ILFORD INSPIRES // Joe Brook ‘SKATEBOARDING IS OUR RELIGION’

Joe Brook's film ‘SKATEBOARDING IS OUR RELIGION’ is a pilgrimage to the epicenter of skateboarding, San Francisco, in Joe's iconic van ‘Big Blue’. In this rare look behind the scenes we watch Joe capture skateboarders using various photographic techniques for his work at Thrasher Magazine.


WARNING: The following film features skateboarding tricks performed by professionals. HARMAN technology and the producers insist that no one attempt to recreate or re-enact any of the activity in this film.

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Filmed and Edited by Exploredinary (Sarah Reyes and Daniel Driensky) With additional GX1000 footage by Ryan Garshell Original Music by New Fumes Joe's Subjects: Ben Gore, Corey Duffel, Max Schaaf, Ryan Garshell, Brian DeLaTorre, Yonnie Cruz, Al Davis and Andrew Torralvo End Credits photos on ILFORD HP5 Plus film by Daniel Driensky Special Thanks to Joe Brook, Ben Gore, Corey Duffel, Max Schaaf, GX1000 and Michael Bain Joe's film processed by Blue Moon Camera and Machine

Source(ILFORD Photo Youtube)

INTERVIEW // Photographer Armin Walcher

by PETE LITTLEWOOD

Zeitlos in Bewegung – © Armin Walcher Photography 3.jpg

The Ausseerland, in the geographical middle of Austria, is an area of outstanding natural beauty with its crystal clear lakes and impressive mountain backdrops. Beneath its picture-postcard appearance, the region and its inhabitants preserve a strong sense of tradition and heritage, while equally embracing change and progression. Austrian Leica S photographer Armin Walcher explores this fascinating region in search of the hard-to-pin-down sense of local identity via 30 in-depth encounters with local craftspeople, musicians, and artists. The personal stories are told via images and text in the beautifully compiled book “Zeitlos in Bewegung”, while an interactive website includes compelling videos, offering more insight into the 30 individual stories. Here we feature just a few of these local characters and speak with Armin about the challenges of capturing such an elusive concept as local identity in photographic form.

© Armin Walcher Photography

© Armin Walcher Photography

You used to be a professional athlete before you became a photographer, how did you transition from one career to the next?

It was more or less by accident. During my career as a professional athlete, I wanted to update my website with better photos. So I bought a better camera. I immediately fell in love with the feeling of photography, which I had not been able to imagine before. I really got obsessed and started to do more and more and more…

© Armin Walcher Photography

© Armin Walcher Photography

How did your passion for photography develop? Is there anyone in particular, who influenced or inspired you along the way?

The development went from nature to sports, then to commercial, people and documentary photography. It was a process, I would say. I had to grow as a person to go more into people and documentary photography. I could not imagine that when I started to shoot. It took me some time.

Nature photography is still a learning process for me. I gain new insights each time I shoot, I keep discovering new things and I appreciate it if situations have meaning in an honest way, not in a spectacular one.

I learn a lot from each kind of photography, which keeps my life and my life as a photographer in fascinating movement. I don’t want to stand still. I want to develop. I can’t say who influenced or inspired me in particular, but my dad is a big part of my career in photography. He loves photography and always has honest feedback.

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Source (http://blog.leica-camera.com

INTERVIEW // 14 REASONS TO SWITCH BACK TO FILM

Ryan Neilan talks about the freeing experience of film

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Deep blacks, blown highlights, contrast heavy. Heavily influenced by the Are-Bure-Boke style from Japan, Ryan Neilan’s images are often out of focus, blurry and feature lots of heavy grain. Having shot his first roll of film back in 1999, Neilan would take pictures of his friends’ band playing in a local community center. And as he would describe it, the process of knowing how to obtain a good image got him hooked and he has been doing photography ever since. He shares his experience of changing 100% back from digital to analog and how Leica has played a key role in this unraveling process.

What approach do you take with your photography or what does photography mean to you?

I’ve always enjoyed art and music, but I have never been able to draw, to really learn an instrument well. It just didn’t click with me. But when I look at a picture, a good photograph, there’s just a feeling you get. It just clicks. I’m sure it’s the same for guitarists and painters, they just have a connection with that art form. For me it just happens to be photography.

