Archive | May, 2012

Maria Plotnikova

30 May

Over time, street photography has become my main focus of creativity. I love working in color, I do not see black and white pictures. At the same time, I prefer a classic composition and the decisive moment. I love to play with the city lights. Architectural feature of megalopolises, such as, for example, Buenos Aires and Mexico City, are skyscrapers, wich mirrored walls act as a large reflectors. More than once I heard about my photographies talk “like in the movies.” Well, at least not remember the famous ” All the world’s a stage”.

Things I’ve learnt by S2art

27 May

Having worked with cameras and film now for more than 1/2 my life, I’ve seen my fair share of changes in photography.

The last 10 years or so have been very exciting, and I never would have thought that film would become an alternative process, as one of my friends recently pointed out. For several years though my focus was on digital output. In that time I’ve ridden that roller-coaster ride of digital.

I continue to juggle the two mediums, how successfully I’m not sure, but I feel satisfied about what I’m making.

I’ve watched communities grown and shrink, I’ve rediscovered my joy for film. In the process I’ve learnt to appreciate the time and effort involved in the ‘process’ of shooting film. I’ve also learned to appreciate the spontaneous nature of digital and following gut reactions.

The act of sifting though hard copy proofs instead of staring at a screen has proved to be a great benefit as well. My current body of work has been going on for many years since the late 1990’s. Now of course I have the luxury of using tools such as google to research and plan a shoot in advance the way I never could  have when I first started the project.

The result is a project called Bridge. Bridges are in ample supply despite Melbourne’s lack of waterways. They are both a metaphor and a symbol. This body will grow as I dip into my film archives and rediscover many images and continue to shoot more images.

Part of the series Bridge, which began in the mid 1990s

Flinders street bridge elegant and ageless.

Several bridges allude to the function of this urban environment.

City Focus : Umea by Anna Sircova

23 May

Umea is a town in northern part of Sweden. It is a place with four hours of daylight during winter and almost no darkness during summer. It is a place to be if one wants to explore loneliness to its fullest and deepest. Or, if to put it other way around, it is a very big space to be with one-self. It is a place where one often thinks “if a tree falls in the forest and there is no one to hear it, does it make a sound?”…

5 Questions for Andrew Steele

19 May

1) How long have you been taking photos?
Since I was very young and I used to be envious of my father who owned an old Pentax SLR. I was always intrigued in the whole process, from capturing the initial photos, taking them to the local shops to get them processed and then the excitement and anticipation of picking up the developed photos. In the old days of film cameras, you never knew whether or not the photo came out well… was it over-exposed? Did I read the light meter correctly…? Is it really in focus even though I’m looking through my glasses? This was all part of the process for me, but now we have digital SLRs where deleting a photo is just as quick and easy as taking one… but to me, the skill of the capture is really in knowing what to capture and when; and doing your best to plan for the event. That said, the best photos I’ve taken have usually been last minute, unorganised and based purely on luck.

2)Why do you take photos ? It’s my creative release outside of my 9 to 5. During the daylight hours, I’m an Architect at a large commercial architectural practice in Adelaide. As my day usually consists of managing projects to ensure they run smoothly, answering calls from disgruntled clients, frustrated builders and curious engineers, I look forward to spending time at home with my family then going out at night, on my own, in silence; discovering the many and varied locations around Adelaide that others would ordinarily take for granted, generally overlook and usually disregard daily. I’m attempting to bring the ‘Back of House’ areas – Front of House. Every space needs it’s 15 minutes of fame.

3)What’s your favourite camera? My favourite camera is my current camera – a Canon 60D. Before that, I bought my brother’s Canon 300D and prior to that, I only owned handheld compacts. One day, I’ll take the next step and get a full-frame (Canon 5D MkIII), but for now – the cropped sensor is doing me just fine.

4)Favourite location? Locations in and around Adelaide that aren’t considered ‘photographic opportunities’. The challenge in capturing those spaces most people walk past everyday and serving them up on a silver platter with a side serving of Lightroom 4 makes all the difference. I get a buzz when I hear someone say ‘Oh, hang on… is that the place just down the street from that restaurant we went to for your brother’s birthday?’ – followed by ‘Wow, I didn’t know it looked like that…!’ – is what makes me want to do it all again… and again.

5)Favourite lens? My trusty Canon 10-22mm… great for day or night, in around factories, construction sites, back alleys or carparks. You can’t take a bad photo with this bad boy!

Car Parks – Barry Falk

9 May

My fascination with car parks grew out of a need to expand upon my range of subject matter, from
specifically derelict urbex sites to general urban areas. As if to prove a point to myself I begun to
poke around the backs of buildings, wander down alleyways, peer into empty shops and explore the
ubiquitous concrete edifices of car parks. I sought to seek the same sense of frisson but in the most
mundane places.

