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Late Summer III

the human factor

in Photography , Monday, October 12, 2015

The third instalment of my summer holiday photo report. This time with some actual people! So rather than blather on I’ll let them speak for themselves.

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Mountains and Milano

the sublime and the ridiculous

in Photography , Sunday, January 04, 2015

Yesterday afternoon we had a wander around Milan, with the general idea of seeing the Walter Bonatti exhibition at the Palazzo della Ragione, the kind of great venue for photography exhibitions that Italian cities are so good at. The exhibition is well worth a visit if you’re interest in exploration photography. The majority of the exhibited photographs are from the mid-70s, along with Bonatti’s commentary. There’s also an opening section dedicated to his early career as an extreme alpinist, touching of course on the K2 controversy, but also on exploits such as his pioneering solo of the North Face of the Matterhorn.

And if you’re more into street photography, well, Milano has plenty of streets, as illustrated below. And indeed shops, catering to all tastes and deep pockets.

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All these photos were taken using the Ricoh GR. It’s a really well designed camera, and extremely discreet, yet the lack of an active eye level viewfinder makes it a rather imprecise tool for me, and I tend to forget the lack of a stabiliser. But it certainly can deliver fantastic results in the right hands.

 

streetwide

ducks totally unaligned

in Hasselblad XPan , Sunday, July 20, 2014

A photographic post with a return to the topic of street photography (which I don’t do).  Here I line up all sorts of obstacles for myself by first trying to do street photography, second using a camera which really is at it’s best on a tripod and used slowly, and third, using what was always an unconventional choice of film, and now is just plain flat-out eccentric, Agfa Scala monochrome E6 slide film (or indeed using film at all).

Agfa Scala is nominally rated at ISO200, but is designed to be used from 100 to 1600 depending on circumstances. The canisters are not DX-coded, so you need to set the speed yourself. I ran this roll at ISO800, as the XPan’s 45mm lens is relatively slow at f/4.  Note, 45mm on an Xpan corresponds to a horizontal field of view around 28mm for a normal 35mm frame, so you need to get close.

It’s pretty easy to scan in Silverfast, using 16bit greyscale settings and auto-levels.

The results are, well, at best tentative, but it was an interesting experiment.

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I don’t know about the rest of the world, but you can still buy the allegedly withdrawn Agfa Scala film from Fotomedia in Switzerland, who will also process it.

 

Relapse

oops, I did it again

in Photography , Tuesday, April 15, 2014

I’m very familiar with the paving attributes of the Road to Hell. And speaking of which, the A4 Autostrada from Milan to Venice could often qualify as a strong contender for that title. Then again, it leads to Venice. And it lead me to Venice, in the company of my significant other, last Sunday. The principal objective was to visit the Franco Fontana retrospective, which was well worth the 3 hour drive, but, well Venice remains Venice, and a bright, breezy April afternoon with a surprisingly low tourist turnout was not an photographical opportunity to be missed.

So here we go. Another small selection of absolutely-definitely-not street photography from Venice. Dedicated to my friends at The Inspired Eye.

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Tech footnote: all Olympus E-P3, with ZD 17mm 1.8 or ZD 45mm 1.8

 

 

Back on the street

pero, si mangia bene!

in Photography , Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Following my recent heavy exposure on the Inspired Eye blog, I decided I really ought to get with this street photography thing. So, on a recent visit to Bologna, I took along my black Olympus E-P3, taping over all the logos with genuine Street-O-Vanish black tape, and attached a (black) 35mm equivalent lens to the front. I packed several black dark blue shirts and of course shades, and slung my discrete street shooter Domke bag over my shoulder. We are talking Instant Cartier-Bresson here. No messing.

Well. It’s actually not very easy, this street photography stuff, especially when it involves actual people who may well not want their photo taken.  This being Italy, most people are quite happy to be centre stage, but those who are not, really are not. Still, most of them are in Palermo, not Bologna.  Also, I’d never been to Bologna before, so the unfamiliarity of the location didn’t help, and Bologna is a pretty unusual city.

Over 2 days I took 110 shots with the 17(“35”)mm lens. I took another 40 or so with the 12(“24”) and 45(“90”) lenses but these don’t count. As far as I can tell 110 over 48 hours is pretty pathetic for a street photographer.  But then I’m not really a member of that august set.

What I was trying to do here is to take shots with people - random people - as the principal theme and subject. I quite often use people as part of a composition, but generally they’re far off and anonymous. So are many here, but that’s because I didn’t get close enough. I can’t say I really enjoyed it, although at the same time I soon got over the awkwardness. It’s just that it’s far, far too late for me to venture into a new strand of photography.

But anyway, here’s a small selection, so you can judge for yourselves. In keeping with the spirit of the thing, these are largely straight from camera, apart from two where I’d decided on the crop in-situ.  I’ve also avoided the temptation of converting to black & white - I haven’t paid anywhere near enough dues for that!

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Oh, and I nearly forgot…

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