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#4 September 2015

FEATUREDINTERVIEW

MATTIAS KLUM

1XINTERVIEW PEKKA

JÄRVENTAUS PORTFOLIO HANS BOL PHOTOSTORY YAN ZHANG


Introduction As a tribute to Nature, we invite you to be submerged into its beauty in our regular rubrics of this issue. A journey through the amazing work of accomplished photographers. Discover Mattias Klum. He is one of the world's leading nature photographers and has specialized in portraying and interpreting threatened environments, species, and cultures. He has led many expeditions to inaccessible corners of the world – expeditions that have resulted in motion pictures, books, exhibitions, lectures, and articles in prominent magazines. Mattias Klum has received a number of awards over the years. He has had several wildlife documentaries shown on Swedish national TV and had his work also featured in Wildlife Conservation, Audubon, Geo, National Geographic, Terre Sauvage, Stern, Der Spiegel and the New York Times among others. Enjoy the fabulous world of 1x photographer, Pekka Järventaus. and his ability to capture the iconic presence of the majestic lion along with the intriguing and unique life and social structures of the African lion pride. Admire an amazing portfolio showing sublime images of the most talented 1x nature photographers. Read photo reviews about several unique 1x nature photographs. Furthermore, we have additional amazing columns: A glimpse into the world of Hans Bol, photographer and dark room specialist at the Photo Museum of Rotterdam. A coastal journey about three Australian photographers and their vision of the ocean. A love declaration for the GA645Zi analogue camera. The untamed beauty of Mother Nature is a constant source of satisfaction for many in the modern world. With the shadow of civilization rapidly encroaching on natural spaces, capturing this scenery is extremely important, now more than ever. Nature photography refers to a wide range of photography taken outdoors and devoted to displaying natural elements such as landscapes, wildlife, animals, plants and close-ups of natural scenes. Nature photography tends to put a stronger emphasis on the aesthetic value of the photo than any other photography genre.


Color images are not an absolute requirement of nature photography. Ansel Adams is famous for his black and white depictions of nature. But whether color or B&W, all nature photographers pay a lot of attention to the location, the light and the technique. A number of ethical concerns and debates surround the creation of nature photography. Common issues involve the potential of stress or harm to animals, the potential of photographers overrunning and destroying natural areas, veracity and manipulation in photography. The great nature photographer Lanting quotes : “I think a photograph of whatever it might be requires personal involvement and respect. That means knowing your subject, not just snapping at what's in front of you.” A great advice to keep in mind for taking your photography to the next level. “Nature photography is like being there with a powerful personality and I'm searching for just the right angles to make it come across as meaningfully as possible. I like to feel that all my best photographs have strong personal visions. If a photograph doesn't have a personal vision or doesn't communicate, emotion fails.” ~Galen Rowell~ Unlock your inner photographer and seek for your personal vision. Good reading! Let yourself be overwhelmed by the sublime world of Mother Nature. Yvette Depaepe Head Editorial Team


PUBLISHER 1x Innovations AB FOUNDER / DIRECTOR Ralf Stelander | Sweden GRAPHIC DESIGN / DTP Lara Kantardjian | London HEAD EDITORIAL TEAM Yvette Depaepe | Belgium EDITORIAL TEAM Proofreader / Editor Hans ML Spiegel | USA Mariane van Meegeren | Belgium Interviews / Articles Christian Argueta | USA Ian Munro (aka Deviant Mind) | United Kingdom Marc van Kempen | Netherlands Interviews / Articles Peter Nigos | Canada Interviews French photographers Christian Roustan (alias Kikroune) | France Photo Reviews / Discussions Susanne Stoop | Netherlands Analogue Photography / Reviews Raul Pires Coelho | Portugal Travel Photography / Workshops Yan Zhang | Australia Jeff Sink | USA

CONTACT e-magazine enquiries | support@1x.com ADDRESS 1x Innovations AB Salagatan 18A S-753 23 Uppsala Sweden COVER PHOTO Rwanda by Mattias Klum

1x.com | Facebook | Book Publications

All images and text published in this edition by 1x are copyright protected under international copyright laws and the sole property and ownership of the photographers and editors. No part of this publication may be copied, edited, printed, manipulated, distributed or used in any form without prior written permission from the publisher and copyright owners. All rights reserved. 1x assumes no liability for the work of its contributors.


1x In pursuit of the sublime Founded in 2007 by Jacob Jovelou and Ralf Stelander in Uppsala, Sweden. 1x is a vibrant and exclusive photo community. All photos in the gallery are curated, selected by a team of 11 professional curators. 1x is probably the most elegant and clutter-free website for viewing photos in HD-quality on the internet, like a real photo gallery experience. In our groups and forums you can discuss photography with members from more than 160 different countries and inspire each other. With our unique partnership with Eurographics, the biggest prints provider in Europe, with hundreds of stores in more than 60 countries, art directors, advertising agencies, book editors, magazines and big software companies contact us everyday with requests to buy images. Many of our photographers are now represented in art galleries, having been discovered on 1x.

1x Crew Members


SEPTEMBER 2015No.4


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FEATURED INTERVIEW _______________________________________ MATTIAS KLUM WHEN PHOTOGRAPHY IS MAKING A DIFFERENCE Interview by Thomas Brindt I’m standing outside a small yellow house in the outskirts of central Uppsala, Sweden. I’m here to see Mattias Klum. The world-renowned photographer whose work has made an impact on presidents and royalties, but also on just about anyone who has opened a National Geographic magazine. I’m here to talk to him about big issues, such as photographic language, where to find inspiration and whether photography can make a difference to the world. But it starts off very small.

Compared to the much larger buildings around it, the yellow house gives a humble impression. It may not look like it, but this little house is actually the centre point in an elaborate travel network that takes its inhabitants all over the world. As I stand on the porch, I try to assess what I know about this man. I am of course aware of his astonishing work for National Geographic. I know that he has worked for all the major magazines such as the New York Times and Der Spiegel. I’m also aware of his interest in nature and environmental issues and that he is a WWF ambassador. Mattias’ wife Monika, who also is one of his closest colleagues in their business company Tierra Grande, is letting me in. The

house is small but cosy. Mattias greets me in the kitchen and is enthusiastically telling me the history of the house. He is good at telling. As a child, he used to tell his parents stories based on his photos. One day, his father suggested that he should visit the local home for the elderly and tell the patients there about his photos. - To my great surprise, the managers at the home for the elderly agreed to me coming and giving a lecture. Actually, they not only agreed, but they offered me a small payment as well (just enough to buy two rolls of Kodachrome). The lecture went very well and the entire experience made a huge impression on me.


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Mattias Klum portrait

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Mattias is currently working on several documentary movie projects and a new book. At the same time he is traveling around the world giving lectures about his work. I’m surprised to hear that movie projects are actually taking up 75% of his time right now. For the general public, he is mostly known as a still photographer in the nature genre. How did you start as a nature photographer? It started with passion. A passion to tell something. I think it’s the same for most photographers and artists. I have always felt a great sense of calm by being out in nature. Later, that led to me starting photographing people, cultures, scientific research and so on. I started working for National Geographic very early, when I was 23 years old. They don't care if you call yourself a nature photographer. They are only interested in your photographic language. Depending on what

kind of idea for the photo series they have in mind, they select photographers whose aesthetics match the idea that they have. They are not as genre oriented as you might think, at least not when it comes to the actual photographic content. If you get a cover story in the National Geographic Magazine, then you can count on getting calls from New York Times and other magazines. But if you don’t manage to keep the same level of quality, it probably won’t last long. It’s like getting a lead role on the Metropolitan. It’s great fun, but if you don’t get called back it may not be worth much. How has nature photography developed during your time? It has become much more technical. Many are using HDR techniques when taking landscape shots, which obviously didn’t exist before. There are many more tools at your disposal, both for shooting and processing.

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There are however limits for how much technology is allowed to influence the photographic work, especially when working for National Geographic, who are known for their strict policy when it comes to post processing. What is your opinion on the processing restrictions of National Geographic? I’m sure many think that National Geographic are out of synch with their time. The restrictions are very hard, but it’s not the editors alone who decide what is acceptable. The editors together with the photographers decide what is ethically, morally and professionally suitable. It’s something we decide together. The reason is of course that National Geographic has a legacy since 1888, which has been that the reader should be offered a journey. It may be a journey to space or inside yourself as a human being, but the premise is to always be able to say: ”-This is a photo that was taken by this photographer at this place at this moment. This is a part of our reality right now.” It’s a corner stone in National Geographic’s concept of being trust worthy. The fact that Mattias’ wife Monika was letting me in is very appropriate considering their tight working relationship. Their business company consists of five people working full time and Monika is a very important part of this group. How is it to work so closely together with your wife? We have been working together for so long, but it still feels like we have just begun. Some people say that they could never work together with their spouse, but for us it has been great. We have been able to share both good times and bad times. We have shared so many experiences in the field. To be really good at something, it takes a terrible amount of time. If you can’t share some of that time with the people you love, there won’t be much time left.

