INTERVIEW // Blake Andrews by Karl Edwards

Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

In Public’s Blake Andrews is an outspoken street photographer and blogger based in Eugene Oregon. He shoots mostly black and white film and while his work fits within a broad definition of street photography, he sees himself as a photographer first. Looking for images wherever they can be found. I sat down with Blake to talk about the process of finding images and making photographs.

I met Blake Andrews earlier this year when he was doing a workshop with Matt Stuart in Los Angeles. The first thing I noticed was that his eyes never really stopped moving. He seemed to be constantly looking for images 3 or 4 steps ahead of wherever he was standing. He was pretty busy with the workshop so we agreed to together by Skype when we were both back home. Our conversation touched on street photography but we spent more time talking about his process of finding images and the importance of making photographs.

I hope you enjoy the interview as much I did!


StreetShootr: Hi Blake, thanks for taking the time to talk with us today!

Blake Andrews: My pleasure, Karl. I’m glad to be here.

SS: Let’s jump right into it. I understand that you don’t really think of yourself as street photographer in the strictest sense?

BA: I guess that’s what I best fit into in terms of my work being candid and found moments and just being open to possibilities. But it’s never been a clean fit for me to look at myself as a street photographer or even compare work to traditional street photography. I just do what I do. I found my thing and whatever. If some people think my work is street photography or not isn’t important to me. It doesn’t have to be one thing or the other.


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No Frills HEADSHOT With & Without a Reflector

Quick Tip #2 in our ongoing no idea when we finish tutorial tips. So here we are again so the simplest head-shot EVVVER. Once again we have our trusty white wall and reflector. Whip out your camera set it to your largest Aperture you can focus on an eye whack a reflector camera left of light sorce (in this case our shop front window and ......BAAAAAMM.

Above we have no reflector (left) and with a reflector (right). We used the Leica Q set to a 50mm crop which is still a HUGE 8mp capable of 10x8" prints. All ya really need I say. A subtle but pleasing difference. Below is a basic diagram of the shooting location and the light direction

Crop above just for quality purposes. Nice and spanky. Now the final image below after Photoshop and some film emulation (thank you Exposure 7)

Not that it is needed but above is a crop of the eye area, nice and sharp.


So, a NEW regular feature which Nick and I have decided to do until we run out of brains. Every Monday  8;35 AM, we will post some random 'QUICK TIP' related to photography. Some lame, some brilliant, stay tuned and without further adieu ...

Harsh Light 30 Second Environmental Portrait

Over breakfast this morning (Sat 7th November) Nick and I decided to put up some quick low-fi photo tip just for kicks. We eventually decided on a Harsh Light Portrait scenario, an obvious problem when you live in sunny QLD. I am certain many of us have wished to take a portrait of someone in the middle of the day; the sun beaming down harsh as ever frying ones retina at any opportunity. You get the general idea.

So what do ya do? Simple, grab a wall in the shade and a reflector (white card whatever), place it on the ground leaning against something so as to angle the sun towards your subject (your bag would be a great leaning post). Fill in the shadows of your subject and shoot away, the rest is Lightroom.

There you have it, couldn't get much simpler really. Remember you can find anything white for a reflector. Hell, even some cardboard painted white or wrapped in cheap-ass silver-foil would do. Above are 3 examples of Nick Bedfords image post processed in Adobe Lighroom CC using the 3 separate VSCO presets.

What a HOOOOOT shot, it's obvious you need awesome models to get the best results.

Why Use Studio Lights When You Can Use the Sun? by Jeremy Lebled

My name is Jeremy Lebled, and I’m a fashion photographer. I recently just did a shoot to demo Leica’s S Camera. My specialty is using just the sun to get a high-end studio look to photographs instead of using dozens of strobes.

A lot of photographers are under the impression that they need to invest in very expensive studio lights to achieve the high-end studio fashion look. They will spend thousands upon thousands of dollars on pricey light modifiers, light stands, studio strobes and so forth.

Why spend the money that you could be investing on a backup camera or a high-end lens when you have the greatest light source you could ever want right outside your window: the Sun?

Is this for real ????


