Sculpting in light
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Sculpting in light
All about photography but mostly on Leica rangefinder camera
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Don't underestimate the final display medium

Don't underestimate the final display medium | Sculpting in light | Scoop.it
This image doesn't work small: there's far too much detail going on to appreciate at just 800 pixels high. Here's a question for all photographers: how many of you have considered the intended view...
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CineStill Film

CineStill Film | Sculpting in light | Scoop.it
CineStill International - Now available around the world!CineStill 800Tungsten is now being distributed internationally by the amazing analog resource in the USA, Freestyle Photographic Supplies, with prompt and affordable shipping!
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My life - my work - in pictures - in stories: JOIN THE NEW LEICA MASTER CLASS: Herbert Piels MASTER CLASS "reportage" workshop dates in the LEICA ACADEMY:

My life - my work - in pictures - in stories: JOIN THE NEW LEICA MASTER CLASS: Herbert Piels MASTER CLASS "reportage" workshop dates in the LEICA ACADEMY: | Sculpting in light | Scoop.it

Via Herbert Piel
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Herbert Piel's curator insight, July 9, 2013 7:01 AM
 JOIN THE NEW LEICA MASTER CLASS Herbert Piels MASTER CLASS "reportage" workshop dates in the LEICA ACADEMY:Berlin Workshop        from 03.05. - 04.05.2014
Hamburg workshop   from 17.05. - 18.05.2014
Munich Workshop      from 30.08. - 31.08.2014
Frankfurt Workshop   from 06.09. - 07.09.2014
Salzburg Workshop    from 25.10. - 26.10.2014  The workshop will be presented at this year LEICA experience days in Wetzlar on 16./17.11.13 and here: http://de.leica-camera.com/service/leica_akademie/
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The 2013 Leica X Vario (Typ 107) review

The 2013 Leica X Vario (Typ 107) review | Sculpting in light | Scoop.it

When the Leica X Vario (Typ 107) was first announced about a month ago, I honestly didn’t quite know what to make of it – though it seemed like a logical evolution of the X line, and a compliment to the M line, the headline spec left most photographers scratching their heads – including this one. It packs the same 16MP Sony-derived APS-C sensor as the X2, a body somewhere between the X2and the M Typ 240 and a 28-70 equivalent zoom. Actually, it wasn’t any of that which caused the consternation visible in the comments on this earlier post – rather, it was the modest f3.5-6.3 maximum aperture, and the stiff price. At $2,850, it’s a solid $850 more than the X2, which has a faster fixed lens, and well into second-hand M8 territory – including a lens. The challenge is one of product positioning: the price is high enough to deter serious photographers from taking a second look, perhaps steered away from Leica’s claims that it’s meant to be a mini-M. The X Vario has the body size of the X2 mixed with design cues from the M (top plate step, thumb grip, chrome D-pad, new 3″, 921k-dot LCD). What I found during my week of use (so far) is that they’re both right and wrong.

Lars-Göran Hedström's insight:

Excellent balanced review. A must read!

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Review: The OIympus PEN E-P5 (updated)

Review: The OIympus PEN E-P5 (updated) | Sculpting in light | Scoop.it

Not so long ago, Olympus updated both the E-PL series (E-PL5 reviewed here) and the E-PM series with the OM-D’s sensor and other trickle-down technology. Thus it only made sense that it was also about high time for the E-P3 to be refreshed, too. They’ve taken a bit longer over this one; in fact, the new E-P5 has so much of the OM-D’s technology (and a few other things) that picking one over the other is no longer such an easy decision.

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Thoughts on street photography with medium format

Thoughts on street photography with medium format | Sculpting in light | Scoop.it

Ostensibly, this is already perhaps not the most practical of ideas; if one is extremely masochistic, things can be compounded further into the really bad idea class by using film. And a manual focus camera. Without a meter. I think it takes a certain amount of insanity – or at least a healthy dose of optimism – to even attempt it. Street photography (the genre itself being discussed in this previous article) is the kind of thing that’s handled best with a responsive, unobtrusive camera that also has a goodly amount of depth of field for a given aperture, plus what I like to think of as being very forgiving of slightly loose shot discipline. This generally means good high-ISO ability, perhaps a stabilization system, a low-vibration shutter and decently large pixels to make the effects of camera shake less obvious.

