26 Jul 2012

Slow photography-continued

My attempt to embrace slow photography principles with my digital camera and to restrict the number of photos I took whilst in France earlier in the month was only partially succesful.I took less than usual but still way too many.I need to be more disciplined like Karam below seen here using an 8X10 view camera in an arboretum in the UK recently .

Apparently it takes him 30 mins to set up a shot and on this particular day he took just four shots each of which cost him well over $20 for film and processing.Seriously slow photography but not in the league of this photographer Joni Sternbach see Joni Sternbach
But for the ultimate(?)in slow photography see Ian Ruhter.Ian has converted a box van into a huge mobile camera and takes very large photos very slowly.

My personal foray back into analogue( film) photography continues now that I am back in Australia and last week I put two more films through the Hasselblad.

I am trying,not always succesfully,to branch out with the 'Blad trying different approaches which are suited to the tonality of film and not do just standard stuff-after all the digital Leica does that very well with much less effort.

Here are five images from those films .The first three were taken on Ilford FP4 film and the last two on Kodak Tri-X .Both films were developed in Ilford ID-11.My personal favourite is the bridge shot .With the Land Rover shot although I feel that the film outline "framing" completes the picture I still feel uneasy about it as it offends my sense of order developed over many years of trying to produce "good"photos .I know that Phoebe ,the Himalayan,features again but she is beautiful and her colouring seems to suit film .

I am very enthusiastic about using film again.It really does bring back much of the magic of photography which I feel I lost when I switched to digital.And there is certainly a special feeling in having to wait to see the results.The instant gratification (or otherwise )and the simplicity of digital photography is in many ways a double edged sword.Using medium format film with its big,clumsy camera and just 12 exposures per film means that you have no choice but to go slowly and you have to wait to see if you have that shot.And the camera and the lenses are just beautiful examples of mechanical and optical engineering.Just handling them is a tactile experience -something you cannot say about most digital cameras.

1 comment:

  1. The tones in these pictures are so incredibly rich. Even on my small laptop screen the quality is obvious. I am pretty sure I couldn't take spending 30 minutes setting up each shot so 8x10 is out for me, but you do make medium format look quite attractive here. I once had z 4x5 camera and it was quite work-intensive, hand loading film in the dark, setting up the shots, remembering to pull out the dark slide before clicking the shutter, etc. When I realized it had been in my closet for a year without use I sold it and bought a Canon autofocus. Really, shooting 35mm autofocus, auto-winder cameras wasn't much different than digital as far as how quick and easy it was to shoot - just couldn't check the results immediately. But there is nothing quite like using an old, mostly metal, mechanical camera. Back in the 70s even the "amateur" SLRs were built like tanks compared to the plastic wonders of today. I had a Minolta as my primary camera for 19 years! Can't even imagine what a dinosaur my current DSLR will be in 19 years.