• What's his subject, the in-focus stair case or the blurry biker? - The Ludt Family
  • Seems to me the subject of the whole picture is movement (downwards). Pitching down the stairs or rushing down the hill on a bike. Either way the contrast of the static position of the photographer and the solidity of the buildings with the movement is what makes this picture great for me. - AndrewNZ

Mario's Bike

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A deleted Cartier-Bresson picture. Could anyone believe that?

Bigger size here

Note: This picture was submitted to the deleteme pool without any mention to the original author. After a dozen or so "great" comments its was revealed.
This whole experience shows several things. You are welcome to take your own conclusions. After all, art is some kind of mirror.

Violator3, CarlosBravo, rainsinger, and 891 other people added this photo to their favorites.

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  1. André Rabelo 102 months ago | reply

    kamoriaha: technology is not art. You could have an amazing 1 Giga pixels camera and still have mediocre photographs.
    Another thing, a great photo is different from a great subject. A sunshine shot with a great background is something everyone can take.
    Make the difference is the key point.

  2. wit 102 months ago | reply

    Damn shame I missed on deleting this, its a blurry photo with limited tonal range that thrives on the name of its photographer. The day you save this just because of who took it is the day you may as well throw out all your critical faculties because your not using them. Even the greatest artists made some mistakes, the problem is folks treat it as art just because of the name.

  3. Anton Leroy 102 months ago | reply

    Lol... congrats to André. Nice work.

  4. j s p [deleted] 102 months ago | reply

    André for president :-DDD

  5. SCFiasco 102 months ago | reply

    HCB tripped on the stairway going down and his 35mm leica went off. A totally accidental shot, even in his own words. He voted deleteme on his own photo - I consulted with a spiritual medium. HCB said 'shame on you Andre.' don't mock the dead.

    Any artist can be a photographer, but not all photographers are artist - not do they claim to be - and anyone is entitled to their own opinion.

    Beauty is in the eye of the beholder - keep voting your own opinion in DM!

  6. Zuiko_Addict 102 months ago | reply

    kamoriaha: That's a totally different question. You can't step in the same river twice. Truth is, this was a moment in time, and HCB caught a decisive moment, as was his wont. The photo should be appreciated on its own, for what it is. I have always loved this photo as a photo, technical aspects aside. Others may not care for it, which is their prerogative. I don't feel it's HCB's "best", but I still like it.

  7. Jingles_97 102 months ago | reply

    I am new to flickr and this is my first comment. Your guys are hilarious. I was browsing through the daily "interesting" photos, and after pages and pages of non-descript but techinically perfect pictures, I saw this one. "Wow, great capture!" It looked familiar, so at first I thought someone was trying to imitate HCB. I guess the joke was me. But then when I read the comments, now I know really the joke is on you! Haha. Personally I love this image, one of the best on Dec. 5 2005!

  8. Plaubel Makina 102 months ago | reply

    When Cartier Bresson, Andre Kertesz, Robert Frank and many other photographers advanced the "snaphot aesthetic" they faced the same criticism from the pictorial photographers - junk photos, fuzzy, grainy, poor composition, etc. Fast forward fifty years and this photograph is criticized on the same grounds. The scary thing is that while Bresson's photographs maybe more than 60 years old to the amateur photography savage trapped in the backwater of pictorialism they still represent the incomprehensible and the avant-garde.

  9. André Rabelo 102 months ago | reply

    Jingles: Welcome to Flickr!

    Makina: Perfect!!!

  10. Imapix 102 months ago | reply

    "Sharpness is a bourgeois concept."
    -Henri Cartier-Bresson

  11. i am your hero 102 months ago | reply

    "Deleteme" on technicality. Pfft!

    This is a nice piece of "ART"!!!

  12. zamario 102 months ago | reply

    You are a genius!!! Thanks!

  13. zamario 102 months ago | reply

    I mean:
    -personal opinion: this is a masterpiece: mixing in a single moment the stillness of the stair and the movement on the bike, making a single vortex pushing down the man is simply magnificent.
    -common sense: maybe knowing a little of history of photography would be of some help in understanding pictures, and commenting them (and getting to know this picture would have needed really little knowledge)
    -bs: saying that a masteriece is not such a masterpiece after some time in art is complete nonsense: this would say that the colosseo, or the Nike of samotracia or the spring of botticelli are not masterpieces anymore just because today the instruments are better...come on!!!

