PH0701 Positions & Practice September 2021 CRJ
Entered RPS exposure "Progress" competition - Shortlisted
Entered RPS Windows of the World competition - Selected
Entered RPS Exposure "Street" competition
Entered Graphis Photography Annual 2022
Entered LensCulture Street Photography 2021
Entered One Eyeland Photographers 2021 Photo Contest
Entered Linden New Art Gallery Postcard Exhibition 2021 / 22
Accepted and commenced study on a MA Masters in Photography at Falmouth University UK, Sept 2021.
Mirrors and windows
If I really think about it I am both the mirror and the window. One informs and influences the other. Sometimes it will initiate from one and then be influenced by the other and vice versa. I am reminded of the saying, " that the plan goes out the window once the battle starts." I don't tend to favour one approach over the other but concentrate on the result and if I am happy with it or feel it meets the brief, meets the client need or captures the essence of the subject. An interesting notion. Perhaps a frame would be a better analogy than a window.
To me photography is a beautification process. Whatever we look at, notice, apply our intention and attention to becomes more interesting and more beautiful. I can’t recall ever upon closer examination of something it became more ugly. If anything it’s the opposite, whatever you gain greater understanding about engenders more empathy.
I am reminded here of August Sander’s work here and the honesty of it. For me, I value minimalism as an approach. It is easy to visually over complicate images but harder to strip it back to what it really is, the skeleton, the structure and foundation, the breath, the moment. Essence to me is about removing visual clutter but still trying to shoot it in an interesting way. An experiencial style based approach rather than fashion.
It’s the process of going from looking to seeing. We all look but few see. See comes from the word, seer, someone who sees and is wise.
Find something you look to be interesting weather, shape, pattern, shadow or more a complex concept. A concept is a collection of ideas. When you apply you’re intellect, intuition or feelings to it you are now shooting the thing and you are now seeing. It’s an active engagement rather than a passive one. I prefer the active engagement.
Methods & Meaning
I like using different formats. When you use the same camera and lens combination you can get a bit stuck in that’s the only way you see, look, experience, create and problem solve. By using different formats I am constantly keeping myself on my toes, have to work with different formats, focal lengths, DOF’s and so forth. To me wide angle and particularly panoramic is the ultimate in compositional challenges. The wider the focal length the harder it is to create strong compositions. Because you see so much there is a tendency to see and create only in 2 dimensions rather than in 3. A tendency to create flat images lacing in depth.
I wanted to try and go to 6x24 as a challenge and so modified a Manfrotto micro positiong plate of mine that I use for macro work and adapt it to take my Linhof 612 PC mkII. The camera already has a inbuilt 8mm rise and by attaching the micro positioning plate to act like a slider I could get an extra 120mm of lateral shift, left and right. So I would take 1 shot and then slide the camera 120mm to either side and then take a 2ndshot and then stitch them together in Photoshop.
The lens was a Schneider Super Angulon XL 58mm f5.6 lens with a 92 degree effective angle of view, shot on Kodak TMax100 120 film using zone system metering that I processed and scanned my self. Composition and focusing is done by gestimate. As this is the first test, the B&W is shot without using the slider.
The biggest downfall was that is was very slow and cumbersome first removing the plate from the camera and then the plate from the ball head. Both needed a 10 cent coin to undo the screws in order to pack the camera down and especially to reload subsequent rolls of film in. Any quick release plate system needs to be removed from the Linhof bottom plate in order to reload the camera. I am still trying to solve this. I need to find a quicker system as I tend to shoot in the last 10 minutes of sunset and I’m limited to only getting 1 roll shot in that time. A 2nd body would solve this however this is not cost effective at present.
I've always been fascinated by the Japanese photographer and architect Hiroshi Sugimoto's (born 1948 - ) work. In 1978 he did a series on Threatres in the US, shot on 10x8 on tripod he would photograph an entire motion picture from beginning to end in one long exposure shot on B&W. The movie on the screen provided the entire illumination. I like the overbleed you get from the screen characteristic from long exposures. I was fascinated to hear him describe that depending on the film genre the darkness of the screen would change, a horror movie would produce a dark screen. A interesting look at time, the time provided the illumination of the environment. In some instances he used a 5x4 and others a 10x8 camera, I was unable to find out which cameras as this would have told me me a lot about his technique, exposere, f stop, focal length, his physical height and relative position in the theatre and weather camera movements were used. A photographers photographer where concept and technique are masterful.
Well the lockdown continues for most of August and business has ground to a slow crawl.
Parliament House, Canberra, ACT, © Guy Little
I entered the above shot of Parliament House in Canberra into the RPS Windows of the World Competition in London and hope it does well. Another shot using the Hasselblad SWC/M, gee I love using that camera, one of my all-time favourite machines.
Reading : Ringing the Changes by Robert Silverberg
Watching : War of the Worlds, BBC
Listening : Missy Higgins