Chaussée

PHOTOGRAPHY AND TEXT BY BERT STEPHANI

Chaussées are the old roads that used to be the main connections between the major cities in Belgium before the highway system was built. Today they provide easy access to car dealerships, brothels, gas stations, large furniture stores, restaurants and run down homes.

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There's a sense of anonymous loneliness about the chaussées, but they have a lot more attitude than the highway. And that's why, when I have the time, I ride along the chaussées.

Through my window so bright

By Patrick La Roque

I am a passenger
I stay under glass
I look through my window so bright
I see the stars come out tonight
I see the bright and hollow sky
Over the city’s ripped-back sky
— Iggy Pop

Embodying The Light

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Photography and Text by Derek Clark

The Tommy Smith Quartet were booked to play at the BBC, which would go out on radio and internet as part of International Jazz Day. Tommy wanted it documented and thought it might be a good idea to shoot some pictures of the band outside the BBC building before the gig. The hope was that there would be something suitable for the CD cover. But the wind was too high and there would have been no point in trying to shoot four guys with hair blowing all over the place. So I opted to shoot inside the BBC building, which is an amazing place to photograph in.

We went beyond the public section and into a massive open plan area. There's a lot of glass and steel at the BBC and thankfully a good amount of light coming down from the windows above. I didn't have any flash guns or modifiers with me, so the available light of the late afternoon Scottish sky would have to be enough (that and a higher ISO). Straight off, I decided to walk on the opposite side of the building from the band. I had a 16mm f1.4 and a 56mm f1.2 on my X-Pro2 and X-T2, which was just as well, because the light was starting to dim. I knew time was limited as the band would need to be backstage soon to get ready to play their spot. The gig was being recorded in front of a live audience, so there would be no chance of them being late.

I shot a few pictures of the quartet from across the building and then met up with them at the other side. I took more shots of them standing against a steel and glass railing with the epic backdrop of the BBC building in the background. Then we made good use of a metal staircase and connected corridor. But all too soon an assistant came looking for the band and the promo shoot was over (although I still had the gig to shoot). 

Masked importance

Photography and Text by Jonas Rask 

In 2012, the Distinguished Gentleman's Ride was conceptualised in Australia by Mark Hawwa. Inspired by a single image of Mad Men's fictional character Don Draper and his classic styled motorcycle, the event sought to gather riders for a good cause, and rid themselves of the stereotype male motorcycle rider image. 

Since then it has grown into a global phenomenon that raise a lot of money for- and awareness of mens health. 
Since 2016 rather than mainly focusing on the fight against prostate cancer, DGR has turned to support what I think is even more important to mens health - Suicide prevention through Men's Mental Health awareness. I have lost count of how many times I have sat in my consultation and looked into the eye of a torn man, his world in ruin, ready to take that ultimate choice - and end it all. 

Of course the DGR is basically a charade. A dress-up party. But the fact of the matter is, that there are men around the globe that simply do not honour their health. They tuck their emotions and their symptoms away behind facades. I know this. I see this every day at my clinic. So for people to open their eyes and look at mens health issues through and event such as this, is much more important than funds. 

Men don't admit to sickness. Men would rather turn the other cheek and make sure that symptoms are tucked away and kept well beyond reach for their loved ones as well as healthcare professionals. But when sickness strikes - and it will! - The patients-delay in male patients is often severe, and gravely alters the possible positive prognostic outcome. So we need to alert men, in every way possible, that they must honour symptoms of disease and seek medical help before its too late. This is why awareness in any form is more important than the fundraising itself.

So, on September 24th, 2017 they rode for men's health across the globe. They rode for a good cause. They rode for their fellow gentleman. 

Shot on GFX50s with the GF110mm f/2 and the Canon 40mm f/2.8 STM through the newly released Techart autofocus adapter. 

 

The Style Of The Time

The Style Of The Time

I've been a fan of singer-songwriter Tami Neilson since I first saw her play, at a bluegrass society in a community hall / library in New Zealand in 2010. Which, I should add, is not one of my usual haunts!

I'd had a call from her sound engineer to say I should really come along, I'd enjoy the show, and to be honest I was a little skeptical - sure, she's a Canadian-New Zealander (like myself), but...bluegrass?

Fortunately, I ignored that, and went along...

Greenpeace Hangs The Diesel

PHOTOGRAPHY AND TEXT BY DEREK CLARK

Berlin, August 2nd 2017, 6:30am. Four Greenpeace protesters hang from the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure building. Police have yet to arrive and other than a handful of Greenpeace people on the roof and a few more with banners on the ground, there's no sign of the circus that will unfold. I’m the only photographer on the scene at this point. 

YOUR DIESEL CARTEL MAKES US SICK!

YOUR DIESEL CARTEL MAKES US SICK!