Lars-Göran Hedström's insight:

Very readable!

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Photoessay: New York street cinematics

Photoessay: New York street cinematics | Sculpting in light | Scoop.it

I found the people and streets of New York to be eminently suited to a bit of cinematic street photography. Perhaps it’s the fact that so many movies have already been filmed in New York, or it’s the quality of light filtering between and reflecting off buildings, or it’s the various diverse characters that live in the city. These are little moments, vignettes and slices-of-life; I don’t want to use the word ‘stolen’, but it does sometimes feel like one is peering into a pre-coreographed scene and simply borrowing a frame. I sincerely apologise in advance for having some fun with the captions..

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The photographer as philosopher, part two

The photographer as philosopher, part two | Sculpting in light | Scoop.it

Even though these articles might have differing substance to the images, it’s the images that people are drawn to because they contain information that comes in a much more easily digestible form than words; you can look at an image for a few seconds to understand what’s going on, but you can’t do the same with a two-thousand word article. Our brains are just hardwired that way; predators in the jungle didn’t write essays about why they were dangerous; they just looked scary. This dissonance itself is quite dangerous: an increasingly frequent trend I’ve noticed recently is that the pictures don’t always match the words; whether this is laziness on the part of the editor or lack of choice remains unclear; but there’s definitely a growing disparity betweens what the words say, and what the images say – or at least the impression they give. Logically, one would think that the overall message should be consistent: if you’re going for a particular angle, then the images should support the story; if no suitable images can be found, then the angle and story should be altered slightly so that at least the complete article is self-consistent.

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Miguel Gómez Parra's curator insight, May 30, 2013 10:17 AM

Buen punto de vista. la Fotografia como reflexion

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Off topic: hobbies and photographers

Off topic: hobbies and photographers | Sculpting in light | Scoop.it

It seems that a lot of my other photographically-inclined friends and students share the same few passions – watches/ horology, cars, cigars, food/ wine, travel, and to some extent, hi-fi. It could be because serious photographers tend to be mostly male (no sexism intended, but 90% of my reader demographic and students are male) and these are male pursuits; however, the funny thing is that a good number of the ladies in the 10% share these interests, too. I’m not counting casual or passing fancies here – I’m only including people serious enough to devote a meaningful chunk of time and income towards these hobbies. Even so, the numbers are overwhelmingly in favor of just a few pursuits*.

Lars-Göran Hedström's insight:

Interesting thoughts, worthy reflecting upon.

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Working preview: The OIympus PEN E-P5

Working preview: The OIympus PEN E-P5 | Sculpting in light | Scoop.it

Not so long ago, Olympus updated both the E-PL series (E-PL5 reviewed here) and the E-PM series with the OM-D’s sensor and other trickle-down technology. Thus it only made sense that it was also about high time for the E-P3 to be refreshed, too. They’ve taken a bit longer over this one; in fact, the new E-P5 has so much of the OM-D’s technology (and a few other things) that picking one over the other is no longer such an easy decision.

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Film diaries: Watches and a Hasselblad

Film diaries: Watches and a Hasselblad | Sculpting in light | Scoop.it

I’ll admit that deep down, from the day I decided to buy the Hasselblad, I’d harboured a deep, masochistic desire to do this. During previous evaluations of medium format for my main commercial subjects, it didn’t really fit the bill: too difficult to achieve the degree of magnification required for watches, and digital medium format wouldn’t give me the width I needed for architectural work. It’d also be overkill for food photography in this country, given the current state of affairs*.