Could you please describe the process of a photo shoot? It all begins with me getting a contract or agreement to go somewhere and visualize a location or situation. This whole process is rather interesting. I have never been especially interested in being ”controlled” in my work. Sometimes the magazine has an art director who comes with very extensive input and instructions on what the photos should look like. I have the utmost respect for other people’s knowledge, but I like to contribute my very own “point of view” on a subject. That’s what is so great with National Geographic. What they are buying is actually your point of view. Of course they can also come with suggestions of things to include while at a certain location. It could be certain cultures, animals or environments. Many times I get great ideas from these suggestions. Before each shoot I always talk with researchers and local experts who provide me with their special knowledge. This is very important, so you don’t miss an opportunity just because you didn’t do your homework. It’s generally very important to be well informed. Do you search for conditions suitable for your photos or do you create your own conditions? Both. It all depends on the situation. If I’m on a contract for National Geographic to document an unusual animal that lives in the tree tops of the Amazonas, then I’m forced to create certain conditions to get the shot. I have to set up my own light and make sure that I can visualize this animal in a good way. But on National Geographic we never go so far that we move animals around just to get them in good poses for the shot. The only exception is if the shoot is about documenting scientific work that involves various interactions with animals. What kind of cameras do you prefer? As still cameras I use Nikon. I have an agreement with them since 1999. When filming, I often use RED cameras with 4 or 5K resolution. It’s like playing golf,when choosing between golf clubs, you use different equipment for differe-


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ent situations. Today I have access to a wide range of different technical solutions, but I can still enjoy the challenge of not having the most effective equipment at hand. It’s very satisfying to be able to create something highly adequate, with only the most basic hardware. But equipment is just equipment. Nothing more. It can never replace creativity or playfulness. It’s important not to be afraid of imperfection. A fine art photo may have lousy sharpness, off colours and be technically underwhelming, as long as it has something else. So far, our talk has mostly centred on descriptive photography. Knife sharp visualizations that tell us exactly how a piece of our world looks like right now. Since there are so many wonderful fine art photographers on 1x, I’m curious to know if Mattias Klum has any interest in this niche of photography. You are perhaps best known for your work as a nature photographer. Are you interested in fine art photography as well? Absolutely! Sometimes you are working from a more artistic point of view, where the describing part of the photo is unimportant. It’s not important who the people on the photo are, the species of the animals or where the photo was taken. What’s important is the conceptualization of a basic idea. That’s also great fun and I have actually done quite a bit of such photos on a contract. What other genres of photography inspire you? I’m not inspired by a genre per say. It’s like saying ”-I love rock music”. I don’t love all rock; I love my specific taste of rock. In the same way, I don’t say that I love street photography, but I love what David Harvey does. What I really appreciate is a personal language and sensitivity. I love when you can find marks and details that connect the works of a specific photographer. I like to see a clear identity and to be able to follow an artist through time. It really adds something extra to

a photo when you know the story and the person behind it. Do you have a favourite photo of your own? It’s very dependent on my current mood. It’s difficult to pick out favourite photos of your own since some photos are associated with so much work and endeavour to get the shot. Then the photo can become a favourite, not just because of its photographic qualities, but because of the hell you went through to get it. Other photos can remind you of people you have worked with or special periods of time in your life. As my meeting with Mattias Klum is coming to an end, I have to ask him about his passion regarding environmental issues. Mattias has an amazing talent when it comes to describing the world in which we live in. But I know that for someone as passionate to preserve the world, there is only one question that matters.

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Do you think photography can make a difference? It already does. Throughout history there are many photos that have greatly influenced us humans. Everything from war photos, to documentations of environmental or humanitarian situations. It’s even evident for me on a personal level. I can give a lecture for politicians in Washington and show them this photo of a coral reef. Here are 1550 known species of fish and 700 reef-building corals. A wonderful eco system, full of life, which is not only supporting its own existence but is helping us with ours as well. Then I tell them what we are doing to the nature in return and show them the same coral reef some years later, completely devastated by pollution.

This obvious insight, that something that we want for our children to experience, no longer can be guaranteed to exist when they are grown. This insight is so strong, no matter if you are a president, prime minister or just a regular guy. Because it’s such a universal human question. It’s a question about our destiny. And then photography makes one hell of a difference!


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Portrait of a lion


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1X FEATURED INTERVIEW _______________________________________ PEKKA JÄRVENTAUS Interview by Yvette Depaepe

Pekka Järventaus is an accomplished photographer, passionate about African wildlife, particularly lions. His work, mainly black and white is extraordinary, due to his brilliant ability to capture the iconic presence of the majestic African lion along with the intriguing and unique social structures of the lion pride. He is the man who prowls with those amazing animals more than anyone else. It was an enriching and learning experience to interview him.

Can you please introduce yourself and tell us what first attracted you to photography? I'm originally from Gothenburg, Sweden. I have a background as a digital artist in the video game industry doing work in photoshop and 3D, so the artistic/creative part has always been a large part of my professional life. It has also given me the opportunity to live and work in many cities in Europe while giving me time to refine my artistic skills. While living in Paris I bought an entry level camera to learn photography. But it was first during an African safari a couple of years ago, that I discovered my real passion for photography and decided to start photographing lions.

One of the reasons why I got drawn to photography was that it's only your own creativity and ability to implement visions, that limits you. This compared to let's say video games development were projects that can take 3-4 years and includes 100+ people, you are now suddenly depending on and juggling many aspects, just like in any large scale project. Photography simply offered me the ability to perform at my highest individual level with no restrictions or compromises. But most importantly it has giving me the opportunity to meet great lions and prowl with them. Why are you so fascinated by lions, Pekka? I have always been interested in lions. You

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see lions in movies, read about them in books, they are being used as logos etc. Lions are all around us. They are true symbols of royalty and power. Most of us get to see a lion in the zoo but it is not the same as seeing a lion in their natural habitat. I think it is easy for us to relate to lions to some extent since they live in prides very similar to how we live in families. There is a brother/sisterhood among lions that we also can relate to. These social structures also make lions unique among the big cats.

that already do so. Instead I'm interested in going beyond traditional wildlife photography and inject my own artistic vision into my images. I want to capture those majestic qualities that speak to me the most and create iconic portraits of lions. Black and white photography is for me the medium that has the most impact, especially in portraiture, and I felt early on that my lion portraits were more engaging without the distraction of color. Just shape, light, shadow and that timeless feel of monochrome photography.

These are also some of my reasons why I like them so much.

Can you tell us a bit more about your photographic vision?

How safe is it to photograph wild lions?

I only photograph lions in the wild. I want to create portraits that tell a story. Lions in zoo's or in any other environment simply don't have the magical qualities and the presence that I look for. I also spend quite some time looking for the right lion to photograph. So even when I find a lion in the wild, it doesn't necessarily mean that I will photograph it. As with portrait photography of people, I wouldn't just go out and start photographing the first person I see on the streets. Instead I look for something extraordinary that has a majestic presence.

A lot of people have asked me if it is dangerous. Personally I have never felt threatened. Most wild animals do not know what you are. They evaluate you based on your actions. When you are inside the car lions view you and the car as one large entity. They know that the car is large and smells bad and that it is not something they can eat. The lions understand silhouette more than depth, so the car is working as your ‘invisibility cloak’ – as long as you are within the car and remain quiet and don’t move too much, they will not bother you. If you would take one step out of the car the cloak would not work and the situation would change very quickly into something dramatic, and you would most likely end up being their ‘free lunch'. By following the above precautions, I find it to be very safe and rewarding. I love being around lions and photographing them. I feel that I’m part of something that is bigger than me and that I’m truly blessed getting a glimpse into the life of these great creatures. Being around these amazing animals in their natural kingdom is a truly remarkable experience. Your work is mainly black and white. That is unusual for wildlife photography. Can you tell us why? I have never been interested in documenting lions. There are plenty of photographers

The majority of my work is photographed in Masai Mara, Kenya. The kingdom of lions. The Mara is well known for its large lion population and also offers magnificent vistas and varied areas for photography, from the short grass and marshes in the north to the mountain ranges and tall grass in the south. I also prefer to photograph during rainy or stormy weather conditions. It adds a bit of drama to the scenes that I like. What is more important to you, the story behind your images or the technical perfection? I find the story, the subject and the desire to create an emotional connection with the viewer to be far more important than technical perfection. The same applies to questions about what type or brand of camera to


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Brothers

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use. Let’s say I would take a photo of my breakfast with a canon 1DX, the subject itself is not that interesting and the use of a high end camera will not really add much value to the image. If you on the other hand would take a photo of Barack Obama and Vladimir Putin standing next to an UFO in Central Park, shaking hands with space aliens. Such a photo would be of such high interest, it would sell for millions to magazines, regardless of the camera brand or technical perfection. What gear do you use and which software do you prefer when processing your images? I use two Canon 1Ds Mark II bodies. One of them is equipped with a Canon 300mm f2.8, and the second one is normally equipped with a Canon 70-200mm f2.8. I don't spend much money on gear to be honest. I'd rather spend the money on opportunities to photograph in Africa, than on a lot of camera gear. All my gear is second hand. Depending on the situation I also tend to use either bean bags or mono-pods to stabilize my lenses. In terms of software, I use light room and PS. However I never remove anything in the image so I don’t do any ‘creative edits.’ I simply enhance certain areas to get a certain aesthetic look. Mostly dodging, burning and some vignetting. Can you tell us something about your work flow? I am not a person that likes to improvise so the 'Just go there and do stuff to see what happens approach' does not fit me at all and it wouldn’t be possible with the fixed short time frame I work with. Instead, I prefer to think first, then plan, and finally execute it. So even when working with wild lions who I can’t direct, I try to think of this as a conceptual process. Since I’m doing this on my own and I don’t have a big budget, I need to capitalize on my opportunities and stack the odds in my favor. Nat Geo or any of those guys can spend 10 months in the field at a time while

I spend 5 weeks a year. Traveling in Africa is expensive so I want to get as much out of the trip as possible.


