The second part of the monochrome photoessay from Prague was shot on film, with a Hasselblad 501C and my favourite B&W film – Fuji Acros 100. To be honest, given the tight quarters, I’d have preferred to have had something either a little wider or a little longer – preferably both – to give me some additional ability to add context, or compress (especially with buildings clinging to hills in the background). Nevertheless, we make do with what fits inside our camera bags – after making provisions for film, I didn’t have any space left for lenses!
I was told by my students that the camera was receiving some attention and curiosity from the locals; I didn’t really notice it when I was shooting, but then again I tend to go into ‘the zone’, much to the exclusion of everything (and everybody) else. It certainly didn’t hinder my ability to get the images I wanted. I tried something different with the processing this time – there was more than enough light for me to pull several of the rolls; I would have expected a bit less grain and even smoother tonal transitions; however, it seems that Acros does the same thing as when you push it: the highlights develop faster than the shadows, and you land up with a bit more contrast and denser shadows; admittedly I did not try this with that many rolls, so it could be some other variable like the x-ray dosage received at airport security, my chemistry or development process, but it really does appear that ISO 100 is pretty much optimum speed for this film. Unfortunately, the more I look at the low-res Flickr versions, the more I’m convinced that you really need a large print – at least 20×20″ – to do things justice. The display medium matters! Don’t worry if you missed the last European print run – I’ll probably have another one coming up soon.
Enjoy; I know I certainly had fun making these images, regardless of whether or not some people think I’ve lost the plot and been imprisoned by the square… MT
These images were made during the October 2013 Making Outstanding Images Workshop in Prague; I will be holding three more of these in Melbourne, Sydney and London later this year. Click here for more info, and to sign up.
2014 Making Outstanding Images Workshops: Melbourne, Sydney and London – click here for more information and to book!
Visit the Teaching Store to up your photographic game – including workshop and Photoshop Workflow videos and the customized Email School of Photography; or go mobile with the Photography Compendium for iPad. You can also get your gear from B&H and Amazon. Prices are the same as normal, however a small portion of your purchase value is referred back to me. Thanks!
Images and content copyright Ming Thein | mingthein.com 2012 onwards. All rights reserved