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Posts tagged Inspiration
Photography with vintage lenses: trying out the Soligor 135mm 3.5 on Fujifilm XT2

The Soligor 135mm 3.5 is an unusual focal length for me. I have been keen to try out this focal length to take architecture and abstract shots when in the city.  Here are a few sample shots I took over a couple of days ambling around in Glasgow and Edinburgh.

Looking out over Waverley Station toward the Old Town [XT2 / Provia]

Looking out over Waverley Station toward the Old Town
[XT2 / Provia]

Edinburgh rooftops [XT2 / Acros+R]

Edinburgh rooftops
[XT2 / Acros+R]

Riverboat Casino [XT2 / Classic Chrome]

Riverboat Casino
[XT2 / Classic Chrome]

Love locks [XT"2 / Acros+G]

Love locks
[XT"2 / Acros+G]

If you have any questions about this lens or these images please leave a comment below.

You can discover in depth information about the Soligor 135mm 3.5 at PentaxForums.com

Testing vintage camera lenses on the Fujifilm X-T2: sample photographs from the Industar 50mm 50-2 f3.5

The Industar 50mm 2 f3.5 is an unusual looking little lens but with a bit of delectate handling you can create some very interesting shots. There are barrel loads of these for sale on eBay and they can be snapped up very cheaply.

Bridges spanning the river Clyde in central Glasgow [XT2 / Classic Chrome]

Bridges spanning the river Clyde in central Glasgow
[XT2 / Classic Chrome]

Mooring bollard [XT2 / Acros]

Mooring bollard
[XT2 / Acros]

Reflections at Glasgow Transport Museum [XT2 / Classic Chrome]

Reflections at Glasgow Transport Museum
[XT2 / Classic Chrome]

Mooring bollard numer 70 [XT2 / Classic Chrome]

Mooring bollard numer 70
[XT2 / Classic Chrome]

You can discover in depth information about this lens at PentaxForums.com

Bored with perfection: why I had to create a new style for my urban and architecture photography

I initially moved to mirrorless around a year ago in order to find a camera system that was light weight and could be used in the city with minimal fuss; a system that left me a more nimble, responsive photographer.  This is hardly a revelation and I am sure this is the exact reason a lot of photographers ditched their heavy dslr and lenses for a mirrorless set-up.  For me, the switch to mirrorless ran parallel with my desire to create a new style of photography too.

I love architecture and I love photography but I have to admit sometimes architecture photography leaves a little cold.  To be honest, I have always found perfection a little boring (not just in photography!) and to a large degree, architectural photography is often too perfect for me.

I have been wrestling with this in my own photography and have been trying to create a style that focuses on architecture but embraces more of a ‘street photography’ aesthetic.  I love the immediacy of street photography, its imperfections, the grain, the way it captures the essence of a moment.

Zaha Hadid apartments The Highline

After purchasing John Comazzi’s excellent Balthazar Korab: Architect of Photography book a few months back I finally became convinced that this was the direction I wanted to go in, or at the very least, a style I had to experiment with.

It had been obvious to me that my style has been undergoing change recently, most notably in the amount of black and white work I am creating.  This certainly wasn’t a deliberate choice and I cannot really say why I began doing this.  Nonetheless, it is a definite theme in my work that has occurred completely organically.  All I know is that I want my photography to look less perfect in order to capture the ‘spirit’ of the building, place or environment I am photographing.  At this stage, I do not even know if I am even capable of this but it is something I need to try and achieve.

Reflections at the Highline

Perhaps it was my visit to New York where I finally realised that the big city is not a place of perfection.  In such a ridiculously busy environment that looking to achieve perfect images often resulted in me missing out on numerous other photo opportunities, or I felt I was creating images that just seemed to lack something.

I would be interested to know if any other photographers have felt like this and felt compelled to change their style of photography.  Is this something we all go through in order to find our voice as a photographer?  Please feel free to comment below.

Architecture photographers will find all the inspiration they ever need in Balthazar Korab: Architect of Photography

Balthazar Korab: Architect of Photography by John Comazzi is a book all architecture photographers should own.  No question.  Within his photographs Korab shows a mastery of his art that any architecture photographer should aspire toward.

Comazzi’s wonderful book includes over 200 of Korab’s photographs which are mostly in black and white although there is peppering of colour work included.

Eero Saarinen’s TWA Terminal at JFK Airport, New York, 1965 - Balthazar Korab

Eero Saarinen’s TWA Terminal at JFK Airport, New York, 1965 - Balthazar Korab

Korab’s photographic style (if it can be called such) is rooted in the mid-century modernist architecture that he so often photographed.  Sharp lines, elongated curves and ultra clean concrete surfaces are all in evidence. His greatest images capture the beauty of architecture as well as the essence of time and place.

I absolutely love this shot. In many ways it is a street photography image. The rear wing in the foreground really ties the image to the 1960s. Korab has managed to create an architecture photograph which beautifully captures time and place.

I absolutely love this shot. In many ways it is a street photography image. The rear wing in the foreground really ties the image to the 1960s. Korab has managed to create an architecture photograph which beautifully captures time and place.

It would be foolish to say Korab had a single style, far from it.  There are nods to minimalism (see his shot of the Jefferson Expansion Memorial), an approach which really emphasises its arch in all its glory.  In contrast there is a definite street aesthetic to some of his work.  This is particularly true of his images taken at Lake Shore Drive Apartments (above) and Northside Middle School (below).  These are fantastic pictures that show a photographer willing to experiment with style.  It is genuinely inspiring to see work from one of the greatest architecture photographers that shows is there is more than one way to shoot architecture.

Another shot with a definite street photography aesthetic. I love that person in the foreground is polishing off their ice cream before going in to school

Another shot with a definite street photography aesthetic. I love that person in the foreground is polishing off their ice cream before going in to school

Balthazar Korab: Architect of Photography really is a must own for any photographer who any interest in architecture and urban photography.  His ability to create awe inspiring photography is obvious but for me it was his willingness to experiment with different styles that was most intriguing.  Something we should all aim for in our own work. 

Dulles International Airport Terminal, Chantilly, Virginia, circa 1963

Dulles International Airport Terminal, Chantilly, Virginia, circa 1963

You see more of Balthazar Korab’s work here

More information about Balthazar Korab: Architect of Photography can be found here

You can also check out my book shelf for book recommendations

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DETAILS:

Title: Balthazar Korab: Architect of Photography. Author: John Comazzi. Format: Paperback. Size: 8 × 10 in (20.3 × 25.4 cm). Pages: 192pp. Illustrations: 20 color, 200 b/w. ISBN: 9781616891961. Publisher: Princeton Architectural Press.