Monthly Archives: May 2012

I am “Accredited” photographer

I have been a member of the Professional Photographer of Canada since last September. PPOC is an association for professional photographers; it has been around since the early 1960’s. After I joined the group, I realized producing images for somebody requires different level from the collecting ribbons, every member has more thorough and prctical knowledge and skills . Having said that, having conversations with PPOC members is like coming back to home to me. When I was in Japan, I often had tea with group of professionals and I enjoyed conversation with them. I really like these obsessed photographers.

For first 3 month, I stayed as an observer. Then I tried the accreditation process. To earn accreditations, 10 images have to be judged and all of them have to be accepted. I passed at the first submission. It may be something I can be proud of.

Please take a look the link below. PPOC – Alberta posted about my accreditation to their blog along with my images.   

http://www.ppoc-alberta.ca/ppoc-alberta-home-page/2012/4/19/nature-accreditation-hiroaki-kobayashi.html

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Film is not dead (3) – Borrowing someone’s eyes

It’s been long time since the last blog. This is the last episode from “Film is not dead” and this time is not quite about film, more toward to a topic about style making . When we had the film development session, Samantha Chrysanthou did not have film to develop so she tried one of my film. I have just picked up the film randomly so I did not know when and where the film was taken.

One morning, while I was JUST photographing the sunrise at lake Louise, Alberta, I saw one guy carrying large tripod and Hasselblad was looking for an open spot. Yes, it was FILM Hassel, one of the most prestigious cameras.  The location was quite busy with photographers. The best time of the morning passed and I started packing my gear. He approached to my spot and IMPATIENTLY waiting for me leaving. Then as soon as I moved my tripod, he set his tripod on the completely same spot and raised it to the same height. I shacked my head. The hundreds of similar images of the location can be found in Google images and more importantly the best moment was long gone. I spoke to myself his Hassey would cry.

So after the film was developed by Sam, I found that the images on the roll were ones I took in Jasper, Alberta last autumn. The trip was hard since I was out of luck of the weather. I visited Pyramid lake in the morning, aiming to shoot the gorgeous sunrise and orange color on the Pyramid mountain but weather quickly turned to gray. I know Photographer’s saying “No bad light”, but also it is true overcastted sky with no cloud pattern is not encouraging. Anyway, I had to change my strategy. Then I was thinking of Sam’s images. Her subtle, soft, calm images with a kind of melancholic feel, rather than gougeous and powerful typical landscapes. That motivated me to try something in the difficult situation. The result is, I think, pretty good. The funny part of this anecdote is Sam herself developed the film accidently.

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Please click for the larger size.

Do you see the huge difference in the creative approach between the photographer at the lake Louise and myself. I believe the process of developing creative eyes and learning music is not so different. At first, being interested in someone’s works, then we try the same things but usually did not work. Start pursuing the artist’s works more seriously,…sometimes thoroughly analyze their works. Try at the field again and see the some sort of the achievement . After this long process, the artist’s style blends into own style, becomes own flesh. In my case of Jasper, I used Sam’s influence more consciously. It is not stealing. I call this approach “Borrowing someone’s eyes”. Accepting influences is also important, I think. Mick Jaggar stated that ‘You can’t always get what you want” was inspired by “Hey Jude”. I guess that is cool.

Please visit oopoomoo.com to find Sam’s appealing photos.

Film is not dead (2)

As I mentioned in the last post, I will showcase the results of the film development session. Craig Taylor developed his two roles of 35mm Ilford. I picked 3 images which I felt interesting from his roles. For some reasons, the last image caught my eyes. This image would not get a ribbon. Judges would leave negative comments from points of composition, a focal point focus, contrast, etc. But to me, all these aspects considered to be failure give a certain edge to this image. It makes me feel unease. It means this image successfully communicated to me. Is it only me to call “Lee Friedlandar’s America by Car” to mind through this image?

Heather Simonds tried her Holga toy camera. At the shooting, we did know how to advance film. Just after the film development session, we discovered, her Holga came with two attachments and could select 6×6 cm or 6×4.5 cm format. So at the shooting, she thought Holga was always 6×6 cm format but actually the 6×4.5 cm attachment was loaded in the camera. Therefore, the sides of the all images taken in the film was overlapped each other. Followings are her images . Do you think if these are just failures or something interesting.  I will leave to you.

Film is not dead (1)

In February, fairly big photographic festival, called Exposure Photo Festival is held every year in Calgary, Canmore and Banff. That is the time, I drive around and walk around, and visit photographic exhibitions as many as possible. One thing I noticed about Exposure Festival is so many photographers still use film and exhibit their very unique images. Especially this year, I guess about 70% of the exhibitions were photos from conventional film. It is amazingly high percentage.

The other news related to film is Fujifilm received Academy Award in 2012. The development of archival film, ETERNA-RDS by Fuji Film was recognized as significant contribution to movie industry for preservation of valuable motion pictures.  I thought this technology is basically for classic movies; however, the fact is recent movies digitally filmed, too, have been converted to this technology for long lasting preservation. I always thought digital is the ultimate method to preserve images, but it does not seem true. What a paradox!

So I and some of my friends, Craig Taylor, Heather Simonds, and Samantha Chrysanthou had a little film development session  in January.  While I was brushing up my knowledge of film processing, I found many techniques I have not tried. Then I saw the photos processed by different techniques in the Exposure photo festival. They made me think what being creative means to me. Images by film usually stimulate me more for sure.

Sam is checking the film she has just developped.

Heather’s first attempet to load medium format film to a development tank in a darkbag. It took 15min. Not bad for the first time-:) Mamiya 645pro, Ilford FP4 B&W film. Scanned by a flatbed scanner, which reraly impress me.

Next time, I will share some of Heather’s and Craig’s photos.