My analog photography journey ……

For a while now I’ve haven’t had a same feeling I get when I pick up my camera. So I promised myself that I will get more involved with analog.

I have the camera and the film and I just needed to get going. I promised myself that this year, I will put more effort into it.

Getting started was easy but getting tangible results proved a little more problematic and more expensive than I thought.

My first and second were a wash. Out of 35 frames on each roll, I managed to have 10 decent images. That’s discouraged me a little but it wasn’t about to give up.

I then found out that the light meter on the camera wasn’t working properly so I decided to get a light meter app. That didn’t help much probably didn’t because I didn’t have the patience for it.

As a photographer, I’m not a fan of shooting 20frames per second on digital, when the cost of film processing is a lot more than digital, it definitely makes you rethink everything before you press the shutter.

Here are the few images that I’ve been successful with. Although I would have liked better results, the imperfections are what makes me like these images. It’s almost makes you smile to think about the effort put in.

Seeing simplicity in photography 

    Trying to create simple photographs are more complicated than I’d had expected.

    When looking at landscapes, we are filled with an array of emotions that trigger various senses. We smell the air, feel the cold, heat the wind blowing but most of all; our eyes almost see everything sprawled in front of us and we instantly understand. Then what we learn kincks in then we have a vision of what we would achieve.

    However to create a minimalist image, you first begin to see lines, simple patterns and how this interact within the landscape and how they interact and position within the frame.

    One of my favourite songs is Catapult by Jack Savoretti. The music slowly builds up while the artist draws you in with his words and his enchanting voice. That’s is what I like minimalist images to convey. Slowly draws you in and then hold your gaze in the frame. The aim is to exclude what is distracting and keeping only what is important. 

    When faced with all the individual elements of landscape, we must train our eyes to select only a small number of vital elements.

     Whether it is architecture or landscape, I like to keep my composition as minimal as possible trying to stick to 3 elements. As easy as it sounds, I find difficult at times but what is important is that I am keeping with it.

    Monday’s Inspiration – Gustav Le Gray

    Gustave Le Gray was referred to as  “the most important French photographer of the nineteenth century” because of his technical innovations in the still new medium of photography, his role as the teacher of other noted photographers, and “the extraordinary imagination he brought to picture making”.

    Le Gray was born near Paris where studied painting in the studio of Paul Delaroche, and made his first daguerreotypes by at least 1847. His real contributions—artistically and technically came in the domain of photography, in which he first experimented in 1848. Even before making the marine images, he became one of the most renowned pioneers of the new art. His architectural, landscape and portrait photographs, his writings, teaching and inventions were all highly influential.

    He was one of the photographers in those time that believed that photography should be considered as art.

    In the 1852 edition of his treatise, Le Gray wrote: “It is my deepest wish that photography, instead of falling within the domain of industry, of commerce, will be included among the arts. That is its sole, true place, and it is in that direction that I shall always endeavor to guide it. It is up to the men devoted to its advancement to set this idea firmly in their minds.” To that end, he established a studio, gave instruction in photography (fifty of Le Gray’s students are known, including major figures such as Charles Nègre, Henri Le Secq, Émile Pécarrère, Olympe Aguado, Nadar, Adrien Tournachon, and Maxime Du Camp), and provided printing services for negatives by other photographers.

    Flush with success and armed with 100,000 francs capital from the marquis de Briges, he established “Gustave Le Gray et Cie” in the fall of 1855 and opened a lavishly furnished portrait studio at 35 boulevard des Capucines (a site that would later become the studio of Nadar and the location of the first impressionist exhibition).

    However, in 1860, despite his success a steady stream of wealthy clients, he became bankrupt. Abruptly he abandoned his business and his family and left Paris for Italy. He finally settled in Egypt to become a drawing instructor, though he continued to take photographs, and died there in 1882.

    The Great Wave, the most dramatic of his seascapes, combines Le Gray’s technical mastery with expressive grandeur. He took the view on the Mediterranean coast near Montpellier. At the horizon, the clouds are cut off where they meet the sea. This indicates the join between two separate negatives. The combination of two negatives allowed Le Gray to achieve tonal balance between sea and sky on the final print. It gives a more truthful sense of how the eye, rather than the camera, perceives nature.

    When first shown, the luminous, shimmering effects amid Le Gray’s otherwise dark seascapes were often mistaken for moonlight. It is easy to see why this misconception arose in these monochrome images where darkness encroaches towards the edges of the scene. In fact, he achieved the moonlight effect by pointing the camera in the direction of the sun during daylight.

    Below you will find a few of his images. However what strikes me personally is the composition. The minimalist side of it and it reminds me of a lot of the images a lot of photographers opt for when photographing seascapes. I have a feeling that we are imitating what has already been done or these images are just ahead of their time. Isn’t it interesting though that despite all the advanced equipments at our disposal, we are still imitating the Masters.