  14. robherr 102 months ago | reply

    I agree! Good job this exposes alot! Not to get into the politics of the Deleteme group, but it seems stacked against POSITIVE comments in general.

    I shamelessly here plug the

    Positive / Negative Pool

    if you want both comments please join and check it out

  15. Lost in New York? 102 months ago | reply

    "But what I hate here is that people dont care about what they see but in how it was made... And I dont care about the tech as I care about the soul of an image.

    Got it?"

    Then join a different group and quit your bitchin

  16. The Chorizo Warrior [deleted] 102 months ago | reply

    I can't believe some of the comments I'm reading here!

    Photography is art. Art is expression. This photo expresses a mood that very few photographers can capture.

    The photo is stronger BECAUSE of the slight shake. I feel as though it's a still from a film-where we are the eyes of the character.

    Cartier Bresson was a unique talent, he was a genius, and no one will ever take photos in the same way-maybe equally great? but never the same.

    When you have a strong enough idea of what you want to express-and enough talent to go with it- then 'the look' to your photos will be strong enough to be individual.

    Any great painter has a unique, and very recognisable 'look' to their respective works. Think of Van Gogh, Gaugin or Piccaso.

    So when I see comments from people that have posted a thousand sunset shots! (wow really unique!??) or manipulate their work with filters and photoshop, and who's work is so technically 'perfect' but who simply do not even have enough talent to be original, then I ask WHO WILL REMEMBER A PERFECT SHOT SET UP IN A STUDIO OF A F*%^ING TOMATO IN 50 YEARS TIME?!!??

    Delete the 'delete me' group. Unlike CB they contribute nothing to photography, culture or enlightenment in general.

  17. idogu 102 months ago | reply

    I didn't read the comments when I posted here first, but aren't we all so extremely clever and important?

    "technology has gotten better, the chance to take perfect pictures is much better." LOL! Does that mean that Shakespeare would write better stories just because he now would own a computer instead of ink and pen?

    See, I have no clue about "good" or "bad" photography, I have no clue what is "right" or "wrong".
    That's why I so much enjoy this debate. Thinking about it, for me two things are relevant (as in most forms of communication (and photography is a form of communication too): What do I hear/see, what is the effect on me? Did the picture evoke something, a reaction, a question, a sentiment etc. And secondly, even more interesting: what did the person behind the camera see or say? Why taking this picture? What was his/her intention, feeling, reaction? What made this shot special for him/her? Why even posting it?

    Then, the question of "good or bad", "save or delete", "sense and nonsense" gets a completely different tone ...

    It's a fine difference between judgment and feedback, I prefer feedback ...

  18. idogu 102 months ago | reply

    btw: in this context, take a "delete me" as a "I don't like it" and not as "It is not good". And for "save me" vice versa. Very simple.

  19. okrahoma 102 months ago | reply

    on the comment "It's a fine difference between judgment and feedback, I prefer feedback":
    -- that would be a saveme10, take it to the safe :-)

  20. bluespeedy 102 months ago | reply

    The deleteme members' comments on this photo will serve to be their defining moment IMHO, and pretty much serves as the reason why my membership of the deleteme group was brief.

    If the height of your creative awareness and abilities can only lead you to state that this cyclist is 'blurry' or to say you find the bit-over-there 'distracting' or to ask 'what's it about?' ... go and join the deleteme group - you'll find them in the pub, sitting in armchairs, and shouting at the television.

  21. Dustin@DLimage 101 months ago | reply

    holy crap they deleted Bresson that would be a sin at my school. next they will delete Weston or maybe Stieglitz

  22. Mary Savvidou ♥ 101 months ago | reply

    oh my god!! i cant believe it... this is Cartier-Bresson you guys.. are we serious now?

  23. Vincent Boiteau 101 months ago | reply

    it is, by today's standard, an inferior creation! All in all, it's just a hyped up picture, it's really boring, technically weak, and shallow, passed the woah effect (similar to looking at esher drawings) it falls short.