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Lion on a rock, Masai Mara

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Mother and cub, Serengeti

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Lions of the Mara


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King of Simba kopjes, Serengeti

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How do you plan and prepare your trips to get the most out of them? First and foremost I try to limit the number of concepts that I want to realize in one trip. Africa is an awesome place for photography and there is so much stuff to see there. Unfortunately, I cannot photograph everything it has to offer and especially not in a few weeks so I try to limit it based on location. I want for example photograph lions on rocks, I will do most of my sessions in the south area of Masai Mara that happen to offer both rocky mountain areas and lion prides. I will also find a camp that is located in the south area to avoid wasting time and opportunities by driving too much. If I'm interested in photographing portraits of female lions I would travel to a large pride with a large female population. That would give me the opportunity to find the lionesses that I think fit and have the qualities that I look for. It is almost like a casting session. It has worked great so far. But before I travel to Africa. I try to visualize the trip and the potential photographic scenarios that might occur. Where do I want to position myself if I see a lion standing on a rock in front of me? What distance do I want to shoot from? What lens would I use? Do I want the lion back lit or lit from the side? I try to have a concept, as clear as possible, on how I want the image to look like and what I might actually encounter. Then I try to meet somewhere in the middle. And in most cases it works. When I photographed ”Lioness on the rocks” in the Serengeti in Tanzania,my concept was to photograph a lion on the rocky hillsides and I especially wanted a photograph including the unusual round rocks that are common in the Serengeti to be dominant in the image. I was driving around in circles around the rocky areas looking for opportunities. When I found the lioness on the rock I recognized the opportunity and took the shot. She got up, looked at me, I photographed 2-3 more shots and she walked away. The entire session lasted maybe 5-10 seconds.


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Lioness on the rocks, Serengeti

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Having already thought out the idea and planned it in my head really helped me take that photograph. I also draw thumbnail sketches on pieces of paper and write down a photo script or a wish list of what kind of photos I look for, and by the time I get to Kenya it is all about execution. I simply work my way down the list. Having all these scenarios and concepts worked out before traveling really helps me getting the most out of my trips.

What is your most memorable photo experience? That would be my first safari trip and the first time I saw a lion in the wild. Bush camps in Tanzania and Kenya do not have any protective fencing around them so you are really sleeping and living among wild animals. Hearing all the noises of hyenas and other animals passing through the camp, not to mention hearing lions roaring in the distance, having all those sounds coming through the thin tent canvas while lying in your bed at night. It is a true African bush experience and an adventure on its own. While being on Safari you tend to spend your days driving around the savanna looking for animals and photographing them. It is normally referred to as game drives. Game drives are done mostly in the early morning and afternoon to evenings. This was my first early morning game drive in the Serengeti, Tanzania. My camp was located in the heart of the Serengeti and close to numerous lion pride territories. There is a very special feel that goes through your body when you are up at 6 am before sunrise, unzipping the tent and staring out into the quiet darkness while sweeping with your flash light over the tall grass, hoping you won’t see the glowing reflection of two eyes looking back at you. You just know at that particular moment that you are potential prey in the kingdom of lions. We had been driving for maybe 15-20 minutes and I was still not yet fully awake when

my driver said: Lion! The four wheel drive stopped and I picked up my camera while looking through the windshield, expecting to see a lion sitting on the road ahead of us but no lion in sight. Instead I heard something breathing heavily to the left of me. I turned my head and about 4-5 meter away from my open passenger window, I saw a great male lion sitting in the grass, looking at me with his large yellow glowing eyes. His head with the impressive mane looked so huge, that just by appearance, it looked as if he wouldn't be able to fit his head through the passenger window even if he wanted to. And for a while we were just sitting there in silence, looking at each other. In the early sunrise, the golden light gave him an orange look and his mane looked like it was on fire. Whenever he was breathing it looked like smoke coming out from his nostrils. He was truly an iconic king. I remember that I was thinking: Wow! Hey, this is so awesome. What a great Monday morning. I haven’t even had breakfast yet. It's 6:30 in the morning and I have already seen my first lion in the wild. What an experience! Then I reached for my camera again and started to photograph him. That lion encounter was also the turning point, it was at that moment that I decided to focus exclusively on lions and take my photography more seriously.

Do you photograph on your own? Yes, like most creative people, I strive for solitude when creating. With all due respect for teamwork and collaboration, photography and creativity to me are a personal experience and expression. I need silence when I'm working. I need to be in a state of my 'true self'. I think it was the great Pablo Picasso who once said: “Without great solitude no serious work is possible.” I couldn't agree more. I feel that the isolation from other influences and distractions helps me hear my own voice, gather my thoughts and it gives me a space to create. That is one of my reasons why I have my own private car and driver just for that purpose. It doesn't fit me at all to be in a shared safari vehicle with random people having


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Before the rain

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Yawn, Masai Mara, Kenya


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different interests and ambitions. What is your most important advice to a beginner in wildlife photography and how do you get started? Don't spend too much money on gear. Get a good all around camera first until you know for sure what you like to photograph. Buy second hand, it's cheaper that way. Try to buy lenses if you need to buy something, they retain value longer than camera bodies. It is also better to spend money on proper photo trips if you have special interests. For example, in my case: lions. The things you get to see on a one week safari is a lot more inspiring than lets say a zoo visit on a Sunday afternoon. You also practice consistently for several hours a day, several days in a row and that will provide results quicker. But the main advice would be to photograph the things that you are passionate about. It is easier to gain momentum and see progress if you are motivated and pulled by something that is bigger than you, something that you feel for, instead of trying to push yourself doing things that you're only half invested in. You can’t do anything great without passion. It's universal. It doesn't just apply to photography. Who are your favorite photographers that inspire you the most? In terms of portraiture, Richard Avedon is a clear favorite and Gregory Colbert for his unique take on nature photography. In terms of traditional wildlife photography, I would say fellow Swede Mattias Klum. He took some outstanding portraits of Asiatic lions a few years back that really inspired me. He has also given some really great talks on behalf of National Geographic. If you haven't seen them, they are definitely worth to check out. You find them on YouTube etc. But in terms on inspiring photographers here on 1X I would say, Wolf Ademeit, Morkel Erasmus, Antje Wenner and many more. Plenty of inspiration here.

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Describe your favorite photograph taken by you and why it is special to you? I have a few but most of the ones that I like, I like because of the moment when I captured them, for example ‘Cub Life’ – the cub and the sleeping lioness. I spent three days with this lioness and cub so I could get really close and I really enjoyed spending time with them. That little cub was just hilarious. He was a true next generation prowler. Are there any specific directions that you would like to take your photography in the future or any specific goals that you wish to achieve? I recently signed a sales representative contract in Seoul, South Korea and I also got a gallery contract with an art gallery in Barcelona, Spain. Getting a gallery contract is for most photographers and artists a large and important milestone, so naturally I am super excited about it. As a next step I'm hoping to attract some more attention from galleries and to win a few more awards. Hopefully this will help me to get the revenues that I need to conduct more complex and larger photo expeditions in the future. On a higher level, I want to continue to find new ways to take engaging portraits of lions, find new ways to evolve as a photographer and I want to be able to see my lion project as a tribute to the few brave lions that still prowl the African plains. There may be less than 20,000 wild lions left in Africa. If you compare it to the late 40s when there were more than 450,000 lions, the future for lions does not look too bright, unfortunately. Hopefully, my photography and view of lions will serve as an inspiration for a future with wild, healthy lions still roaming the great plains. We all live under the same sky and they have the same right to life as we do, and I'm sure most people would agree with me that our planet would be very boring and a dull place without these majestic prowlers.


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Cub life, Serengeti

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Nomad lion, sand river, Masai Mara

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Lioness


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Young lion


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16 NATURE INSPIRATION


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NATURE INSPIRATION _______________________________________ Introduction by Yvette Depaepe

In nature photography, we may think that capturing the beauty of the natural settings is the key objective. This is not true for everyone. Nature photographers pay a lot of attention to location, light and technique. But the most important element of their work is the connection with the place or scene. Trying to understand why the location or subject is special and compelling, trying to capture the spirit. Most top notch nature photographs are beautiful and technically perfect, but not many of them tell a “story” or tell of a “connection” between the artist and the subject. Thus, key words are: FAMILIARITY and FASCINATION! You have to be truly fascinated to be able to really connect to the spirit. The more we are able to form connections, the more the image will reveal beauty and character. Be inspired by this compilation of nature photographs by responding to those skills.


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After once in a life time by Marina Cano

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Cheetah Cubs by Mario Moreno


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Howling Corp III by Sebastian Graf

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Energy by Matya Sculac


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SardinesTornado by Henry Jager

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At the edge of the world by Chris Kaddas


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Aurora Borealis by Errik Holm

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Air Snowy by Jim Cumming


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Double Hump by Verdon

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The lovers by Nicolas Reusen


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Time for you to go by Fabien Bravin

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Ballerina by Andiyan Lufti


NATURE INSPIRATION

Morning light by Fahmi Bhs

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Partners by Bragi Ingbergsson


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The leader of tomorrow by Antje Wenner

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Unusual morning by Sergey Kokinsky


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HANS BOL


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photo: Marc van Kempen


PORTFOLIO | HANS BOL

PORTFOLIO _______________________________________ INTERVIEW WITH PHOTOGRAPHER AND DARK ROOM SPECIALIST HANS BOL by Marc van Kempen The monochrome master printer and photographer Hans Bol (Amsterdam 1957) is one of the top darkroom specialists in the Netherlands. As a freelancer he works for the Dutch Photo Museum in Rotterdam. He regularly prints from the original negatives of well-known photographers like Ed van der Elsken, Peter Martens and Aart Klein, amongst others.

