Films not dead. - F.N.D http://www.filmsnotdead.com - Film Photography Shop, Printroom & Blog Wed, 27 May 2015 17:21:49 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.2 Engaging, stunning and truly unforgettable – Mary Ellen Mark http://www.filmsnotdead.com/2015/05/27/engaging-stunning-and-truly-unforgettable-mary-ellen-mark/ http://www.filmsnotdead.com/2015/05/27/engaging-stunning-and-truly-unforgettable-mary-ellen-mark/#comments Wed, 27 May 2015 17:10:18 +0000 http://www.filmsnotdead.com/?p=23264   March 20, 1940 – May 25, 2015 Mary Ellen Mark, is up there with the greatest names in photography! She brought us stunning and at times haunting black and white images of scenes such as Mumbai prosititues, Circus acts, Twins and the rawness of the streets of New York. On Monday the 25th of […]

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APH0614_LF_058_0

March 20, 1940 – May 25, 2015

Mary Ellen Mark, is up there with the greatest names in photography! She brought us stunning and at times haunting black and white images of scenes such as Mumbai prosititues, Circus acts, Twins and the rawness of the streets of New York.

On Monday the 25th of May Mary Ellen Mark sadly passed away at the age of 75 after suffering from myelodysplastic syndrome, a disease that affects bone marrow and blood.

Mark was the kind of photographer who pushed the limits. Her photographs were at times shocking, emotional, and even hard to look at but above all things she knew how to connect with her subject.

When asked in a 1987 interview with Darkroom Magazine why she’s drawn to people from disadvantaged subcultures she said “Much of life is luck. No one can choose whether he’s born into a wealthy, privileged home or born into extreme poverty. I guess I’m interested in people who haven’t had as much of a chance because they reach out more, they need more. They touch me. I do a lot of other work to support myself, but those kinds of projects are the reasons I became a photographer.”

Mark received a master’s degree in photojournalism from the University of Pennsylvania in 1964. She began her career with magazines like Look and Life, taking a classic documentary approach to often difficult situations and usually working in black and white. Early on, she showed a remarkable ability to win the confidence of her subjects, and she even managed to maintain contact with many of them through the years.

Over her extensive career Mark publishing 17 photography books, held countless exhibitions around the world, and had her photos regularly published by some of the world’s top publications, including LifeVanity FairRolling Stone, and The New Yorker.

“Photograph the world as it is. Nothing’s more interesting than reality.”

 

Mary Ellen Mark Self © Tim Mantoani © Mary Ellen Mark Mary Ellen Mark © Mary Ellen Mark © Mary Ellen Mark © Mary Ellen Mark APH0614_LF_058_0

© Mary Ellen Mark

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Elliott Erwitt: Double Platinum – Beetles + Huxley http://www.filmsnotdead.com/2015/05/20/elliott-erwitt-double-platinum-beetles-huxley/ http://www.filmsnotdead.com/2015/05/20/elliott-erwitt-double-platinum-beetles-huxley/#comments Wed, 20 May 2015 14:31:26 +0000 http://www.filmsnotdead.com/?p=23228 Until 27 May 2015 Beetles+Huxley 3-5 Swallow Street London W1B 4DE Opening Times: Monday – Saturday, 10am – 5.30pm (closed on bank holidays) Admission: Free For Further Information: 020 7434 4319/ gallery@beetlesandhuxley.com   “It’s about reacting to what you see, hopefully without preconception. You can find pictures anywhere. It’s simply a matter of noticing things and organizing them. […]

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Steam Train Press, Wyoming, 1954 © Elliott Erwitt / Magnum. Image courtesy of Beetles+Huxley

Until 27 May 2015

Beetles+Huxley

3-5 Swallow Street
London
W1B 4DE

Opening Times: Monday – Saturday, 10am – 5.30pm

(closed on bank holidays)

Admission: Free

For Further Information: 020 7434 4319/ gallery@beetlesandhuxley.com

 

“It’s about reacting to what you see, hopefully without preconception. You can find pictures anywhere. It’s simply a matter of noticing things and organizing them. You just have to care about what’s around you and have a concern with humanity and the human comedy. ”

 

Elliott Erwitt has made some of the most memorable photographs of the twentieth century, including portraits of Marilyn Monroe, Jackie Kennedy, and Che Guevara, as well as humours and candid scenes of everyday life, filled with poetry, wit, and always enticing story lines.

