I shoot on film and when I find some frames I like I post them here
I also shoot medium format - blada-bling.tumblr.com
E: 35mm.photo.bureau@gmail.com

Thursday, 29 July 2010

My Best Shot Series on the Guardian Unlimited Website

If you are an enthusiast of any form of photography a site that that's well worth keeping an eye on is the Guardian Unlimited's "My Best Shot" series where every week a photographer, film director or artist talks about the best photo they've shot. The series has been going on for at least 2 years now - so there are pieces on a over 100 photographers. They give descriptions of the how events unravelled to bring them to that place at that time to capture the moment - which in most cases isn't obvious from the photographs themselves. For example Steve McCurry's best shot is the one he took of the Rajasthani women huddled up in a sandstorm - he was riding in a taxi across the desert and when the sandstorm started, he jumped out of the taxi reckoning that something interesting may happen and encountered the huddle of women who had been working on the road side. Staying in India, Raghu Rai's best shot is an amazing one of Old Delhi at dusk with the Jama Masjid in the distant background with a woman praying in brightly lit room in a house in the foreground. Seeing Nadav Kander's best shot of a family having a picnic under a bridge on a grim looking polluted spot on the Yangtze, one can't help thinking about Henri Cartier-Bresson's shot of a similar theme, a photo that's considered to be one of his best over. Some are more personal, like Wim Wender's best shot which captures Francis Ford Coppola and family together with Akira Kurosawa chilling by a pond in the Napa Valley. A favourite in the series has to be Karl de Keyzer's best shot of the Texan Good Friday procession - likened to a work of Caravaggio in the era of Coca Cola sponsorship. Staying on with comparisons to great painters (but in a less tongue-in-cheek manner) Simon Norfolk's best shot of the north gate of Baghdad is likened to an impressionist painting - "like a Corot or a Pissarro; the way that tree stretches up looks like an impressionist painting" as he puts it. From the same region but from a war over a decade before is Sebastião Salgado's best shot of Canadian fire fighters capping an oil well. In this piece he talks about how the heat warped his lenses and how he carried a 2 litre can of petrol and a roll tissues to clean his gear so he could actually take pictures while oil was spraying all over the place. A hero of colour photography, Joel Meyerowitz's best shot is one of a New York street corner. Meyerowitz talks about how at the time he was trying to give up the Cartier-Bresson "decisive moment" theme to his pictures where the action is at the centre and the background is "irrelevant" and bring the idea of "field photography" to capturing street life. To finish off check out this clip of Meyerowitz on the excellent BBC series "The Genius of Photography" talking about field photography - I know this blog if meant to promote 35mm photography, but it's open about it's limitations too!