Hans Bol has 36 years of experience in the darkroom. He is, however, also a good photographer with several books and exhibitions to his name.

Backgrounds Marc: Can you tell us a bit about your background? Were your parents interested in photography? Hans: Both my parents worked for KLM. My father was a purser and responsible for the wellbeing of the passengers during the flight. He did this for fourteen years. My mother was a stewardess. Especially my father travelled in large parts of the world. He did take photographs when traveling, but had no ambition to do more with it. My grandfather was a civil servant in Amsterdam and also an amateur painter. I still have some of his paintings. Not really good,

I think, but they are images I grew up with. In the (urban) landscapes he painted I can see some parallels with my way of looking. He often painted in a 4x5 inch ratio, which I also use in my photography. He also made a panoramic painting. I have used the 1:3 ratio (Linhof 6x17cm) and1:2,5 (8x20 inch / 20x50 cm) extensively over the years. Perhaps there is a connection. At the moment however I photograph in the classical miniatureratio (2:3 using a Leica S2 and Leica M); both have a full-frame sensor with a 2:3 ratio. Influences Since 1983 I have mainly been influenced by American photographers who used largeformat cameras. That interest led to a frequent use of 4x5 inch (10,2x12,7 cm negative format) cameras. Later, I've expanded this to an 8x10 "(20,3x25,4 cm negative format) camera and even an 11x14 inch and 8x20 inch recording system. All in black and white negative.

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In America and Japan, there are people who engage in the so-called "Ultra-Large Format Photography"; my 8x20 inch system is part of that approach, but there are also photographers who build (or commission) cameras that can make 50x60cm images. Of course it is not easy to get black and white film material, but it is still made, particularly by Ilford in England and Foma in the Czech Republic.

clearly, because I am quite busy digitizing my archive.

It goes without saying that nowadays shooting on 8x10 inch black and white is rather unusual in the Netherlands. There are however still a lot of people shooting at 4x5 inch. The image quality of this type of format is fantastic. Koos Breukel for example, is an excellent Dutch portrait photographer who took many of his portraits in 4x5 and 8x10 inch. The quality of his prints - I made several of them - is simply amazing.

Things went much better because of my first experiences and a good preparation. From that moment on the proportions were clear to me. Since then I have travelled extensively in America; more than ten times by now and the end is not in sight.

Early years In 1978 I flew to Singapore to buy my first cameras - a Canon AE-1, a Canon A-1 and three lenses: 35mm, 50mm and 135mm. I calculated that if I made that trip, the costs of the camera (including travel) would be as high as when I'd just bought the camera in the Netherlands. In addition, I wanted to see something of the world and free myself from the fixed patterns that the Netherlands offered me during those years. I was on my own since my 18th and I felt I had to leave. Being a student in those days, I flew with a big discount, because my father was a former KLM employee. That made some choices simple. In 1980 I flew to Houston. I had the idea that I could do some good photography over there. This journey was a remarkable experience. I was completely overwhelmed by the proportions of the city. When I arrived in Houston late in the evening, I slept in the church at the airport; I had no idea what to do. I felt so lost. I was confused and scared, everything was so different. I wondered where everybody was, where I could buy a sandwich, I saw no bikes and so on. I walked and didn't realize that everything was done by car. After a week I left. Homesick, I guess. And yet, I made my first black and white photographs in the US. I remember it all

My second stay in the US occurred in 1981. I had acquired a taste for it and had to rectify some things in connection with my first introduction to America. I travelled to New York and took drama courses at the Summer University in Albany.


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Standardization Marc: You just showed me some of your early work made in the States in which there is the returning theme of a car near a building with text on signs. The prints have such a beautiful colour and mood that they have a museum look and feel. In my view these kinds of images are very trendy and yet they are from the eighties. How do you manage that? Hans: My answer is: the trick is STANDARDIZATION. Opt for one film, for one developer and one development method and try that combination out experimentally in order to get a good, average negative, assuming you used the correct exposure during shooting.

Finding your standard is valuable, because when you always use the same method exposing and developing your film, you will get predictable results in your darkroom very soon. In the digital world things work different of course. In post processing you can redress

a lot of the mistakes one can make. The errors you make when developing an analogue film are beyond repair.

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Slow photography Marc: You moved from 35mm photography to large format photography. That must be a completely different experience? Hans: It is another way of photography. It is a slow and deliberate process. Nothing works automatically, so everything must be adjusted manually and that takes time. I usually make one, sometimes two shots per situation. Not only to reduce costs, but also from the conviction that "more is not always better". I saw the original negatives from outstanding Dutch photographers like Ed van der Elsken, Peter Martens, Aart Klein, Cas Oorthuys, Piet Zwart and Katharina Behrend amongst many others and found that they seldom made more than 2 exposures per situation and then moved on. What a difference with those digital photographers who come home from a shoot with 2000-3000 exposures. In my opinion it makes no sense at all. As I said before, much doesn't automatically mean good. Marc: You work on various large format cameras. What is your biggest negative? Hans: An improbably large one: 20x50cm (8x20 inch) which you can only print as a contact print. There is no enlarger for it. I once came into contact with the work of the American photographers Art Sinsabaugh and Michael A. Smith, both virtually unknown in The Netherlands. I was fascinated and curious and so I learned how to handle this kind of camera. It takes a lot of discipline and is physically demanding; a successful shot and a good contact print are however beyond comparison.


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Marc: Was it always your intention to become a photographer? Hans: Well, no. I studied English and Dutch and taught English for years. But photography quickly captured my heart. I followed a few courses, but found emphasis too much in the technical side. For me that was less interesting. I studied many books and I learned of lot from other photographers. During my travels in the US I always tried to keep the photographers in mind, whose work I studied. I felt inspired by them, but always tried to use my own eyes and to develop my own style. That is not an easy task, but the only one that is right. Inspiration may not turn to epigones. So: study yes, copying is useless.

heart. Through a photography student I tutored at that moment I got involved in the Dutch Photo Museum in Rotterdam. For me that was a fortunate coincidence. They needed a darkroom specialist. It fitted in seamlessly with my development from a 35mm photographer into a large format specialist, with my curiosity to master the craft of photography. I always try out everything, even in digital photography, only believe my own eyes. My feeling for the darkroom coupled with my interest in the work of other photographers, my feeling for technique, my experiences and experiments with my own personal work and my extensive library have made me the professional I am today. Ed van der Elsken

Marc: Who are the "founding fathers", who inspired you? Hans: Think of Robert Frank, Minor White, Edward Weston, Robert Adams. And Lewis Baltz, recently deceased, whom I have known personally - a great photographer / thinker. Adams is seen as one of the most important living photographers from a movement called 'The New Topographics'. Thanks to them I learned to see that the environment in the marble quarries of Carrara, where I started to photograph in 1984-85, is a metaphor for the degradation of nature by man. Robert Adams showed the presence of man in "To make it Home, Photographs from the American West" in a penetrating manner. The famous Czech photographer Josef Koudelka inspired me to use the 6x17 inch format. Marc: Do you see yourself as a photographer or more as a darkroom specialist? Hans: I feel more like a photographer, of course; printing is a side line. I became very good at it. I used to tutor English and at one point, I had two jobs and two incomes. Through my 4x5 inch photography I got some commissions, for example in architecture. I decided to resign and to follow my

Hans: Let's talk a bit more about Ed van der Elsken. He is also very much a darkroom photographer whose negatives I often printed and scanned for publications and exhibitions. The printing is always based on the original books by the photographer in question because these books were published with their approval. The framing, the blacks and whites, the grey tones, everything is copied as much as possible. A good example is Van der Elskens book "Een liefdesgeschiedenis in Saint Germain des PrĂŠs" (A love story in Saint Germain des PrĂŠs) from 1956. The first edition of the book is used as my starting point and not one of the later publications, because those were printed significantly darker and heavier than the original from 1956.


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Marc: What was the most challenging Van der Elsken print you had to make?

tablish too that his results are memorable and that counts.

Hans: The photo of a junk in Hong Kong. It is almost impossible to make a good print of it. I estimate that even Ed van der Elsken, if he were still alive, would not be able to print this photo as he once did. It seems I haven't enough hands. It could be very possible that his wife helped him when pushing and dodging parts of this print. Take for instance the sail of the junk. It is as if there is a light shining behind it, which is not the case. So this point alone requires some very precise dodging and burning. The result is that the junk catches your eye immediately. There are several parts in the picture where it seems that you need to do several things simultaneously. Have a look at the sky! Impossible actually. It takes me about ten tries to get the print as it was intended by van der Elsken.

I've tried both approaches; for me the negative is a means, an intermediate product and not necessarily the end result. I try to photograph full frame, but if that fails I choose for a crop and a correction in the darkroom. While Cartier Bresson would not crop his negative, van der Elsken is more playful. In his eyes you can do anything with a negative, as long as it improves the end result.

