In the last few weeks many of us around the world have been staying at home. Although it may seem that enjoying photography from home is hard, there are many ways we can still work on our beloved craft. We asked some of our contributors about their photographic ideas when stuck at home. We also included some from our FB MediumFormat Group. Enjoy and stay safe!
I would suggest you go back through your catalogue of images and try to organize the imagery in projects or themes. Many of us photograph different locations around the world. I have found there are themes in what I like to photograph. They may include abstracts, reflections, single trees, or large forests, etc. Once you have the images together, you could print the images on 11” x 17” paper and have a local book binder bind the images for you. I did this when I was first starting out. It made me think about what interests me and where I could improve and not get into the routine of framing and choosing similar subjects when out on a shoot.
My other idea is simply to go on the net, find photographers that you admire and study their images to try and learn why the image works and what you like about them. Study the light, composition and subject.
Out of necessity I’ve been doing most of my product photography at home in my garage. I use the floor of my garage as my backdrop because the texture of the cracking paint makes for an interesting background. Since my garage is south facing, I wait for the right time of day to photograph my gear and use a mirror to bounce light back towards my subject. Whatever gear you enjoy (cameras, watches, shoes, pens, etc.) find the best light in your home and have fun trying to photograph it.
If you are at home with your children, set up a mini home studio and take a beautiful portrait of your kids. It can be a fun thing to do together and it will keep them entertained. Then send the portrait to all your loved ones. Grandparents, aunts and uncles will be absolutely delighted to receive big loving smiles from the youngest ones. More than ever we need to connect to the people we love.
The situation forces us to SLOW DOWN and maybe it’s the perfect time to gain some experiences in analogue photography!
I just purchased another film camera (Rolleiflex 3.5) and now I’m getting experience with the wonderful camera and development of films. My preferred subject is portrait/people/fashion but it’s really fun to gather objects together or take nature shots with the camera.
I have started doing at-home assignments in my photography group, since we can’t hold meetings right now. Here is the first one. Select a subject. Find five compelling angles to photograph that one subject (experiment with up, down, left, right, front, back, close, far). Subtle shifts can often make a big difference in how well it comes out. Post your best five.
I’m documenting the impact of the virus on our home lives. Here are some photos I took yesterday of my kids making toilet paper! (No, we are not out of toilet paper or close to it, but this was their way of acknowledging the crazy times and filling an hour or two with a fun project.
1. Pretend you’re a detective investigating a crime that took place in your house or apartment. Then take pictures that could be used as evidence by either the prosecution or the defence. 2. Pick words at random from a dictionary, book or newspaper. Then make photos in your house or apartment that fit the words. 3. If you live with someone, take turns photographing each other doing the same thing. If you have a way to print them, make a small book with the images on facing pages. For extra credit you could mail or email a copy to someone.
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On behalf of my team, I am excited to introduce the February edition of the Medium Format Magazine. This month we have great pieces for you authored by Paul Sanders, Vieri Bottazzini, Holger Nitschke, Marie Calmes by Sally Jennings, Janet Dwyer, Alex Burke and Ian Howorth, with an introduction by yours truly. In this month’s interview we go deep into the fascinating world of seeing of Ned Pratt.
We start off on a very positive note with “Ode to Joy” by Paul Sanders. Paul has written a series about contemplative photography and this article is an extension of this important subject. We all struggle with our photography and photographic self from time to time so Paul’s article should help us to put those struggles in perspective. The piece is accompanied by poetic visuals which set the tone for the much-needed break we all need.
In this month’s interview we talk to Canadian photographer Ned Pratt. His book “One Wave” has made a huge wave in the photographic industry. The accompanying imagery is being sought after for private and public collections all over the world. What I find remarkable about Ned is his uncanny ability to talk about the process of seeing and crafting unique and personal imagery. Did I mention that Ned is one of the nicest and most genuine people I have ever encountered in this industry!? Sally Jennings and I couldn’t be more thrilled to present our readers with this fascinating interview.
This month, Vieri Bottazzini shares with us a highly personal account of “The First Sunrise.” It is so easy in this busy and demanding industry to forget about our personal experience. Vieri tells the story of one morning and its sunrise and takes us along on an unforgettable journey. His piece is accompanied by visually rich and colourful sunrise vistas.
