Cafe Keese Berlin – A film shooting debriefing

Hello everyone,

I hope you did not mind me disappearing for so long away from this blog, I was busy shooting.
We will today go through the Berlin cafe Keese shooting and give you a bit of Behind the scenes peek.

Cafe Keese?

I first became aware of the existence of cafe Keese a few years ago when flickering through the pages of the excellent “Berliner Luft”, a photo book mapping the city and what makes it so particular.
One of the book entries mentioned the “tea club” cafe Keese and the possibility to use phones at each tables to invite someone at another table to dance! I always thought I had to see that and take pictures there.

The idea became more concrete when preparing a recent trip to Berlin. The planning all happened very fast, unusually fast… I subscribed to a Facebook group about photographers and models in Berlin where I immediately stumbled upon Jod de Maupassant’s offer for modelling. Three chats and a few phone calls later we were in!

For once the planning did not involve much research on poses, lighting or styling for the simple reason that the distance with Berlin made scouting preparations impossible…
I was more concerned about how would the film react in very low light conditions and how would it behave with mixed artificial light sources (mainly tungsten for the key lights).

Previous tests showed me that shooting with an iso400 film at 1/15th of a second IS possible with medium format (sometimes without tripod but this is just madness and playing daredevil).

The Gear list:

– Hasselblad 500CM body
– Zeiss 80mm f/2.8 Planar
– A tripod
– Sekonic L-478d light meter
– Two boxes of Fuji pro 400h

So? What do you need? First, you need a tripod. Tripod will be essential here since there is so little light around you. So little that I swear I thought it would never actually work… I’m glad it did.

You will also need a good light meter. Mine is the Sekonic L-478d and it does an excellent job.
The problem is always to find out where to actually make your measurements. Since the club light spots cast a very harsh and saturated light that contrasts with absolute darkness in the shadow, one always must stand at the edge of a good compromise. From what I remember, 1/30th of a sec has been for iso400 the fastest speed I could achieve that day but most of the shots were made around 1/15th or below.

You would also obviously need film. Prior researches on how to shoot in these extreme conditions showed interesting results on forums… I had in mind that Kodak Portra would do a very decent job with low light tungsten settings, but this is a daylight balanced chemical compound. How about finding a good specific film for that purpose?
The perfect film was called Cinestill, but it failed to sustain itself economically speaking after a last failed crowdfunding call and remains not available for purchase.
Their excellent website however compares some films from different brands and demonstrates the relative qualities of my beloved Fuji Pro 400H.

So far, I was only considering Fuji as a film to largely overexpose in bright light to get this fabulous creamy pastel look that fits so well with wedding photography and any white heavenly fashion shoot. But it seems to also do better than others in Cafe Keese’s light.

Now, why analogue?

I had a Canon 5d along with me that day and the dynamic range of film is just miles broader.
Again, consider my poor scanning skills, but what I already obtain through messing around is way richer than what I had on my raw file. Is just a medium format effect? It probably also plays a significant role, yes. Film however completely absorbs overexposed zones without trembling and I wish I could find a way to show you the tiff files or a print to demonstrate how well the hard contrast is handled here!

I won’t hide that the recent acquisition of a Hasselblad did give a little push when deciding which gear should I pack along with me. I however believe shooting film in such a place was highly relevant by nature. Vintage for vintage, the whole club screams out loud for a disappearing art of living and the use of film echoes this! In a way shooting with film would have set a distance, an observatory one, when film accentuates our will for integration. When the club actually opened its door near 3pm, we simply stayed and enjoyed a little dance with our 70+ fellows! The picture was then complete.

The actual shooting:

How did we arrange the poses and settings? Unfortunately no magical recipe here. It’s a see and react strategy fed with years of collecting photo books and browsing the Internet.
Again, there really was not much light available and since we shot without flash we had to ask Jod to place herself where the light simply was. Keeping in mind that the end result would be full of contrasts, I was more looking for good rim lights and strong angles to work with.

The Hasselblad camera forces you by nature to carefully compose, think over it, adjust every detail and finally shoot. This slow thinking process does make a difference. It tackles down any will to shoot action but in the end, that’s not what you are looking for here…

One must really pay attention on how does light fall onto the subject but the very large viewfinder is really helpful here. As long as disgraceful shadows do not get cast by the nose, a hand or an accessory, you would be fine with your shot.

