Photojournalism and MF

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by arigram, Mar 30, 2005.

  1. arigram

    arigram Member

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    I have been working on a small daily newspaper here in Crete but I am planning to take my photographer to another step combining my experiences and knowledge. The plan is to start going on photographic missions around the country, possibly abroad as well, focusing on matters that have a social and humanitarian perspective not only an aesthetic one. To make things even more focused (and possibly difficult) I have chosen to do so using my Hasselblad and BW film.
    This area is dominated by 35mm and now digital SLRs and I believe a larger and slower equipment will pose certain difficulties. To clarify something, the "missions" I have in mind would not be matters that require instant pictures to cover the daily news, but bigger and time-lasting subjects. My mind goes more to Magnum than Reuters for example.

    Do you have any advice I should take?
     
  2. Woolliscroft

    Woolliscroft Member

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    Sounds a great idea, but will the extra quality of medium format really show in newsprint? A rangefinder or a more conventional SLR type camera like a Pentax 67 might also be better suited to the role than the Hassy.

    David.
     
  3. MattCarey

    MattCarey Member

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    You won't be the only person using big film out there. This is from the 2004 US presidential campaign:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/photo/essays/vanRiper/040226.htm
     
  4. Paul Howell

    Paul Howell Member

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    When I started in the early 1970 there were many photojournalist who used medium formate, the Rollieflex was very common as were press cameras, I think some of the best photojournalism was done with M/L format. My advise to travel light, no more than 2 or 3 lens, a good compact flash, a lightweight tripod and a couple of backs. Take a light green (for portraits) and light yellow filter, get to know the folks the story is about, you may need to spend days and even weeks to really get to know the story.

    Sounds like found,

    Paul

    Paul
     
  5. Ara Ghajanian

    Ara Ghajanian Member

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    Matt Carey,
    That was a great article. Very inspiring.

    Arigram,
    Stick to your original idea. Obviously, you're not going to have autofocus or the luxury of 36 exposures before reloading, but if you can get your metering down then I think the shots will be great. Judging from your images you've posted, you'll do just fine. Plus, you can shoot Polaroids as tests if you need to. This project will just make you a better photographer in general (and stronger after you carry all that equipment for a while).
    Ara
     
  6. arigram

    arigram Member

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    Thank you guys.
    I forgot to add something importand that would clarify things for David as well.
    Although my photos can be featured in the newspaper they are not meant for it only. Our paper is badly printed and in BW (which is not concern of mine) because of severe economic problems so even Holga pictures would look good in it.
    I will be taking the Hassy because its my instrumment of choice for many reasons.
    The photos and stories could be featured in glossy magazines, books or exhibitions.
    Some of my first mission ideas in Greece are:
    The artists of Greece outside of Athens, immigrants and their life, ten villages about to be covered by the water of a new dam (like China's but in smaller scale) and many others.
    I will be probably travelling with two lenses (50 or 80 and 120), two A12 backs, maybe a polaroid (to make new friends with), my Manfrotto 055 tripod (or something lighter, maybe a monopod), a Metz bracket flash and an Olympus digital voice recorder all tacked in a Lowepro Mini Trekker backpack.
    My films of choice would be FP4+ and TriX.
     
  7. MattCarey

    MattCarey Member

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    While I was hunting for that washington post article, I found an interesting story on the web (which I won't hunt down now). Someone posted a story of an old timer who was switched from his graflex to 35mm. On getting off the plane during a presidential campaign in the 70's, he found the runner for his organization, tossed the kid the roll of 35mm film and said, "Print them both".

    Matt