Local WECC member Nick Bedford has published another huge post of B&W Kodak TRI-X street and personal doco photos. He's been shooting with the Nikon FA but just got his Leica M7 back.Read More
WECC member and film photography enthusiast Nick Bedford has finally decided to jump into large format with an Intrepid 5x4 Mark III view camera.Read More
Well, I finally shot my sixtieth roll of almost entirely Kodak TRI-X 400 black and white film since starting all this film nonsense at the start of 2017. What a ride. I just picked up some Kodak Portra 160 35mm to shoot with my M7. Me and colour film have never quite jived because of things like scanning logistics and my penchant for crisp colour digitals, but I'm determined to duke it out and win.
In other news, I enrolled in a two day NIDA acting course (a boot camp more like it). Life is weird at the moment and I need to run off the graded track for a bit. #yolo?
Ever since ramping up my landscape photography gear and getting out onto the trails more often with a more complete camera and filming kit, I've been aware that stuffing my LowePro Nova 140 AW II into my day back "sack" bag hasn't been a very good way of going about my hikes. While the Nova bag itself is fantastic for shorter hops around a location, it's not a backpack so it's not capable of holding any water, food or a tripod on its side.
While I do prefer using a water bladder to store and drink water from on hikes, the downside of my current hiking bag is that it's just a simple pouch with one pocket on the outside. It can barely do anything functional.
My exact requirements for a photographer's day hiking backpack were somewhat specific. I also wanted to be able to treat this as my carry on luggage to keep all of my expensive electronic devices and lenses on my person when travelling on a plane.
I found it difficult initially to find something that fit these requirements while not being too large and too expensive. The LowePro Whistler series look fantastic but were just a little too expensive and excessive for my needs. In the end, I found a pack that seems to cover every requirement without compromise.
WECC member Nick Bedford recently took to the skies for a quick 3-day "teaser" to New Zealand's South Island to do landscape photography and get a feeling for what the country has to offer. Along the way, Nick filmed his photography, showing what he was looking for and how he executed the photos, using his Leica M Typ 240, Voigtlander 35mm and 50mm lenses and Manfrotto Befree tripod.
Nick said he is planning to return next February for a longer two week visit where he can stretch his legs, hike through the mountains and visit more of the great locations throughout the country. If you have some time to spare, check out the videos below from Nick's new landscape photography YouTube channel.
Nick has also posted a new video about the lessons he learnt in his first month of creating YouTube videos, starting with the GoPro HERO6 as his vlogging camera and ending up with the Sony RX100V.
Who are you?
I’m a civil engineer working for a large government department delivering large infrastructure projects. Which, although it requires a certain kind of creativity, is a fair way away from a hotbed of the visual arts.
What’s your photographic history?
In another universe, my Dad would perhaps have been an inventor or mad-scientist. He was (and is) a person who is deeply into his hobbies and someone who has modified, customized or somehow ‘improved’ everything that he has ever owned. I grew up in a house where that mysterious thing under the dust-cover on top of Mum and Dad’s wardrobe eventually turned out to be an enlarger and the unusual goings-on in the laundry revealed themselves as developing and printing. I don’t think I was ever allowed to use Dad’s cameras but I do have great memories of taking Mum’s Olympus EES-2 half-frame camera to a school camp in Grade 6 – I still have that camera and it’s still working too.
Through my adult life I’ve always taken photos, but around five or six years ago I made a conscious decision to spend some more time stretching my creative side through photography – I’m still not sure exactly what that means but I am continuing to explore it.
Why do you shoot?
I once had a friend describe a collection of my photos as my “work” and I laughed. Photography, for me, is the opposite of work – it’s something I do for my own enjoyment and my brain is in a very different space to where it is in my day job. I’m very much process rather than product focussed – while I certainly care about what I’m trying to produce, my enjoyment comes from the process and the memories the final product captures rather than just the photographic artifact itself.
What do you shoot?
My photographic life is quite dichotomous.
On one hand, I really enjoy being by myself and being outdoors.
Landscape photography is a great fit for me. I really do like leaving home at ridiculous hours and running up mountains in the dark to try and beat the sunrise. This year I even had the opportunity to jump off some waterfalls, swim through rock pools and generally re-visit my teenage self to discover some amazing light in the bottom of Rocky Creek Canyon in the Blue Mountains. Occasionally I take some great images but, mostly my enjoyment comes from the planning, the physical effort required and the anticipation that maybe, this time, the light will do its thing for me. My landscape process is now mostly done digitally, not because it can’t be done on film but more because I lack the patience and skill to get consistent results.
On the other hand, I also enjoy just wandering around and shooting film.
I think my enjoyment of film has to do with physically creating a tangible artifact that reflects a moment in time. At all points of the process you can touch, see or smell a physical thing and I’m endlessly amazed by the chemical technology that goes into realizing an image. I develop my own black and white and occasionally color in the laundry – sometimes there are total darkroom disasters but mostly I get pretty good results.