     

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    Monday’s Inspiration – Wolfgang Suschitzky

    Wolfgang Suschitzky was a photographer and cinematographer perhaps best known for his collaboration with Paul Rotha in the 1940s and his work on Mike Hodges’ 1971 film Get Carter.

    Born in Vienna, trained as a photographer at Hohere Graphische Bundes-Lehr-und Versuchsanstalt. Under the impression of Austro-fascism, emigrated to the Netherlands in 1934 and to London the following year. As an enemy alien, was subject to a temporary ban on working. Co-founded DATA film cooperative in 1944.

    As well as being a photographer, Suschitzky was also a prolific cinematographer, working on a bewilderingly varied array of titles, the best – and best known – of which was Get Carter. Working as director of photography on Mike Hodges’ Tyneside-set thriller, starring Michael Caine as a hitman returning home in search of vengeance, he shot a Newcastle that was grimy, poor and flattened spiritually, a far cry from party nights in the Bigg Market and Sir John Hall’s “Geordie nation”.

     

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    Why I love architectural photography

    Escalation

    It is no secret that if you have followed me for a while that I love architectural photography. I have created many images of numerous architectural subjects and I’ve come to love and each time I create a new image my pulse literally.

    It is the excitement of seeing something new, creating something in my mind and finally see it come to life.

    Architecture is part of our daily lives. Each building is designed in a specific way to enrich our lives and our skies. They are all unique and their own hidden depth. My aim is to create something beautiful and extraordinary out of what I see. That is my favourite part of my work.Instead of documenting the subject, my aim for this part is to create something that means that is personal to me. It is about making something my own. My image, my story to tell and for the viewer to interpret it as they will.

    We all work a different way. The internet is flooded with millions of images if not billions each day. So do I want to create something to buried in all the noise of something to stand out. When put in that perspective, my way of thinking changes. There’s only one me so why let my work blend in or get buried.

    My aim is to push myself with each image and to ask myself each time what I am creating? What am I trying to say?

     

     

    We need to be better photographers

    “What we lack is not better cameras, but better photographers. It’s our turn” – David DuChemin

    I’ve just came across this quote on instagram by David Duchemin, a photographer that I greatly admire. There nothing this man can’t do. If you would like to know more about him, please click HERE.

    Why am I sharing this quote and what does it say to me?

    Ever since I started on this journey, my aim has always been to improve and get better. As you do, you try your hand at every until you find something that you love but then you get restless again which means its time to learn and grow again. The only way I’ve known to do that is to experiment a lot and often. The aim of experimentation is not to copy others but to get out of your comfort zone.

    However, we get so caught up with the new lens or new camera out there that we forget we started. I myself have lost interest in whatever new camera is out next in favour of learning and experimenting.

    They are a long list of Photography Masters that we need to aspire to be and even to surpass. These men and women that have paved the way for us. Not only have they fought to make photography to be considered an art, it is truly up to us to show to ourselves that our is truly an art and not something to get loads of followers on social media networks.

    How do we that?

    First by not copying anyone else’s work and creating for ourselves. Create work that matter, work that means something to ourselves, work that tells a story.

    Yes I do agree with David Duchemin, we need better photographers and we need to them.

    Monday’s Inspiration – Captain Linnaeus Tripe

    Captain Linnaeus Tripe  was a British photographer and between 1854 and 1860, Tripe produced an unprecedented series of photographs documenting the landscape and cultural artefacts of south India and Burma. As an officer in the British army, he traveled with diplomatic expeditions, creating a visual inventory of celebrated archaeological sites and monuments, religious and secular buildings—some now destroyed—as well as geological formations and scenic vistas. His training as a military surveyor, where the choice of viewpoint and careful attention to visual details were essential, gave his photographs a striking aesthetic rigour that distinguishes them from the picturesque travel views characteristic of the period.

    In March 1857 he became official photographer to the Madras government, taking photographs of objects shown at the Madras exhibition and portraits of Madras residents. In 1858, he took photographs of subjects of architectural or antiquarian interest, and pictures useful from a practical, engineering perspective. He exhibited 50 photographs from this tour in the annual exhibition of the Photographic Society of Madras in 1859. In March 1862 a series of his photographs were exhibited by Professor Archer at a meeting of the Photographic Society showing ‘Poodoocotah, Madura, Ruakotta, Seringham, the Elliot Marbles, &c., &c.’ 

    Following the Indian Rebellion, control of India went to the British and in June 1859 Tripe was ordered not to undertake any new work. At the end of that year he was told to close the business and sell off the equipment.