Beetles and Huxley currently have on show a stunning array of Elliott Erwitt’s work with a large number of them  printed using the platinum printing process. Indulging the photographer’s notorious partiality for a pun, the exhibition’s title refers to its dual purpose. It is a highlight of two displays of Erwitt’s work which are rarely seen: his large-format platinum prints, and illuminating portraits of the actress Marilyn Monroe.

The exhibition gives the public the first opportunity to view large-format platinum prints of Erwitt’s most celebrated photographs in the UK. Featuring some of the most well known photographs of the twentieth century showcasing his renowned use of perfect timing and visual puns, the platinum prints are stunning feats of innovation in printing technology that showcase a rich, subtle tonal range. The collection ranges from his snapshot of a silhouetted man leaping elegantly in the Paris rain, to his classic romantic image of a stolen kiss in a car mirror in Santa Monica.

Erwitt photographed Marilyn Monroe through the 1950s and 60s capturing the star at work on film sets as well as at home. His photographs of Marilyn, taken at the height of the phenomenon surrounding her fame, immortalise the charisma and energy with which she mesmerised her colleagues, lovers, friends and fans. The exhibition includes Erwitt’s photographs of Monroe relaxing in her New York apartment to the iconic white dress on the subway grate’ moment during the filming of ‘The Seven Year Itch’.

New York City, 1946 © Elliott Erwitt / Magnum. Image courtesy of Beetles+Huxley Santa Monica, California, 1955 © Elliott Erwitt / Magnum. Image courtesy of Beetles+Huxley Steam Train Press, Wyoming, 1954 © Elliott Erwitt / Magnum. Image courtesy of Beetles+Huxley Marilyn Monroe, New York, 1956 © Elliott Erwitt / Magnum. Image courtesy of Beetles+Huxley

Information courtesy: Beetles + Huxley

Beetles + Huxley interview with Erwitt

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Introducing a new film – Foma Retropan 320 Soft http://www.filmsnotdead.com/2015/05/19/introducing-a-new-film-foma-retropan-320-soft/ http://www.filmsnotdead.com/2015/05/19/introducing-a-new-film-foma-retropan-320-soft/#comments Tue, 19 May 2015 12:35:04 +0000 http://www.filmsnotdead.com/?p=23202   We’re so excited to announce that Foma, the 1921 Czech Republic B&W photographic company have revealed a new film will be coming out very soon! RETROPAN 320 soft is a panchromatically sensitized special negative black and white film with fine grain, good resolution and contour sharpness. The film is characterized by a wide range of […]

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We’re so excited to announce that Foma, the 1921 Czech Republic B&W photographic company have revealed a new film will be coming out very soon!

RETROPAN 320 soft is a panchromatically sensitized special negative black and white film with fine grain, good resolution and contour sharpness.

The film is characterized by a wide range of half tones and soft light which makes it suitable for photography and subsequent contact printing or “retro” style enlarging of negatives (photographs of still lives, architecture, experiments, landscapes, portraits, etc.).

The sensitivity of the film is ISO 320/26° but its wide exposure latitude provides very good results also when overexposed by min. 1 EV (ISO 160/23°) and underexposed by 2 EV (1250/32°). For turning into positives variable contrast enlarging papers are recommended – Fomabrom Variant, and papers of warm tones of base and silver – Fomatone MG Classic 131, 132, 133, 532-II, 542-II. Other types of black and white enlarging papers may also be used.

In order to emphasize monochromatic tonality or the vividness and plasticity it is possible to tone the papers – e.g. using Fomatoner Sepia brown toner.

Foma have stated that the initial production is to be of 35mm bulk rolls in 17/30.5m in darkroom packaging and a variety of sheet film such as 4×5.5×7 and 8×10 inch, 9×12 cm.

The film is expected to be available to the distributors by the end of May. Check out below some samples of the new film!

Retropan 320 - Retro Developer 01 Retropan 320 - Retro Developer 02 Retropan 320 - Retro Developer 03 Retropan 320 - Retro Developer 04

Techical data Sheet

Foma

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Revelations: Ori Gersht – Comparison to the great pioneers http://www.filmsnotdead.com/2015/04/23/revelations-ori-gersht-comparison-to-the-great-pioneers/ http://www.filmsnotdead.com/2015/04/23/revelations-ori-gersht-comparison-to-the-great-pioneers/#comments Thu, 23 Apr 2015 10:01:42 +0000 http://www.filmsnotdead.com/?p=23178 Although Ori Gersht’s ‘Blow-up’ series is not film based we found this interview he did with the Science Museum so fascinating we had to share it. At the current show ‘Revelations: Experiments in Photography’ held at the Media Space, Science Museum Gersht work takes centre stage as the leading image for the show. In this […]

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Although Ori Gersht’s ‘Blow-up’ series is not film based we found this interview he did with the Science Museum so fascinating we had to share it.