My approach is perhaps a little different to most. I shoot film and shoot a lot of film. I shot forty rolls in five days in Tokyo. When I go out to shoot I walk quickly. I like to move quickly through the streets and people. I stop for a split second to press the shutter, barely breaking stride before moving on. I rarely talk to the people I photograph, usually I’m long gone before they have a chance to react. I can easily shoot three to five rolls in an hour and thanks to the 35mm I’m trying to get closer as I shoot.

I have stopped going out to randomly shoot as I used to and am now really focusing on projects. After the Tokyo project, my next project is based in Ho Chi Minh City. The images you see of the city are usually the over done, overly pretty tourist shots. I don’t think anyone has ever really shot this city in this darker black and white style before. I have another project in the works on the growing hardcore punk music scene that is growing here in Saigon.

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Source (http://blog.leica-camera.com)

INTERVIEW // Photographer Paul Struijk by Pete Littlewood

Paul Struijk explores the facial architecture of the Dutch capital with his Leica M10

Amsterdam is one of the most culturally diverse cities you will find anywhere on the planet. It was among the most important ports in the world during the Dutch Golden Age of the 17th Century and ever since then immigrants from all over the globe have come to call Amsterdam their home. Amsterdamer, Paul Struijk, set out with his LeicaM10 to document the facial archetypes of the city’s residents and, in doing so, captured the diverse yet kindred nature of humanity in all its forms.

You studied an array of subjects from biology to archaeology and even classical dance. What was it that drew you to photography?

It was the creativity of the work. I needed to create things from the inside out and have the freedom to choose what I do. I also wanted to encounter new worlds, new people and new ideas.

How would you describe your photographic style?

My aim is to document. I try to find authentic images with a mix of old school and modern approaches. I like real life. I love people and how they try to make the best of it. I am absolutely a color person but over the last 2 years with my Leica, my photography has become more and more monochrome but always with a little shade of color, a little hint of a tone.

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Source (http://blog.leica-camera.com)

GEAR REVIEW // Voigtländer 35mm f/1.7 Ultron Aspherical & Silver Efex Pro 2

Nick has been shooting with a Leica Summarit-M 35mm f/2.5 for the last two years since he dove deep into the Leica world with his M Typ 240 rangefinder. But when he discovered the newer Voigtländer 35mm f/1.7 Ultron Aspherical, he was keen to grab it as an alternative to the very, very expensive 35mm Summilux F1.4 by Leica.

As you can see, the images are very sharp even wide open, though there is noticeable vignetting from F1.7 to roughly F4. Beyond that it is supremely sharp and clear across the board.

Nick has since started shooting the lens on his new Leica M7 film rangefinder so we'll update this post when he has some of the results developed and scanned!

INTERVIEW // Photographer Jing Huang

An interview from some years ago, still a great read.

Jing Huang, born in Guangzhou and now a resident of Shenzhen, China, was just named as the recipient this year’s Leica Oskar Barnack Newcomer Award. His self-selected portfolio of 12 black-and-white fine art images shot with his beloved Leica M4-P were chosen from over 2,000 entries. His favorite image in the group: “The picture of a kitten walking along a fallen tree branch, which makes me imagine a journey to an unknown destination.” A graduate in Photography and Digital Art from the Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts, Huang’s provocative and often whimsically surreal images convey a sense of the magical in outwardly ordinary scenes. “Perhaps we all have that sense of magic deep in our hearts,” says Huang prophetically.  “All that is necessary to release the passion of this inner magic is a tool which, to me, is a camera.” What follows is the underlying story of that passion expressed by Jing Huang.

Q: You mention that you see the world from “an Oriental point of view” and your photographs, especially those of plant life, do seem to have an Asian sensibility. Do you think you have been influenced by traditional Chinese art and can you say something more about how your culture speaks through your images?

A: Absolutely I am much inspired by our own culture heritage, both philosophy and arts. Chinese express emotions through metaphor. That is a very common syntax for Chinese poetry. I like this implicit way of story telling.

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Source (http://blog.leica-camera.com/)