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Photoessay: Chinatown cinematics, and using the Leica 50/1.4 ASPH on the OM-D

Photoessay: Chinatown cinematics, and using the Leica 50/1.4 ASPH on the OM-D | Sculpting in light | Scoop.it

Though visiting Chinatown in the USA is somewhat ironic for a person from Asia (we do have Chinatown in Kuala Lumpur too; it’s just not that different from the rest of town); I did find it to be quite photographically rich – especially with San Francisco’s inclined streets. Between the Cantonese and interesting side alleys, it felt a lot more like Hong Kong than anywhere else – which is perhaps a consequence of the origin of the immigrants. More than that though, something about the atmosphere was rather conducive to the cinematic style, though it could also be because both times I arrived at the end of the day as the sun was setting and pouring down the east-west streets in a gloriously saturated manner. I sent my workshop students off to explore style with a few different assignments, mounted the Leica 50/1.4 Summilux-M ASPH on my OM-D via an adaptor and set off to grab a few frames from a movie.

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Film diaries: The importance of hapatics and tactility, part two

Film diaries: The importance of hapatics and tactility, part two | Sculpting in light | Scoop.it

This article falls into the film diaries because historically, there have been many attempts to make cheaper versions of popular cameras – the M2, for instance, is supposed to be a cut-price and simplified version of the M3; the Nikkomats are another example. Yet none of these feel particularly poorly made or roughly finished; if anything, they still considerably exceed the perceived quality level of anything currently available new. Objectively speaking, my 1995 Hasselblad 501C is a pain to use: it’s large, heavy, only carries 12 shots, has serious mirror slap, has a reversed finder, requires a separate external meter (or very good eye), is a pain to reload, slow to shoot with, and an ergonomic disaster – yet somehow I just love making images with it because of the way it feels in the hand. The lens’ aperture and shutter rings move with distinct, clean clicks. The mirror and shutter sound feels positive and deep. The accessories detach and snap into place with solid, positive clicks and zero free play; there are no rough-feeling mechanical parts or actions, and the focusing rings (mostly) have precisely the right amount of damping.

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Why I Shoot Film

Why I Shoot Film | Sculpting in light | Scoop.it
Why would a modern day, Houston based portrait and wedding photographer shoot film? The short answer is, my ideal photography captures real scenes and moments and emotions in an almost ethereal way...
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My life - my work - in pictures - in stories: Beuys-Foto in der Süddeutschen

My life - my work - in pictures - in stories: Beuys-Foto in der Süddeutschen | Sculpting in light | Scoop.it

Via Herbert Piel
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Herbert Piel's curator insight, July 26, 2013 11:09 AM
Freue mich über die fast halbseitige Veröffentlichung eines meiner Ausstellungsfotos im Feuilleton der Süddeutschen Zeitung.  Herbert Piel / Imagetrust
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Repost: What influences your photography?

Repost: What influences your photography? | Sculpting in light | Scoop.it

What follows is a repost of an original article from early 2012: it’s a necessary prelude to what comes tomorrow, so for those who’ve read it – bear with me; for those who haven’t, enjoy.

A random thought struck me while driving today (it seems to happen often, but then again with Malaysian traffic, I do spend a lot of time in the car): what are my conscious and unconscious photographic influences, and how do they affect my images look?

I think this is a topic worth exploring because it’s useful to analyze how you think as a photographer, because it will both consciously help you to identify potential shots sooner, as well as tap into other sources of influence you might not have previously considered. As sacrificial guinea pig, I’ll go first.

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A question of sensor size

A question of sensor size | Sculpting in light | Scoop.it

Conventional wisdom states that the bigger the sensor, the better. The bigger the pixels, the better. All things equal, that’s true; however, 10-micron pixels would mean very low resolution compacts, and medium format digital doesn’t sell in sufficient volumes to justify the same sort of R&D spend that consumer or even midrange pro gear would get. I admit I’d always been curious to see just how much the technological improvements from generation to generation offset pixel pitch etc.; some time ago, I did a comparison of the Leica S2 against the then-new Nikon D800E. Today, we go one step further to see exactly what kind of gap exists between the various grades of equipment. Spoiler: it’s not as wide as you might imagine in some areas.

Lars-Göran Hedström's insight:

Very revarding text if you carefully read and reflect upon it.

