Venezia

Posted on October 10, 2012

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Just got back from Venice….I set myself a couple of small photo projects.

First, I decided to try to capture Venice in black and white with my Zero 2000 6×6 pinhole camera. Somehow the soft focus and historical connotations of the pinhole seemed appropriate. I went out early in the mornings and concentrated on urban landscape scenes and some specific elements of the scenes. Apart from trying to get some interesting images this project was about familiarising myself more with the pinhole camera. I intend to use one for my long exposure portrait assignment.

During the day I took my 6×7 Fuji film camera with me and decided I would make some portraits of interesting people I met along the way….this was very opportunistic but the intention was to force myself to approach the people I really wanted to photograph and ask them if they would mind if I made a photographic portrait of them. As with the pinhole work  this was a kind of rehearsal for a future assignment. I want to incorporate street portraiture into the East End London work that I have in mind for the YOP level 3 course.

As is the way with film I will not know for a week or so how either of these projects worked out. I should get the negatives back from the lab next Monday. I am really enjoying working with film. I like the being able to select  a film with particular qualities for each project – it seems to give the work a consistent ‘signature’ look. It also slows me down and makes me think a lot more deliberately about compositions, light, exposures etc. And there is something to be said for waiting a week or two before reviewing my images. It makes me look carefully at all of them. When reviewing digital images I tend to go straight to the ones that I thought were the best at the time of shooting.

As an aside I also used my iphone with the Instagram app to produce a series of snapshots. These I have put together into a short video. I find that the iphone is the antithesis of shooting with film. It is much more a ‘snapshot’ aesthetic, more freewheeling and experimental. I found I was directing my picture taking around several loose themes (politics, cats, masks, opulence, drapery, windows, corners….) and aesthetic qualities (colours, light, soft focus, colour accents…). I used these later when putting together this short video on Flickr. To view the video just click the image.

iPhone a Venezia by Keith Greenough

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