At the current show ‘Revelations: Experiments in Photography’ held at the Media Space, Science Museum Gersht work takes centre stage as the leading image for the show. In this 2 minute interview he explains how his ‘Blow-up’ series has been inspired by the great pioneers of photography.

He even mimicked a similar set up to the one Edward Muybridge used to demonstrate a horses movement, proving that they fly when they gallop.

Harold Edgerton is also very apparent in his work referring to the speed that a human eye can’t even comprehend but a camera can.

Gersht explains his ‘Blow-up’ series was taken at 7,500th  speed of a second, he says ‘it is a metaphysical time for us you cannot experience it, it starts to raise questions of the relationship of the camera to truth…’

 

Information courtesy: Media Space

Revelations: Experiments in Photographs 

 

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Revelations: Experiments in Photographs – Science Museum http://www.filmsnotdead.com/2015/04/14/revelations-experiments-in-photographs-science-museum/ http://www.filmsnotdead.com/2015/04/14/revelations-experiments-in-photographs-science-museum/#comments Tue, 14 Apr 2015 11:56:30 +0000 http://www.filmsnotdead.com/?p=23121   20th March – 13 September 2015  The Science Museum, Media Space Exhibition Road South Kensington SW7 2DD Admission: £8 – Book now For Further Information: info@sciencemuseum.ac.uk/ 0870 870 4868  Since opening only a couple of years ago The Science Museum, Media Space, has set the bar for exquisite photographic exhibitions. Each one we go to we’re left […]

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The Flight of a Baton, 60 Flashes per Second, 1953 - Black & White ?Harold Edgerton, MIT, 2015, courtesy of Palm Press, Inc

20th March – 13 September 2015 

The Science Museum, Media Space
Exhibition Road
South Kensington
SW7 2DD

Admission: £8 – Book now

For Further Information: info@sciencemuseum.ac.uk/ 0870 870 4868

 Since opening only a couple of years ago The Science Museum, Media Space, has set the bar for exquisite photographic exhibitions. Each one we go to we’re left utterly inspired, wanting more. This ranges from the acclaimed ‘Only in England: Tony Ray-Jones and Martin Parr’ exhibition to ‘Drawn By Light – The Royal Photographic Society Collection to their current show which displays a visual feast of magical photographic experiments.

‘Revelations: Experiments in Photography’, which has been four years in the making, is a stunning three room display full of iconic photographs ranging from Harold Egerton’s unforgettable strobe bullet images, to Man Ray, Edward Muybridge, and then on to Carl Strüwe’s magnified view of a hummingbird’s proboscis.

Greg Hobson the curator of the show says it ‘developed out of an idea about photographs ability to give form to the intangible’ (quote taken from the exhibition ‘Revelations’ book). Photography through time has not only provided us with the ability of freezing what we see in the frame for memory or art, but this show demonstrates that photography has provided much more, by showing us the unseen, and how science has helped the art’s and vice versa.

During the 19th century science photography was extremely popular and our favourite work, has to be the first room. Mostly filled with Victorian era photographs with scientists experimenting with photography to prove known theories.

One series of photographs really caught our eye which were three photographs taken of the Orion Nebula taken in 1883 by astronomer Andrew Ainslie Common. One taken at 60 second exposure, with a clear night sky seen by the human eye. Another taken for 20 minutes revealing the luminous gas cloud burning quite brightly. The third taken with a 68 minute exposure shows the unique powerful glow of the Milky Way which would have probably left Mr Common speechless!

This show will leave you feeling like this too, and there’s no better place that should house it than the Science museum.

X Ray of Angelfish & Surgeonfish, 1896, Eduard Valenta & Josef Maria Eder National Media Museum, Bradford  SSPL The Flight of a Baton, 60 Flashes per Second, 1953 - Black & White Harold Edgerton, MIT, 2015, courtesy of Palm Press, Inc Chronophotograph of a Man Clearing a Hurdle, c.1892, êtienne Jules Marey ? National Media Museum, Bradford SSPL Lightning Fields 216, 2009, Hiroshi Sugimoto, courtesy Fraenkel Gallery, San Francisco Orion Nebula Andrew Ainslie Common 1883. © National Media Museum Bradford Bullet Through Lemon, c. 1955 - Color Harold Edgerton, MIT, 2015, courtesy of Palm Press, Inc.