  24. schani 101 months ago | reply

    I feel so much better now about my deleted photos! :-)

  25. Saulo Lisboa 101 months ago | reply

    André, congratulations! Very nice job! Adorei, cara, muito bom! Bolão dentro!

  26. güneş in wonderland 101 months ago | reply

    one may always prefer contemporary stuff, that is totally understandable but denying the genius of older masterpieces is far beyond being smartass. one does not have to like something but appreciation is whole another subject. I almost felt devastated reading the previous comments, this is Bresson for god's sake, the man who made most people start taking photos (at least true for me!!!)... so sad :(

  27. felmagalhães 101 months ago | reply

    can't believe this is still going on! the dm crowd really cannot have enough of themselves...

  28. Tobyloc (again) 101 months ago | reply

    Art is subjective, if I was to vote on this now (even knowing it was Bresson) I'd be about 50:50, because I don't think it's amazing. For me the fuziness of the railings hurts and distracts my eye, as wonderful a composition as it is. That's my opinion, just because it's not yours and you've read more books on phtography, doesn't mean it's any less valid. Get over it.

    To be honest I think the most moronic comments on this photo are from those who knew and know this to be Bresson. And, once again, that's my opinion.

    The day I stand in front of a Picasso with my eyes shut, and know it's perfect before I'd opened my eyes, and laugh at people with their eyes open who don't like it, is a sad day.

    Happy Christmas all!

  29. Max| 100 months ago | reply

    Me he divertido mucho.
    Lo que sucede en el grupo deleteme es terriblemente común. La crítica es fácil, y sobre todo en internet: pinchas aqui, miras un par de segundos, te gusta o no te gusta, y tras un análisis ínfimo (o nulo), escribes lo que te parece y te vas a otro sitio.
    Estoy seguro de que yo lo he hecho muchas veces también.
    Sería bueno poder ver en las estadísticas, no sólo cuántas veces ha sido vista cada foto, sino cuánto tiempo se han parado a observarla.
    Personalmente, valoro mucho los comentarios positivos, porque me indican cuando estoy yendo por un buen camino. Valoro el silencio, porque supongo que no estoy expresando lo suficiente. Y finalmente aprecio los comentarios sobre cómo podría ser mejor, compositivamente, si vienen de alguien con experiencia.
    Los comentarios del estilo "me falta aire por aqui", "me sobra aire por alla", "tal cosa me distrae", me suelen parecer completamente estúpidos. Si te falta el aire abre una ventana y si algo te distrae concéntrate. Si algo no está completamente en foco, quizas sea porque la nitidez no es lo importante de la imagen. Seguramente la nitidez sea fundamental para ver el cutis de Penélope C., pero tiene por qué ser el elemento fundamental de una composición, sino mas bien los colores, volúmenes, geometrias, movimiento, luces, sombras, perspectivas...

    Si la piedra del rincón tiene sentido para ti, si intentas decir algo con esa piedra, da igual que venga alguien a decir que esa piedra le distrae. Y mucho peor, que vengan a proponerte que cortes tu foto. Que vayan a decirle a Miguel Angel que le corte las piernas a David, porque le quedaron cortas. O a Leonardo: "corta la Gioconda por debajo, que me distraen las manos".

    English version now. I hope it will be understandable:
    What happens in the deleteme group is terribly common. Criticism is easy, and mainly in Internet: you click here, look a few seconds, you like it or not, and after a very small (or null) analysis, you write what you think about it and go away to another site.
    I am sure that I have often done it also.
    It would be good to been able to see in the statistics, not only how many times a photo has been viewed, but how long they have been stopped to observe it.
    Personally, I value the positive commentaries, because they indicate to me when I am going by a good way. I value silence, because I suppose that I am not being enough expressive.. And finally esteem the commentaries on how it could be better, if they come from somebody with experience.
    The commentaries of the style "I need more air here", "too much air there", "such thing distracts me", usually seem completely stupid to me. If you need more air open a window and if something distracts you, try to concentrate.
    If something is not completely in focus, maybe are because sharpness is not the important thing of the image. Surely the sharpness is fundamental to see the skin of Penélope C., but it not have to be the fundamental element of a composition, but the colors, volumes, geometry, movement, lights, shades, perspective...

