Showing posts with label picturesque places. Show all posts
Showing posts with label picturesque places. Show all posts


Monday column: Photographic Subject of an Analogue Photographer

Photographic subjects are very personal thing and differ from a photographer to photographer. But are they different from, let say, a digital photographer subjects? Yes and no, I would say. Let’s say. Now days you will not shoot sports with analogue camera. Maybe I’m wrong but I don’t see much sense in it. Specific for shooting sports is high “frame rate” so you can get (catch) the perfect moment, so waste of film. This is why they invented digital in the first place. No, an analogue photography is all opposite than sports photography. It’s not about taking as much shots as you can get and hoping that you get the right moment. It’s workflow is slow and deliberate. You must have pre-visualised scene, and then you wait (if you have to) for the right moment.

But analogue photography is not about analogue vs. digital technique or convenience, it’s all about aesthetics. Aesthetics evoke emotions, so we can conclude that analogue photography is photography of and about emotions. What are most common photographs which include emotion? First thought is about portraits but we can add nature and landscape photography. Human portrait is all about emotions of another human being and landscape or nature is all about our emotions that we project outwards and then take a picture of it. But, you will say, that this could be done with digital camera also. My answer is that analogue photography has its specific look that it can be simulated by digital workflow but it’s only that, a simulation. Every film has its own signature, which it can be used to emphasize the emotion that we want to catch or message to say.

But this is only my vision of (analogue) photography. You may have (you have!) your own. Let’s take some photographs, catch some emotions and tell a story.



Monday Column: Photographic and Not so Photographic Trips

Have you ever planned a trip and, as all of us, who think about ourselves as a photographers, take with you a photographic camera of some sort? Of course you did. But on what kind of trip or voyage did you go. A family trip, business one, tourist voyage... Did you take with you almost most of your gear you own (camera, backup, several lenses, tripod, flashes, etc.) and then didn’t used more than one camera with one lens? Have you been ever found in a situation, when in company you were always last of the group and always waited, because the ordinary tourist view and snapshot didn’t meet your photographic standards?

If your answers are mostly yes on to those questions you probably have badly planned your trips. The kind of trip that includes all sceneries in one afternoon, it is not a photographic trip at all! The time is essential for the photographic trips. This means only one or maximum two different sceneries of a day. Preferably you visit first scenery in the early morning when the sun rises and other in the late evening when the sun sets. And around the noon is the siesta time for photographers. We all know why. Do we?

But when we go to a non photographic trip (and we all do them) as a responsible photographer we must properly equip. At all we all want some images from our voyages, no matter if it is business or whatever trip it is. At least I when I go to a trip that is not strictly photographic I try to equip properly, this means light. Only one camera and one lens, a rangefinder instead of a SLR, a smaller lighter, non intrusive option. But then once a year you must go on the photographic trip and take with you all gear you might need or think that you do. But this means that this trip is all dedicated to taking photographs, slow without distraction. This means no time limits, places to be seen in limited time, no people that are nervously waiting for you, no family who aspect your presence in the real world.

Last time I was asking about what photographic camera should I take with me on mountain hike. I knew that it must be light, because it would be just high pace mountain hike, not a slow (with a lot of time for taking photo) one. I finally decide to take with me Altissa Altix-n camera. Nice little “guess the distance” all manual rangefinder from former Eastern Germany. Maybe it would be better an SLR with wide angle prime, but it was very foggy and moist, and don’t know how would electronics in SLR I own would works in those conditions. So I’m pleased with my choice but I didn’t really have time or strength to really photographically enjoy this trip. But I was there, on the top, that is all it counts, at least for me.



Monday Column: Analogue Photography as Escape from Digital World - Part II

Last Monday column I wrote about analogue photography as escape from digital world.  In this column I will tell about things in analogue photography that differentiate analogue photography from modern digital world and which I love.

You are already familiar with all sorts of digital and electronic helps and shortcuts found in modern digital and not so modern analogue cameras. A few classical photographic electronic helps found already in cameras made in 70-ties and before. We are all familiar with metering in our cameras, P, A, T (S), and M modes. Aperture and shutter speed is controlled electronically from mid-seventies Canon AE1 camera or maybe even before that. Now days you have face recognition, smile shutter, all kinds of scene modes that help consumers, amateurs (not that I underestimate amateur photography and “casual” photographers) and people who know nothing about photography except phrase “smile” or “cheese” and then they press shutter button in one move, all way down... There are all sorts of these so called scene modes; from helpful like portrait, landscape and action, to downright bizarre ones like candlelight, sunset, food, party, or even pet scene modes. And then are so-called effects, for people who are not familiar with post production, like B&W and sepia, or effects that simulate some legacy film emulsions, or even pin-hole effect, and so on... Better I don’t write about live view and video in modern cameras. Sure I missed plenty of them.
Electronics, firmware and hardware are developing in very high pace. So every year we have new “useful” features. Some are turning out useful and most of them really are not. Some of this year’s “new photographic” features are: Wi Fi incorporated in camera, so you can control camera by your phone, and wirelessly transfer images, camera equipped with phone android operating system, so you could benefit with all sorts of application, useful or not, for your camera. And also you can share freshly taken photos on your favourite social network... But feature that stroke me most is that on one of new camera that was presented from giant in consumer electronics at Photokina last week. It is called Auto Portrait framing function. When it’s enabled the camera use face detection to locate your subject, crops the image based on a rule-of-thirds, and resample the picture back up to the same resolution as is the original shot. Effectively camera decides about framing instead of you!!! Where this is going I think don’t need to tell.