As constructed architectural spaces these non-places are all the more fascinating because they are
not, generally, conceived as high architecture. The structures are functional but throwaway. Yet
photographed from the right angle these leftover concrete corners and subterranean bunkers, with
their delineating white markings, reveal themselves to be deeply fascinating spaces.

‘Conceptualising Car Parks’ belongs to a larger body of work, which includes ‘Transitory Spaces’
and ‘Incidental Corners.’ These forgotten and pissed in places are analogous to repressed thoughts
and memories. The images selected are the ones which best capture this ambiguity. It is this
disquieting sense of place which I am always seeking to capture.

Alexis Gerard

8 May

1)  How long have you been taking photos?
I got my first camera, a Kodak Instamatic 104, when I was 10 and photographed enthusiastically until entering my teenage years. I started again in my mid 20’s (1977) and haven’t stopped since.
2) Why do you take photos?
I’m still trying to get to the bottom of that for myself.  The best I can say today is that I’m increasingly aware of what a miracle it is to experience the physical world in its endless variety, complexity and bewilderingness. And also, very importantly, in its impermanence. Those sentiments color the way I see, and my photos are attempts to isolate vignettes that express them.
3) What’s your favourite camera
Portability and unobtrusiveness are very important to me. They imply some compromises, which I try to minimize by using the best small camera available. For the past 18 months most of my images have been shot with a Panasonic Lumix LX-5. Hold it to 200 ISO max and it’s an absolutely wonderful tool, on par with my favorite film camera ever, the Contax-T.  I particularly enjoy the switch on the lens barrel that enables me to change aspect ratios (1:1, 2:3, 3:4, 16:9) before even turning the camera on. so I’m ready to shoot immediately.
4) Favourite Location?
Planet Earth
5) Favourite Lens?
The LX5 has a f/2.0 -3.3 24 – 90mm. Leica DC Vario-Summicron zoom lens.

Five Questions for H.T Ballard

5 May

How long have you been taking photos?
In brief, I have been taking photographs for my entire life. I do have a fantastic memory, indeed, but it was not until I was of perhaps six or eight years of age that I began a twisty road that landed me taking pictures with something other than my imagination. As a young child, I was terribly humbled by the “professional” Nikons and Canons I’d seen, and I really did not believe I could ever even pick up such a heavy grip for eternity. So I decided to start with something of lighter weight: a Coca-Cola can. I simply carved a giant aperture into it, stuck a used toilet paper roll in the back of it for a viewfinder, and played “photographer” at every baseball game my friends played in, since I myself was not good at sports. There you have it; for the first decade of my life I took some of the most exquisite photographs with the best lenses there can be: the eyes, yet with a memory card that, though preserved, can deteriorate as life progresses.

Why do you take photos?
Because I can, and because I love people. All of their flatter and flaw is beautiful.

What’s your favorite camera?
The Ricoh KR-5 Super is undoubtedly my favorite camera. Why? Because it’s the only practical camera I use for my own photographs; I have no choice. Though it may seem to many as a menace, it is all that I desire in a camera: manual operation, an ISO meter that goes all the way down to 12 for the film I shoot, and the ease of not having to turn on a switch to take a picture. Another unconventional asset: a cracked filter. Because the camera appears to be broken at all times with the nearly shattered glass shading the pristine lens behind it, I can take it into very dangerous places with confidence that no one will care to even consider breaking skin for it. It also misleads portrait subjects; leading them to believe that I really am not taking a picture of them.

Favorite location?
Mexico. There is just something about Mexico that enchants me every time I photograph it. The lighting is always perfect, the people are kind, and the general atmosphere is fantastic even in the slums of the city, which I believe greatly contributes to the photograph. I can see why Cartier-Bresson took the greatest street photographs of all time in France: a sane mind leads to a sane picture.
And because no one seems to ever pay attention to it, Mexico leaves me with the opportunity to fill in the gaps of photographers that have yet to claim their place in that ancient land.

Favorite lens?
The Voigtar f/4.5 110mm lens. Fitted on my foldable 6×9 Voigtlander Bessa from the 1930s, it makes even the most absolutely unfocused photographs look splendid. Because it can be so soft at times and so sharp at others, one has the option of either going impressionistic or Ansel Adams at any time


City Focus – Philadelphia PA by Andrew Wurster

1 May

I spent a  few days in Philadelphia on my way to New York from Washington, I had forgotten how derelict so many American cities can be in comparison to cities in Australia. There were so many incredible buildings falling into complete disrepair, I found it quite sad in what was the first capital city of the USA. As sad as it was it was visually inspiring. I’ll have to visit again sometime.

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