We have to talk a little about another important aspect. Van der Elsken was a stubborn man who wanted to add things to his print that were not immediately visible in the exposure. He only takes from the negative what he needs, he uses crops if necessary, dodges and burns to his will, in short, only the final product counts. In comparison, Cartier Bresson is showing that he used the whole negative as he photographed it on the streets - so, no crops. He often came very close to his subject, knew his camera very well and knew exactly what would be in the picture and what would be just outside of it. For example, if there is a foot at the very edge of a picture, Cartier Bresson has seen it while making the image, perhaps even instinctively and he considered it as a part of his image. Van der Elsken however, would probably have removed the foot if it didn't add to the image. I personally have no judgement as to what is best, other than that I think that the photographer is responsible for every inch of the picture. One could say that Cartier Bresson's method had some limitations. Perhaps he was dogmatic, because he only accepted the entire negative as seen. But we have to est-

Amsterdam Marc: You made a beautiful remake of Ed van der Elsken’s book “Amsterdam”. Can you tell us more about it? Hans: Sure. I scanned all the original negatives and processed them in Photoshop, based on the first edition of “Amsterdam”. Of course I could have done it in the darkroom, but that would have been even more laborious. Moreover, these prints would have to be digitized again in order to print the book. So it was more logical to scan the negatives. Either way, it was quite a task to get it as Van der Elsken intended. He didn’t mind, by the way, to show the viewer that he had burned or dodged part of the photo. Today it is trendy to make dodging and burning invisible by using Photoshop selections and feathering. So, as a printer, you have to understand the processes and ideas behind the photograph. You have to know and understand the work of the photographer well. You also have to know the historical context in which he worked. Marc: Isn’t it rather unique that you know both the analogue and digital darkroom so well? Hans: Yes, I think it is and although there are others that have the same knowledge and experience; I am therefore hardly exchangeable in my profession. Of course the younger generation knows more about the ins and outs of Photoshop than I do. But in the digital field the refinements don't

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come naturally and it requires study. I have 36 years of experience in the darkroom. Through that experience I can reasonably keep up with the current generation of newly graduated Photoshop photographers. Many of them are not very familiar with the darkroom, but it intrigues them. It remains magical when you see an image appear when you are developing it. I see darkroom and Photoshop truly coexist. So far, black and white inkjet prints is no replacement for analogue black and white silver gelatin printing – but it is an addition for printing images. Printing colour images in inkjet is to me a whole different story. I truly like colour inkjets. Nobuyoshi Araki Some photographers show their digital photos alongside their analogue prints. For example the Japanese photographer Nobuyoshi Araki. I saw his work at the Amsterdam Photo museum (FOAM) last year. Two series - one about his life with his wife, from marriage until her untimely death and the other about the cat they both loved – were beautiful darkroom prints on silver gelatin paper. The other series were rather large digital black and white prints - no comparison, in my view. I admire the fact that 75 year-old Araki has integrated digital techniques into his work, but I prefer his classical analogue series. Occasionally I find it hard to lock myself up in the darkness of my darkroom. In those moments I sometimes play with the idea of giving it up, no doubt like so many. The computer has its conveniences and advantages. You can conjure up a picture so quickly. But reality is I can’t say goodbye to the darkroom. It has become too valuable for me. It is an integral part of my life, despite the fact that it is physically demanding, because it means I standing all day in a darkened space, working with chemicals. If all goes well, I can make about ten 30x40 quality prints a day, which will take about 10 hours, one print per hour. Marc: When I saw you making a print of one of Ed's negatives I noticed that you don't use

a timer. You sail on your experience? Hans: That’s right in part. I use a timer, I use my eyes and I use a metronome. I look at the projection of the negative and then decide which contrast I want and determine the exposure time that's required to get blacks that are well-detailed and whites which have just enough detail. I use test strips, of course. You have to ask yourself whether you want a hard, raw print with lots of grain or the opposite? Depending on the difficulty I use 3-5 sheets of paper to achieve a good print. Sometimes I need more sheets and that can make analogue printing quite expensive. Working in the digital darkroom is much cheaper, but then it takes a lot of time before I have made the image I hoped for that I can send to my printer. Projects Marc: Are you working on any photographic project at the moment? Hans: At the moment I am working on two series. One is about a community of some 120-130 people living in self-built houses and mobile homes at the premises of the former Amsterdam Floating Dock Company (Amsterdamse Droogdokmaatschappij ADM). They try to find an alternative way of living. I portrayed some them at the entrance of their house with my wooden 8x10 inch camera, in black and white. I also photographed the interior of the corresponding houses, which I did with my digital camera. The houses and mobile homes are small with lots of furniture and very colourful. It would have been very complicated to use the big camera! In Photoshop I combine both pictures.

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The other project is about Sicily. I visited it in 2002 and 2003, using 6x27, 4x10 and 8x10 inch cameras. I went back in 2014, this time with digital cameras. In January 2015 I visited Sicily again. I have recorded landscapes and I am currently making portraits of Sicilians. Marc: You also published books, didn't you? Hans: Yes, I did. In 2004 I published "Het Formaat van Waterland". It is about the Ooijpolder near Nijmegen, where I live. It contains 24 panoramas in black and white, taken with my 8x20 inch camera, which are combined with the poetry by Victor Vroomkoning. In 2008 my book "The Studios of Pietrasanta" was published. In this book I show the interiors of marble studios. For about 23 years I regularly visited the marble quarries around Carrara (Italy). I was fascinated by the light, the stones, the shapes, the structures and the mutilated landscape. In 2011 my quarry photos were exhibited in the museum "Beelden aan Zee", in Scheveningen, in The Netherlands. On that occasion I (self) published "Paradise City", a book that reflects my intense search for interesting images in the area around Carrara, all recorded in black and white, with various large format cameras. More information on Hans Bol on his website

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ANALOGUE PHOTOGRAPHY


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ANALOGUE PHOTOGR APHY | RAUL PIRES COELHO

ANALOGUE _______________________________________ GA645ZI, A PHOTOGRAPHIC TOOL by Raul Pires Coelho

This will not be a technical review, or a full test drive packed with scientific jargon and graphs that nobody will read or understand. This will be a love declaration. This will be a praise for a tool, since this camera will lead you the way toward a fine print.

The photographer's tool is the camera. If digital is your path, you can get along with only one camera, and maybe a zoom lens. I only use conventional film cameras, with three types of film, small, medium and large, and one camera is not enough. I have several for every film size format and task. But there is one I love the most, the one I have close to me all the time, the one I always carry in my bag when travelling abroad. At airports, it almost always gets stopped by the inspector, but we all end up having fun demonstrating the camera and how it works. If you have been reading my previous articles in the magazine, you may have tried your hands on some film camera from small format, also known as 35mm, up to, medium or large format. The latter may be too big and complicated for a beginner, and the small format may not give you many advantages. Medium format is used by a full range of cameras centered around the 120 film roll and there are different ways to slice it into frames inside the camera, in rectangles of various proportions or squares.


ANALOGUE PHOTOGR APHY | RAUL PIRES COELHO

still widely available at usual second hand places and sites, at prices around $350. A good value, for what it delivers. The main big advantages are: -a truly portable medium format camera that you can squeeze into your cabin bag in a plane. .-light measuring and auto-focus, a true point and shoot. -high quality integrated lens with zoom feature from 55mm to 90mm.

As can be seen, sizes can range from 6x4.5...to...x17 inches, or bigger if a camera can be devised to deal with that. And the bigger the format, the bigger the camera. Ask yourself: How much of your work depends on a portable camera? If the answer is much, then we need camera that can be readily portable,without compromising image quality. GA645Zi is the tool I propose. To your surprise, with this camera you can get portability and superb image quality, with amenities like precise light measurement and auto-focus, on a 3x larger negative than with a 35mm camera or your full frame digital sensor Camera.

Made in Japan by Fujifilm for the first time in 1998, it is no longer in production. But is

The frame count per roll of film is low, about 16 frames. With the absence of preview, of course, you have to think carefully to optimize all conditions, before taking any picture. As for me, digital has fewer surprises, every picture can be so perfect and controllable all the time. Traditional shooting is more unpredictable, and that is so much more interesting to me. The thrilling of coming home with a box of surprises and wonders. The nervous waiting for it to develop and having the first look at it after all the wracking wait. That first look at the roll still wet, against the light, is pure fascination. Sometimes all is transparent, nothing was recorded, sometimes all is black, which happens too. But every perfectly exposed frame will be an achievement in proficiency, something to be proud of, to stare at in awe. With a digital camera you don't get that, other joys for sure, but not that. Remember, only 16 pictures per roll. No second chance. As an example, a few years ago I went to Venice, Italy. My first and only time there. My GA was my faithful companion. I exposed several rolls black and white, and a few colour negatives and slides. Most came out well, some perfect captures here and there, but in the end only one black and white and one slide emerged as truly remarkable and memorable, and that made my trip and that journey worthwhile forever. The joys of shooting film. With a digital camera it would have been a completely different story. Here some technical facts:

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At the core of this magnificent camera is a super-ebc Fujinon zoom lens. The zoom is not continuous, it increases in steps, 55, 65, 75 and 90 mm. Minimum focus distance is 90cm. The filter thread is 52mm, and usually the camera comes with a special unique fit hood that is useful to prevent flare. Since this is a rangefinder camera, parallax has to be assessed, but the viewfinder offers a way to correct for it with precise lines. The viewfinder also offers dioptre correction if you need it. Following camera construction on the small side, the normal position frame is in portrait orientation, most peculiar but very interesting. It also has the capacity to write date and exposure data on the negative margins. I just love it!

