If you remember, a couple of years ago I decided to start shooting film. This seemed like a big adventure after years of shooting digital and I was excited to get started. I bought an Olympus 35SP, a couple of rolls of Tri-X and all the equipment and chemistry I needed to get started. But then… I stalled… the Olympus though lovely to shoot had a light leak… I couldn’t get the film onto the rolls for the tank without dedicating about an hour to this task. Scanning results weren’t great. And… I guess I quit. Now, I’m a teacher during the day and what would I have said to one of my pupils who gave up after their first attempt? Well, I’d have told them that we can’t be perfect first time and that quitting was the easier option than working hard to improve. So, I shot another roll and this was a bit better. I used a Nikon F80 which I knew was light tight. The results were better this time. And I know if I keep going and learning all the time they will continue to improve.
“I never thought about shooting street photography or even street portraits until I found myself living in Mexico. I started seeing pictures materialize in front of me in a manner I wasn’t used to and it wasn’t until I picked up a camera and took to the streets that a light turned on. I wanted to show people this different way of life, these ordinary moments that were going by seen, but unacknowledged; simple day to day activities that were brought to the light by simply paying attention to them.
Ever since those first few months of daily walks throughout the streets of Mexico City I’ve found that I like capturing life. It’s as simple as that. I like taking engaging pictures. Whether it’s in everyday life or through people posing, my camera is the connection between the person and the narrative that captivates me.
And in the glimpse of a single moment, I am allowed to capture stories.”
Johnny is an award winning photographer specialising in urban/barrio imagery. Described as a photographer of the people, Johnny talks to us about his life and his inspirations.
Richard James Palmer is a British photographer from South Shields, UK. He spends his time documenting the North East of England, using a Mamiya 7ii and Ilford Hp5, Richard has recently self published a book on his Home Town, “Home Sweet Home” and is currently working on a 365 project using Fuji Instax Wide and continuing to document his home town for Home Sweet Home volume 2.
Rodrigue Zahr is a Lebanon based director, editor and photographer whose imaginative humanistic style is reflected in the documentation of exceptional events, products and people within his work. Zahr is the production manager and photography director at ELLE Oriental magazine but has worked for national and international firms such as Monocle magazine, LS:N Global, Louis Vuitton, Ladurée Paris, Swedish minister for international development cooperation, Bank Audi, Step Together and many more. Zahr is known for his discerning journalistic sensibility.
I was in Leica Store Manchester yesterday and they let me take the new Summaron 28mm f5.6 out for a play. In fact, they insisted. I was looking at trading up my 50mm Summarit for a cron and we got chatting about the new lens, next thing I know he’s putting it on my M9 and sending me out to play.
As you know I have had a personal project this year to take as many street portraits as possible. Well, on holiday this year I decided to expand this project to man’s best friend. I actually found this as or more enjoyable than shooting humans! Maybe I’ll do a “Humans of New York” style website. Dogs of New York?