QUICK TIP 6 // Using Smartphone Flash To Light Portraits

In this quick tip, we show how using a smartphone flash (iPhone in this case) can make an ambient portrait come alive by helping to separate the subject from the background.

Just watch the position of the light as it is a hard light source. For quick black and white portraits, it can be a great way to make a more interesting portrait.

Voigtlander Ultron 28mm f/2 Leica Mount

by Simon P M Johnson & Alex Bowler

image Simon P M Johnson | Voigtlander 28mm & Leica M9-P

Lets face it when it comes to photography, Voigtlander make some shit hot products. They really are a shinning jewel for so many of us who just cant justify or afford some of the big $$$$ required by Leica and the like when it comes to lens choice. I have had my share of Voigtlander lenses over the years and a couple hold pride of place within my 'M arsenal'. The Voigtlander Ultron 28 was a lens I had been waiting to try for some time so when the opportunity arose I & Alex jumped on it, I was eager to see if this lens was up to the chalenge, at such a great price point would it make the grade and perhaps complete my Holy Voigtlader Trinity lens collection ??

It must be said I have used both the Zeiss & Leica equivalent in the past and the bar had been set at a very high level so was keen to see how a 'budget' lens would stacked up. Alex threw the lens on his Zeiss Icon for a couple of days and ran a roll of color film through it. He just wanted to see how the lens suited his style of shooting and was a great alternative viewpoint to my digital Leica M. 

Alex's images above give a great example of how versatile the lens actually is. 28mm is a often overlooked focal length, I suggest those of you who often stick to the slightly longer 35 should definitely give the 28 a try. I made the switch some years ago for my street work and have never really looked back.

The Voigtlander has a lovely hefty feel not cheap at all. It's focusing is smooth and accurate with  nice fluid swing. In general I always hyper-focus when shooting with it on the street, however manual focus is a dream to use and very enjoyable on the digital Leica M & both Voigtlander & Icon film bodies. There was no trouble with any of these camera bodies when it came to coupling with their separate rangefinders.

Alex & I both came away very happy indeed, there really isn't anything not to like. Ken Rockwell has a more in depth tech review on his sight which I would recommend having a read. He goes much further into the lens and provides some  points you may wish to consider before purchasing. He also provides some great images exampling his findings.

So for me it's a winner at a budget price, if money isn't a issue then the Leica , 2.8 Elmerit-M or even the Carl Zeiss Biogon T f2.8 are the quality choice. For the rest of us the Voigtlander is definitely worth not only your time & money, but your respect ... Cheers Cosina

Working With What You Are Given: 6 Tips for Photographing Light


We can all appreciate the beauty of the unpredictable – and the weather mama earth chooses to bestow upon us with each day is exactly that – unpredictable. Understanding ever-changing conditions and working with what you're given are skills every photographer hopes to hold within their tool belt. After borrowing a friend's camera in Slovenia 5 years ago, Matthew Payne set out to travel over 50 countries and hasn't put the camera down since. We sat down with Matthew for some insider tips to capture light no matter where the course leads.

01. Time it Right

My absolute favorite time to shoot is in the last hour of daylight. It's a time when the light hits your camera sensor with a softness that no amount of editing can make up for. When shooting in a new location, it's crucial to know where you want to be for the few minutes before the sun breathes its last breath. Research what time the sun will set and time your shots when you can expect light to pour into your frame, hitting the peak of that mountain or spilling into that church.




VERSUS // Voigtlander Nokton 50mm f/1.5 vs Leica Summarit-M 50mm f/2.5

Another quick comparison of the Voigtlander Nokton 50mm and the Leica Summarit-M f/2.5 both at f/2.8, 1/60th, ISO 400 on the Leica M Typ 240.

We were surprised to see just how incredibly close they are in contrast, colour and bokeh quality.

Portrait processed with VSCO Kodak Portra 400 and Tri-X. All settings neutral otherwise. There's almost no difference.

INTERVIEW // On the edge: how Alexander Gronsky explores the limits of photography

by Liza Premiyak

Pashvino V, Suburbs of Moscow, Russia (2012) from the series Pastoral by Alexander Gronsky

Landscape photographer Alexander Gronsky was born in Estonia in 1980 and is now based in Latvia, but has spent a large part of his career living and working in Russia. For four years, Gronsky captured the outskirts of Moscow, where the city meets the wild, and where many Muscovites go swimming, sunbathing or camping. He has also travelled to Norilsk, documenting its industrial wastelands, and further afield to China.

Gronsky is a self-taught photographer and shoots on film. Two of his projects, Pastoral and Reconstruction, are currently on display at The Wapping Project Bankside in London until 29 May. One of the pleasures of seeing his series side by side is that you can trace his development as an artist. But there are similarities between the two in that they were both shot in the suburbs. Whether its Russian edgelands or riverbanks in China, the edge is a recurring theme in his work (and the title of one of his earliest projects). As he expands the scope of his practice, The Calvert Journal caught up with him about his evolving career.

Reconstruction, a recent series on historic battle re-enactments, includes figures such as performers and viewers. Is this a move away from traditional landscape photography as seen in Pastoral?

For me [Pastoral] wasn’t about landscape photography. It was more that the landscapes I had encountered I wanted to execute in a very academic way. I don’t think I ever wanted to put myself in as precise a framework as landscape photography. I’m still referenced as an Estonian photographer even though I haven’t lived in Estonia for 20 years! My process is very intuitive: I’m interested in the photographic image in general, and it’s important for me to question its forms. For Reconstruction I was interested in historical panoramas. There are museums where you can see a panorama of a particular battle presented as a 360-degree landscape with objects in the foreground. I was trying to achieve this totality of landscape.



Benjamin Lowy: Of course I am. The future is innovation, and photography will change and adapt, but it will continue to be a viable artistic form. Whether one can make money from it is another question all together.

J.M. Giordano: We will always have still photography and it will always be important. This came to me while watching a doc on photography during the Vietnam War. There’s a 16mm film showing the execution of a Vietcong sympathizer by a cop. It happens very fast and the film was all but forgotten. Luckily, still photographer Eddie Adams was there to capture one of the most famous war photos of all time. No one remembers the film but EVERYONE remembers the still photograph. In reality, I’m more concerned with the future of GOOD photography. The more we accept mediocrity and fear criticism, the more we’re no longer able to judge what’s good and what’s bad. Everything isn’t awesome.”


Source (http://www.featureshoot.com/)