 

 

Information & images courtesy: Science Museum/ Nation Media Museum 

 

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52 Photo Tips # 11: Forget Your Flash http://www.filmsnotdead.com/2015/04/11/52-photo-tips-11-forget-your-flash/ http://www.filmsnotdead.com/2015/04/11/52-photo-tips-11-forget-your-flash/#comments Sat, 11 Apr 2015 17:05:26 +0000 http://www.filmsnotdead.com/?p=23088   Electronic flash can be a lifesaver. Every smartphone, compact camera and entry level DSLR has one, giving frame filling light when needed. And flash can allow great photographs to be taken in challenging light, or to create the perfect lighting conditions to bring the most out of a subject. If you’ve ever spent time […]

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© Tori Khambhaita 7

Shot inside by window light. Kodak Portra 160 push to 400 © Tori Khambhaita

Electronic flash can be a lifesaver. Every smartphone, compact camera and entry level DSLR has one, giving frame filling light when needed. And flash can allow great photographs to be taken in challenging light, or to create the perfect lighting conditions to bring the most out of a subject. If you’ve ever spent time in a photographic studio you’ll know just how important artificial light can be, and how transformative it can be.

But when you’re starting out, it’s often best to leave your flash at home. While it’s true early flashes required manual input from the photographer to ensure they were exposing properly, most modern electronic flashes are blessed with a computer brain that takes all of the guesswork out of the picture.

Yet many of these modern flashes require a camera with an equally sophisticated brain. If you’re using a no-frills manual camera – the very best way to learn – then you’re often only limited to the camera’s X-Sync speed, which is often far slower than the camera’s fastest shutter speed. So if you’re not getting the best out of flash units – the kind of control that you would with a serious DSLR, for instance – it makes sense to concentrate instead on how to let the light around you work for you.

There are, however, ways you can get by with out flash – and most won’t require buying any more equipment.

Use a wider aperture. Opening up the aperture will let in more light, allowing you to use faster shutter speeds. And the added bonus is that with a wider aperture you’ll be focusing attention on your subject.

Use a slower shutter speed. The other side of the equation, and useful if you want to have more of the scene in focus. As long as your shutter speed is higher than your focal length (eg 1/60 when using a 50mm lens) then that shouldn’t be a problem.

8561052911_ac17405ea0_o

© Stephen Dowling

Push your film. This works best of all with black and white film, which is the more flexible in this respect than colour emulsions. You can push some types of black adn white film four stops (for instance, turning a 400 ISO film into a 6400 ISO film). This allows you to take photographs handheld in more challenging light conditions.

Use window light. Jane Bown, who recently passed away, was one of Britain’s most respected portrait photographers. Her pictures of figures such as Francis Bacon, Bjork, Mick Jagger and Orson Welles are incredible portraits, all taken on film cameras, black and white film and using natural light. Bown would often sit her subjects in front of a window; her technique was simplicity itself, yet created rightly lauded pictures. One of the great advantages with window light – especially on a cloudy day – is that it gets rid of harsh shadows.

Use artificial light. Sometimes the strong light from an artificial source, a lamp or overhead lights, can be enough if you’re lucky, though you’ll probably need to open up the aperture. If you’re shooting on colour film, be aware of the cast that tungsten lighting can leave on pictures (though this can be rescued in post-processing).

Fill in with a reflector. One of the most useful forms of flash, odd enough, comes into its own during bright and sunny conditions. Fill-in flash is a small, bright burst of light that illuminates the foreground when there’s a bright background fighting for the viewer’s attention (or worse, fooling the cameras meter). It a technique that helps the foreground pop out of a bright background and has often been used by photojournalists and National Geographic photographers. Again, there’s a low-tech solution – bouncing that bright light source in front of you back onto the subject’s face using a reflector. Reflectors come in a range of sizes and prices – you can even make your own if you’re feeling in a DIY mood – and they can shine a surprising amount of light for you to use. And absolutely no batteries required.

 

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England’s Oldest Camera Manufacturer – Gandolfi & Sons http://www.filmsnotdead.com/2015/04/10/englands-oldest-camera-manufacturer-gandolfi-sons/ http://www.filmsnotdead.com/2015/04/10/englands-oldest-camera-manufacturer-gandolfi-sons/#comments Fri, 10 Apr 2015 12:28:00 +0000 http://www.filmsnotdead.com/?p=23075   This documentary is a little gem! It gives you a glimpse into the business of Gandolfi and Sons photographic cameras.  The 13 minute video reveals the beauty of their craft and the legacy of their family. Some say not only is this company the oldest in England but one of the world’s oldest camera manufacturers! […]

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Pubblicità-1920-circa

This documentary is a little gem! It gives you a glimpse into the business of Gandolfi and Sons photographic cameras.  The 13 minute video reveals the beauty of their craft and the legacy of their family. Some say not only is this company the oldest in England but one of the world’s oldest camera manufacturers!