Areas of improvement?

Definitely the scanning process! I told you film can handle a huge dynamic range didn’t I?
Well, it does but then it hits the wall of the scanner specs… The key is to scan your negatives with skills. A set of skills I do not possess yet, but I am working on it. This will lead to suppress the red blown-out zones you can see with the photos above for instance; much cleaner pictures. The good thing is that the negatives can be archived and reworked later when I ll be a bit more confident with this tech aspect.
As for now, I kind of scan blindly with minor corrections, mostly because I want to see the pics as fast as possible appearing on my computer screen! But I will probably rescan my favourites, paying closer attention to the curve and especially the red tones to get better results.

I hope this small insight was helpful to understand the shooting process for Cafe Keese Berlin.
Would you have any additional questions regarding the technical or artistic aspect of my work, feel free to contact me or leave a comment below!

Let me just use these last lines to say thank you to Cafe Keese and it’s crew for patience, but more importantly to Jod for completely stepping in and playing the game so well and a huge thank you to Michaela for commitment, help and kindness!

Hope to see you all soon!

http://www.art-eo.com

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#Hasselblad diary n.2 – Trier Hauptbahnhof

We are talking here about taking the Hasselblad a few rolls further. I propose you to join me on the long journey that is the discovery of analogue medium format. Big old fashion film rolls right?

So what’s new with it? Well I learned a few things since diary number 1! I was really concerned about this story of having one and one only roll at a time and therefore being constantly constrained to shoot 400 ISO (the only actual film I buy so far…). The theory is that film is much more permissive through scan than a digital raw file. It’s so easy to turn the dial and adjust your ISO on the go when needed. It gets a little darker?? Turn the dial, Canon 5D can handle that!

But what to do if you can’t? What to do if on top of that, you just can’t see the result on a back screen?! You know, a week long waiting for your negatives to come back from laboratory is tough for someone as impatient as I am!

So here is the plan:
Contacting Nadja. Check
Setting up a shooting date and project. Check
Browsing the world for inspiration and create mood board? Check!

Making sure the car will be available for my idea of a car shooting? Check

Ok! Fine! Ready! Wait… What? No car? Wait, you mean no film rolls nor flat keys!? Hmmm… Let’s do this improvisation thingy again I guess!
Long story put short: the films came 1hr+ late! the car remained unavailable and it was freaky cold outside. So we head to the train station to see what we can do there.
On my way back from Luxembourg the other day I noticed some tubular installations that could make an interesting setting and I knew already how well the Blad could handle neon light.
Light meter in the hand, conditions are naturally the worse and we are both freezing…

We take our first shot…

In order to take a photo, you must in such low light conditions set up the camera on a tripod. Once you look over it on the viewfinder there is a risk to fall in love… You are warned! The whole scenery appears on the glass, just like you are watching a 3D replica of the scene and think:

“If what is going to record on this film roll is only a quarter as good as what I see here on the glass,… I’m gonna be a haaaappyyy photographer”.

And it does! This is what came out of my scanner. You can see the frame at the bottom right of the photo and unfortunately a trace due to laboratory mishandling, whose people folded the film before handling it to me (guys you just lost a customer). I don’t know if this talks to you but I frankly find this whole look magic! But remember, at the time of the shooting I have no idea about that.

Further down the road I decide to push it harder and set up a frame with even less light. I take my metering which says 1/8sec of exposure.

If you have no idea what that means, it is the duration your shutter will open to let the light in and reproduce the picture on the film.
Ideally you are looking for something like 1/100sec or with the type of lens I have mounted on the camera at the very worse 1/40sec? We are still far from it here…

Let’s try nonetheless! We have a tripod a bit of time and our model is not completely blue yet.
The shot is not the photo of the century but it tells how much latitude I have with film for highly contrasted scenes.

Since we aren’t far from the supermarket and that I know the place well for having shot a look book there not long ago, we decide to head there and give it a try before it closes down. It’s already 10pm.

No comment, judge for yourself.