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INTERVIEW // Photographer Alex Coghe by Michael Sweet

This interview realized by Michael Ernest Sweet has been previously published on the book Made in Italy.

Alex, your work is fresh, innovative, and edgy. I love it. It not only reminds me of my own approach to photography, but, perhaps more importantly, to some of the very best of the masters – Daido Moriyama, William Klein and Mark Cohen, for example. This comparison should not be trivialized in the contemporary photographic milieu where too much of what we are seeing today is unworthy of any such comparison. The field is cluttered with junk photography from techies who know more about Google analytics than they do about photographic composition, ISO, or focal lengths. Through all that clutter your work stands out because it is authentic, it’s skillful – it’s art in the truest sense. Kudos!

I’m delighted to be able to write the interview for this book, as it will give me the opportunity to dig into your mind a little – to uncover some of the genius that creates this stunning photography. Let’s begin!

Michael Sweet: Alex, why photography? How did you get into this medium in the first place?

Alex Coghe: I consider photography the most powerful vehicle of emotion and messages. Certainly there are many other arts that are able to do this, music for example…but the speed of communication and the duration in time will always be in favor of a photograph. If I think about why I have chosen this medium of expression, I would answer because photography allows me to search for the unknown. I come from poetry that is also about the exploration of ourselves, an impulse completely selfish, and if you think about it photography is also a solitary act. Although it may seem presumptuous I make photography essentially for myself, to explore the world as my eyes see it. It is a complex process where I explore the world to explore myself, and there is a sort of continuous exchange between what my eyes see and what my mood and my state of mind feels. The result of this generates another world where my experience emerges becoming one with the world represented… Photography for me is a reaction to what I have before my eyes.


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MUSEUM OF BRISBANE // Photography vs film: Who tells a better story?

Join Museum Program Manager Leanne Kelly and special guests as they discuss the art of storytelling through photography and film

With soaring music, dialogue and beautiful cinematography, it might be easy to assume that if it’s a contest that film would win, hands down. But what if we learn to ‘read’ a photograph like we read a book – does a still image contain stories as varied and unique as each and every viewer?

Real or imagined, stories are a way for us to make sense of ourselves and our world. We can live a thousand lives instead of just one through engaging with the stories of others, learning and understanding that which may never be a personal experience. Join Museum Program Manager Leanne Kelly and special guests as they consider the art of storytelling through photography and film.

Guests include Robyn Stacey Michael Aird, anthropologist, curator and photographer Maxine Williamson, Brisbane Asia Pacific Film Festival and Asia Pacific Screen Awards Film Director Shawkat Amin Korki, writer, director and winner of the 2014 APSA UNESCO award for promotion and preservation of cultural diversity through film.


  • 22 Nov 2015 
  • 2 - 3pm 
  • Free, bookings recommended 👥
  •  Brisbane Museum

BOOK REVIEW // The Open Road by David Campany

Photography and the American Road Trip

The Open Road: Photography and the American Road Trip
10 x 11 1/2 in. (25.4 x 29.21 cm)
336 pages
300 duotone and four-color images
Hardcover with jacket
September 2014

'The Open Road: Photography and the American Road Trip' is the first book to explore the photographic road trip as a genre. It opens with a comprehensive introduction, which traces the rise of road culture in America and considers photographers on the move across the country and across the century, from the early 1900s to present day.

Here, editor Denise Wolff, author David Campany, and featured photographers Joel Meyerowitz, Justine Kurland, and Todd Hido discuss the book, and their own relationship to the the road. 'The Open Road' is a visual tour-de-force, pres­enting the story of photographers for whom the American road is muse.


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GEAR REVIEW // LEICA SL2 by Jono Slack

The Leicaflex SL and SL2 were manufactured by Leica in Wetzlar from 1968 to 1976, they are reputed to be the best made cameras in the history of photography. Despite being around twice the price of the equivalent Nikon F2 Photomic, Leica nevertheless made a loss on every camera produced.

