[rollei_list] Doisneau's famous opinion about the "navel-level-finder" of the Rolleiflex TLR


Hello all

There is an on-going exhibition of 300 pictures by Robert Doisneau
(most pictures taken with a Rolleiflex TLR) in France at Malbrouck
Castle, Manderen, Moselle (close to Luxemburg and Germany).
For those interested, the exhibition is open until August 28, 2011

http://www.moselle-tourism.com/decouverte-de-la-moselle/culture-chatoyante/detail.asp?idObjTour=FMAMOS570001799

Browsing through some books I have about Doisneau I found the famous
opinion he had about what he calls a "navel-level-finder":

"With the Rolleiflex, the viewfinder is over the camera. lt's an
 instrument with which you don't have to look people in the face. Any
 monkey-tamer will tell you this too: you must never look the animal
 in the eyes. lt's the same with people. lf you look them in the face,
 it's like provocation. You create a power relation. With the
 Rolleiflex there's such courtesy, such humility! Since you hold the
 camera at navel height, you have to bend down to look at the
 viewfinder, as if out of respect for the person being photographed.
 That changes everything."

Robert Doisneau, quoted by Claire Stoullig, p. 12 of: catalogue of the
exhibition "Doisneau's Renault", Besançon, France, 2005,
ISBN 2 85056 875 9 Somogy Éditions d'Art.

----------------

The legend says that Henri Cartier-Bresson would mock at Doisneau's
"navel" : "He takes pictures with his navel !!!"

Well, I heard that Cartier-Bresson was not always a pleasant man, but
there, as a Rolleiphile, I cannot but totally support Doisneau's
opinion ;-)
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