One last try for tonight before we can go home and switch the heater on, level 11… I would love to see how the camera handles the worse lights ever.
Ever heard about Blue Lagoon? The Aral tank station near the train station? How does film handle various coloured sources of loooow lights?
One is from an orange street light positioned about 12 meters behind us, the neons act as rim light and cast a greenish ambiance overall and balance the heavy blue ARAL sign.

I’m confident. I slightly underexpose because I have no other choice. I smile when looking at the viewfinder, frame it, release the mirror, breathe and press the shutter🙂
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I wish you a very nice week and would like to thank Nadja a last time, for her patience, comprehension, cold resistance, trust and joyful mood.

http://www.art-eo.com

Posted in Hasselblad, Medium Format, photography, Street | 1 Comment

The #Hasselblad diary n.1

As recently advertised through my Facebook page, a 1981 Hasselblad camera enlarged ArtEO’s family! This post will explain you the reason behind this choices and will provide you with some of the first samples I shot to illustrate the different arguments!

Hasslewhat?

First of all, what is a Hasselblad camera? Hasselblad is the name of a Scandinavian firm who famously designed arguably some of the most iconic medium format cameras of all time.
Medium format means that the photo is recorded on a 60*60mm negative film (compared to 24*36mm that you may know as your standard).
The model we re using now belongs to the old 50X series and for the record, it is the same model which took the photos on the moon when Mr. Armstrong first landed onto the satellite!

The object is entirely mechanical, no batteries needed, a true clockwork! It does look pretty, it sounds magical! I took it to town the other day and got stopped three times by people who wanted to see it… A proper nerd magnet😀

I believe my first encounter with medium format photographs was when discovering the work of Nina Korhonen with her book Anna, Amerikan Mummu and not long later through Alessandra Sanguinetti with her books about Guile and Belinda and On the sixth day. Two photographer that would permanently shape my idea of a landmark photography wise and be the start of my ever growing photo book collection about Family. I guess you can call this “love at first sight”! I promptly invite you to discover their work, a very different look and feel setting it apart from anything you know. Don’t be mistaken tho, Nina is now a recognized master (Her book being quoted in the ideal collection of Martin Parr) and Alessandra works for Magnum (Most probably the most iconic photo agency of all time). You would be foolish to believe buying a medium format camera will make you a master, but I strongly believe it grants you access to a whole new range of possibilities!

This said, what can an old 33 years old analogue camera bring on the table that my pro digital SLR cannot achieve faster and better?
Those who have been reading me for a while, know that I’m a digital native and strongly advocate the use of digital over analogue, right? In this specific case, in order to shoot in digital medium format, I would have to sell my car and spend my savings to get a camera… The old analogue medium format camera remains affordable and still produces mesmerising results!

So, what is the difference??

First of all the amount of details recorded onto the film is just phenomenal. The possibilities offered are just immense: much more details in the shadows, the highlights and a billion shades of mid-tones. I gave it a try the last few weeks in probably what seemed to be the very worse shooting conditions and it almost systematically turned out to be a hit!
It deals surprisingly well with multiple mixed light sources (incandescent bulbs, neons…etc.)
What would have turned to be a digital porridge of colours and noise with the SLR comes as very natural on the 60*60 film without the use of a flash.

Image 11

The colors appear much richer, with a broader dynamic range and the size of your frame being much larger, allows you to come closer to your subject. In practical terms, this means more details, more bokeh (mounted with a Zeiss lens, the bokeh becomes true whipped cream).

As a matter of fact I am going to need some more rolls in order to get accustomed to this flexibility. I am still completely not confident when turning all those wheels and force myself to let it flow. It is of course much easier with a digital cam, as one simply has to look at the back screen to see if it all turns fine! No back screen here of course…
One must wait a good week for the negatives to return from the lab and god knows how frustrating this can be!

This comes at the cost of a careful maintenance, a lot of care and love for craft. My old negative back actually came with a light leak that ruined most of my first rolls. The light entering and hitting the negative inside the camera from the side of the body creates a typical color veil that does not look Very good at all. I was very lucky to shoot this below photo on which the leak looks totally controlled (I swear it wasn’t!) and adds to the overall photographs mood. Just like a mystical fog… Lucky me.