London born Louis Gandolfi, of Italian and Scottish descent, first began work with a firm of cabinet makers at the age of twelve. In 1880, he entered the world of camera-making through Lejeune Perkins and Company, camera-makers of Hatton Garden, London. Five years later he set up his first business at 15a Kensington Place, Westminster, producing and supplying a wide range of cameras and accessories which he had patented.

By 1885 Gandolfi was founded by Louis Gandolfi. In 1928 he handed over the company to his sons, Arthur, Frederick and Thomas, who continued to run the company in the traditional way. They never employed more than a few staff, and were a small craftsman-type operation. They made many cameras as one-offs, to individual requirements. In 1993 sadly the last Gandolfi brother, Arthur, died  yet the Gandolfi company was sold a few years previously, when the brothers retired. The company continued to make cameras, both the traditional mahogany and brass models and the new Variant models right up to the late 2000.

If you would like to see more from this historic company photographer Ken Griffiths made a brilliant 97 minute documentary on them called ‘Gandolfi Family Business’ which was made over a 20 year period which tells the story of the family business of Fred and Arthur Gandolfi as they move from being the world’s oldest living camera-makers into a well-earned retirement.

 

Tom&cameraw01a

 

 

Information: Gandolfi Film

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52 Photo Tips #10: Buy new film http://www.filmsnotdead.com/2015/04/09/52-photo-tips-10-buy-new-film/ http://www.filmsnotdead.com/2015/04/09/52-photo-tips-10-buy-new-film/#comments Thu, 09 Apr 2015 09:23:24 +0000 http://www.filmsnotdead.com/?p=23057 I try and take photos every weekend. Even when the weather is grey and dull, you can still find something worth capturing. And shooting on film makes me stand out from the crowd. The most common question I get asked, apart from “Can you still get it processed?” is “Do they still make film?” They […]

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kodak-professional-film

I try and take photos every weekend. Even when the weather is grey and dull, you can still find something worth capturing. And shooting on film makes me stand out from the crowd. The most common question I get asked, apart from “Can you still get it processed?” is “Do they still make film?”

They do, even if, for many people, the digital revolution killed film stone dead. And you can’t really blame them. The bricks and mortar, high-street photo chains tend to concentrate on DSLRs and digital accessories. Film, if they still carry it, tends to be kept behind the counter, freeing up all that valuable floor space for all those bits and bytes.

The number of films – and even film manufacturers – has dwindled, but appears to be reaching a natural level for those who still want to use it. But this will only continue if photographers keep buying new film.

Buying new film can be expensive. Fuji’s rapidly shrinking range of slide films – Provia and Velvia – now cost around £11 a roll in the UK; slides are a fantastic medium, it’s not something most photographers can indulge in except for special occasions.

Many photographers may only have a limited budget for their photography, and if they shoot film they not have to factor in the cost of the film, but also of getting that film developed and scanned. So how do you make sure that you’re helping keep film photography alive and not running yourself into debt in the process?

© Stephen Dowling

© Stephen Dowling

Buy the films you absolutely love new. When you start shooting film, it’s a good idea to try as many films as possible so you can find ones that suit your style. When you find them, buy them regularly.

I buy a lot of expired film, especially old slide films that are the best for cross-processing. But there are a few varieties I won’t buy secondhand; Kodak’s Tri-X and Fuji Superia 400 print film. Tri-X is the most incredible black and white film (and it’s been in production for more than 50 years) while the Superia captures fantastic golds and reds. I want both companies to keep making those films for as long as possible.

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Fomapan 100 is one of the cheapest black and white films you can buy © Stephen Dowling

Buy them in decent amounts. Don’t just buy the odd roll here and there; it’s better to save your money so that you’re buying 10 or 20 rolls at a time. That your local store or online retailer has to order them again, and that means the factories have to keep churning them out to keep up with demand. Look at this post by street photographer Eric Kim – he’s a big fan of Kodak’s Portra 400, and buys it in bricks (he also saves up all his films to develop in one go, which is something we’ll explore later).

There are bargains to be had, even now. If you’re really strapped for cash, consider shooting black and white on the range of Foma films from the Czech Republic. They can be had for around £3.50 and probably even less if you’re buying in bulk. They’re great films; the 200-speed film is a really useful speed with fine grain. Lomography’s own-brand range of print films are a good call aswell; they come in packs fo three and are available in 100, 400 and 800. Their 100-speed film is fine-grained and has saturated colour, designed very much with the company’s range of cameras in mind, but perfect for any film camera. There’s a richness to the colours that I’d normally only see in slide films.

