Woke up early this morning and as usual there was nothing on T.V., so I decided to watch the Joy Division documentary I had taped from last night. Great documentary, and some of Anton Corbijn’s photographs were included. I know, I know…it’s not exactely street photography, but the black and white’s are just so good, and have that element of street photography to them. I typed in Joy Division into the computer a few minutes ago and found out that “they” are playing here in Sydney at the Enmore theatre tonight. Whats the coincidence? Problem is the tickets cost $85 dollars which doesn’t exactely make it a cheap evening out and by “they” I mean Peter Hook and three other guys. Hmmm…is that Joy Division at all? Anyway, got me looking at Anton Corbijn photos and watching old clips of Ian Curtis on stage, so who cares. Hope you enjoy…
This is a beautifully shot atmospheric public train series. The lighting is fantastic throughout. It’s by a photographer named Luca Napoli. I had not heard of him before finding this on YouTube but you can find his work on flickr here.
It’s not my intention to write reviews about old cameras as it’s all been done a million times before, but the need to tell this story to people who care about cameras has overcome my intentions. It’s not since I lived in Southeast London and picked up an old 1980’s BMW that I’ve had this feeling. I’m sure we’ve old had it. The feeling that everything is in place, things have aligned and you just happened to be in the right place at the right time. I was driving home from work as usual as I passed by a house with table with a for sale sign with about 50 cameras on it. I actually thought I was hallucinating (Long day of work, hot Sydney sun). I stopped of course and to my surprise found a table of old rangefinders. I actually thought for a second that it was going to be a table full of old Leica’s. It was a table full of 60’s and 70’s japanese fixed lens rangefinders. I spent the next hour searching through some beautiful old cameras. They were all there but as old cameras go, they all had problems. A konica auto S2 (fungus) a fujica with the little bottom lever (lever stuck) a Yashica lynx 1000 (shutter stuck). Finally, I stumbled upon a working Minolta AL which I bought for the princely sum of $2.50. Got it home, cleaned it up, opened the back and got out a roll of tri-x. This is when the old BMW came to mind. That feeling of getting into a car where everything is well planned, well thought out, things in the right place. This is one of the first cameras that did that for me. Little things like a small film catch on the reel, the focus knob in exactly the right position, etc… My BMW cost me the whopping sum of 300 quid and lasted me 3 years and 3 trips around Britain. I still miss that car today, hopefully this rough little diamond will be the same.
A little Britain for you
There is an excellent article in today’s Sydney Morning Herald about the increasing pressures faced by today’s generation of street photographers. Linda Morris of the Herald points out that privatisation of public space and a creeping intolerance and paranoia born of anxieties around terrorism and paedophilia has led to an anti-photography vibe in Australia. She interviewed a few of Australia’s and England’s leading street photographers who gave their own stories of intolerance based on the publics “insistence on a right to privacy.”
This way of thinking has led to anti-terrorism legislation for example in England that has made anyone with a camera a suspect. Thank god it has been overturned. I would hate to think that Australia is following down this path.
Here is the link to the article Fear Shrouds Faces in the Street
Australian photography rights here
Redfern Station Sydney
It’s the way he works. Love this little video and I haven’t seen it for such a long time. Hope you all enjoy!!!
All of us hit a block. A few rolls of film with nothing. A thousand or so digital files of nothing. Here’s a quick solution. Buy a cheap crappy good camera. My Ricoh rz770 was my girlfriend’s and has an overwhelmingly high buy it now price on ebay of $3.79. It sports a 35-70 zoom lens, a terribly weak flash that I always seem to forget to turn off, and… well that’s about it. But on the plus side; I’m not carrying a big camera, or multiple lenses, or a lightmeter or even a bag. Just the camera in my pocket and a few rolls of film and off I go. The real beauty is that you never know what you’re going to get, where it’s going to focus, how it’s going to expose etc… so all you can think about is your subject. Ahhhhhh ZEN. So, if you’re stuck or bored or not happy with what you’re getting, give it a try. You can usually buy one of these little gems for under 10 bucks at your local pawn shop. (less than the roll of film that’s in it!) It’s a lot of fun.
Ricoh RZ and Tri-x at Central Station Sydney
I take the train into the city and flip through photo books I can’t afford to buy. A typical rainy afternoon. I find a copy of Josef Koudelka’s book with beautiful black and and white panoramas and I remember a story that I had read by photographer David Hurn.
“I first met, josef in 1970. Elliot Erwitt brought him to my flat in Bayswater, London. My initial impression was of a huge grin on which was superimposed a pair of wire-rimmed spectacles. Elliott suggested that Josef should stay in my flat – affectionately known as the ‘doss house’ by the many itinerant photographers who had stayed there – for a few days, while he developed some film. My memory is that the ‘few films’ were actually 800 rolls and that he used the abode as his base camp for the next 9 years.”
I can only imagine the comraderie, the time spent in the darkroom, the pondering over contact sheets, the smell of chemicals in the air.
I would love to say “those were the good old days” but in reality I wasn’t around then, and these days we sit alone in front of computer screens. I’d like to think that the comraderie still exists, the comments left, the words of encouragement, or maybe it’s just the effect of a rainy day.
Here’s a cool little Koudelka Clip
One of the great things about the internet is how small it can make the world. I can sit here at my desk, get a message from a photographer in Ireland about an exhibition covering Iran. I know this doesn’t seem like such a big deal but when we stop and actually think about it, it is.
This lead me to look at Zadoc Nava’s photos, which are truly inspiring. I spent two years of my life living in the Middle East. When I look back at the photos I took during that time most of them remind me of how afraid I was of lifting the camera to my face.
Zadoc’s photos give us a rare glimpse into Iranian culture. Not photos of war, or bombs, or mass protests. Everyday photos like the ones we all take.
His Shadowlands exhibition is on in Northern Ireland. The website can be viewed here.
His personal website can be found here.
Hope you enjoy!!!
September’s featured photographer is Richard Payne of Sydney, Australia. Check out his interview on the featured photographer page here.
I’ve always been inspired by photos taken on public transport. The sense of intimacy in such a small place with such a diverse cross-section of a cities people make for some of the finest street work around. Photos taken on the New York subway in the 80’s have such a special grit that just can’t be reproduced today. The combination of grafitti, metal, tough characters and film just can’t be beat. I’ve been to New York and I can see it’s appeal, but a lot of that grit has gone, but I could still feel what these guys saw.
John F. Conn