Contrary to popular belief, I do shoot pedestrian subjects. Quite often, actually; it’s one of those ways you can condition yourself to see differently and pay more attention to light, form and composition. At the end of a long assignment some time ago, I took one of the Hasselblads, the 120/4 CF Makro-Planar and a few rolls of Acros out with me for a quick excursion to the Kuala Lumpur Orchid Park; I’d evidently gone at the wrong time of year since nothing much seemed to be in bloom. Still, I came back with a few interesting images from that outing – and all in all, was pretty satisfied with the output especially given that I hadn’t shot any film for going on two months at that point in time*.
*Work really does get in the way sometimes.
Apparently somebody shooting with a Hasselblad in Kuala Lumpur is a tourist attraction in itself; I was photographed by countless other tourists using their phones, and have no doubt now got the infamy of being in several images on hipstagram. Oh well. I will let them continue to believe the square format came from that app…
Photographing flowers in monochrome is a bit more challenging than it seems, because you have to condition yourself to see luminance; ignore all of those bright colors. Regardless of how intense the color, B&W film is going to be equally sensitive to all wavelengths solely on amount of reflected light. One must take this into account when considering what subjects will stand out, and what won’t. The tricky part is that things that are mostly of the same color actually require color in order to preserve the impression of as much spatial separation and nuance as possible; contrary to what you’d expect. With monochrome images, you’re going to lose almost all of this subtlety. As usual: one has to go back to looking for shadows.
Enjoy the images, but don’t expect me to go shooting cats anytime soon…MT
Enter the 2013 Maybank Photo Awards here – there’s US$35,000 worth of prizes up for grabs, it’s open to all ASEAN residents, and I’m the head judge! Entries close 31 October 2013.
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