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Photographic aspirations, part one: who we are, vs. who we want to be

Photographic aspirations, part one: who we are, vs. who we want to be | Sculpting in light | Scoop.it

Everybody has a dream. More realistically, everybody who picks up a camera has some idea – conscious or not – of what they want to get out of it: be it a simple record of an event, or delusions of artistic grandeur. More often than not, there’s a truly enormous gap between where the photographer wants to be, and where they think they are. There yet another gap between where they think they are and where they actually are. For most, the levels tend to shake out with aspiration coming first, followed by self-perception, and then finally, reality. As with most things photographic, there’s just as much psychology involved as technicality.

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Defining cinematic

Defining cinematic | Sculpting in light | Scoop.it

Over the last couple of posts, we’ve looked at the qualities of bokeh, and some examples of cinematic photography in New York; although one of the most obvious hallmarks of the cinematic style is an abundance of very out of focus zones, in reality there’s a lot more subtlety to it. Since this is one of my most frequently used and well-developed styles, I felt that perhaps a little intellectual exercise was in order.

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Tintype Portraits of Photography Students Created on Their Discarded Film Canisters - PetaPixel

Tintype Portraits of Photography Students Created on Their Discarded Film Canisters - PetaPixel | Sculpting in light | Scoop.it

Photographer David Emitt Adams experiments with unique metal bases in his experiments with tintype photography. Last week we shared a project in which he used abandoned tin cans found in a desert to create tintype photographs.

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The photographer as philosopher, part one

The photographer as philosopher, part one | Sculpting in light | Scoop.it

Some weeks ago, I was exchanging emails with a reader from New Zealand; he threw out an interesting thought which has stuck with me since and definitely bears further examination (and I paraphrase to retain context): Where does the work of a photographer begin and end? Have we partially taken over the job of philosophers to interpret the world?

Lars-Göran Hedström's insight:

Interesting thoughts. Well worth following

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USA 2013 Making Outstanding Images Workshop report

USA 2013 Making Outstanding Images Workshop report | Sculpting in light | Scoop.it

March 2013 was both the first time I’d been to the USA in more than ten years, as well as the first workshops of 2013. For this trip, I used tried a new teaching approach. Previously, I’d focused on subject-specific techniques; what I found was that whilst it was enjoyable for the participants, there were frequently fundamentals of technique and composition that were missing across the board, and these were elements that could be taught in a subject-independent way that would raise one’s photographic bar consistently across the board. Also, unlike Tokyo, nobody had to lie on the floor this time.

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Review: The 2013 Ricoh GR (digital V)

Review: The 2013 Ricoh GR (digital V) | Sculpting in light | Scoop.it

Not long after Nikon announced their 28/2.8, 16MP APS-C super-compact, Ricoh also decided it’d be a good time to launch an update to their cult GR Digital line. Version V has done a Leica and dropped the model number to confuse us (and Google searches for the new model), but gained a near-identical spec to the Nikon – also 28/2.8 equivalent, 16MP APS-C sensor without AA filter (it does have square and 35mm crop options, but you can always easily apply those in post). Neither one has IS. I covered most of the spec sheet in the preview, here. Now I’ve had some (albeit very brief) time with a final production prototype*, it’s time to report back here on how it actually fares in the metal.

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Lomography Film Scanner

Lomography Film Scanner | Sculpting in light | Scoop.it
Oh, look at what came in my mail a few days ago. It is finally here, Lomography’s Smartphone Filmscanner! For anyone who has no idea on what that is, check out the link for the official site from...
Lars-Göran Hedström's insight:

Such a nice little toy. I might get me one :-) !

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Shooting for yourself, part one

Shooting for yourself, part one | Sculpting in light | Scoop.it

There’s a limit to how long you can make a title and still keep things punchy; what I really wanted it to say was ‘the difference between pros and amateurs: shooting for yourself vs shooting for pay’ or something along those lines. There was a period in late February/ early March of this year where I did pretty much no photography at all for a couple of weeks. I wrote it off as time spent recharging, but the reality is that I think I experienced yet another large shift in mindset – I’m noticing a couple of personal trends, neither of which make me particularly happy.

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