In 1976 production was stopped, and the next R mount camera was the R3, which was based on the Minolta XE–1/XE–7 camera, this was first built in Wetzlar, and later in Portugal. Leica had been doing research on auto-focus for about 20 years and the project was called Correfot, the first prototypes were based around the Leicaflex SL2, later ones around the R3 and R4 (as an interesting side note, 5 Correfot prototypes were sold in the Westlicht auction on Dec. 5, 2009, Lot # 229 which sold for €50K). However Leica didn’t see a future in AF, and sold the technology to Minolta, who, in 1985 brought out the Minolta Maxxum 7000: the worlds first autofocus camera.

This August Andreas Kaufmann posted a photograph on Facebook of Lenny Kravitz shooting with a Leicaflex SL, I thought this was delightfully oblique, and it prompted me to buy a Leicaflex SL2 secondhand at a very modest price, it’s wonderfully made and just lovely to use, and my 41 year old beauty is still working perfectly.

Of course, the Leica SL might also be construed as Leica S L(ight), and the new camera does indeed take full advantage of the 7 years of in house development and interface design of the Leica S cameras. Added to which, Leica will provide an adapter which provides AF with S lenses.

I’m afraid that I’m as hooked on photographic forums and social media as many photographers. One of the special pleasures for me is to read the rumours about new camera introductions when I already know the truth; sometimes it’s really hard to stop oneself from making comments!


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Well, lets just say I’ve gotten better at this over the last couple of years. The left image was one of the first I’ve “scanned” with my DSLR, and the one on the right I’ve just rescanned using the techniques described below (higher resolution available here). Right now I can get higher resolution and better image quality that what street labs give you on CD.

I’ve seen many articles on the web explaining the basics of digitising film negative or transparencies with a digital camera. The basics are quite simple: you take a photo of a negative into a light source and invert. That’s it. But that alone led me to scan negatives that looked like the one on the left, above. Because I’ve never seen one tutorial that told me “the whole story” of how to do it properly, I’ve decided to put together what I’ve learnt during the last two or three of years of scanning film with my DSLR.

0. WHY?

  • Street labs can usually scan the film but I’ve got bad scans and missing/cut frames more than once. Also, when you scan, you make some artistic decisions over contrast and colour that are often definitive. By leaving these decisions to a machine or someone else, you are losing control over your creative freedom.
  • I often develop film myself and I don’t own a film scanner. Even if I did, good film scanners cost a fortune and I get better quality from scanning the film with my DSLR than I would if I used an average scanner.
  • Very precise control over colours, highlight and shadow curves, while making use of the vast film dynamic range.

These are my reasons, you may obviously have different ones. Some people do this because it’s faster than using a scanner, but that depends on how much time you spend post-processing, and I do spend a bit more than I would like to admit, but it is a time spent doing something that gives me pleasure, not pressing buttons on a poorly designed software and waiting for a tedious scan.

All the following instructions have the objective of achieving the best possible resolution, colour depth and dynamic range out of the film, while keeping image noise as low as possible. Also, I aimed at keeping the whole process as quick as possible. I think each time I’ve made a scan I’ve got better results than the time before, because I keep improving the process and now I’ve got to a stage I’m quite happy with the results.

I’ve separated this tutorial into five sections, and you may want to skip, or skim through some of these.


The Leica SL TYPE 601 Brisbane Lanch November 19th


A celebration of photography.

For more than 100 years, Leica's thoughts and actions, and their passion, have been dedicated to only one thing – creating the perfect picture. With products that are always focused on “Das Wesentliche”, the essentials, they provide photographers around the world with the ideal tools for capturing the decisive moment and for bringing their own vision to life. This tradition is what drives them to achieve and gives them the power to reinvent themselves time and again. The outcome is a portfolio of cameras and lenses that redefine the status quo as we know it and have one thing in common, despite a century of progress: a focus on “Das Wesentliche” – in other words, the picture.

We cordially invite you to a celebration of photography in the spirit of “Das Wesentliche”. On November 16 in Sydney and November 19 in Brisbane where everything in our venues will revolve around the fascinating nature of pictures and the exclusive presentation of a new milestone in the Leica Camera product range - The Leica SL TYPE 601. Be one of the first to experience the next chapter in the history of professional photography, a historic moment that begins right here and now and will shape the future.

Register your attendance by reserving your ticket before November 12. 

Tickets for our Brisbane event, November 19 at Corbett & Claude's: -