Monday, June 17, 2013

My project: Workers - Every job is equally important.

Image from my on going project "Workers"

Ever since I started with photography, I've mostly been taking random photos. I guess nature photo was my main thing, but there was no structure to what I did, or why I did it. So now after i started reading about photography, and got deeper in to it, I figured I should start a project to be more focused on what I want to shoot. 

As Eric Kim so nicely phrased it in his article about projects: Why projects vs single images?
"You can make a statement with a single image, but when put together in a series or a project, they make a much more powerful impact to the viewer." 
Of course if I see something interesting thats not in the "frame" of my project, I'll take the photo. I want a goal, and a reason to go out and take those photos.

So I sat down and thought about what I find the most interesting to shoot, and if there was a pattern in the theme of my photos . After a couple of days, I decided to concentrate on people who are in work situations.

The project.
I think it's important to appreciate what every man and woman do for a living. Take for instance the cleaning ladies/men. No offense, but maybe not the most attractive job. If it wasn't for them, how would all the schools, offices and official buildings look like? I don't dear to think about the consequences if the garbage mens/women weren't doing their job. Put somewhat extremely: Just think about the long term consequences without the cleaning personal or garbage workers. Deceases will be spread much faster. Even chemicals that may be harmful, not only to the people who comes in direct contact with it, but there will also be a ripple effect. Chemicals will sink in to the ground, be taken up by animals, and eventually, end up in our food. How ever. I know there is a lot of garbage and chemicals floating around out there. Especially out in the seas. But thats more related to the every day man throwing garbage in the nature, and not the garbage men doing a bad job. That's really a completely different discussion.

The project is not all about garbage workers, and cleaning personal. What would happened to the world economy if the stock traders stopped doing their job? Or the farmers stopped producing food?
Even the girl behind the desk at Starbucks is doing an important job. Serving coffee, so that the people who grow the coffee beens also have a job. It's really a big circle the whole thing. And if one link gets weak and snap, it could cause more damage than we want.

There is nothing political about this project (at least not at this point). I just want to document workers, and hoping that people starts to think about, and appreciate every working man and woman out there.

In summary.
I think we're taking too many jobs for granted. And I want to document people that keeps the world going. And show that the importance of peoples job, is not always proportional with how much they get paid. 

My intention is not to put well paid workers in a bad light, but rather put low paid workers in a good light. This is what I want to achieve with this project.

I'm hoping to get my own eyes opened to. And learn while the project goes on. Cause who knows. Many I'm wrong (I hope not). That's what I'm gonna find out.

So from about six month to a year from now, the project will be published. I'm not sure how and where yet, but the time will show. The series will contain about 15-20 images.

Thanks for your time. More to come :)

Saturday, June 15, 2013

What's in my camera bag?

Thought I should do a quick post about what I got in my camera bag. As I said before, I've converted to 35mm film cameras for my street photography. Actually I got two bags. One for digital, and one for analog. This is about my analog bag. The digital bag, is not that interesting. But still, I think I'll keep my digital gear. At least for a while. Sometimes it's just required to have the images done the next day.

Anyway... My analog bag is something like this.


Olympus OM2sp with winder.
Yashica FR


Olympus 28mm F/2,8
Olympys 50mm F/1,8
Olympus 135mm F/2,8
Yashica 50mm


I've been using Fujifilm Superia 200. My next roll will be Kodak Portra 400. And Ilford HP5+ 400 for black and white.

The Olympus OM2.

Olympus OM2sp. Here with 50mm, 28mm and 135mm.
And four rolls of film

So this is my dear OM2sp. The way I got to know the OM2, was through a friend of mine, who also own a OM2sp. Some years ago, in high school (about 2007), I had the privilege to loan his camera. The first thing I noticed was the huge and bright view finder. I haven't seen anything like it before or after. It's like looking through a big shopping window:) At that time, I was all in to DSLR. I had just bought my second DSLR before I tried his OM2. So I was like "The view finder is so huge and nice, but its film...."My head was in the digital world. Plus I was working in a local paper at this time, so film was no option for my use.

One of the image from the first roll. Taken with the OM2

When I got in to street photography, I saw the benefits of using film. And got convinced by many street photographers. Especially Eric Kim. Who also is a huge source of inspiration for me.

I'm still a student, so I can't afford the street photographers dream camera, Leica M. I guess I had that view finder, and the feeling of the OM2 in the back of my head for some years.
Then it was time to start the hunt for a OM2. In Norway, the OM2s are pretty high priced. About $300-350 for a body and 50mm in good shape. And when I found this OM2sp with six lenses, winder and 10 filters. Everything in two camera suitcases, for $250, I had to have it.

The Olympus OM 2 with the OM lenses, film rolls,
Yashica FR and it's case.

I bought it from a photo enthusiast who had had it since it was new in 1985. Back then he gave $3500. Thats about $7500 in todays value! The camera and lenses is in almost mint condition, and I believe $250 was a good deal.

