Photographing Empire – For Me

It’s not often I get time to photograph at PD events stuff that just I want to photograph. Last year I took my old Yashica TLR to the field during setup and shot some little portraits before time in. I really enjoyed it because in a world where people say ‘have you got some good pictures?’ you can genuinely answer with a smile ‘I’ve got no fucking idea’. Which sometimes is precisely the answer you want to give, but you can’t because that’s a bit rude.

So anyway, I headed down to site yesterday with something that looked like this:

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A while ago a friend on Facebook said that one of the big reasons he shot polaroid was because it enabled him to strike up conversations with strangers. It’s true with this too. You plonk down a tripod with this on top and a black cloth draped round your shoulders to block the light and say ‘Can I take your picture?’ and people always respond positively. In fact it’s more than positive, you begin to find out things about their life. Like my friend Douggie telling me how his Dad used to do photography and how he would dabble in the darkroom himself when he was younger. I love hearing stuff like this, it’s so much more interesting than ‘what camera do you use?’.

The other thing is that people want to have a look. The screen on the top is so accessible, so crisp and so BIG! People just want to look through it and move the camera round to frame things up themselves. It’s so different to digital. And slow. I like the slowness of it all.

So here’s some shots, with Douggie up first, that were shot yesterday. But not on my film camera, these were shot on my normal camera with a tilt shift lens. (Yes, a real one David. Not a computer filter.)

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_MG_9726webAnd just because it’s beautiful, this is what the lens looks like:

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