Butch Morris in the Window Sunlight | Notes on Photo Etiquette | Part 1.

Butch Morris at his place: 219 E. 7th Street # 5, NYC — July 1, 1997 — photo by Mark Weber

BUTCH MORRIS IN THE WINDOW SUNLIGHT

NOTES ON PHOTO ETIQUETTE
Part 1

J.A. Deane paid me a compliment this morning over the telephone when I told him about these Butch Morris shots we recently scanned & digitized. I was telling him how interesting they were and said damn I missed my calling I shoulda been a photographer. And Dino said, “Web, you are a photographer.” And I went on to say that I’d rather people think of me as a writer who happens to use a camera as part of my story process.

How do you photograph someone if you are sitting with them in conversation? How do you make the camera not be an intrusion? Is subterfuge the right word to describe this process? Not exactly. Mostly, you want to be in the conversation, but have a fraction of your mind be divided to notice when a photograph is there before and to unobtrusively lift the camera and snap off a shot.

You have to be a psychologist of sorts. Don’t start shooting a million shots. One or two or half dozen might be enough. Leave the camera casually laying around so that your subject knows that it is part of the afternoon. Don’t hide anything.

In these shots I was visiting Butch Morris at his apartment on the Lower East Side of Manhattan — we talked for better part of 2 hours, maybe more, mostly about the process of Conduction (rather than a camera I wish I had had a tape recorder ! )

Dino has worked extensively with Butch for many years in these Conductions. I have known Butch since his Los Angeles days.

Mark Weber – Sept 26, 2o12

Butch Morris at his place: 219 E. 7th Street # 5, NYC — July 1, 1997 — photo by Mark Weber

Butch Morris at his place: 219 E. 7th Street # 5, NYC — July 1, 1997 — photo by Mark Weber

Butch Morris at his place: 219 E. 7th Street # 5, NYC — July 1, 1997 — photo by Mark Weber

3 Comments

  1. Mark
    I love natural light photography. Cartier-Bresson, Werner Bischof and some others, were masters of this difficult technique but today the tendency is to use flash all the time when the light is low, and so lose the atmosphere. Your technique in these images is faultless.
    Best
    Jack

  2. I remember that afternoon Butch had said that he wished he had met Leonard Bernstein (1918-1990)

  3. Also, when Butch and I left to busy ourselves somewhere else on Manhattan we were trooping down 7th and ran into Bruce Ackley who was in town with ROVA and he walked a few blocks along with us.

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