PHOTOGRAPHER // Willy Vanderperre

A interview by Wayne Sterling

Willy Vanderperre studied fashion design and photography at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp alongside the key Belgium fashion designers of his generation. He still lives there today.

Could you start Mr Vanderperre, by telling us a little bit about your background and how you came to be a fashion photographer?

I grew up in the southwest of Belgium, and at an early age I knew I wanted to do something creative, it was my dream. I was obsessed and was following art school every weekend. Then around my thirteenth year I went full time to art school, nearby where I lived, in the same province, the West Flandres. When I turned eighteen, it was the period in which fashion was really important in Belgium. We had the boom of the Belgian designers ‘The Antwerp 6′ and you would see them written up in magazines everywhere. What that early influence of fashion did in my life was, that it gave me the extra push to study fashion at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp where everybody from that group of designers came from. When I arrived in Antwerp, Margiela had just started, but was doing one amazing show after the other in Paris. It was the early 90′s, the period when fashion and photography and art photography… they started to flirt with each other, like a cross-over, where it was acceptable for an art photographer to do fashion photography and vice-versa. It was around that time that I went through a transition, and where I found, that for me the medium of photography was more interesting. I was more excited, to go about finding images, cutting out images, taking pictures…creating the world around it, than the actual design of fashion itself. Because I always thought that at the end, to translate and capture the emotion I wanted, it was more efficient to do it in images. I think that is the main reason why I went through the transition from studying fashion to photography.

It sounds like those days at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts were quite a defining influence on your aesthetic.

Oh yes for sure, because you know, you come to the ‘big city’…Antwerp…and only entering this ancient school building (the architecture of the school itself dates from the 1600′s) …, where you had corridors filled with Roman and Greek Renaissance statues and you have that feeling of a lot history, the weight, you could actually feel, in this school. That was quite impressive. In the backyard of the school was this little building, on the verge of collapsing. You would have to very carefully go over the stairs, because if you took one mis-step, you could literally push your feet through them. It was almost dangerous. So I think that the whole thing melted well together. It was the switch from the 80s to 90s, the reaction on excess with minimalism and deconstruction, the first appearance of grunge. So that feeling of romanticism, together with the history, the building and the run down corridors with the statues, it really did make a big impact on how you formed your visual language. I really think there was something quite dark and magical about it, matching perfectly the zeitgeist of the period.



Source ( Interview(A interview by Wayne Sterling)

INTERVIEW // Photographer Tommy Reynolds

| A british portrait photographer takes to the streets of India

When he’s not working on corporate or wedding photography, Tommy Reynolds spends his time traveling abroad and documenting the lives of local people in each destination. We caught up with him to get the details on his recent trip to India.

You went on a big trip to India recently. What’s the backstory on the trip?

The year before I left to go to India, I had travelled to Sri Lanka with a charity called ‘Take Heart Mercy mission’ where I was assigned to film the charity’s mission. While on the trip, in-between filming, I would flip my camera into stills mode and start photographing the people in the hospital I was filming in. I found out very quickly that stills seem to just have an even greater sense of story, character, and emotion. It was unlike anything I had ever photographed before. I was hooked and even ended up debuting my first photographic exhibition based on those images.


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INTERVIEW // Photographer Junya Suzuki

Junya Suzuki, born in Japan in 1979, began taking photographs in 2009. He is a street photographer based in Kanagawa and Tokyo, Japan. His interest focuses how picture elements connect at the same place at the same time. The faces may have turned to the same direction, or may have turned in a different direction. However, the connections in their emotions fill the space as an attractive photograph. He continues shooting to pursue the goal to document real facts of everyday life, adding his own expression of surrealism, lyrics, and humor.


You talk about connection and seeing how in everyday life, everyone and everything in existence is connected. How do you like to convey these thoughts in your work?

We can find this connection in a visual way, like the same color and shape in things or subjects, this is quite interesting. I like to explore and share the connection of the feelings from the inside of a particular subject. I think that it is difficult for one photo to tell a deep and meaningful story. This is why this project consists of more than one single image. I believe the viewer, by seeing all of the images as a whole, will remember it well.

You reference Shin Noguchi’s work, whose work has also been featured on the Leica Blog, do you have other influences which have led you to your current photographic style?

I like the works of Martin Parr and Joel Sternfeld. As you know, their work is recognized all over the world. But I have received a more compelling influence from my friend. So I’d like to introduce as well a very talented photographer Mankichi Shinshi. He is also Leica M (Typ 240) user. His work have a sense of humor which is often created by the clever framing as well as the power of the subject. He and I won a Japanese competition by Einstein Studio. A magazine (JP_EN Issue.4) will be published at New York Art Book Fair and Tokyo Art Book Fair in September.



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Contax G2 & Hillvale Sunny 16 -VS- Olympus Mju ii & Kodak Gold

Here is a quick CRAZY comparison, Jeremy was out shooting and ripped of these two shots from 2 different camera & film set ups.

  • Olympus Mju ii & Kodak Gold (35mm)
  • Contax G2 & Hillvale Sunny 16  (28mm lens)

Olympus Mju ii & Kodak Gold

So the Olumpus Mju ii is one HOT camera. It really is worth every cent. You could pick one up for about $60-$80 about a year ago, now expect to pay $150- $250. Still a hell of a lot cheaper than a Contax T2 or Nikon 28/35 Ti and with a razor sharp 35 f/2.8 lens in a weather sealed plastic clam-shell body, whats not to love (other than you need to switch the flash off every time you go to take a I love the Nion 28Ti). There is a lot to like about this camera. The image above proves it is a sharp little fella built to please.

Contax G2 & Hillvale Sunny 16

Contax G2 & Hillvale Sunny 16

Now the Contax G2 is like a DEMEGOD as far as I am concerned, lightning fast auto-focus razor sharp lenses which rival any of my Leica glass and one of the sexiest looking cameras evvvvver. I still have nightmares about "why did I sell my 4 lens kit and flash" chills seriously. Jeremy has provided a great example of the 28mm f/2.8's lens deadly sin 'direct sunlight' ..... ooouch.  Jeremy scanned these using our newly acquired Fugi Frontier SP3000 scanner we could not be happier. We are feeling like 'BIG men on Campus' at the moment and are happy to add it to the clubs arsenal obviously.  We love this scanner so expect to get more mindless and not so mindless random posts on scanning stuff over the next few months. 

I realize this was a crazy comparison as one has a 35mm, the other a 28 buuuuut look at the capabilities of that little Olympus & Hillvale's Sunny 16... sweeeetttttttt.

Point and Shoot cameras all the way