All in all, unpleasant surprises. Can happen if you aren’t extremely careful. But in the very end, when your first roll ever comes back to you and delivers this very first portrait below, it feels like a virus and you want more, more more more more…

So what’s next? Your portrait maybe? A secret project I can’t tell you about?As mentioned above, this type of photographs is associated with the notion of Family to me. I think it carries a set of values like patience, proximity and care by nature. Can one actually use this and incorporate it in the very artistic practice? No doubt to me… Only through extensive practice tho, try and error. I am working on it. Very hard.

Stay tuned and keep it hushhhhhhhhh……😉

http://www.art-eo.com

Posted in fine arts, Hasselblad, Medium Format, photography | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Guest blogger: Maria! An insight on “how did the shooting go?”

Good evening everyone!

Today we have a guest and she is here to answer a couple of questions about the last shooting I posted on my sites/pages. (Did you like it?!?). It sort of was a first timer for her and I thought her insight on how does a shooting smoothly work might be interesting!

Feel free to ask us any additional questions! It would be an honour to satisfy your curiosity about our settings, gears, preparation workflow and all! Here we go😀

Hello Maria, first time we met was actually for taking a photo of you in Luxembourg. Do you remember? Can you tell us a bit more about yourself?

Hi Ed! Of course I remember : ) I couldn’t believe a photographer would find any artistic/aesthetic interest in my style or my looks and I was pretty flattered. I am always up for trying new things, and I appreciate all kinds of art, so despite being a bit shy about it, due to the friendly approach and how cool the idea of Street art sounded I decided to give it a shot! It was pretty exciting. As  for myself, what can I say? … my name is María and I come from Spain, I moved to Luxembourg after doing a traineeship at the Parliament and, finding it very cool, I decided to stay. I now have a full time editorial job at a multinational and like to fill my rare free time gaps with things like going to the movies, to concerts, playing guitar, (fashion photography xD) and hanging out with friends.

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You were a contact recommendation from about a half of your company’s staff! (Only half kidding). That day I met a busy bee indeed. The pics eventually ended up on the pages of a magazine published in the whole Great Region of Luxemburg. How would you describe your relationship with your own image on pictures/public image?

I didn’t know whether I was ready at first. As in, OK, I’m brave enough to pose, but should I? Will I accept and be happy with the result? with seeing my image published? I wasn’t sure I had the right to pretend to be a model, but I then I relaxed and let my ideals come first: I think all people are beautiful in a way, and it’s good to show diversity instead of following the rules established by these epidemic imposed universal beauty standards. I convinced myself that I had something to offer, as I was enthusiastic about it and I had actually been asked and recommended by other people. My first reaction when the result of this first shot together was out was “Wow, he’s an awesome photographer! he’s made me look great in this picture!”. My initial idea was that it was the technical and artistic ability of yours that made this picture beautiful and that, in particular, had made me look good in the given context and environment. But the closer I looked into it the better I realized the result had little to do with editions or modifications (the picture looked super natural and not trying to modify or perfection reality) but with how comfortable we both felt, and how much passion was involved in the process. Since that moment I knew I could trust you to take pictures of me, and that I wanted to do my best to help create beautiful captures and feel even more relaxed in front of the camera to make the most out of what it has to offer in hands of people like you!IMG_8245-2

Last Sunday’s  project has been tough to plan due to both our schedules. The long wait left us plenty of time to plan, talk, prepare… When it finally happened it took us nearly a full day! Was the actual shooting process different from what you imagined?

Last Sunday was my “biggest and most ambitious project” so far. We had been talking a lot about it, changing plans, ideas for settings and landscape, etc. But we were also thinking bigger than usual. This time we bought clothes online (apart from using the ones we could get hold of);  Michelle, a professional make up artist, was there and we had thought of several ideas to capture vs. a single shot/idea session like our previous approach was. It was demanding indeed, I felt a bit more responsible for delivering and being up to the expectations that were put on me, but on the other hand I also knew we were playing with improvisation a lot, and that there was no pressure whatsoever to worry about. The whole planing process made me feel super excited about the project, and allowed for all the effort put into it and the long hours of shooting to be exciting and thrilling. I wouldn’t have imagined that we could spend 10 hours + taking pictures without getting bored, and I wouldn’t have expected either I could stand the torture of being in the cold, with a bra and a raincoat to then get asked to wet my hair without complaining too much (laughs).

