35mm Stills Photography (and thanks!) (1 reply and 4 comments)
I attended your book signing at The Photographer’s Gallery in London last December (you kindly signed my copy of Byways). I was too dazed to say anything beyond ‘thank you’ at the time, but I really wanted to congratulate you and James for all the time and effort you’ve both poured into the Team Deakins podcast and Byways book release.
It was during the first lockdown that I discovered and began listening to the first few episodes of the Team Deakins podcast. Listening to you both discuss lens choice, lighting and composition was inspiring and opened up a new world of creative possibilities for me. I hastily bought an old 35mm stills camera, a handful of prime lenses and started taking my first photographs.
Since then I’ve taken hundreds of shots, obsessed over some of the greats (Cartier-Bresson, McCullin, Brandt, Salgado, et al) and have also ventured into developing my own film and printing in the darkroom. Hearing about Roger’s experience working for the Beaford Archive (and viewing his stills and film work) has helped me to see and experience the world in a more nuanced and engaging way - to observe and learn about different people and their stories.
So a huge thank you, Roger and James, for sparking my interest and helping me find a more creative and fulfilling outlet in my life; I’m sure it’s had a similar impact for many other people too.
Apologies I couldn’t articulate any of this at the book signing...!
(My stills work is available via: http://www.instagram.com/joedonohoephotography» if you’re interested.)
Your stills are nice. But you might try working with a wider lens.
Thanks Roger, that’s very kind. I usually favour a 35mm prime lens, but I’ll look into using a 28mm for my next few rolls. Either that or I should stand further back!
Your photographs intrigue me, you say that you bought an old camera, which camera and lenses did you use on those photographs. You do have an eye for the unusual, that’s for sure. Very interesting though.
I use a Pentax ME Super with Ilford and Kodak B&W films and the following lenses:
Pentax SMC-M 28mm F3.5
Pentax SMC-M 35mm F2.8
Pentax SMC-M 50mm F2.0
Pentax SMC-A 135mm F2.8
All old gear now, but good enough for me.
I am surprised that those photos were shot on those lenses. The Pentax ME Super was a great little camera when that light meter worked, you were lucky to find one in working condition. Those lenses you listed are not that good even when new, the Super Takumars are much better and produce sharper images. So naturally I was surprised they produced those excellent photos. You have a photographers ‘eye’ that’s for sure always looking for those unusual shots, that to me is more important than buying expensive equipment. Exploiting opportunities is the exhausting part but you have demonstrated that you have a natural talent for that imo.
Looking forward to seeing your next batch of photos.