The winder is very fun to use. It makes so much noise when i shoot, that people turn around on the street :p When they see the camera, they smile at me (in a nice way).

The first roll with the OM2, was basically just for testing the camera. That the light meter works fine, and that everything is OK.

Low light test photo. ISO 200

My Father's Yachica FR

Yashica FR

When I was about 13 years old, my dad introduced me to his Yashica FR. This was my first experience with SRL, and I got hooked right away. Earlier I had been using a Canon Ixus digital compact camera. So my Father gave me a crash course with the basics of photography, and I was ready to shoot. I did shoot a couple of rolls, and realized it did cost money to take pictures. What was that all about? So here is where it all went wrong. I bought a DSLR...

I love this camera. The images has a nice vintage feel to them.

This is actually the very first photo I took with the Yashica.
Not that great :p But I guess the exposure isn't that bad.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Shoot with film

Shooting film - Back to basic. 

The last couple of weeks, I have been shooting film exclusively . My Canon 7D sits safe in it's "digital" bag. I will use digital for school work because it's more convenient. 

Japan Camera Hunter (Bellamy Hunt).
Selling 10 slot film cases with assorted rolls.

For film I use my newly bought Olympus Om-2sp mainly with Zuiko 50mm F/1,8 for streets. I got it for a reasonably price, so I thought I should give the good old 35mm film a retry (I used film before I bought my first DSLR in 2005). Back to the roots of photography. Also, I have heard good things about the Om-2 and Zuiko lenses. A lot of photographers that shoot film have often used digital cameras for a while, and then they want to return to film. The reason is quiet simple. We want to slow things down, get back to the roots, and be more critical and aware of what we shoot
This is something I instantly noticed. I'm on my second roll now, and have been shooting for about two and a half week. This is a huge contrast to what things used to be.

Every day I came home from shooting, I hook up my camera to my computer, downloaded the photos, and started to browse the photos. Literally a several hundred photos from one day. 

Since I'm now on my second roll (Fujifilm Superia 24 exp.). That makes it about 50 photos in two and a half week (this is very few!). I can already tell that my shots are a lot better (just developed one roll). I have to think more before I take the shot. Plus, I also don't want to waste any film, which makes me even more critical before I actually take a shot. One reason to the few shots is that when I'm working on a project, I am more selective about whats interesting and not (more about this project later).

Another great thing about using film is that my photos can "marinate" for a while before I look at them. When I first look at them, after a while (developing plus I shoot several rolls before I send them to developing), it's like looking at some others photos. And then you get more critical to your own work

I guess the essence of this post is: Be critical to your own photos, and what you shoot. Get out there and take pictures every day you got the chance!

Take care.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Early Morning Photography

Bestemte meg for å ta en tur ut idag tidlig. Nærmere bestemt halv seks om morran. Kunne jeg finne noe interessant på denne tiden av døgnet på en lørdag?

Stod opp 04.45, og var klar til dyst ca 05.30. Det var faktisk mye lysere enn jeg hadde trodd såpass tidlig. Allerede da jeg stod opp hadde sola gått meg i forkjøpet og stått opp før meg, så fikk ikke helt følelsen av "grytidlig" må jeg innrømme. Eneste forskjellen var at kroppen var i en slags sovemodus, og ikke helt klar for en gåtur på 3 timer. Men uansett. Har hatt lyst til å prøve dette en stund. Og tror jeg kommer til å gjøre det mer. Muligens enda tidligere på grunn av lyset, eller vente til etter sommeren når sola står opp senere.

En annen ting er at det er lørdag. Så med andre ord, veldig lite folk i gatene. Lyset var heller ikke spesielt spennende. Men som sagt, tror jeg kanskje en litt annen tid på året vil lønne seg, samt en hverdag hadde vært mye mer spennende, med folk som løper rundt og skal rekke jobb. Uansett har jeg bevist for meg selv at jeg overlevde den tidlige oppvåkningen, selv om det er ca 5t tidligere enn vanlig :p

Må også nevne at jeg tok en del bilder med mitt analoge kamera, Olympus OM 2, så må vente et par uker på fremkalling før jeg får se bildene (noe av sjarmen med film). Bildene får da ligget og mørnet seg som det heter. Man ser altså annerledes på sine egne bilder etter det har gått en stund (typisk en mnd), og klarer å være mer kritisk. Av og til kan man finne igjen bilder man ikke var fornøyd med da man tok dem, men som etter mørning faktisk kan være ganske bra.

Et par bilder må til.

Første her er fra Nationaltheatret togstasjon. Vi ser her siluetten av person i midten av bildet. Alene på perongen. Kanskje han venter på toget etter å ha jobbet hele natten, eller kanskje ikke?

Bilde nr 2. Når gatene er tomme, får man mer tid til å se hva som faktisk er i butikkvinduene.