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Yeah well I recognize that if I feel there is a good shot to be taken, I simply ask for it! I don’t want to go back home and feel like “Damn why didn’t I at least ask for it?!!”

Of course, and I think that is how it should be, it’s just maybe things I could predict and imagine to a lesser extent than the rest. It’s risky, it’s challenging, and I like it.

Is there a particular “moment” you will actually remember from that day? Let’s imagine you would need to post one single Vine video from this shooting that both represents what you take away personally from this modelling exercise but also represents the actual results we made public? What would that be?

I couldn’t be able to pick one moment. I’d try to capture the  conversations, the make up while being done by Michelle, the “before” and “after” of every look, when we laugh out of the silliness of a situation, when you come up with a new idea, when we stand in the same position for long periods of time, when I complain…And I would mainly try to give a balance of the ups and downs, the laughing and the concentration moments. I think that would reflect very well how hard the whole process is, but how rewarding and fun it is at the same time.

Fair enough! I leave you this… But now you need to choose only one picture out of our series from last Sunday and no “I like them all” answer!  Roland Barthes defined in Camera Lucida photographs in terms of Studium and Punctum.  Pick one picture and go on😛 (Mwahaha)

I really do like them all! (ok, ok…); but I have 3 absolute favorites. The one lying down by the fountain at night with the raincoat, because of the dramatism of the colours, and the textures; the “Fuck sight” one because its fresh and cheeky and has a great contrast of colours; and my absolute favorite would probably be the close shot with the reflection in the mirror. I’m no expert but it looks technically perfect to me. The effect,  the idea behind it, the colours and the execution. It’s crazy that from the super simple tools we used to try this effect out something so highly professional and beautiful came out!

Magic mirror on my wall...

Without demystifying the whole thing, it is true that in the end, it’s just a Sofa, a light and a roll of reflecting paper! I always thought people underestimate how creative photography can be without using retouching softwares like Photoshop… Post treatment is kept so low-key on that one it is hardly believable! We created a whole world in a frame with sooo little! How do you (Maria) now relate to this girl you see on the picture?

Well, I do feel close to that girl in the picture, I recognize myself and all of the elements we used in it. It’s true that the initial resources used seemed much more simple and almost rudimentary in comparison to the elaborate result, but the final scene, what you see now, is indeed, and not surprisingly, derived from the passion, the savoir – faire and the effort put when combining all these simple things into a winning magic combination!

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Ok, last one! I usually work with models with a fair amount of posing experience. I think this can be intimidating in a way as people generally are fearing the camera, doubt their modelling skills… I remember you expressing doubts at some points! Can you give a few practical advices/tips to someone who would be tempted in trying something similar with me? (what to prepare, things to keep in mind, questions to ask…).

It is indeed very challenging, and the comparison is unavoidable. One usually has a very cliché idea on what posing means (we’ve all imitated models jokingly), but I would say it’s pretty off. I think I still have a lot to learn, but what’s helped me most is to relax and feel comfortable. At the beginning I felt stiff and nervous, hesitating on whether what I was doing made sense, looked good or ridiculous instead… Now I feel more relaxed in front of the camera, I rely on you giving me instructions and telling me to move in a way or the other, and in the meantime I do whatever feels right for the set and the context given. I suppose professional models know how to be more proactive and initiate the poses themselves, but I think both approaches can work if the photographer and model have a good communicative relationship, like it was the case.

Thanks Maria! Best regards😀

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Shoot story: A brotherhood portraiture session

Autumn is just fitting his feet on the starting blocks and here already goes the light away…
This isn’t too bad cause you and me both know that when light there is, during this season, it is of the greatest premium quality. It comes from a low angle and paints your beloved landscapes with gold!

Two weeks ago, I went abroad for a family shooting. Three brothers to portray, not the classical way… Sounds like something I can do right?
I was for long interested in photographing “brotherhood” which all in all is very different than portraying three individuals. The latter puts an emphasis on personal characteristics while “brotherhood” stresses the familial bond.

The idea is to find the right balance between the two, both to satisfy an artistic vision and a portraiture interest (you would not want your kids not looking like your kids in your family album, or would you?).
Starting point was to ask for three similar outfits, of a color that would complement the natural setting. We went for three Bordeaux T-shirts and pairs of blue jeans.
Here was the catch: I had to bet that the three young boys would act in tune, pushed by the similar outfits as visual clues, while expressing individuality through body language.