The resurgence of interest in film photography has had some surprising results; Italian film-maker Ferrania folded in the mid-2000s after the digital revolution, but recently announced it was returning to production, making the old 100-speed slide film that was also known as Scotch Chrome. Former Ferrania employees have got the old factory back working because they sensed there was a gap in the market. Good things can happen when you vote with your pocket.

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FOCUSED…… Laura Pannack http://www.filmsnotdead.com/2015/04/08/focused-laura-pannack/ http://www.filmsnotdead.com/2015/04/08/focused-laura-pannack/#comments Wed, 08 Apr 2015 12:21:58 +0000 http://www.filmsnotdead.com/?p=23043   If you went to the Taylor Wessing Portrait Prize exhibition last year at the National Portrait Gallery you would have certainly seen the striking portrait of Chayla at Shul, a young Hassidic Jewish girl taken by Laura Pannack. This image earned her the John Kobal New Work Award from National Portrait Gallery, and in our opinion […]

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Shey

 

If you went to the Taylor Wessing Portrait Prize exhibition last year at the National Portrait Gallery you would have certainly seen the striking portrait of Chayla at Shul, a young Hassidic Jewish girl taken by Laura Pannack. This image earned her the John Kobal New Work Award from National Portrait Gallery, and in our opinion it was very well deserved.

Laura Pannack’s photographs have been recognised by some of the World’s biggest photographic competitions and institutions,  having her work extensively exhibited and published both in the UK and internationally. This star studded list includes The NPG, The Houses of Parliament, Somerset House, and the Royal Festival Hall.

We were lucky enough to catch up with her, in Clapton, London to discuss her work before she left for Amsterdam to Judge this years World Press Photo Awards.

 

Film’s Not Dead: First and foremost, congratulations on being invited to judge this years World Press Photo awards, and also for the recent John Kobal Award for New work from the National Portrait Gallery.

How did you start taking pictures and why do you continue to use film?

I actually started painting before I did photography, and I’ve grown up with photography, as my dads a photographer. So from a very young age I was in the darkroom. I remember watching Tom and Jerry on the television with the Red filter and tipping the trays and hanging out in the studio drinking cans of coke, but I didn’t actually pick up the camera until I had studied painting for a bit and wanted to explore which medium I wanted to try out next.

I did a foundation in fine art and when I was 21 I shot my first roll of black and white film which I processed in the darkroom as part as the introduction to photography. But I didn’t really make a connection with it then while growing up, I just thought, wow this is incredible and I really like this and began to see how painting could be transformed into photography, and how I can capture a moment and still paint it, but just with light and very quickly. I am a very impatient person, so photography came across as a much more immediate art form.

And then as I finished studying the digital age came in and fortunately for me it hit after I studied at the Brighton University, and I had already learned how to colour print. I had been shooting 35 mm Black and White mostly and then starting shooting on colour, and then decided to start shooting on medium format, I was shooting on a Bronica 645.

Film’s Not Dead: Do you work with film for any of your assignments that require fast turnaround? How did you work on your first assignment?

I was in my third year when I had my first assignment, it was for the Saturday Telegraph. I didn’t own a digital camera and didn’t have an interest in digital photography, so I started shooting on analogue and I did that for an about a year. I shot on analogue for editorials and of course I lost loads of money, but it was my natural way of working and it was much easier to edit as well, I had the contact sheets in-front of me and found it very easy to quickly select the images that I wanted and spot the duds.

Also I just had to scan the contact sheets in and send it to the editors, so there was no shying away from any mistakes that might have happened, or if I had got my exposures wrong or if I had taken some really bad pictures, then they were still all on there, so it was a very vulnerable position.

Then after a year or two the digital age quickly took over and what I realised was that the painterly effect that I was searching for was only attainable on film. And it must be 8 years since then, and I think the grain and the quality film still has it for me.

I still shoot digital for my commercial work but I really relish the fact that analogue completely changes the way that I work. The process is much more intimate and its much more of a physical process, and the reaction to shooting in analogue is different as well. I now shoot on Hasselblad and I have started using some large format as well. My interest in learning about analogue film has only grown, since I have left university. Now I am exploring lots of different cameras and collecting cameras as well as exploring processes that I don’t know anything about.

Film’s Not Dead: Please tell us about this project that you are working on and about your choice of using film expired the year you were born?