The auto-focus is extremely precise. The exposure system is center-weighted and completely reliable if you adhere to the basics, for example not pointing the lens to the sky only if you want texture on the shadows. Exposure compensation is available, and several common modes of operation are also very intuitive to use by easy accessible dials. The operation settings and adjustments are all visibleon the back LCD. There is also a built-in flash, very handy in some situations, and useful connections such as PC flash sync and remote cable. Film transportation is motorized. The camera needs two commonly available CR123A

batteries, which almost last forever. Ok, the brave ones are convinced! You may want to try this camera. You won't regret it. Here some further important advice, based on my personal experience of many years: If you consider buying online, or live, look carefully into the LCD on the back door, ask for it to be lit, get assured it is working, demand some guaranties on it, and only buy one where you can see black and fully showing letters and numbers in there! Never buy one with nothing in there, a fading screen or some letters and number parts missing. All electronics on the camera run through there. If the screen does not work, then the camera cannot be properly operated. Some repair shops can fix the problem, but usually it’s almost impossible or too expensive to do. I learned it the hard way, already had two cameras that failed after a while because of this issue.

I am in my current third camera, that I bought with a perfectly looking back LCD and it has been working perfectly for several years and I hope it lasts, as I couldn't live without it. I have had cameras that went broke, and they were gone forever. But not my GA. If one is lost, I have to replace it!


ANALOGUE PHOTOGR APHY | RAUL PIRES COELHO

For a few more bucks, if you can afford it, get a black model, it came out one year after the gold one, only sold in Japan, and I have heard they have more reliable electronics. In the end, look for the usual, clean optics and that there are not many scuffs or other nasty marks of use. The best is to inspect the camera in hand before buy it, if that is possible. Open the back door and look inside. Ask to try a roll and see how it goes. The lens should render the colours beautifully, black and white should give you full contrast, and the negatives will be sharper than the sharpest razor, it's pure delight! This is the camera you can only love as I do, taking it around anywhere any place, it won't let you down. Just stick in a Delta 100, a 160NS maybe, or whatever suits you at the moment and go out having fun... and let me know how it went!

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OCEAN VIEW COASTAL JOURNEY


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VIEW OF THE OCEAN | THE COASTAL JOURNEY OF THREE PHOTOGRAPHERS

Photo 1: Iron World, photo by Joshua.


VIEW OF THE OCEAN | THE COASTAL JOURNEY OF THREE PHOTOGRAPHERS

VIEW OF THE OCEAN _______________________________________ THE COASTAL JOURNEYS OF THREE PHOTOGRAPHERS by Yan Zhang (Australia) It was about 5am on 7 September 2013 when I drove to Bombo – a small coastal suburb near Kiama of New South Wales, Australia and stopped in the car park. The sky was still completely dark when I walked towards the seashore. Then my phone rang: Joshua called me and asked where I was. He told me he just arrived at the car park but his headlamp was not functioning. I told him I was on the way to the seashore but would stop walking and wait for him. A few minutes later, I saw a man wearing a fishing wader appear.

Joshua is my photography friend whom I met a couple of weeks ago. We planned this photography event during our first coffee meeting. Whilst it was my first time in Bombo, this place had been Joshua’s photography playground for a while. After a brief greeting, Joshua led me to the location where we were supposed to take our sunrise shots. In general, I am a slow person when it comes to photography – I usually need a considerable amount of time to find an appealing composition, especially in a new place.

During our shooting in Bombo that morning, Joshua generously showed me all that he knew about this place, which allowed me to quickly establish my compositions so that I didn’t miss the sunrise light. As a result from that morning’s shooting, I was impressed by Joshua’s creative ideas for seascape photography (see Photo 1). A month later, through Joshua, I got to know Wolongshan – a talented university researcher and a motivated and skillful photographer who lives about 100 km away from my home.

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Photo 2: The Pillar, photo by Wolongshan.

Since late 2013, Joshua, Wolongshan and I have become three good buddies who share each other’s experiences and passion for photography. We also go out for photography together on a regular basis, even though we are in very different phases with respect to our careers and family life.

Photo 3: Stormy Ocean, photo by Yan.


VIEW OF THE OCEAN | THE COASTAL JOURNEY OF THREE PHOTOGRAPHERS

This article talks about our explorations and experiences of the coastal photography around New South Wales region over the last couple of years. I hope our experiences are able to spark an interest in people who love seascape photography and photography in general. The Dynamic Beauty of New South Wales Coastlines Australia is a country surrounded by the most beautiful coastlines in the world. The seashores along New South Wales (NSW) have been viewed as the home of some of the finest and most famous beaches in the world. There are well over one hundred beaches decorating the coastline in this area. Not surprisingly, many of these beaches are popular hangouts for local people as well as for tourists. For a very long time, because of such beautiful ocean sceneries, these coastal areas have been fantastic playgrounds for both professional and amateur photographers – especially in recent years with an increasing popularity of digital cameras. Like most other local photographers, our photography journey also started by exploring the ocean along the NSW coastlines. The following just lists some beaches where we three have spent many days and nights for our ocean photography in recent years. Maroubra Beach My first digital photography experience began at Maroubra Beach, as it is a beach most accessible from my home (58 km away). In Aboriginal language, “Maroubra” means “thunder” that is used to describe the sound of waves crashing on the shoreline. Big swells and waves are very often seen in Maroubra Beach, and for this reason, it is one of the most popular surfing locations in Sydney. Maroubra Beach is also very popular with tourists, young adults, and families due to its easy access and large open space.

From a photography point of view, Maroubra Beach provides a few interesting features. Firstly, the beach itself has a kilometer-long expansion of fine sand showing a beautiful landscape feature. On the east side of the beach, one can see a large space of rocky headlands, rocky stacks, and a rocky pool called Mahon Pool. Each of these elements may be an appealing subject to be photographed given its unique connection to the ocean and sky.

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Photo 4: The Lone Man (Maroubra), photo by Yan.

Turimetta Beach, Narrabeen Turimetta Beach is a small beach located in Sydney’s north near Narrabeen. It is only about 350 meters long and is backed by steep bluffs. The main feature here is the large flat rock bed towards the south side of the beach: the right hand side of the beach. While it is hidden in the north of Narrabeen, Turimetta has been a very popular location for local photographers. Though my own photography experiences of this beach have been limited, Joshua and Wolongshan have spent there enormous amounts of time. Once entering the beach, one will immediately notice rocks with a regular chiseled shape, which are frequent photography subjects. During the winter months, thick green moss would grow on those rocky surfaces, which presents an additional highlight.

Photo 5: Witness (Turimetta), photo by Joshua.


VIEW OF THE OCEAN | THE COASTAL JOURNEY OF THREE PHOTOGRAPHERS

Photo 6: The Great Wall (Bombo), photo by Wolongshan.

Bombo and Cathedral Rocks, Kiama Bombo is a small suburb about 120 km south of Sydney and only 2 km from Kiama – a township in the Illawarra of New South Wales. By taking a walk from the car park towards the north of Bombo Beach, one soon reaches Bombo Headland, and sees the several large basalt walls and columnshape volcanic rocks, which inevitably are the most special features in this area. Further north of Bombo, the well-known Cathedral Rocks are located at the shoreline of the southern end of Jones Beach. These rocks are big enough that one can see them from the main road Cliff Drive along Jones Beach.

Since the basalt wall and Cathedral Rocks are so close to each other, Kiama has become a very popular photography destination in recent years. It would not be surprising for one to encounter many other photographers in these areas at any given time of the year. Joshua, Wolongshan and I have taken photographs in Kiama since 2013. Although already very popular, Bombo and Cathedral Rocks still provide great opportunities for one to create interesting seascape photographs.

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Photo 7: Cathedral Rocks, photo by Wolongshan.

The Camel Rocks and Horse Head Rock, Bermagui. Bermagui is a peaceful small town on the south coast of New South Wales in the Bega Valley Shire. It is famous for fishing, as well as being a popular recreation location for people from both NSW and Victoria. Since it is relatively far compared to other places where we often go, our photography experiences at Bermagui are limited. Nevertheless, from a photographer’s viewpoint, Bermagui has one of the most impressive shorelines in New South Wales. Just a five minute drive north from Bermagui along Wallaga Lake Road will lead you to the famous Camel Rocks – the most scenic spot in the area. These striking rock formations were identified and named by Bass and Flinders during the first mapping of the coastline of the colony of New South Wales.

With proper tide conditions, after passing the Camel Rock, one can continue to walk along the rugged, rocky shoreline, and then reach another feature spot called Horse Head Rock – a giant rock formation looking like a horse head. Obviously, both Camel Rocks and Horse Head Rock are unique and interesting photography subjects, and distinguish Bermagui from other NSW coastal shorelines.


VIEW OF THE OCEAN | THE COASTAL JOURNEY OF THREE PHOTOGRAPHERS

Photo 8: Meeting of Waters (Camel Rocks) photo by Yan.

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Photo 9: Horse Head Rock, photo by Yan.

Catching the Rhythm of the Ocean The ocean and shore provide infinite photography opportunities due to its rich yet complex array of combinations involving waves, rocks, sky, land and people. Because of this variety of elements, I believe that ocean photography is one of the most exciting photography activities that can greatly stimulate the photographers’ imagination and creativity. In last couple of years, Joshua, Wolongshan and I have both collectively and individually, explored a number of NSW coastal areas including those described above. We have tirelessly experimented with various approaches and techniques to discover our own personal visions, and to chase the light and waves, catching the rhythm of the ocean.

