Archive for the ‘hasselblad’ Category

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Not everyone demands top quality from a photographer. But as a professional with 30-years of experience as an award-winning published photojournalist, that’s all I offer. It certainly costs more, but you get the best quality and service.

If you don’t want that, please don’t call me.

I don’t hand over image files because I care that they are finished professionally and look their absolute best–after all, it’s my work. Yet there are many people with cameras who will give you all the images after the shoot, saying, “Do what you want, print them at home, I don’t care. I just like to shoot and walk away.” If that’s what you want, I ain’t your guy.

If you would prefer cheap and quick over professional quality, please don’t contact me. If you don’t see the difference between professional photography and amateurs with a camera and some software presets, I can’t show you.

Just like if you can’t feel the difference between driving a Mercedes and a Kia, I can’t help you. And if you think Denny’s tastes as good as a chef-prepared meal, I’ve probably got nothing for you.

But if you can, expect to get something more delicious than you even imagined! Portfolio: KennethWajda.com – Studio phone: 720.982.9237

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Made with a Rolleiflex T twin-lens reflex camera on the Pearl Street Mall in Boulder, Colorado, it’s a moment captured on film that has a feeling all its own.  And very few of the digital photos being taken today will last 50 years, like this will.  Because this negative is physical–I can hold it in my hand.

She was working across the outdoor mall at a store, and saw my Rolleiflex, and came over, explaining that she’s a Rolleiflex shooter as well.

I am a proponent of legacy portraits on film, and this right here, is why.  Printed in a real darkroom on photographic paper, 12×12 framed, this is a stunning portrait for any room of the house.

I realize I shoot film a lot, but I have multiple bodies with film loaded, and I tend to shoot conservatively, just a frame or two on a person or a subject.

I want to change that.  I just added motor drives to two of my Nikons, an F3, and an FM2, the cameras I used as a photojournalist throughout the 80’s and 90s.

I want to shoot more content.  And not hold back.  I think I do that–hold back.   I want to fire up the cameras and move film through them more quickly.

The motor drive will let me do that.  It’s license to burn!

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npgI walked though the National Portrait Gallery’s exhibit, AMERICAN COOL, last year.  I shoot for a client in Washington D.C. every spring, and usually there’s a little down time when I can walk over to the museums and catch a few.

In the American Cool exhibit, no one was smiling.  Well, not no one, but hardly anyone.  Many portraits–and they were of musicians, actors, authors, scientists, singers, among others–probably over 200 I saw, and many were not looking at the camera, and virtually no one was smiling.

ken-head-camera1It was like smiling made it a snapshot.  And looking off or not smiling, we got to see what they really looked like.  A glimpse of their person, not their smiling self.  A magazine portrait.  A feature portrait.

So, I’ve made a point recently to shoot more portraits without smiles.  And I like the results a lot.

Even my self-portrait, I chose to refrain from smiling.

I’ve heard in the 1800’s, people rarely smiled for photos because of the long shutter speeds needed to make a photograph–it was just too hard to hold still that long with a fake grin.  Also, people thought you looked foolish holding a put-on grin.

wise38But seriously, there’s something to the serious face.  Maybe like black and white, it’s one step removed from the standard smile we’re so used to seeing, and doing when the camera is facing us, so it takes us away from the realm of “snapshot”.

Dizzie Gillespie and Jimi Hendrix were the only two I can think of who were smiling, by the way.  But the others were much cooler.

Try it and see what you think.

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Shot with a 200mm f2.8 Nikon Lens.

I figured it out.  The reason that there are a lot of mediocre photos these days isn’t just because the phone is so commonly used, it’s also because there’s no varying viewpoint.  No telephoto.  No different focal length.  All wide angle.  Which is fine for some things but not everything.

I want to shoot wide, but also a good telephoto shot stands out amongst all those wide shots.  I just mounted an old 50mm Summicron on a Leica M6 (and sometimes a Panasonic GF1, which gives me an effective focal length of 100mm f2.)  I love long lenses and telephoto views.

That’s one area that cameras in phones can’t compete.  So get out your 85mm 1.8, your 105 2.5, and blow them all out of the water.  (It was a water event that I’m thinking of that folks posted all their wide angle photos from.  And as a group, they were all similar, which made them boring.)

Happy Long Shooting!

As photographers, especially photographers using film, we tend to save our shots for things that are worthy of the film.  Images that are special.  Like big events, activities, parties.

I wonder if we aren’t missing out on an image possibility, capturing some of the everyday parts of our lives, things that really define us as who we are.  You know you can learn more about a person from looking at their stuff, seeing the titles on their bookshelf, than by talking to them and asking them to tell you about themselves.  But we rarely photograph it.  It seems mundane.  Uninspired.   Perhaps it’s anything but.

We recently lost a good friend, and his sculpting workshop was where we had the memorial.  And everywhere I looked, I saw things that showed him better than anything he could describe.

Look for the ordinary in your own life, and photograph it.  Maybe it’s the kitchen wall with the pictures and radio that you look at every morning.  Maybe it’s your workshop area.  There’s a story to be told in these photographs.

Try it and let me know what image shows a piece of you.

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I keep running into people who see my old Leica IIIf over my shoulder and marvel that they still make film.  And that it is readily available.  I assure them it is.

I have a standard response to their “I have a great old camera that I never use.”  I tell them to just put one roll of Tri-x in it, shoot a frame once a week or so.  And that after several months, the roll will be done and there will be 36 memories to relive captured on film.

You will have forgotten what you shot.  You will know there’s something good waiting for you after the roll’s developed, and the camera will not be wasting away.  You can always shoot more, but certainly, shooting just one roll a year is still a treat.

You’ll probably need a new battery for the camera.  Many of those with electronic shutters won’t work without them.  Run out, get some new cells, power it up, and load the film.  It’ll all come back.  The feel of those old metal-bodied durable beasts will remind you why you loved them so much.  The heft in your hand will say quality, unlike what you see in many of today’s cameras.  The viewfinder will be big and bright.

It’s a treat.  And the folks I’ve mentioned it to say, “I think I’ll do that.”  I hope they do.  Bring some new life to those wonderful cameras of days of old, er, not that long ago.

How about you?  Have a sweet old camera that isn’t getting used?  How about getting it out and loading it up, just one roll of film.  You’ll be creating a time capsule.

lcpac1If you know you’re never going to shoot it again, donate the camera to a local photography school or art center.  I have one called the Lyons Photography Art Center in Colorado where you can send them.  Address is PO BOX 69, Lyons, CO 80540.  I use them to teach kids to shoot black and white film, to slow down and carefully compose images.  I give them the camera loaded and ready to shoot.  No excuses for lack of equipment.

If you do end up shooting some film, post the links here and let’s have a look!