I’ve never really been one for posey posey pictures. I’m not sure how much they really capture of a person’s personality beyond a pretty smile or some other physical attribute that’s incredibly obvious or just an identity photo. So last monday, I went on a one day portraiture course lead by Owen Harvey, hosted by Ideastap.
It was so good, I had to watch it twice. Recently the trailer for the second Yves Saint Laurent film, coming later this year, has been unveiled. It’s strange, I actually can’t think of a time when two movies covering the same subject matter we’re realised, well at a both at a national level.
The first film was beautiful and romantically shot, even in the scenes of the crazy underworld of parties and clubs, the palette remained muted and elegant. The soundtrack, the same (which has been on repeat since coming home from the second time of seeing it), beautifully matched the sets, locations and costumes which were all incredible. The work of Thomas Hardmeier and Ibrahim Maalouf and their respective teams, just wow.
This film is told through Pierre Berge, Yves’ business and onetime life partner. It’s romantic and sweet, an ode to Yves. For myself, it was a great visual reference and starting point for me to begin
research, building my knowledge to understand the story of this designer, which remains superficial at best.
The second film, to be released later this year, it feels more, not commercial, yet commercial,
for lack of knowing a better word, in the sense it’s so damn seductive. I’ve only seen the trailer and I’m already bouncing off the walls with excitement. Its more vibrant and carries a much different energy to. It feels a lot, clearer and crisper, lensed by Josee Deshaies. It seems more focused on the peak of his career, rather than the entirety of his career. I can’t wait to see how this will tell that particular part of his story.
I read the other day that Fujifilm plan to kill another on of the films I’ve only just discovered in 120 format. Woe is me. However the tribute this movie makes to film, may it live on.
Whilst visiting my cousin in Paris, for a very long weekend relaxing trip, I thought why not try to get in a quick shoot with a style, lifestyle blogger.
After checking his lookbook, there was something instinctively unique about his look and style that I thought, hey why not see if we can make something happen here. So I contacted him and it went from there.
The resulting images from the shoot, to say the least, were quite phenomenal. I’m quite impressed with my first ever shoot done on film, with my love child. Not to say it was all the film, but the rendering of portra 160 was beyond my expectations. Any ways I’d like to say thank you, not only to Zane for his time, style and allowing me to shoot, but also my cousin who played assistant whilst I played photographer. That was some fine reflector/camera bag/film passing you had going on there. Any ways check out his post here.
A couple of weeks back, a friend and I headed up (west, so, left on a map??) to Richmond park to try out the beauty that is 120 medium format film. He was determined and obsessed with the idea of seeing a few deers, I was more fixated on using my new lightmeter. The park is a vast and surreal expanse of land; broken up by the scattering of mounds, hills with clusters of trees (think ‘Where the Wild Things Are’) sparsely dotted about. There was a main road that flowed with slow-moving traffic throughout.
It had just snowed across much of London, giving the park’s open plain paths a beautifully thin blanket of white. The air was thin and quite chilly, the breeze, blisteringly bitter. We were quite high up, think Hampstead park, or Alexandra Palace, only higher, with the same sense of the incredible view peering through the hills and trees out onto London. There wasn’t much in the way of sound, apart from the odd dog’s bark or rush of wind through the trees.
It became clear that these weren’t ideal conditions for using a solid, 2.5kg, heft of metal and glass, and tripod, especially when you have to change a roll film, adding to previous nags about it being a studio camera (blah, the pussies). However the serene expanse of unbroken earth tones and grey-to-white tones viewed, and recorded was definitely not to be missed. An unusual serenity found within a city’s boarders.
Despite the weather, lack of deers, and multiple pedestrians with bewildered looks and questions, it was very enjoyable. Looking back on the pictures brings on the same feeling of zen from the day, coming out of my comfort zone of the neutral red and yellow brick tones and vast expanses of glass and steel that forms my usual environment.
I’ve plunged into the world of analogue photography. Not only did I find a bargain but also an amazing companion to accompany me on this adventure. The plunge made even deeper by starting with the medium referred to as ‘medium’ in this collective. Oh yes, the film-virgins first film camera is a medium format monster, hell-bent on only giving me 15 opportunities (on each roll) to prove my ‘creative eye’ through the it’s insanely hefty and monstrously large light gathering operation.
I’ve learnt so much from the past two weeks and am still learning how my new friend absorbs information so differently yet so similarly to my other cameras. Reading light seems to be the next challenge, but I’m rather enjoying it.
Hope I get better from these first attempts, as put so eloquently but H.C-Bresson, ‘le tir photographique est un de mes carnets de croquis.’ It definetly has become mine.
I wasn’t quite sure about it at first, then slapped myself remembering that it is Chanel. It’s a quirky little film with a few twists that kept me watching in puzzlement till after it ended and I actually thought about it. The establishing shots are stunningly shot, the lighting and composition.
Anyways enjoy, and let me know what you think.
Chanel Cruise 2012
Models: Amanda Harlech, Kristen McMenamy, Freja Beha, Bianca Balti, Baptiste Giabiconi, Brad Koening, Jake Davies, Mark Vanderloo, Oriol Elcacho, Sebastien Jondeau, Seth Kuhlmann and the film star – Anna Mouglalis
Chanel Film by Karl Lagerfeld