During our coastal photography journeys, the physical and mental effort required for some of this photography is in itself always rewarding, but the greatest pleasure is successfully capturing some images that we have envisioned for a long time.


VIEW OF THE OCEAN | THE COASTAL JOURNEY OF THREE PHOTOGRAPHERS

Photo 10: The Wave, photo by Joshua.

Wolongshan’s ocean vision: In recent months, I have frequently contacted Wolongshan to discuss coastal photography expeditions because my interest in ocean photography around the Kiama area is growing and Wolongshan lives quite close to that region. While Wolongshan has told me that photography is only his hobby, I can feel that he is seeking perfection in his photography. With the unique demographic advantage of living so close to Kiama, Wolongshan has devoted great effort to explore this area in all weather conditions all year around. Among the three of us, Wolongshan is the one who spends most of his ocean photography explorations in this area.

Sunrise and night sky are two main themes in Wolongshan’s ocean photography. With his persistent efforts, Wolongshan has been able to capture some very stunning ocean images at sunrise, like the following one (Photo 11).

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Photo 11: Stepping Stones, photo by Wolongshan.

Wolongshan also taught me how he made the following night sky image in Cathedral Rocks (Photo 12): “I have been to this place many times, looking to get a great shot from this shallow sea cave. I face a few challenges here. Firstly, the position of the Milky Way needs to be on the southeast and near one of the Cathedral Rocks on the left side to provide a good composition. Secondly, the tide condition needs to be right. If it is too high, the cave won’t be accessible and if it is too low, there won’t be water in the front to form a leading line. Lastly, it definitely needs a moonless clear night. Finally, there was an opportunity on 3 June in 2014. I arrived at the cave around 9pm at that night with all my nightscape equipment including Nikon D800, Nikon 14-24F/2.8 lens, tripod and a small torch. I have had this composition in my mind for quite a

while. I quickly setup my camera on the tripod and used the setting of 14mm, F/2.8, ISO3200, 15S to take a few shots while light painting the cave with a small torch. The final shot was a single exposure with the torch pointing backward towards the end of the cave, which is only a couple of meters deep, and use the reflection of the light to provide some details of the cave. ”


VIEW OF THE OCEAN | THE COASTAL JOURNEY OF THREE PHOTOGRAPHERS

Photo 12: The Cave, photo by Wolongshan.

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Photo 13: Flying out, photo by Joshua.

Joshua’s ocean light: Light is the most essential element that links sky, water and rocks together in ocean photography. When photographing coastlines, most people will pay a great deal of attention to capture the wave movements in order to achieve a dynamic feature in their images. But the most striking effect of this kind of images will require also that light is carefully taken into account. From my experiences of shooting with him at the coast, I can see Joshua’s strong passion of chasing light in his photography. In the last couple of years, Joshua has devoted a lot of effort in exploring many different coastal areas of NSW, from Sydney coastal beaches to south and central coastlines. By finding points of interest, and then patiently waiting for those rare moments of stunning light, Joshua was able to capture some amazing photography shots at his favorite spots.

Joshua shared with me his experience of capturing the following image (photo 14): “Narrabeen has been one of my favorite locations for seascape photography, especially during a medium or high tide period. Every year from July to September, the rocks would be covered with seaweed, I always want to photograph it under a nice sunrise, but it has been difficult, since the weather wasn't good during that period of time in 2014. After I went to the same location week after week for about 10 times, finally there was a great sunrise. I covered my camera with raincoat, wearing a wader to protect myself from the sea water, I set the tripod to about 0.7 meter and set shutter speed to 0.6s, Fstop to f/13 for capturing the water movement.


VIEW OF THE OCEAN | THE COASTAL JOURNEY OF THREE PHOTOGRAPHERS

Photo 14: Light, photo by Joshua.

As it was a medium tide, I had to wait patiently in order to get big waves. From time to time there was one wave bigger than the others and then provided enough water on the reef. I put down the tripod immediately after the wave passed me and to capture the water flowing back to the ocean, I did that for a few times. This one is my favorite shot: The sun just rose above the horizon, the running water created leading lines to the rock covered by vivid green seaweed. Such a colorful scene will remain in my memory forever. In the post-production, I used dodge and burn combined with luminosity mark for the fine control to enhance the photo, so the viewers’ eyes can be better lead to the foreground waves and rocks.�

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Photo 15: Waking up, photo by Yan.


VIEW OF THE OCEAN | THE COASTAL JOURNEY OF THREE PHOTOGRAPHERS

About the three photographers Joshua is an amateur landscape photographer who has devoted considerable effort to the ocean photography in Sydney region in last two years. In March 2015, Joshua moved to Canada with his wife and started his photography journey in the new territory. https://1x.com/member/joshuazhang https://www.facebook.com/Joshuagraphy? ref=hl Wolongshan is a passionate amateur landscape photographer. Like many parents, originally he bought camera to take photos of his kids. He quickly fell in love with landscape photograph. Since later 2012, he has been actively taking seascape and nightscape photos around Sydney regions. https://1x.com/member/wolongshan https://www.flickr.com/photos/wolongshan/ Yan Zhang is a Sydney based amateur landscape photographer with a strong passion for the natural world. In recent years, Yan has been traveling to many places for expeditions and photography outside Australia, including New Zealand, China, North and South America. https://1x.com/member/yanzhang http://yanzhangphotography.com

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PHOTO REVIEW | 12 SHOTS—INTRODUCTION

PHOTO REVIEW _____________________________________ By Susanne Stoop Nature as a category is of course a very broad subject. In fact, every living species belongs to nature. And so do landscapes, natural phenomena like thunder and lightning, the galaxy, northern lights and so do many others.

Joni Niemmelä - Flaming Sky


PHOTO REVI EW | 15 SHOTS—I NTROD UCTION

If I have to limit myself to a few aspects of the untamed nature,here they are: 1. Flower power 2. A rainbow in black and white 3. Hunters and the hunted 4. The birds 5. Funny stories 6 The underwater world I didn't include macro photos of butterflies, frogs, flies and other creatures in my list. Of course these all belong to nature and they are to be seen on some gorgeous photographs. However, when looking at these photos I often wonder about their authenticity. Were they made without manipulation? Were the little creatures allowed to creep around freely when photographed, or were they captured and placed in a surrounding that suited the photographer? I can't answer these questions if they are not addressed by the photographers in their description. However I think it would be best to be open about the making of the photo, as did Florentin Vinogradof in the tutorials for his beautiful photos like "The Hunter" and "Morimus Funereus".

Florentin Vinogradof - The Hunter

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Doris Reindl - Krokus Flower power It is not easy to make an original photo of a flower. Before you know it you have made a beautiful photo for a catalogue. There is nothing wrong with it. It has its merits, but it is missing that something, that extra that touches the viewer, when the photograph starts to communicate with you, telling a story. You'll find the crocus at many places: In the Alps, in meadows, open spaces in the woods and many others. It is a lovely little flower. Often soft coloured. Sometimes very shy, hardly opening its leaves. Doris Reindl's “Krokus” is an assertive one; real flower power and letting the world know here I am. But it is the background that makes this image so special and interesting. Photographers usually look for a calm, smooth background. Doris however choose a background which is a dynamic part of the assertive total. Light stripes are bending along the curves of the flower petals and echo their colours. It gives the impression that something exciting is going on. By the way, this wonderful background also reminds me of the Northern light.


PHOTO REVI EW | 15 SHOTS—S US ANNE STOOP

Sandipan Biswas - Beauty in drench Sandipan Biswas opted for the smooth background recommended in many online tutorials on flower photography. Several shades of green and a touch of purple that matches the colour of the flower quite well. To achieve this Sandipan used six shots which were blended in order to create the depth of field he wanted. The flower with the raindrops is very well photographed. It's sharp, the colours fresh and the droplets enliven the image. It is well done - even when the blur at the left side of the flower stem is slightly disturbing - and yet, the photo doesn't come to life. It doesn't speak to me. Perhaps that's because it is rather static and without drama. Judging by the title "Beauty in drench", I did expect something different than a beautifully recorded flower with droplets. I imagined a soaked brave little flower standing “in drench” out in the rain. The lovely smooth background of the photo however doesn't suggest it is raining, nor do the scattered droplets on the flower petals. It is of course very possible that the photographer had no other objective in mind than showing us the beauty of the flower and its droplets against a smooth background. In that case he has done a good job, and it may not have been his goal to show us a more dramatic interpretation of this theme.

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Anne Rose Pretorius - A rainbow in black and white The world of nature is a colourful one and that is how most photographers show it. Far fewer use black and white to reveal its intensity and mood in a rainbow of just grey tones, however often full of poetry. As an example I have chosen one of Anne Rose Pretorius’ photographs, whose poetic flower photos are inspired by Georgia o' Keeffe. Georgia O' Keeffe once said about her flower paintings, that she painted what the flower was to her. She wanted to show the essence, the soul of the flower. And so does Anne Rose. She does it in a poetic, atmospheric way, strong and yet delicate. As for me, I keep on viewing this image, breathing in its wonderful mood.


PHOTO REVI EW | 15 SHOTS—S US ANNE STOOP

Stefan Eisele - ---**--My other example of that rainbow of grey tones is a photograph by Stefan Eisele. His photographic approach to a flower is quite different from Anne Rose's. If I had to explain this in a literary way, I would say: Anne Rose writes a poem, Stefan writes a short story. He creates his story in powerful contrasts. Almost white and almost black and some shades of grey. You could almost think of absurd prose. Bare and hard, and yet the whole is a story about fragility - the fragility of life.