“Brotherhood” would then manifests itself visually in a very natural way despite the forced similarity. We would later emphasize the coherence of the many different shots through the use of a few accessories like the American flag (something that would relate to the presence of a family figure) and a recurring use of fire as a comforting and warming force (another hint to represent a second family figure…). Later, as shown above, I allowed the elder brother to change is shirt for a grey one, the time of a few shots. I thought it would illustrate the affirmation of individuality with age, adolescence and personality confirmation.

Anything else? Yep… Why the forest and the camping thingies? Well, our three boys are active and passionate “scouts”, meaning they know their “way” through the wood. And this “way” involves knowledge sharing and teamwork: family values? I believe so…

Anything else is technical, a fast telelense, a prime wide angle and as usual, a lot of preparation through Internet browsing, images saving, mood boards and all the crazy stuffs. A pince of YouTube tutorials for a Lightroom trick or two.
You know it by now if you regularly read those lines, all this preparation won’t help you in any way while shooting, but remains essential! To get you in the mood or to open your third eye very wide before hitting the photographic battlefield.

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One last piece of advice… Cover yourself with warm clothes! I know it’s tempting to run in t-shirt when taking your pics, quite an effort sometimes… But I got seriously sick through that and remained blocked in my bed, nearly for a week after the shooting.

This said, enjoy fall’s light!

http://www.art-eo.com

Posted in Fashion editorials, fine arts, photography, Travel | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

BTS photo shootings (behind the scene) – How Edouard likes his coffee!

Good morning everyone!

The last few weeks have been photographically hectic on my side of the world.
A few people asked me if it was possible to push some bts shots online… I usually would not care much since it does not really teach anything but how crap reality looks indeed!

So what? You want to know which camera I use? Which lense? Software maybe? Which online tutorials do I pay a regular visit to? Then there is something you should know about me…

My gear is old, stained, rusty, broken for a large part (but still works so far, thank god).
I don’t use photoshop (honest figure would show maybe 2% of my workflow achieved through Photoshop). My tripods don’t hold much…

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What do I consider essential material then?

1. An ok enough camera with a GOOD lense. By good lense I mean something sharp enough to take decent pictures without reaching the stellar price figure. By good lense I also mean a lense that matches the picture you have in mind. Do me a favor, skip the Photokina this year and go plan a shooting instead, I swear you will learn much more through practice.

2. Excellent planning. Browse the online world of photography, organize moodboards, talk with your team mates. Funny thing is, all this prep won’t help you at all during shooting time… But if you are one of those believing they can rely on their godly given inspiration breath on D-Day and go hands in pocket rock the photo world, pass your way please this blog isn’t for you.
Exploring the world of online fashion magazines and alike will give you the culture necessary to approach any given situation and help you fine tune your taste.

3. Get yourself a decent photo book library. I don’t ask you to get mad like I do, but go to museum, galleries, borrow books at the library, read Barthes, Sonntag , Krauss so at least you know what you are dealing with. Flickr, Fotocommunity and tumblr are fine but stopping there is like an attempt to understand the nature of humanity by reading Elle or Gala. Those, only are the froth at the top of the gossip.

I had a few discussions the last few days after with people over my Facebook page and have been criticised for not using the “right” camera brand (Fuck that) or others asking me for detailed nomenclature of the gears I used for doing this and that (?!?).
Well, I d like to heartily answer that Shakespeare did not have to use a golden pen to write Romeo and Julia… But I am not Shakespeare indeed…

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Anger set apart, all I needed here was a prime 35mm, a telelense, a TTL flash system with one master and one or two slaves (flashes not assistants), a few tripods (from 35 to 65eur max each),
A set of broken umbrellas or octabox and a reflector.
Good mood and Michelle Weyand for the makeup on the go, cakes, drinks and an iPad playing Pj Harvey or Nick Cave. Later, your copy of Lightroom will do the job.

By no means I ignore the fact that better gear would give better results, but hey let’s face it: it makes no sense to by a Lamborghini to ride an Icelandic road. And I swear our roads are much more Icelandic than highstreety. You ll still have time to buy top end gears when you will feel like it’s time to bid for Vogue Cover. We all have seen sooooooo many reeeeaaaaaallllllyyyy shitty pics taken with a digital Hasseblad by a “pro” and same amount of awesome pictures taken by teens on their entry Canon 1000d, haven’t we?

