Not enough sway is given to developing ones style these days. The current trend appears more equipment driven and not learning the craft, art and soul of photography. Style can not be bought, faked, copied or forced. It comes through practise, dedication to your craft and natural development through spending time learning to understand what photography means to you personally.
I would personally say that I’m only just beginning to notice my style surface, I’ve learnt the more I try to concentrate on it the further away I end up from it.
A moment of clarity and calm amidst the hustle and flow of a fashion campaign shoot.
CV 40mm f/1.4
Kodak TMax400 X-Tol 1:1 (Film lovers don’t hate me for the TMax, It was honestly all I had left in the fridge that morning)
Yes the eagle eyed amongst you may have noticed that the model number of my Leica has lost a couple of integers . . . . .
Bye bye M8.2 hello M6, hello LeicaLove. Only problem with it is it gets really really really cold when shooting outside in minus temps (I guess an all metal body will do that though, small price to pay for the pure pleasure that comes with creating photographs with it)
So every now and then I go off on a little rant about printing your work and the dangers of future proofing. Now I’m not wanting to open the whole digital / analogue debate for the millionth time, it’s been done to death, the industry is changing and we must change with it, what I’m talking about here is the history of it all.
My client work is pretty much always doomed to a short lifespan, such is the world of fashion, who really cares about it once the latest trend is over? Personal work however, to me this is my life in photographs. As we experience things in life we each have our own way of dealing with it and remembering it, some write a journal, others can live off the stories, me, I take photographs, I live life through a viewfinder. It’s just my way of remembering. However, what becomes of these “memories” in 10 or 20 years time?
I’ll leave it up to Christopher to put forward his thoughts – http://christopherwilockiphotography.tumblr.com/post/35083500099/i-am-done-with-photography
Now I’m certainly not “done” with photography, I in fact love photography. It’s just that like Chris I fear what we are going to leave behind (or not). My inspiration coming from my contemporaries such as Ryan Muirhead, Severin Koller, Luc Braquet. All these guys have a few things in common? Yes they all shoot film so yes there’s always going to be the Leica thing but apart from that they all revel in the process, they use their tools because they simply love using them. They get pleasure from not only making photographs but also the very means by which they do it. I’m pretty sure I’ve never felt that my Canon gear has inspired me, sure it makes the whole job easier but that isn’t really the point at all.
“For me the film vs digital argument is not about the ability of the mediums to produce good images. For me it’s about how shooting film makes me feel. My Contax, and especially my Leica are inspiring to hold and look through. They make me want to shoot, to be more creative, to contribute to what has already been done with these amazing instruments.” R.M.
Again, I’m not saying film is “better” or “worse”, it also isn’t about the nostalgia. It’s about creating photographs in the way you wish to create them and with a tool which actually compels you to do so.
So I guess what I’m saying is just go back over the thousands of photographs you all took last year and print a few off and stick them on your wall, or in a shoebox or something. Just keep some to look back on one day.
Super simple, super minimal, super captivating.
When you throw away all the gloss, the stylists, the couture, the stress and struggle, all that remains is that pure connection between two people and the moments in-between. Sometimes it’s nice just to let it all go.
Model : Artemis Fauna
70cm Beauty dish above and camera right (see catch light)
A couple of firsts for the series. First female triptych and first one shot on film.
Betty B one of the leading lights of Hulls very own Roller Derby team, HARD, or Hull’s Angels Roller Dames.
Leica CL, 40mm cron. Kodak TMax (I was all out of TriX, don’t hate me for it).
If things line up (they already pretty much have) I’m set to add a good few more of these triptychs very soon. I’ve been warned that they will be of a “rather interesting and diverse” set of individuals. I’m very much looking forward to seeing what my good friend has signed me up too.
So you may have noticed it went a little quiet around here last week, that was due to me taking a long overdue break from it all. Nothing clears away the stresses from a photographers life like going to a new place and making . . . um . . . .photographs. Some may question why I didn’t just put the cameras down and take a full no photos break. Well to those who ask that I simply say making photographs is how I deal with the world, it’s what I do, it is essentially me. I journal, I collect, I make memories, I recycle light. Without it I fear what I may become, with it I feel I may express my vision of the world to those who may care to view it.
So with that said, to the trip.
I’d decided that it was going to be one of an almost zen like quality, I’d decided that I was only going to use film. To me this is unplugging, letting go of the instant gratification of digital, letting go of all the modern tech crammed into cameras these day to “aid” in our visual expression. What I had was what you see above.
A bag into which the following was poured each morning;
40mm f2 / 15mm f4.5
Mucho mucho film for both cameras
Plus the needed everyday bits and bobs.
I managed to munch through a fair amount of the film I took with me (and almost panic bought some emergency Portra 400 when I stumbled upon a glorious find of a camera emporium). A little note on FotoSkoda, this is probably Pragues largest camera store (if not the whole Czech Republic) I’ve been in some pretty impressive stores before but this place was a proverbial gold mine of goodies, just a shame the exchange rate meant that the prices are higher than back home.
Anyway much fun was had and I’m currently waiting on a few more rolls being dev’ed and piecing together my collection for prints.
However to keep you wanting more here are a few likely candidates to make the final cut.
In a slight contrast to the Leica M8 this weekend, I’ve fallen back on my trustworthy (well something like that) Holga. Ilford HP5+ for some exposure latitude and a well needed coffee break.
Oh yeah, if you’re ever in York check out my man Steve at the rather special Spring Espresso (@SpringEspresso on the twitter).
Holga 120N, Ilford HP5+ dev’ed D76 1:1 and rescued at scanning as this was rather under exposed. A little tint-orama thanks to Lightroom.
Expect more of this kind of stuff from me for a little while in between the portrait work. I have a small side project running so the Holga is getting a work out.
Once again reminded of the joy from film. Had I shot this on digital and underexposed quite so drastically I’m pretty sure it would have looked awful, this however kind of works with the whole holga / film vibe, well to me it does.