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Jeffrey Wu - No Escape Hunters and the hunted When I was preparing for this review, I reviewed many wildlife photographs that had been published on 1X Photography. I noticed that particularly the endearing moments in the life of wild animals were photographed. Big cats - or other animals - in love with their mate or caring for their cups, resting or other situations. All very peaceful scenes. There are but a few photographers - Massimo Mei, Morkel Erasmus and Jeffrey Wu - who dare to show the essence of wild animal life, being the hunt for food and to be more specific, the killing moment. People think it is a cruel act. But is it? Aren't we imposing our moral standards - which we have developed and mastered with difficulty and pain - on the animals? The question is a very interesting one, and I would love to pursue it, but it would take up all the space I have to discuss Jeffrey Wu's photo. The action is frozen, but the photo is not a static one. It is full of drama. Look at the eyes of the cheetahs and those of the impala. The fierce concentration in the eyes of the jumping cheetahs, the existential fear, the panic in the impala's expression. Except for being taken at the right moment, it's the eyes that make this photo so strong. I cannot resist showing you another photo by Jeffrey Wu called "Cheetah Hunting".


PHOTO REVI EW | 15 SHOTS—S US ANNE STOOP

Jeffrey Wu - Cheetah Hunting Here the action is in full swing – as shown by the cloud of whirling sand. Quite spectacular. The background of this excellent photograph is as interesting as the action itself. In a transparent curtain of dust we see three Thomson gazelles running away from the scene to safety. It's nature in all its purity. That's how it is, the law of the savannah.

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Hilde Ghesquiere I don't know whether this beautiful photo was taken while the wildebeests were hunted by a group of big cats, or that they were migrating to other pastures. Actually, it is of no real importance. It is an almost abstract photo and yet showing us the characteristic features of wildebeests. But there is more to it. It is a very suggestive image. The composition makes you feel as being part of the running herd, that is being moved forward by the dominant wildebeest to the left. And while none of the wildebeests is shown in its total, you get the impression that large numbers are passing by at high speed, suggested by the motion blur. A clever piece of work!


PHOTO REVIEW

| 15 SHOTS—S USANNE STOOP

Kahi - Vantage point The Birds I have seen some wonderful bird photographs here at 1X and at exhibitions of various photo clubs. No matter how beautiful the pictures were, at one point they could not fascinate me anymore. They looked so much alike. Bird lovers will probably not agree with me and I hope they can forgive me! What I am trying to say is, that you might look for more original points of view unless it is your aim to document the species of bird as beautiful as possible. There is nothing wrong with that of course. So I searched for some different and came across two lovely images of birds in rather specific poses. Both had a story, were able to tell me something and made me smile.

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C.S. Tjandra - Wet The Indonesian photographer C.S. Tjandra made a beautiful series of a bathing pelican. From it I choose "Wet" He observed the pelican well during the bathing ritual and caught it at a delightful moment. He beats its wings on the water, shaking his feathers from head to toe, his orange throat poach waving happily. All that splashing is like a lovely shower and it appears that the pelican is enjoying himself greatly. That sense of enjoyment is so strongly caught that you as viewer can enjoy this blissful moment as well.


PHOTO REVI EW | 15 SHOTS—S US ANNE STOOP

Fabs Forns - Incoming Razorbill The incoming razorbill by Fabs Forns is the other photograph and is as unique as Tjandra's pelican. Landing gear down, flaps up and carefully navigating towards its landing platform with is wings. Ready for landing and for feeding the hungry offspring. The landing razorbill with its beak full of fish may not look very elegant - it really made me smile - but photographically seen the moment is brilliant.

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Giovanni Casini - I wish I was a giraffe Funny Stories

According to Giovanni Casini, who photographed "I wish I was a giraffe" in Mana Pool Park in Zimbabwe, it is rare for elephants to stand up to reach a high hanging tasty snack. He caught quite a unique moment - and photographically did a wonderful job. The atmosphere is beautiful, there are lots of interesting details present in the picture and it tells a funny story. When viewing the photograph, I was reminded of the saying that the grass is always greener at the neighbours. Is that why that elephant is stretching out as far as possible to capture the lush green branch high up, while it is as green on more accessible places? To get what he wants, the elephant has to work hard. The best branch hangs the highest - and no, he is not a giraffe - and it looks as if he is pushing away the tree. Oh dear, poor thing could be the response of some viewers.


PHOTO REVI EW | 15 SHOTS—S US ANNE STOOP

Angela Muliani Hartojo - Seal elephants When I saw the photo of these two elephant seals I immediately asked myself from which opera they were singing an aria. There is so much drama in their body language! It seems, there could be also love in the air. Or does the photo show something more down to earth? Are they settling a dispute over their territory? We will never know. And it doesn't matter. This uncomplicated, funny photo is communicating with us, it evokes all kinds of fantasies.

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Ronni Santoso - Pufferfish Tetraodontidae Although I am not sure whether this Pufferfish was photographed in the deep ocean or in captivity, I will review it because it is such a special fish. Ronni describes it as a poor swimmer, which can escape his pursuers by quickly ingesting huge amounts of water. It then turns - if it were a hedgehog - into a virtually inedible ball several times it’s normal size. Incredible! The pufferfish is nicely photographed. The hedgehog-like nature of the beast comes all into its own. Funny actually that this aggressive looking little guy has such a soft blue appearance. It obviously makes him stand out well against the dark background. Incidentally, perhaps I would have desaturated the light bright green leaf in the background a bit. Otherwise nothing but praise for this lovely photo.


PHOTO REVI EW | 15 SHOTS—S US ANNE STOOP

Jeff Hewson - Two delicate shells Jeff Hewson found these two sea urchin shells on the beach of Orewa, in the North of New Zealand. They are so small that both could almost fit into a match box. He took them home together with some sand from the beach. In the description to his photo Jeff writes: "I set the shells up on the sand with plenty of blurred background and natural light trying to show how delicate they are. I wanted to show the colours and bumps and tiny holes. Shells like these are so lovely and Jeff displayed their delicacy, colours and structure so well. It is touching. And yet. The photo would have been so much better if he had given the shells more space at the bottom. Being positioned so close to the lower border the photo is losing its visual impact.

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BOOKS INSPIRATION


BOOKS | BE INSPIRED BEING THERE by Mattias Klum BEING THERE is a book and DVD about a photographer in mid-life. Many have paid tribute to Mattias Klum for the artistic quality of his photographs, for the hight standards he insists on regarding authenticity, and for his ability to come close to exceptional species, cultures, and environments. He and his team have undertaken expedition to some of the most exciting places in the world. Here he shares some of those experiences such as his work photographing meerkats in the Kalahari Desert, kinkajous in Panama, and king cobras in Southeast Asia. And we get to follow along with him as he makes his way deeper into the Amazon rain forest … View | Order

BIG WORLD, SMALL PLANET by Johan Rockström and Mattias Klum Review by Dr Jane Goodall «Our future hangs in the balance. We are inflicting grave damage on Planet Earth, and if we carry on with «business as usual» we may reach the point of no return -when ecosystems collapse and more and more species become extinct. There is hope if only we can bridge the gap between the clever human brain and the compassionate human heart and act now. Johan Rockström and Mattias Klum lead the way with scientific clarity, powerful storytelling, and inspiring and award-winning photography.» View | Order

THE HUMAN QUEST by Johan Rockström and Mattias Klum Prospering within Planetary Boundaries (Foreword by President Bill Clinton) This book deals with how we can learn to live within our planet's boundaries with astonishing photographs and in depth commentary, it serves as an inspiration for action. We face a turning point in human history and the state of the Earth. We must bend the curves of global environmental change that are propelling us towards catastrophic risks. Nothing less than the world as we know it is at stake. With a fundamental shift in mindset, humanity can succeed in a transition to global sustainability. View | Order

WILD ROMANCE by Marsel van Oosten This large-format, image-driven book features 46 of Africa’s most sought-after safari getaways – those exclusive lodges where guests are virtually guaranteed encounters with the Big Five, alongside luxurious accommodation, superb service and first-class cuisine. The selected lodges are among the best that Kenya, Tanzania, Zambia, Namibia, Botswana and South Africa have to offer. Stunning photographs depict the ambiance and decor of the establishments, as well as the magnificent landscapes and wildlife. Photographer Marsel van Oosten and videographer Daniëlla Sibbing spent eight months traveling through Africa to capture images of some of the continent’s most romantic destinations, making Wild Romance the ideal memento of a once-in-a-lifetime African experience. View | Order

LE BONHEUR EST DANS LE PRE by Fabien Bravin “La lumière pour peindre, la nature en toile de fond.” In Fabien Bravin's first photo book, he shows a stunning collection of macros of insects taken in their natural environment. View | Order

CE QUE LA NATURE NOUS OFFRE by Fabien Bravin “Une poésie d'un autre genre” In the second photo book of Fabien Bravin, he shows again a stunning collection of macros and close-ups, With his aesthetic approach, he focusses more on mood and colors, using both natural and additional light. View | Order


BOOKS PUBLISHED BY 1X

MEMENTO

MONO PASSION NO WORDS

BEYOND

IN PURSUIT OF THE SUBLIME 210 PHOTOGRAPHERS

THE BEGINNING

PHOTOGRAPHIC VISIONS

PHOTO INSPIRATIONS 1x shop: View | Order


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1x magazine - No. 4  

September 2015

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