The project that I am doing at the moment is called ‘Youth without Age and Life without Death’, and its set in Romania and based on a Romanian folktale, and I wanted to reflect that this tale, a large part of it, is about death, and exploration and neglect and deterioration, and I wanted to mirror this in the film that I was using, because there was no question that I was going to shoot it on analogue.

I purchased large amounts of film that have expired around the year I was born. Working with this kind of film is unpredictable anyways- I just came back from a trip and 30 rolls of my film was completely damaged due to the fact that I had bought it on the internet and it had been through several x-ray machines, so that risk that you get with film is always quite high, it might not come out, it might be fogged, your exposure might be off, but working with expired film increases those risks so much more, because its like any second hand object – you don’t know who the previous owners were, you don’t know if they have stored it in the fridge, you don’t know if its exposed already, theres so many different elements, to working with such an unpredictable material, which I really enjoy.

I love the fact that you can find beauty in those mistakes, and you can see other peoples influences, and its almost a collaboration between yourself and the journey the film has through up until that point, but it also requires lots of patience. I am also shooting on polaroid, which unfortunately is dying, the film that I am working with is all expired, its no longer in stock and I have to ship it over the internet.

Unfortunately film is expensive, but I do believe that anything that is a luxury, or is of great quality you have to kinda make sacrifices for, and I quite like the fact that I have to spend money on my film and be very precious with it and be very careful it because it makes me consider the shots before I take them, and I know its bit of a cliche but that mentality stays with me as a psychological part of the process. Especially with Polaroid, because it feels like you can’t go to the shop and buy it, once you have run out of film thats it. This is terrifying but it can also make you incredibly self judgemental.

You feel guilt for shooting images that don’t work because you’ve wasted this film. I come back incredibly disappointed and heartbroken it forces me to change my process, much more than I do coming back shooting digital. I don’t know why that is, and I know its not the financial costs, I think its the respect that I have for film and I want to do it justice.

It’s quite easy to hide behind your images in the digital era, whereas when you are shooting analogue, everything is in that frame, especially with polaroid, if you leave something in you have to leave something in for a reason.

When you are shooting with film you’ve just got this small box to play with, and its quite nice to have that discipline of knowing that all you shoot will be on that contact sheet, you can’t hide anything and I print all of my work, cropping things out isn’t something that I really like to do. I prefer that organic process and I like the idea that there is a continuum of shooting with something that is very analogue. It’s very raw, and in a way craft like and that process is passed on to the printing, and the negative that is a physical object it’s not a digital pixel. That’s important to me, I like to be able to hold things, I like things to be tangible. I am really crap at online shopping, I really like walking into shops and feeling things and knowing if they’re right, and this Romanian Project is a nice kind of way to explore the idea of Exploration..and explore the idea of Death, and the meaning of things. The meaning and the value that I place on film. I hope that I can reflect that within the work that I create.

Film’s Not Dead: You probably get asked this a lot but what cameras do you work with?

Lots of people ask what camera I use, a lot of people ask what film I use and I totally get that because when I see work of many photographers, I am really curious about how they get the look that they get or what process they go through. I learned really quickly and my mum always said to me, that the camera is just a box, their great toys but the best advice I can give to anyone is if they are looking to buy a camera is to go into a shop feel it, hold it, and look through it.

I think that, you know people always say that you should definitely get a Mamiya 7, its a rangefinder camera, and everyone I know absolutely adores it. They say its perfect when you are travelling, there is no waste level finder, and you know its a nice format – medium format, but as soon as I went into a shop and held one up and as soon as I rented one, I knew it wasn’t the camera for me. I’ve tried since and I’ll never completely turn my back on that camera or any particular camera for that matter, but I think the relationship that you have with your camera is very instinctive, it’s like walking into a house and knowing you want to buy it. It’s very much a kind of personal thing.

Film’s Not Dead: What formats of film do you work with?

At the moment I am really looking at using large format, it’s something I really wanted to do and I think that time has probably come now because before it wasn’t right for the work that I was doing.

Some of my work is documentary based, and it was very much about capturing a moment, whereas the shots that I am doing in this project are very much constructed, they are tableau images, there is lots of time involved, there are more people involved, which helps because a larger format is difficult to manage with one person, and also I think it suits the dynamic of the way that I am working for this. I am also shooting at the moment on a Hasselblad, and I really like that square format, I bought it about 5 years ago, and it took me couple of years shooting with it just get used to it, because before I was using a Bronica 645, and I was holding it closer to the face, but I do think its just a box.

Film’s Not Dead: What would be an important factor for you to start on a personal project?

Well there’s quite a few things, and one of them, is do I care..and does it interest me and if so why. The second thing is can people relate to it.