WECC member and street photographer Nick Bedford has been shooting a lot of 35mm TRI-X using his Leica M7 and 35mm Voigtlander F1.7 Ultron Asph lens lately. In this video, he talks about the composition techniques and style behind 12 of his black and white photos.
At 28 minutes, it goes in depth on several big tips used in composition including rule of thirds, leading lines, perspective and more. Nick used Procreate on his new iPad Pro to draw as he talked about the photos.Read More
We return you to our normal scheduling now. Apologies for the tall verticals. I've been shooting a lot more of them since I began printing my work. Printing has given me a much greater appreciation for the notion of creating art in photography, to the point where I'm composing differently and "for the print".
I've finally developed all of my latest rolls of film from before and during my Japan trip. Here's everything worth sharing. I did shoot a decent amount of colour, but it's off for developing so I think I'll just use that in my essay in the near future.
I haven't touched my digital cameras in a while. TRI-X is bizarre and great and full of sand-like grain and I love it. My binder of negatives is growing, but I'm finding that some genres of photography I practice are better suited to high resolution colour raw files, so I've decided to pick up my Leica M again and use that for colour work where appropriate.
As for Japan, I think I've settled on a good gear compromise that is also very lean. I'll be taking my Leica M Typ 240 and M7 bodies and swap over the 35mm lens when I want to shoot TRI-X sometimes.
Enjoy some pictures though. It's a pretty wild variation in this blog.
WECC member Nick Bedford, has been shooting a lot of film lately on his new Nikon FA compact film SLR with a 50mm F1.8 pancake lens and he's loving it. In this post he discusses how he arrived at his decision to start shooting some of his serious work on film, in particular black and white Kodak TRI-X.
In tenth grade in the early 2000's, a class I was taking at school introduced us to the analog side of photography. Capturing a roll of film with the goal of developing and printing was the lesson of the day, and while I don't remember most of the details, I do remember printing a photograph of a BMW sitting in the carpark in black and white. It was a real photo print made in the school's darkroom. I never had a clue photography would be for me what it is today, but I always remember this.
Over the years I've spent photographing, my appreciation for film has grown from little more than the acknowledgement that it still exists, to frustration and half-baked attempts at shooting it and binned rolls, to a resounding epiphany at the very start of this year that I can't not shoot it.
Fellow WECC member and photographer of almost 7 years has finally made the decision to build something out of his passion for portraits, and wrote about rediscovering his desire to shoot them.
I've always enjoyed creating portraits, but I had all but given it up both aspirationally and technologically. The business side of things has been a constant battle in my mind, and with other new avenues to explore and keep me busy, I became complacent and unmotivated to start. Lately, though, I've had the nagging feeling that I need to push through that sense of inertia and just do it.Read More
Nick recently wrote about his personal experiences and issues and the changes that led him to become a photographer involved with the West End Camera Club as well as his thoughts about travelling.
But the most important thing of all is that it left subtle change in my mind. It got me thinking about culture, about food, and economy and living conditions, and even got me in the kitchen (about damn time). This idea of constant change has become an integral part of my life. If experiences don't improve or alter your life, then they're not that useful. And improve they have. My experiences and the people I've met changed me into a completely different person than I was ten years ago.
Nick Bedford wrote an interesting article about how his photography process and gear has changed in the last few years and how he's stopped doing certain types of photography to focus on this core idea.Read More
I’ve been wanting to write something about the importance of photography for a while. A whole bunch of other people have done it, photographers and non-photographers, talking about how they got started, what it means to them, all that. Some describe how they picked up a camera and ‘I was hooked, and didn’t look back’.
As creative humans we romanticise things like that. It’s actually what photography is about for me, after all I’m here writing a big ‘thing’ about it. Anyway, that simple statement isn’t enough. Whenever I hear that, it’s like someone is glossing over a much larger period of time where they discovered they loved something so much they had to make it their life.
It’s never just one moment.
But now that I've been shooting for myself so completely over the last year or two, I finally said "No". This is it. I only want to make photographs for myself. In the end I still make portraits all the time, make plenty of landscapes, take photos of a band on the odd occasion, but it's entirely opportunistic with no pressures to "deliver". It's me with my one little camera and 35mm perspective, all the time.
And as I keep discovering every few months, my bodies of work such as street photography, landscapes and portraits are building themselves. It feels great to have spent the last couple of years and see a cohesive bundle of good and great photographs that I can draw on in the future for projects such as photo books. Just recently I created a 20 page photo book of landscapes and nature related photographs for my father's birthday, drawing on the last few years of sunrise hikes and mountain climbs.
What a great sunrise! West End Camera Club members Nick, Aaron and Allan drove down to Mount Greville near Lake Moogerah, QLD to hike up to the south eastern slopes to photograph the winter sunrise. We'll be doing more of these as winter progresses.Read More