It’s been almost a year since I last wrote on this blog, I’m clearly not getting any better at keeping it updated.
For a long time, while I was at uni, my film of choice has been HP5, a classic 400 iso emulsion by Ilford.
To be totally honest with you, it wasn’t so much of an informed choice, as I only knew about FP4 and HP5 and I chose the latter simply because it was faster (FP4 is 125 iso speed) and I was shooting in available light, needing the extra speed.
At university we only had a kind of developer, ID11, and for three years I just shoot HP5 developed in ID11, happily ignoring the existence of whole of world of other films and developer combinations.
I know that most film photographers would be interested in this subject, so I decided to share my findings.
If you know any other shop that sells analog photographic materials at a reasonable prince, please write in the comments and I will add it to the list.
When I left university, I knew that I would miss the facilities immensely, especially the darkroom and the library, so, as soon as I settled in London, I started to hunt for a cheap rental darkroom to print my work at.
I’ve been looking everywhere on the internet and, I have to say, there aren’t many options in London for traditional printers, and most of them are too expensive for me, therefore I was delighted when I found out on a forum about a community darkroom in Homerton, literally round the corner from where I live, that apparently was one of the cheapest places where you could print both colour and black and white in London!
Photochats is a lovely lovely darkroom ran by Peter Young at Chats Palace, on Chatsworth road, in Homerton and I highly recommend it.
Unfortunately there’s no much information about this incredible place on the internet (they’re working at their website), so I’ve decided to copy their spring newsletter, with opening times, prices and descriptions of the facilities and of the courses, on this blog (after the cut)
One year has passed since I first wrote about my then new project about studio assistants and I feel is time to give some updates on it.
Lots of things have happened: old assistants have left and new ones have arrived… personally I don’t work at Big Sky studios anymore, but I’ve become a key holder at Sunbeam Studios, so I get much more regular work there.
I also work in another little studio/location, but I’m the only assistant there, so it’s irrelevant for this project.
I still have all of my Big Sky uniform stuff and I’m considering going back in the future to see how it has changed and which assistants are working there at the moment, but right now I’m focusing on Sunbeam and I really feel at home there.
I thought that it’d be nice to do little interviews with all the people who I photographed so far, I shall see if they’re willing to do it, but in the mean time, you can see the new pictures after the cut.
As I’ve mentioned before, I’m rather curious about people and I like the idea of photographing strangers, so I’ve decided to start the 100 strangers project on flickr.
One of the aims of the project is pretty straight forward, taking pictures of 100 strangers, but it’s not limited to that and what better way to explain it than copying the manifesto from the 100 strangers flickr group? You can find it below.
The idea: The 100 Strangers project is a learning group intended for those wishing to improve both their social and technical skills needed for taking portraits of strangers and telling their stories. The method is to learn by doing. Your participation will require you to share your experiences with the other members of the group. By providing this invaluable knowledge, everyone, beginners and experienced alike will benefit.
The challenge: Take at least 100 photographs of 100 people you don’t know. Approach anyone or a group of people, ask for permission to both take a photo of them and to post it to this group. Get to know your stranger/s. Who are they? What is their life like?
Step out of your comfort zone and into a new level of portrait photography. Start by taking 100 portraits of people you don’t know, total strangers. We welcome both beginner and advanced photographers. You may be new to photographing strangers or already have experience with this type of photography. Regardless, everyone is encouraged to take up the challenge.
The project is quite enjoyable and will definitely improve your photojournalistic skills. During the process you might just gain a new appreciation for those around you and enrich your everyday experience . You may even gain a few new friends along the way.
As you progress with the project it will be critical to share your experiences with the other members. This may be a story about the stranger you just met or how you felt making the approach. You may have, for example, tried a new approach, used a new photographic technique or equipment. You are learning by doing, so share with us what you’ve learned while taking on the 100 Stranger project.
I think that’s a pretty sweet initiative and it’s worth supporting, plus it’s a brilliant “excuse” to approach and photograph strangers without feeling too awkard.
So far, I’ve photographed 13 strangers for this project. You can see the first three of them in my previous post about photographing strangers and, if you wish, you can keep up to date with the latest additions in the 100 strangers set on my flickr account.
Stranger’s stories and pictures after the cut
I’ve always been fascinated by people and people watching has been a favourite pastime of mine since I can remember.
On the other hand, I’m a tad socially awkward and I find quite hard to approach people who I don’t know.
Recently I’ve finally (partly) overcome my awkwardness in approaching strangers and I’ve started asking more and more people on the street if I can take their picture.