Press Photographer and Photojournalist

Smokers

It’s been a while since I last updated this blog. Only two weeks to go now until the New Zealand Geographic Photographer of the Year 2014 awards. I’m keeping my fingers crossed and we’ll see how things go!

I’ve been rather busy with administration stuff over the past few weeks as Kaititiro Collective are currently working on organising a large documentary photography exhibition. This requires applying for project funding, hence the substantial admin work…….Anyway watch this space……..

I’ve always been fascinated by the characteristic gestures which people exhibit while smoking: staring contemplatively into the distance, hiding in a doorway with the weight-of-the-world on their shoulders, or looking like a 50’s Hollywood icon as a cigarette dangles precariously from their lips.

This may yet turn into a project for the above mentioned exhibition (assuming I find time to shoot more portraits). Below are some examples of recent test shots using the Mamiya 645 and Kodak Portra 400 film. I have to say I do like the results so far and it appears my light-leak mending kit has fixed the cameras leaks.

Having only used this camera for landscapes and abstract shots in the past, it’s a steep learning curving photographing dynamic subjects. The depth of field can be marginal (say 10 centimetres or so at a subject distance of 1-2 metres) even when using mid-range apertures like f8/f11. It’s relatively easy to miss-focus if you or your subject moves in between focusing and pressing the shutter.

Here you can see Andy’s face is slight soft where he is leaning forward towards his laptop compared to the lapels of his jacket.

Here you can see Andy’s face is slight soft where he is leaning forward towards his laptop compared to the lapels of his jacket.

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Highlighting the cigarette through selective focus is an idea I have in mind for a particular portrait. This one however was a complete fluke and shows how narrow the DOF is compared with the focused face of the previous frame. Next time I’ll use a tripod!

Highlighting the cigarette through selective focus is an idea I have in mind for a particular portrait. This one however was a complete fluke and shows how narrow the DOF is compared with the focused face of the previous frame. Next time I’ll use a tripod!

The same holds true for this Mark (an ex-Wellington Skinhead of the 60’s). Even though I am interested in the facial tattoo’s, the picture doesn’t seem to hold so well with his nose and mouth going out of focus.

Technically this one is a smoking portrait but I just got chatting to Mark and took his portrait. The same holds true for Mark’s image (an ex-Wellington Skinhead of the 60’s). Even though I am interested in the facial tattoo’s, the picture doesn’t seem to hold so well with his nose and mouth going out of focus.

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