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One last thing: be unmerciful with yourself and others if you don’t have what you want. Crappy photo sessions start with compromising. The models, the location, the lights, the topic are so-so? Well your pictures will be so-so. No miracle here.
You are the photographer, here is a handful word that will help you when planing with others: “No”

You think the model doesn’t suit? Say no. Something is technically nonsensical? Say no.
Propose alternatives tho, you are the one with the knowledge and experience about photography here or am I wrong? Don’t get me wrong! This should not mean you must keep all doors closed but I trust you enough to find the right balance, the one that pleases your “client” AND looks awesome! To you want to be the one they picked cause you look awesome or the one they picked cause you are the cheapest?

Alright? Now pack your Polaroid and target awesomeness!😉 oh I forgot… Join our photo book club at cafe Lecca :-p

http://www.art-eo.com

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Book review: PLANETES from BIRGIT KRAUSE such a treat!

“I am capturing the essence of life”,
“I’m waiting, waiting and observing, only to capture the perfect decisive moment”,
“I develop a relationship with my models in order to get an access to the intimate, genuine and natural feelings”

So are typical artistic statements populating the Internet. I never felt acquainted with such a philosophy of photographing the world I live in… Simply because I don’t think I could.
In many regards the world I live in is very unreal and I have a feeling it has always been like this, so why on earth should I pretend I can communicate the REAL when I, myself, barely have an access to it!? It’s just that the dreamscapes we navigate has so much to offer!

What does this mean? Let’s mince it through an example and jump back in time:
Edouard is 8, lives in a crappy building “offered” to the police army families in a 4000 souls city that hasn’t much to offer but a few sport clubs, school and forests.
But it doesn’t matter because for Edouard and his friends, the courtyard is just the best playground on earth. There, they re-enact together sceneries from “The ghostbusters”, they climb trees in what looks like a jungle… When coming back home, main activities consist of watching cartoons, playing ATARI games…

Crying sometimes? Sure, most often comedy tho, merely a child attempt for manipulation.

All in all not much Real in there… And I continue today… Still hardly seeing anything else than what I want to see, understand else than what seems to be the most satisfying explanation to me, constantly obscuring the unpleasing details. I once read somewhere that the difference of what our eyes capture and what our brains offer to our consciousness is phenomenal, a 80/20 ratio, 20% standing for what the eye actually captures… All the blanks being filled with assumptions or stereotypes to save a bit of mental energy… Dreams…

In this light why wouldn’t we have a right to communicate these through photography? After all painters have been doing so for quite a couple of centuries now right?! In the mind of Mr. everyone, photography is much attached to the realm of the real tho. It records and displays what has been, fixes for display a few rays of light.

Now don’t misunderstand me, I m pretty aware that artist photographers have been exploring this path for a while now. Whether we are photographers or not, we do see the world through our own lense and our own set of filters. Newly appointed parents may see the whole world as a threat for their baby, astrology enthusiasts may look at every corners for the signs of their ephemerides…

Birgit Krause is looking for signs of the stars in the everyday physical manifestations of light.
In her book “planètes”, she holds our hand, switches the light off and shows us the stars shining under our beds, in our own private spheres and I find this choice for a topic very clever.

The “space” subject holds very antinomian charges. Space is poetry, a dreamscape, a source of fantasy, a projection, a source of fascination, fears, incomprehension, the temple of god… But also the land of physics, sciences, exploration, theories and experimentations, pragmatism.
“Space” as a subject, supports very well the photography medium in the sense it is by nature, both very rational (camera records light through a lense onto a sensible surface) and irrational (with a photograph you can tell stories, express fantasies, depict surrealist ideas).

Birgit Krause creates with “planètes” a 26 photographs project (+5 illustrations) that tells us more about our relationship with the photographic medium than any other book.
Astrophysicists points telescopes at the sky, she points a camera at your mind.

The book is intriguing, fun, beautifully designed and is getting rare… A piece of advice? Run to 25books (Berlin) or visit their webshop and treat yourself

http://www.art-eo.com

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