    If the stone at the corner has sense for you, if you try to say something with that stone, is superfluous if somebody comes to say that the stone distracts him. And much worse, propose you to cut your photo. Go say to Miguel Angel to cut the legs of David, because it had left short. Or to Leonardo: "cut the lower part of Gioconda, that the hands distract to me".

  30. jadziajadzia 100 months ago | reply

    oh my bloody god. what's going on here? i can't believe that and won't try to. i've read all the comments and it's really grotesque. it's not even funny. deletemegroup - shame on you, guys. Andre Rabelo, thanks for reminding me what's art and what is not.

  31. flyzipper 100 months ago | reply

    I faved it for the debate, not the photo.

  32. cristina: [deleted] 100 months ago | reply

    this made my day :D

  33. Grevel 98 months ago | reply

    grande andré!
    way to fight the deleteme organized crime!

  34. Gabriel M.A. 97 months ago | reply

    This is hilarious.

  35. *Maurizio* 97 months ago | reply

    This show how stupid and IGNORANT are those of the delete me group. BLAME ON YOU BLAME ON YOU

  36. stroboscopic 95 months ago | reply

    Just stumbled upon this one thinking someone was stealing from The Master. It turned out to be so ironic it hurts.

    What's next? Delete Van Gogh because he got the colors all wrong?

    I find some comments too harsh (on both sides).

    It's easy to say it's a great picture just because you happen to know it's a classic, but do you really know what makes classic a classic?

    As for the sharpness-obsessed people: I pity you, because you're looking but not seeing.

  37. Findo 95 months ago | reply

    What I'm seeing here is all the anti-deleteme people feeling good because DM deleted a real artist's shot, because somehow, that validates their own 'art' that was deleted. But the problem is, the playing field is different. The image was being judged as a recent photograph, not one taken ages ago. When we look at old paintings, we realise that cracked canvases are par for the course, but new paitings shouldn't be cracked. When we watch old films we realised that dust and scratches on the film are normal, but we expect new films to be pristine DVD quality. When we listen to recordings of Carouso they are crackly, but we expect the latest Juan Diego Florez dsic to be perfectly clear.
    Are the old artists inferior? No. But we judge old art differently from new art.
    We judge today's photography by today's standards. So what if most of the people on DM didn't recognise a HCB, most of us have day jobs. If HCB had a blurry street pic, it was probably because of the limitations of his equipment. If one of us has a blurry picture, it's because we aren't as good as we'd like to think.

    [edited months and months later: geez... what a load of crap I was saying! This shot is superb, and equipment has nothing to do with it... Deleteme just can't see the forest for the trees]

  38. Water Foul Photographer 95 months ago | reply

    Photography is a skill as well as a medium for art. deletme is really useful for me, because, I don't have the skill to take a 100% technically perfect picture yet, or even 90% - I always overlook something and its great to have a forum that will give you that instant feedback.

    I don't expect deleteme to foster anyone's talents as an artist anymore than an editorial course would enable you to write great poetry, but if you want to improve your photography skills and you're not too precious about what people say it's very useful and good fun.

  39. raizans 95 months ago | reply

    lol. i guess we now know who to ignore...

  40. disposable photography 95 months ago | reply

    BTW BiG Frank, Citizen Kane is still riveting. Go get a copy and watch.

  41. Gelu Lupaş 95 months ago | reply

    Hilarious. This is art "criticism" over the Internet. By visually uneducated people. I wonder who's next. Salgado? Adams?

  42. JanneM 95 months ago | reply

    OK, can people get a grip on this? So it's Cartier-Bresson - does it necessarily mean it really is a great image? Not everything even a master makes is great, and things don't become great just because a master has produced them (expensive, yes, but not great).

    oohp, do you mean that once a "name" has produced something that it is automatically wrong (or uncultured, or declassè) to not to like the result? If so, you're the bigger fool here.

