Articles Tagged with: photos

VENICE BEACH – ST. PATRICK’S DAY

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FROM MY USA PHOTO JOURNAL 2013

Photographed on St. Patrick’s Day. 
 
Canon 5D MkIII & Fuji X100

All images © James Bellorini 2013. All Rights Reserved.

James is an editorial and documentary photographer working for the commercial and consumer markets. He started shooting professionally in 2013 and has since worked with advertising agencies, design agencies, entrepreneurs, performers, musicians, DJ’s, singers, models, and culture and entertainment organizations/brands. Recent clients include: Innovision, UKTI, Siren Design, Glyndebourne Productions Ltd, Stone Nest, The Old Vic etc. In September 2015 he joined the Redeye Network’s Lightbox programme for emerging photographers. 


INSPIRATION HANDBOOK FROM PHOTOSHELTER

The Inspiration Handbook by PhotoshelterPhotoshelter (creators of online portfolio platforms for photographers) have just released the latest in their series of free industry guides: The Inspiration Handbook. It’s full of hints and tips for all manner of photography and business related matters.


The Inspiration Handbook: 50 Tips From 50 Photography Trailblazers is an special one for me as I’m included (on page 24 if you want to know!).

Extra-special because it’s humbling to be included in these pages alongside some incredible photographers and industry professionals. Many of these folks I’ve admired for a long time (e.g. Zack Arias & David Duchemin) and remain my inspirations. I can’t believe I’m on the same pages as these guys!! Pinch me. Seriously.

When I took a change of course in my life 18 months ago, and set out to become a freelance photographer, I had no idea that the road would be one of such a lot of blood (not literally), sweat, (many) tears, self-doubt and financial ups and downs. So I’m really grateful to the people at Photoshelter for acknowledging me in this way. And in this kind of ‘stellar’ company. It really really helps to be encouraged so early in my career.

If you want to see some great photography and pick up some tips for your business (photography or otherwise) then the guide is available to download for free here. It’s worth the click.

 The Inspiration Handbook by Photoshelter

 

 


LEICA MEET: SELECTION OF EXCELLENCE

Leica Meet Selection Of ExcellenceI’m privileged to have this image chosen in the latest Leica Meet Selection of Excellence. You can see the full selection of images from all the photographers chosen here.

It was taken at Leica Meet Soho in early 2014. It now forms part of my ongoing ‘Polarities’ street project based in and around the Oxford Street/Centrepoint area of London.
 
Leica M with 35mm Summicron Lens.

Edited in Lightroom & Alien Skin Exposure 6.

Image © James Bellorini. All Rights Reserved.

James is an editorial and documentary photographer working for the commercial and consumer markets. He started shooting professionally in 2013 and has since worked with advertising agencies, design agencies, entrepreneurs, performers, musicians, DJ’s, singers, models, and culture and entertainment organizations/brands. Recent clients include: Innovision, UKTI, Siren Design, Glyndebourne Productions Ltd, Stone Nest, The Old Vic etc. In September 2015 he joined the Redeye Network’s Lightbox programme for emerging photographers. 


THE SHOCK OF THE OLD

Chinatown-Soho-1-James-Bellorini-Photography-2014

The Shock of the Old: the inspiration of the Leica rangefinder.


In this post I want to look a little bit at how I’ve recently turned to the ‘past’ for inspiration. In this case Leica inspiration.

For about a year I’ve had an ongoing battle justifying to myself whether or not I should buy into the Leica ‘M’ rangefinder brand. I had dreamed of owning one for the majority of my life. Somewhere back in time, I had promised myself that one day I would own my very own Leica. I knew all about the heritage, history and hefty costs of the system.  And recent developments in CSC systems, including the great Fuji X system, had compromised any clear decision-making process.

But life is short and I have been fortunate enough recently to be in a position where I could finally take the ‘leap’ into the system and purchase a barely used M Type 240 digital rangefinder at a bargain price.

Thankfully, all my preconceptions of working with this system have been proven correct. If not surpassed. The experience of photographing with this camera is, for me, truly inspiring. I have experienced what I would term a ‘shock of the old’.

Leica Inspiration - Paris To Venice Train

French dawn (from Paris To Venice Train sequence). Leica M (240) with 50mm Summicron lens.

Why old?

Well, at heart this is still the same camera Leica came out with originally in the early 1950’s. It’s built around the same accurate focusing mechanism (a manual rangefinder) and has everything a photographer needs boiled down to the bare minimum: i.e. set it and forget it.

That’s not to say the camera in itself is technically retrograde in any way. It isn’t.

But the process of approaching photography with this system leans toward the retro. It immediately brings back sensations and experiences I had when I first picked up a camera in the mid-1980’s and began to take pictures. In those days it was my Father’s Canon AE1 with an amazing 50mm f1.4 lens that I borrowed. Time stood still. I felt like I was able to see under the skin of the world. What a beautiful endeavor: to put a frame around something and freeze it for all time!! In a sense every camera I have used since has been a device with which I have tried to replicate that experience. Some have come close. But none have brought me those same sensations as the Leica has.

It’s not just the technical aspects of using a Leica rangefinder: the engagement with subject through the viewfinder, the simplicity of the camera hardware, the quality of lenses (homegrown and third-party). All these things make photography with this system a sublime experience and, as ever with a camera that is a true working tool, it gets out of the way and lets me concentrate on what I’m looking at. But more than that, it is the emotional state it puts me into. In me it engenders an eagerness to see the world afresh daily. To exploit all the possibilities of light and story. And these things remind me of what really lie at the heart of photography for me. No matter what your experience level or supposed ‘standard’ it’s the emotional connection we have with the world around us and how we express that connection that makes for photographic joy and passion.

I gave a talk last week to a group of people from all sorts of backgrounds (artists, entrepreneurs, business people) about the nature of creativity and it’s correlation to play and playfulness. My focus was on how and why we re-discover the innocence we experienced as children when allowed to create without the hindrances of judgement, critical appraisal and peer pressure. When we are able to express humbly from the soul with a real sense of fun, freedom and adventure. The Leica has so far encouraged in me that state of being. It is willing to go with me however I want to go. It is a ‘yes’ device.

I’m not saying other camera’s might not be. But this one does it for me.

It also challenges me. Challenges any technical knowledge that had become ‘wooly’ due to other cameras doing too much of the thinking for me.

So for those of you who have ever considered buying into the Leica family and can afford to, I recommend it from with all my heart. But for those of you who can’t or do not want to, then try treading the Manual road again this week. Switch the auto-focus off, take control of the shutter speed and aperture and enjoy the freshness and real ‘seeing’ this brings – acknowledge that you are making images not just taking them, that you are making creative and playful decisions. Or maybe you still have a 35mm film camera – dust it off, take it for a whirl and see if that changes the way you approach your image-making. Then see where that takes you just for the fun of it. Creativity is, after all, about experimentation in a nurturing atmosphere: a space without reproach or market trends. We as photographers (or whatever your background) have to make ourselves get away from the constant requirements of our businesses and touch base with what it was that originally spoke to us about photography.

All images © James Bellorini 2014


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