The first time I saw Holger Nitschke’s portrait of Lilly I thought, “You have to tell us more about it.” There is no shortage of portraits online but the simplicity of the image, the striking beauty of the model and the rendering of the lens/camera combination makes this portrait a true gem. Holger Nitschke agreed to give us more details about the photoshoot in this month’s HOW IT WAS SHOT.
Marie Calmes has a special way of observing and capturing the world with her Hasselblad film camera. Sally Jennings, our language editor and wordsmith, wrote a short piece about Marie and her work based on some answers Marie sent us. This piece about Marie and her journey wouldn’t be complete without her photographs, which provide an immersive experience into the life and seeing of Marie Calmes.
In the next article Janet Dwyer introduces us to the craft of photo-scanography. She writes: “This unorthodox method continues to present interesting possibilities for large format imaging and printing.” With plants, flowers, nets, feathers, etc. as her key visual elements, Janet crafts remarkable and unusual imagery with her scanner as camera. I am glad to report that Janet has agreed to write a series of articles about her work.
This month, Alex Burke is challenging us with a very important question: “What makes a compelling landscape photograph?“ Alex breaks down this question into smaller visual considerations and puts together a compelling picture of the genre which has been cherished and practiced by so many photographers around the world. As always, Alex shares with us his latest work from the field captured with a large format camera. So much to think about and enjoy!
In his article, “The Move to Digital – Part 2,” Ian Howorth continues his outing into the world of medium format. Having been a film shooter most of his life, Ian is exploring different medium format digital systems and comparing the outcome to his film work. This time the Phase One back P65 has caught Ian’s attention with its CCD sensor which “creates an experience closer to what I’m used to, and a thought process behind creating images that I prefer.” As always, great imagery and writing!
Our issue concludes with the Readers’ Exhibition section where you will find the super imagery submitted by our readers and patrons. I am sure you will find inspiration and zest for seeing by slowing down and looking at each other’s imagery. I‘m planning to grab a glass of wine and look at these images at a pace they deserve.
I trust you will enjoy all the content our writers and contributors prepared for you. We have recently signed some new amazing photographers and writers and you should see their new columns and articles starting in March 2020. I am looking forward to our next issues and much, much more. Thank you for your readership and support.
And if you are not subscribed to the Medium Format Magazine yet, join medium formatters from around the world and gain an immediate access to the November issue, all previous editions and MF Exclusives . It would be wonderful to have you with us.
In every issue of the Medium Format Magazine you will find the monthly section, HOW IT WAS SHOT. This is where we feature one image and the story behind it. In the January 2020 edition, Peter Delaney shares with our readers not one but two images and stories behind them. One of them is a truly stunning photograph from our January cover titled “The Matriarch.” The second image is “Virginia Tree” (below).
Today we would like to share with you the third image from this truly spectacular series. Enjoy!
In my photography, serendipitous moments are few. Sometimes, we see all the elements that will make a great composition but they are out of alignment. It is then that two crucial aspects come into play—patience and Lady Luck.
It was day four of our Masai Mara adventure; my guests were three gentlemen from the Philippines who were passionate wildlife photographers.
We had spent an hour photographing a lion pride. The pride was on the move from the swampy grassland to higher rocky ground where it was drier underfoot. I decided to pre-empt the lions and get to the rocky area before they did, allowing us time to position ourselves and get the right angle to photograph them as they approached.
As our 4×4 began the ascent of the small hill, we climbed slowly over sharp rocks. Luckily the grass was short, and we could navigate without damaging our vehicle. The last thing I wanted was to break down with a pride of twenty lions heading our direction. We climbed higher, rolling back and forth, hanging on to our equipment for dear life. I glanced towards the top of the hill where a lone tree stood proudly against a backdrop of beautiful white cloud. My first thought was to stop our driver Benson to capture this incredible scene.
But then, out of the corner of my eye, I saw a small herd of five elephants happily grazing and moving slowly along the hilltop. My mind went into overdrive. What if?
I voiced my thoughts to my guests. I painted a picture of the elephants standing close to the tree, adding that extra element needed to make a great composition.
