Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Keep shooting...

There are few ways to improve your photography than to keep shooting. Need evidence? Just look at the cameras belonging to legendary photographers Jim Marshall and Elliot Erwitt. Worn down to the brass, it shows just how much great photographers shoot to achieve their craft. It was almost as if the cameras never left their hands for a single moment...

 Jim Marshall's Leica M4

Elliot Erwitt's Leica M3

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Making of a leather half-case

A fair amount of handwork goes into making a leather half-case for your camera. Makes you appreciate good craftsmanship!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Classic film cameras collection


Photography has evolved so much through the decades, making tremendous strides in the digital era. In the medium-format era of the 1930s-1940s, photographers were often seen wielding their "compact" medium format cameras such as the Rolleiflex or Hasselblad, compact compared to the gigantic Graflex cameras they used to carry! Along came the Leica M3 which introduced a brand new 35mm film format, and radically changing what a portable camera system meant. 

The 35mm film format was popular for more than 60 years, from the 1940s to the turn of the century. It witnessed the rise and fall of rangefinder cameras, to the dominance of the single-lens reflex (SLR) cameras. Legends such as the Nikon F series and Canon F-1 came into the scene and defined professional photography, although some marques like Olympus and Pentax did create some unique alternatives such as the Olympus OM4 and Pentax LX) to the huge and cumbersome professional SLRs. Around the year 2000, digital SLRs became more affordable and film never regained its former glory, although die-hard enthusiasts maintained that film delivers a special kind of magic that digital can never replicate!

This photo shows some of the film (and usually mechanical) cameras that I've collected over the years. I love the iconic camera designs and build quality - they just don't make things like these anymore!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

My favourite quote on originality

Nothing is original.

Steal from anywhere that resonates with inspiration or fuels your imagination. Devour old films, new films, music, books, paintings, photographs, poems, dreams, random conversations, architecture, bridges, street signs, trees, clouds, bodies of water, light and shadows.

Select only things to steal from that speak directly to your soul. If you do this, your work (and theft) will be authentic. Authenticity is invaluable; originality is non-existent. And don’t bother concealing your thievery - celebrate it if you feel like it.

In any case, always remember what Jean-Luc Godard said: “It’s not where you take things from - it’s where you take them to."

Jim Armusch
American independent film director, screenwriter, actor, producer, editor and composer 

Friday, March 2, 2012

Is photojournalism really neutral?


Many photojournalists pride themselves on delivering a neutral account of the events unfolding on the ground, but there have been numerous discussions as to how this is impossible. Every photojournalists are individuals with their own inherent beliefs, which affects the way they select their viewpoint or frame their composition.

This video takes it a step further by examining how photographs can exaggerate the situation through selective portrayal of the situation, and how the presence of journalists alone can change the scene and behaviour of the subjects.

Kodak discontinues E6 slidefilm


In yet another stunning announcement (after they killed off Kodachrome, declared bankruptcy and sold off their digital imaging division), Kodak has now announced that they are discontinuing all E6 slide film production. Kodak insisted that film production is still profitable, but the recent announcements seem to suggests otherwise. They will continue manufacturing Portra films, Ektar films and black-and-white films.

I'm gonna get as much of the remaining stocks while I can. And it will be a dark day when Ektar or Tri-X dies due to the boffins in charge of the once glorious Kodak.

Read more about it at this link.