There are quite a few projects that I have done that are about my personal life – my family or my relationships, but actually they are not the kind of projects that I actually want to pursue or dedicating large amounts of time and research to because they are more therapeutic not really relevant to anyone else. With my work what I want to do is raise questions and start conversations to hopefully trigger peoples imaginations.

I think there will also be universal themes within any body of work, but its quite nice to explore certain projects where you know, that maybe those themes will really connect and engage with people more deeply, so I tend to focus on things like love, family, relationships, religion or vulnerability they are quite emotional themes that I focus on and for me its really important that someone gets an emotional reaction to my work, whether thats intrigue, curiosity, laughter, anger, vulnerability, there needs to be an engagement and there needs to be a connection

Film’s Not Dead: In any of the projects that you’ve done have you had more success with the Subject ( eg. Hassidic Jewish Women, or Young British Naturists), because you used film over digital ?

I think film, as I said has definitely changes the process and the dynamics in the way that I’m working and also alters the relationship that I have with people.

One thing that it will always do is, I think cameras in general whether its analogue or digital, there will always be a nice relationship in the sense that you can share and you can teach people to how to use a camera, but I think that the flexibility and the potential to do that is much greater with analogue because I think less people have an understanding of it, and its much more of a craft.

Analogue intrigues people more, and I believe they are more curious about a machine that they don’t understand especially larger formats. The main reason I shoot analogue is that it’s more silent and slower I like to take that time to engage with somebody and consider my shot, and when I shooting digital it’s just too tempting to take a picture because its too easy and its free.

If somebody said to me tomorrow that you have to completely give up film and you have to shoot digital forever, it would really break my heart, and I would really have to re-question, If I wanted to be a photographer ,and if I did want to be a photographer how I was going to use that way of working and that process, to keep my passion alive.. which is quite a heavy handed thing to place on a process but I guess it’s because I have always learned photography in an analogue setting and always loved going into the darkroom, and that has been the drawing point that brought me into photography.

© Laura Pannack © Laura Pannack © Laura Pannack © Laura Pannack © Laura Pannack © Laura Pannack

 

Author: Amol Antony Jose 

Laura Pannack

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52 Photo Tips #9: Use morning and evening light http://www.filmsnotdead.com/2015/03/25/52-photo-tips-9-use-morning-and-evening-light/ http://www.filmsnotdead.com/2015/03/25/52-photo-tips-9-use-morning-and-evening-light/#comments Wed, 25 Mar 2015 13:10:34 +0000 http://www.filmsnotdead.com/?p=23005 Most photographers end up shooting the majority of their pics in bright sunlight. No great mystery there – we have our cameras with us when we’re on holiday or out on bright, sunny days. Photography needs light, and these conditions present us with a feast. But it’s not the best light for photography. Hard, overhead […]

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© Charlie Abbiss

Most photographers end up shooting the majority of their pics in bright sunlight. No great mystery there – we have our cameras with us when we’re on holiday or out on bright, sunny days. Photography needs light, and these conditions present us with a feast.

But it’s not the best light for photography. Hard, overhead summer sun creates deep black shadows – great, perhaps, if you’re shooting a colourful street scene, but ugly if you’re attempting portraits; the overhead sun creates hard blacks even under eye sockets.

Pro photographers almost never shoot in these conditions unless they can do so in open shade. Instead, they get up early or wait until the sun starts sinking. You should try doing the same.

Early morning and late afternoon sunlight is a much richer source of light. As the sun rises or sinks, its light has to pass through more of the Earth’s atmosphere. That means there’s a lot more dust and haze to get in the way. This refraction results in much warmer light, which gives off mired and gold times compared to the harder, bluer light of noon. The position of the sun also lengthens shadows and the angles accentuates texture.

The benefits of shooting in such light also extends to digital, but for film photographers this lighting really adds extra depth to colour film, in particular colour negative.

© Stephen Dowling. Late afternoon light can make ordinary photos much more impressive

Faster films, like Fuji Superia 400 or Kodak Tri-X, bring atmospheric grain, as well as accentuating grain.

The best hours to shoot change depending on where you are and what season it is. But in summer, a good rule of thumb is to avoid that hard light around midday – if you’re determined to shoot between 11am and 3pm, do it in open shade rather than out in the full light.

Out in the morning, the light develops, so 100 or 200 speed film is fine… But in the evening having a roll of 400 ISO film might be a good idea, especially if you’re handholding. It might make all the difference in capturing the last of that rich, red light.

© Charlie Abbiss

 

More articles from the series:

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