to 3200... that's six stops of exposure latitude with a fixed aperture/shutter combo! And the grain at ISO 3200 is finer than ASA 400 on film thanks to the NEX sensor. Auto ISO is just unreal, I can't remember a time when we've had it so easy! :)
 

freddytto

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In the 'Shooting Robert King' trailer, he quotes "I can't remember how many nameless dead bodies I've stepped over."

It doesn't get anymore uneasy than that! :(
that is true, what a shame, I was watching a video on youtube a few minutes ago and left me with eyes open, like '' fisheye '' incredible.
 
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