My driver and guests all stated the apparent flaw in my vision—the elephants were some distance from the tree.
I pointed out that they were, albeit slowly, moving in that direction.
We kept to our original plan of photographing the lions who had now reached the rocks. A male and female were sitting close to each other and that would be our photographic subject while we waited on the slow progress of the elephants heading towards the lone tree.
Clouds began to roll in from the east; the wind picked up; time was not our side. If the storm reached us, the chance of a flash flood on one of the Masai Mara bridges we had crossed over was high.
Two elephants stopped grazing, lifted their heads, and strolled towards our tree; it was as if they could read my mind and had decided that they would play their vital role to complete my vision. I decided to move our vehicle away from the lions and gamble on the elephants and tree. I advised my guests to change lenses to medium focal length which would help to compress the view and allow enough space for the tree, elephants, cloud and some breathing room if we needed to crop in post edit.
I pointed out to Benson the best position to park the 4×4—a low angle further down the hill to accentuate our angle of view and have the tree in the middle of our composition; the two elephants were walking side by side towards the tree. We needed some space between the elephants, or the photograph would not work. For the second time I felt the elephants were reading my thoughts. One elephant walked to the left of the tree, the other to the right—an almost a perfect mirror image. I shouted, “Now!” We all pressed our shutters.
Within a 500th of a second, the synchronicity of the photograph had disappeared. The elephants ambled on. Patience and a little bit of Lady Luck had completed my vision. I glanced at the EVF of my GFX100, holding my breath as I waited for the image to appear. I had managed to get three photographs, but the middle picture was the one that made me smile, as both elephants were equidistant from the tree. Everyone on board was happy with their day’s safari. We headed back to camp looking forward to sharing much-needed refreshments.
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The GF45-100mmF4 R LM OIS WR lens has a 35mm equivalent focal length range of 36mm and 79mm. One of the most important features of this newly announced lens is “powerful 5-axis image stabilization, one super ED lens element, and a near-silent, high-speed autofocus motor.”
Here are the key features of this lens (quoting as per Fujifilm announcement):
The GF45-100mmF4 R LM OIS WR lens consists of 16 elements in 12 groups, including three aspherical elements, one Super ED element and one ED element to effectively control spherical aberration, field curvature and chromatic aberration. This minimizes the negative effects of various forms of aberration, such as luminance shift and color bleeding, to deliver astonishing image sharpness.
Compact and lightweight large format standard zoom Weighing 2.2lb (1,005g), measuring 5.69in (144.5mm) long, and having a diameter of 3.66in (93mm), the lens is extremely portable and compact despite being a 2.2x zoomfor a large format camera system.
Fast, quiet and highly accurate AF. The use of an Internal Focusing system has minimized the size and weight of the focusing group, which is driven by a linear motor to achieve fast, quiet and highly accurate AF.
The lens is equipped with five stop image stabilization (CIPA guidelines), allowing photographers to make the most of the high-resolution sensors found in GFX System cameras, especially when making images hand-held. Highly robust design that withstands various shooting conditions.
The GF45-100mmF4 R LM OIS WR lens will be available in late February 2020, at a manufacturer’s suggested retail price of $2,299.95 USD and $2,999.99 CAD.
Fujifilm has announced development of two new lenses for the GFX medium format system.
FUJINON GF 30mm F3.5 R WR: A wide-angle, prime lens. This wide angle 30mm lens is an equivalent 24mm focal length in the 35mm film format.
Of course, the FUJINONGF 80mm F1.7 creates the most excitement among photographers. Fujifilm in its official statement says about the GF 80mm F1.7, “A unique, wide-aperture, standard lens. A standard 80mm lens with an equivalent focal length of 63mm in the 35mm film format, which is incredibly suitable for portraiture and making images in low-light conditions. This will be the lens with the widest aperture among GF lenses and be an incredible solution for portrait photographers who want beautiful, creamy bokeh with their GFX System Cameras. This compact and lightweight lens will have a wider angle of view than the highly popular GF110mmF2 R LM WR and deliver the same level of incredible image quality.”
The team at MediumFormat.com is in touch with Fujifilm and as soon as this lens become available, we will bring you more information.