Archive | July, 2012

Broadstairs UK by Don Blandford

31 Jul

BROADSTAIRS, ENGLAND

While its neighbour Margate flaunts and flirts a few miles along the coast Broadstairs has always retained an old world elegance. Cafes and bistros mingle naturally with second hand bookshops and a traditional hardware store. Broadstairs has embraced the new without eschewing the old.

Charles Dickens loved it here and this English seaside town still attracts a respectable mix of daytrippers escaping the London grind and artists ensconced in coastal retreats. Children are charmed here by the colourful promise of a bucket and spade or new sun hat. Rejuvenated adults take in the brisk air by the promenade and walk with renewed vigour. Everyone stops at Morellis. This ice cream parlour was established in 1932 and remains a rare example of a classic seaside cafe complete with formica tops and leatherette booths. Wish you were here…indeed!

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Five Questions for Stefano Mazza

20 Jul
1) How long have you been taking photos?
Photography has always been an interest that is gradually grown inside me from when I was a child, when I learned the basics from my father. However, I have developed a true passion for photography only recently. For a long time I did nothing but trials and errors, ranging as wide as possible and trying different creative approaches, with often uneven results, which were not very encouraging, but despite this my curiosity has not diminished. In the meantime, I started reading manuals and looking at photographs of the great authors, trying to learn as much as possible. I’m still growing now.
 2) Why do you take photos ?
I’m proceeding with my passion always with the desire to try, to learn, to experiment, but especially to capture memories and moments of the reality I see, from my own perspective.
 3) What’s your favourite camera?
 Small, light and smart. I’m currently shooting with a compact and with a micro 4/3 camera.
I’ve wrote a blog post on this topic, please have a look if you want: http://stefanomazza.com/2012/04/26/perfect-camera-open-letter/
 4) Favourite location?
 I see interesting things anywere and I like to take pictures in every place I visit, especially under a good light. For this reason, I always carry a camera at my side. I don’t have a truly “favourite” location, I can only say that I have a particular interest for urban environments, building details and landscapes in general.
 5) Favourite lens?
 Since I dislike geometric distortions I only avoid extremely short focals. When I need geometric precision I use a telephoto lens, when I need a wider vision I use a shorter focal.

5 Questions for Patrick Joust

14 Jul

1) How long have you been taking photos?

I first started dabbling in photography in 2002/03 when I bought a Canonet QL17 and a Yashica Electro GSN. At the time, I didn’t really know what a rangefinder was, but I found myself really liking the Canonet in particular and used it for several years. I’d say though that it wasn’t until 2007/2008 that photography started to become a major part of my life. It was four years ago that I discovered medium format photography and while I also shoot a lot of 35mm, instant, and some digital, it has been the possibilities of medium format film that has gotten me especially excited about making photographs.

2) Why do you take photos ?

At the beginning I took up photography largely because it seemed like an accessible way for me to explore my surroundings in a somewhat “artistic” way. I had some interest in writing and poetry, but I wasn’t much of a writer or poet. While I don’t think taking a good picture is necessarily easy much of the time, it’s certainly more accessible and, in some ways, more liberating than expressing myself through written language alone. Over time photography has become an important need in my life. I actually get a little depressed, after a couple of weeks, if I haven’t taken any photos. I think this is because it not only fulfills my need to be creative but it has provided a means by which I can engage with my surroundings and community. While I certainly shoot with the objective of getting a physical product, the process is almost enough alone to keep me interested. Since taking up photography I find myself seeing the world in more detail and with greater appreciation.  That’s a state of being that I enjoy chasing.

3) What’s your favourite camera?

That’s a tough one… if I had to choose just one, I guess it would be my Super Ricohflex. It’s not the best camera I own, but it was my first medium format camera (bought for just 25 dollars).  Even though I have fancier cameras now, it still gets a lot of use because of its simple, small design and its impressive performance.

4) Favourite location?

Baltimore.

5) Favourite lens?

That’s a tough one too… I really like the 40mm focal length which I first experienced on the Canonet. I’ve had the Cosina Voigtlander 40mm Nokton for a couple of years now, which I use on my M3, so if I have to pick just one, that would be it.

 

City Focus – Istanbul by Johannes Saal

9 Jul

Already more than 2500 years old, owning a fateful history, always a melting pot of different cultures, religions, ethnics and languages, Istanbul witnesses since few decades a population growth never seen before in its history. Even though lacking a sufficient infrastructure the Turkish government under Tayyip Erdogan pushes with the “2023 Project” for a rapid urbanization, increasing the (official) population from 13 million to 17 million, and even building a new strait. Social conflicts such as gentrification and marginalization accompany those developments. To satisfy the demand for housing state and private building contractors raise within few years whole settlements with apartment buildings housing several hundred thousand people. Hereby Istanbul is following the global trend of segregation through gated communities.

More of Johannes work can be found at http://www.flickr.com/photos/iconicturnphotography/

Seoul – South Korea by Shannon Aston

2 Jul
South Korea

Korea is often forgotten because of its bigger cousins Japan and China after centuries of invasion, occupation, division and war.  An ultra-conservative, patriarchal society full of stoic, proud and diligent people, the Koreans are ready to take on the world now the playing field has been evened.  Incredibly ambitious, hard-working and aspirational, Korea is the major anomaly of all the modern cultures which have emerged post globalization.  A Confucian core dictates strict study, endless work and conformity to the group, but a sentimental and superstitious aspect to their character have seen them become fast adopters of Christianity to fill in the metaphysical gap left by Confucianism.  Koreans are deeply spiritual, quick to adopt, yet resistant to change and ever conscious of the painful past their ancestors endured.  

 

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