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I finally had green light on the pictures I toke for Ralf Tech watches. The Portuguese Navy liked them, the brand CEO liked them and I think I did justice to those awesome marines who welcomed me in the most amazing way, making everything so easy during the combat simulations.
On top of that I was invited, by the commander of the unit, for a long term photography project with their unit. One request though… it has to be on black and white film. It toke me about 1 second to say YES!
Let me tell you that it’s not easy being laughed at by ten marines armed with machine guns when they saw my Holga. I stood my ground and I think something clicked in that group. They liked the Holga shots and the look of film.
Well, don’t judge the above sentence by the following results. Most Holga shots were of private moments of the unit but here are some examples.
Ilford HP5+ @ 100
Adox APH 09
1+50, 11 min
I absolutely love using the Holga. To me it represents total freedom. Set the distance scale (or not) and just shoot. The framing is pretty much inaccurate but after the first couple of rolls it’s easy to get used to it.
So.. get an Holga and have fun with it! They can drive you crazy and they can, also, amaze you… balance, the very substance of life!
Damn, I do hope to get a Christmas card from the Holga guys this year!
On the professional side I had to capture the marines in action wearing their Ralf Tech limited edition watch. I went along for the combat simulations and had free access to everything, no limits, but… those guys were not posing and they didn’t stop “for the picture”.
As I was sitting in the truck with them I thought: okay, it’s gonna be one of those “finger on the shutter the whole time, burning memory cards one after the other” thing.
In the first 10 minutes of the first combat simulation (on land) I toke about 300 shots! That was insane, just insane. That’s everything I hate about photography. Endless clicking to choose the best ones after.
On the other hand, in one minute they could be in broad daylight, and the next in total darkness kicking some door down. It was hard to follow them around.
I found that the best approach was to act like a voyeur. I got a bit to the side and watched the action going by not being concerned about taking 1 zillion shots, just to take THAT shot.
The truth is guys… to enjoy, to bloody enjoy. Yes, okay… I had a specific task to do and a specific result to deliver but acting anxious and moving around like crazy, trying to shoot every moment of the action, would not help.
We all know how to take pictures and we can all adapt to a new situation and we also know some tricks to keep things under minimum control but if we are not enjoying, all that will be worthless.
Here are some pictures from that day. All taken with the Canon 5D and the 50mm f1.8 lens.
Last Sunday I had the pleasure of meeting Ana. A mutual friend organized a wonderful afternoon and off we went.
As always guys, taking pictures is just an excuse to spend some time with friends. To get out of the house and go somewhere.
Let me tell you that the old 5D is a great camera. They are very cheap (and also very used I agree) but it’s a controlled risk. Paired with the also cheap 50mm 1.8 it’s a great kit and the one I’ve been using on all assignments.
The same way I don’t participate in film/digital discussions, I won’t participate in any “is full frame worth it” ones.
My most honest opinion is yes it is worth it.
Canon 5D + 50mm f1.8 lens + golden reflector.
I had to take the Hasselblad too. I knew that Ana was expecting some color images but we also agreed on taking some black and white shots.
What can I say… film is not better than digital, but film has a certain rawness… it’s textural and organic. It may not be the most flattering medium, when used in such conditions, but it sure is the most honest.
The bottom line is… to enjoy guys. Enjoy no matter the medium, enjoy every opportunity to take pictures.
Hasselblad 500CM + Trix@1600
120mm + 21mm extension tube
Adox APH09 (several months old) 1+50, 20 minutes