  43. Manuel Wesser [deleted] 95 months ago | reply

    deleteme has a problem

    all scoring/ voting groups has a problem

    only main stream things can win

    group main stream pictures :-)

    one group will vote the technical score (often this fails... take a look to scoreme!)

    one group will try to vote based on the personal mind about something (like deleteme) not only one part of the composition

    but photography is a kind of art

    that means you can say something about and suggest improvements. but the one and only important rule is: the picture is made from a person and looks like it has to be. because he/she created it!

    in my mind the picture above is a great work. because i have to think about! what is the message? what is the subject? why is it looking blurred? should it be like this?

    sometimes art is nothing to look at and understand. sometimes you have to think about the contend.

    Go out and have fun!

  44. Howard Linton Photographs [deleted] 95 months ago | reply

    "Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt." - Abraham Lincoln

  45. akumen [deleted] 95 months ago | reply

    Actually, I'm not all that interested in the subject of photography. Once the picture is in the box, I'm not all that interested in what happens next. Hunters, after all, aren't cooks. - Henri Cartier-Bresson (1908 - 2004)

    This is, perhaps, the best thread I have come across on Flickr. I think the main reason people dwell on this so much is because the "critiques" are often coming from people with rubbish photos in their own streams. Rubbish defined as lacking either artistic vision, technical expertise or both. Hence the bitterness. It is hard to take criticism from a person with too many cat snapshots in their stream. No?

    Art while it may go in and out of fashion is timeless. Age doesn't invalidate or make it bad by today's standards. Saying that HCB would have taken a "better" photo given today's tools is falling in the fallacy that is so persistent among too many "photographers" today that the tool used to take a photo is more important than the photographer. By now we should all realize that the "tool" behind the camera is more important.

    The only positive aspect to this is the fact that people are actually being open about their feelings about art. Regardless of the person who has created it. However, these opinions are of "the gutter level" since the people in question have no merit themselves. In a sense that while everybody can be a critic, not everybody can be a critic that anyone would listen to. The difference is not often subtle and is aking to calling a photo underexposed and crap as opposed Michelangelo-ish (Caravaggio, not Buonarroti).

  46. askme2flashu 95 months ago | reply

    There is nothing worse than a sharp image of a fuzzy concept.
    Ansel Adams (1902 - 1984)

    It hurts my head to think that someone believes that, if Henri Cartier-Bresson had a better camera his picture wouldn't have been so blurry.

    Part of being a great artist is knowing what pieces to show. It's not that they never make a poor piece of art, they just don't post them on flickr.

    Twelve significant photographs in any one year is a good crop. - Ansel Adams

  47. Gelu Lupaş 95 months ago | reply

    JanneM, I'm not implying anything here. Blurry or otherwise, the HCB photo is way better than what most of you have in their photo streams. I've specifically looked at the photo streams of people who have voted the HCB photo for deletion. Also, I am not implying that the quality of your photos determine your critical abilities. So far I've seen good critics that are otherwise very lousy photographers (and the other way around). Otherwise I party agree with Absolut Alex's comment.

    BigFrank, sorry to tell you but there is no way you can "improve" a photo made by another person. Make it less blurry? Maybe. Does that make it any better? No. It isn't your photo. You didn't take it. Somebody else did. It's someone else's vision. Somebody else *felt* the need and emotion to push the shutter release. If it is your photo then it's quite a different story.

  48. JanneM 95 months ago | reply

    oohp, you say that the value of a photograph is personal. That the vision is idiosyncratic. Does not that mean that critics negative to an image is just as correct (or not) as those who adore it? Since taste and vision is personal, there is thus no basis to make a cross-individual comparison anymore.

    Or, to put another way, if the only thing that matters is what Cartier-Bresson felt when he pressed the trigger, what are we discussing? Some people love the image and they're just as correct as people that think this is not one of his great images. And yes, this goes for those who feel it sucks because it's blurry too - or people with a bicycle-and-staircase phobia; they have their criteria, just as valid as anyone elses.

    And in general, criticism (real, informed criticism) of an art or craft does not require proficiency in the art. Most visual art critics are not artists and are not trained as artists; they tend rather to have a background in art history and similar (arguably making them rather better informed as critics than they'd be if they were artists themselves). Most literature critics are not novelists; film critics are not directors or scriptwriters; music critics are not generally musicians, composers or conductors. How good or bad someone is as a photographer is utterly peripheral to their ability to give resoned, well-informed criticism of an image.

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