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
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!!!
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.
No doubt you’ve all seen this already, but I still get a kick out of it when I watch it, so here goes…
I really should be writing a letter telling people to stop buying apple products after I’ve been without my computer for the last 3 weeks, but instead I’m promoting photographers using their products. I shoot film…mostly, and I love it, but I’m not a traditionalist by any means. Shooting with iphones on the street makes a lot of sense to me, probably in the same way that shooting with a Leica on 35mm film made sense 60 years ago. Small, light, compact, easy to handle, decent picture quality, and quiet. Some of the photos I’m seeing people take with these just could be done waving an SLR or dare I even say an M6 in someones face. So, I’ll keep shooting film like some kind of old ludite, but I’ll keep enjoying the shots some of these guys are getting.
Here are some of the best: (pointed out to me by Gilles)
THE TRUTH MAGAZINE IS NOT ABOUT PHOTOGRAPHY, RELIGION, POLITICS, CELEBRITIES, SPORTS, FACTS, FASHION OR FICTION.
“WE ALL KNOW THAT ART IS NOT TRUTH. ART IS A LIE THAT MAKES US REALISE TRUTH, AT LEAST THE TRUTH THAT IS GIVEN US TO UNDERSTAND. THE ARTIST MUST KNOW THE MANNER WHEREBY TO CONVINCE OTHERS OF THE TURTHFULNESS OF HIS LIES.”
PICASSO , 1923
Interesting idea and concept. I personally like the idea of a magazine that shows the type of photography that I like and gives an avenue for fellow street photographers to get their work in print. Should be interesting….I think I’ll buy mine today!
” “I am actually a reluctant publisher. I consider myself a photographer first and foremost,” says Turpin. “But I started Nick Turpin Publishing because I felt very frustrated I couldn’t buy the kind of photography I most admired – magazines rarely featured street photography and the last major street photography book, Bystander, was published in 1994″ “
I stumbled upon this web site today. It’s by Nick Turpin who is a phenomenol street photographer. He has started a quarterly street photography publication…what a great idea. It also has link’s to In Public’s 10th year anniversary book, which looks absolutely stunning. here are the links:
Nick Turpin’s work: http://www.in-public.com/NickTurpin
If you haven’t looked through Philip-Lorca Dicorcia’s work you really should. Some of his street photos are posed, some of them are not, but the common thread that runs through his working is outstanding lighting. The whole series entitled “Heads” was shot in New York with strobes attached to scaffolding on a city sidewalk. I have read that he used a 500mm lens for these shots, which would make sense given the depth of field and perspective. Often, if I’m bored, I try to analyze where the light is coming from in his shots. Well worth a look!!!