Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Street Photography Now

My good friend Laura Willis, the Marketing Director at art book publisher Thames & Hudson, has just informed me they're running a street photography project in collaboration with the Photographers Gallery to coincide with the recent launch of their new book Street Photography Now.
From the website:

"Street Photography Now Project is a collaboration between The Photographers’ Gallery, London and Sophie Howarth and Stephen McLaren, authors of Street Photography Now (Thames and Hudson).

Each week from 1 October 2010, a leading contemporary street photographer will issue a new instruction, written to inspire fresh ways of looking at and documenting the world we live in.

Over the following six days photographers around the world are invited to upload one photograph in response, to form part of a Street Photography Now Project Gallery on Flickr. After six days the next instruction will be issued.

The Project will run for 52 weeks. The aim is to build a global community of photographers exploring the rewards and challenges of documenting public life. All photographers, including those who contribute to the Instructions, will be encouraged to comment and respond to the images posted to the Flickr groups.

Though not a competition, at the end of the Project one photographer will be chosen who has made the most outstanding contribution to the project across a number of weeks. They will be awarded £1000 of Thames & Hudson books and have their work displayed on The Photographers’ Gallery digital Wall for All.

The Street Photography Now Project was launched in September 2010, as The Photographers’ Gallery closed its doors for the redevelopment of its building on Ramillies Street. The Project will run for one year and is scheduled to end when The Photographers’ Gallery reopens in late 2011."

Visit the website to learn more and to take part.

Thursday, 23 September 2010

The temple of football

While in Rio, Carlos Vergara's son Joao took me along to see a football match at the legendary Maracana stadium. And it wasn't just any old football match - it was a face off between Rio's arch rival clubs of Flamengo and Botafogo.

I was an honorary Flamengo fan for the day, but unfortunately we lost 2-1 after a thrilling match. I later got to shoot some aerials over the city and I made sure the Maracana was on my hit list. 

Here are few shots:

Monday, 20 September 2010

A 'traditional' digital camera at last - the Fuji X100

The run up to Photokina, the world's largest photography trade show, is always proceeded by product announcements from all the major camera manufacturers. But this is the first one this year to get me excited - the Fuji X100.

It's a traditionally-styled rangefinder camera with a 12MP APS-C sensor and a fixed 35mm f/2 lens. It has a manual shutter speed dial, aperture ring and exposure compensation dial, is small and compact, and is almost the antithesis of every other digital camera on the market - with the exception of the ridiculously priced Leica M9 and X1.

It also has a cleverly designed viewfinder - a hybrid rangefinder and high-res electronic live view finder with the ability to switch between the two. You can have the optical finder with a histogram superimposed, or use the 1.4MP electronic finder for through-the-lens viewing. If it works as well as described it should be perfect.

I spent many years shooting with manual Nikons in my early days, first the FE2 and later the FM3A. I sold them when I went over to Canon digital cameras, but I've been on the verge of buying another one over the last month or two to be my 'fun' camera, as I just miss the beautiful feel and operation of a manual camera. I have kept on hoping that Nikon might release a digital version - an "FM3D" - sometime, but so far have been disappointed.

Although it won't hit the shelves until 'early 2011', Fuji are to be applauded for breaking the mould and producing a really distinctive camera. Being a premium niche product I'm sure it's not going to be cheap, but if the ease of operation and image quality are up to the mark then I will almost certainly be buying one.

And, if the X100 sells well, then maybe Nikon will develop that FM3D I've been hankering after.

Sunday, 19 September 2010

Back from the Dolomites

I've just spent the last week on a well earned break in the Italian Dolomites, hiking from hut to hut through the mountains with a friend. After all the work trips this summer, which you will hear more about over the next few weeks, it was great to switch off and relax, enjoy the mountain views and spend time with an old friend. Of course, I also took the camera - here are a few of my favourites:

Thursday, 9 September 2010

Carlos Vergara

While I was in Rio earlier this year I was fortunate enough to visit the studio of one of Brazil's most famous living artists, Carlos Vergara. I was shown around by his son, Joao, and it was wonderful to explore his studio and workshop and see where so many important works had been created. There were a couple still being worked on while I was there.

Here are a few pictures.