So whatever these are useful, helpful and needed photographic tools, I prefer a purist way of taking photographs. With all manual and mechanical way of controlling my camera. So when I’m taking pictures and they didn’t turn out in the way I wanted to, it’s only my fault. I prefer working with my light meter, manually turning knob to specific shutter value, turning the aperture ring on selected f stop, zone focusing and manually rewind the film... And then, when I press the shutter button, it’s a pure mechanical joy!


Monday Column: Analogue Photography as Escape from Digital World

What’s the reason to practice an analogue photography? It is because it’s better than digital? Or maybe it’s not better quality but better looking? Maybe it’s the reason the thrill of unknown, the so called chocolate box effect; that you never know what you will get until you develop the film? Or maybe it’s all about the feeling of operating the beautifully crafted mechanical photographic box?

We live in a frenzy world. The photographic technologies are developing too fast for my taste. They are excelling and superior at first sight. But like fast food tasteless and fatting (your mind). Photographically I’m a digital child. So I often catch myself just shooting (with my digital camera) at my photographic subject/object without thinking about it. And when I’m not satisfied with the results I just shoot more. But when I’m shooting with a vintage camera loaded with film I just switch the mind. I’m suddenly aware of my subject/object, I think about it, how to capture it without ruing my film. I’d had a success ratio about 25-30 frames of 36. How many do you think I had at same time shooting digital? Ok. I’m improving and I’m trying harder with my digital camera. So I’m improving my digital success ratio. But without analogue photography I would remain without experience that only shooting film gives you. Its calmness, some kind of therapy how to heal of digital frenzy that surrounds us every moment of our lives. And that’s just one reason why a photographer should practice an analogue photography.

I think that every photographer it has his own reason. Or reasons?  What’s mine? I’m not really sure. Analogue photography exists officially from 1839 when Louis-Jacques-Mandé Daguerre presented to French Academy of Sciences the first photographic process in the world. So the analogue photography has at least 170 (or more) years of history. How many photographic processes, techniques, cameras and films were developed and worth to try out in that time? I’m interested in many of processes, techniques, cameras and films and in some not so much. In contrast digital photography exists only a decade or so (at least when majority of photographic professionals migrated to digital). Maybe in the future our grandchildren will find technology of today relaxing and interesting? Who knows?


Portfolio of the Week: Alessandro Bocchi

Dear Readers,
This week we feature an Italian photographer, Alessandro Bocchi from central Italy (Padua). Alessandro sent me both a very comprehensive portfolio of photos and biography. He works primarily in medium format, 6x6 and 6x7, with his Mamiyas and uses a variety of films, among them also instant (Fuji) films, mastering very well the reclaiming of the peel-apart negatives from these films. He's another guy who describes himself as an amateur or apprentice, but his work shows much more than that.Nonetheless, he has been also featured in Italian Vogue. Although he only recently dived in the wonderful darkroom world, his photographic technique is far from this. Moreover, Alessandro is yet another photographer who made a happy return to the analog world. Alessandro's work can be found on Flickr. Enjoy his work!

Silver regards

Dragoncello (MN) - Christine in the Creepy House - Mamiya RB67 Professional SD with SEKOR K/L 127 1:3.5 L at 5.6 and 1/30. Polaroid Land Pack 100 Back loaded with Fuji Instant Color Film FP-100C.
Castello Tesino (TN) - Christine - Mamiya RB67 Professional SD and Ilford FP4 100.

Castello Tesino (TN) - Vegetation under the woods - Mamiya C330 Professional with SEKOR 80 1:2.8 Blue Dot and Kodak Portra VC 400.

Burano (VE) Italy - Christine with a Night Dress - Mamiya RB67 Professional SD with SEKOR 90 C 1:3.8 at 5.6 and about 15 seconds. Polaroid Land Pack 100 Back loaded with Fuji Instant Color Film FP-100C.

Gorino (FE) Italy - Hope and Christine - Mamiya C330 Professional with SEKOR 80 1:2.8 Blue Dot and Fuji PRO 400H

Vigonza (PD) Italy - Model Valentina - Mamiya RB67 Professional SD with SEKOR K/L 180 1:4.5 L at f 8 and 1/125. Polaroid Land Pack 100 back loaded with Fuji Instant Color Film FP-100C.

Stra (VE) Italy - Model Laura -Mamiya RB67 Professional SD and Mamiya HP701 Polaroid Land Pack Film Holder, SEKOR K/L 127 1:3.5 L @ f 8 - 1/125 s; Bleached negative of a Fuji Instant Color Film FP-100C

Padua (PD) Italy - Christine and our bunny Weizen-Mamiya RB67 Professional S and Mamiya Press Polaroid Land Pack Film Holder, SEKOR C 90 1:3.8; Polaroid 125i Silk Instant Color Film

Montegrotto Terme (PD) Italy - Dania jumping in the water from 6 meter- Mamiya C330 Professional and SEKOR 80 1:2.8 Blue Dot; Kodak T-MAX 400
Padua (PD) Italy - Net Center Tower at Night-Mamiya RB67 Professional SD and SEKOR 50 C 1:4.5 (at 3 minutes - f 8.0); FUJICHROME T64

All photos copyright: Alessandro Bocchi