I spoke to one of the Greenpeace people and she told me that a meeting between government officials and car manufacturers was scheduled for later that morning, but no press or NGO's were invited or aloud inside. She handed me a leaflet (in German) that explained more about what was going on and asked if I was aware of the diesel fuel scandal that had went on involving omission figures being tampered with by car manufacturers. 

WELCOME TO FORT NOx. Before the arrival of police.

WELCOME TO FORT NOx. Before the arrival of police.

Police arrived shortly after that and then TV crews. Greenpeace was only part of the demonstration and soon many more protesters arrived holding bicycle bells in their hands that rang out constantly. Giant cars were inflated and a huge amount of cyclists arrived on the scene. Diesel cars had been clamped on the street at the side of the building. 

The master arrives in style as his faithful servant pedals eagerly

The master arrives in style as his faithful servant pedals eagerly

By 9:30 the event was in full swing and protesters held sings up for TV cameras and press photographers. A large police presence stood by and observed the event, but didn't intervene except to make sure photographers stayed off the road. The event looked like a big success for the protesters, and by midday the inflatable car was deflated, as was the main protest. The press had gone, but TV crews remained. Only Greenpeace and a few police officers remained. 

This protest was about pollution, but it was as much pro-bike as anything else

This protest was about pollution, but it was as much pro-bike as anything else

The four Greenpeace protesters make their way back to the roof to face the consequences 

The four Greenpeace protesters make their way back to the roof to face the consequences 

At 4pm the Greenpeace protesters started to move back up towards the roof with the help of their comrades. They had been suspended in front of the building on ropes for ten hours and police presence was growing rapidly again with the prospect that this protest was coming to an end. Men in suits were being interviewed by TV reporters and I spoke to a German Greenpeace member. I asked if he expected the people from the roof would be arrested. He wasn't sure, but police had gone to the back of the building to meet them as they came down. He said that police would take their details at the very least.

The last Greenpeace protester leaves the room of Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure

The last Greenpeace protester leaves the room of Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure

This protest comes only one week after governments (including the UK) made a pledge that all new cars would be electric by 2025 to combat pollution. But this wasn't far enough for some green organisations. 

CLEAN AIR NOW!

CLEAN AIR NOW!

Someone's Story

PHOTOGRAPHY AND TEXT BY bert stephani

For the last couples of weeks leading up to the deadline of this issue of the KAGE Collective, I've been dodging the conversations between my fellow members a bit. Not that I didn't want to talk to them, I just had no stories to show. Eventually I told them that I've been so focused on portraiture lately that I have hardly shot any reportage, documentary or street pictures. And then they told me: "then why don't you share some of your portraits?" 

And they were right (as usual), portraits can also be stories and I've come to understand that I'm often more interested by the story of SOMEONE, rather than by the story of SOMETHING.

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I believe people are layered, complex and nuanced. That's what I'm interested in, that's what I want to photograph. In order to do that, I need two things:

- The person in front of the camera has to be willing to show something that goes beyond the their public image.
- I need to make sure that they trust me enough to actually show what's beneath the surface. 

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I would be lying if I said it always works, it doesn't. But when it does, a photo shoot becomes a beautiful collaboration in which two people work together to tell a true story. I notice very often that a lot of people would love to show their lesser known sides but are afraid to do so. Sometimes I need a gentle approach, sometimes I need to push to get them over the edge. But every time I manage to do it, it empowers the person in front of the lens to be who they are. And that gives me the greatest satisfaction in photography. 

GF45MM F2.8 - a reportage lens for Medium Format?

Today (7th September 2017) marks another milestone in the evolution of the Fujifilm X and GFX series of cameras.

When I think about it, I find it hard to believe that a team of just 23 people in Tokyo has produced such a compelling ecosystem of cameras that have changed certainly my way of working, and that of many others too.

For my part, recently I've been investigating whether there is a place in my kit bag for the GFX50S.  To that end, knowing that I'm a reportage and family storytelling photographer, Fujifilm UK armed with the pre production of the GF45mm F2.8 W R lens to put through its paces.'

I'm not going to replicate the blog post I did on my own website but needless to say, I think the GF45mm lens is certainly one that fine art documentary photographers will want to consider.

I've used it shooting my own family, extensively, and in some pretty tricky situations.  And it handles well at weddings and on the street too.

As I've always maintained, I don't see the GFX system as a replacement to my X-Series.  You can't beat the speed and size of those cameras, but it maybe something that can work alongside my existing kit for images that I know is likely to be printed.

Because prints from the GFX are out of this world.

Here are a small selection of reportage images shot with the GFX 50S and the GF45mm F2.8 lens.

Croquis & Co

PHOTOGRAPHIE ET TEXTE DE Vincent Baldensperger 

S'il est un domaine où l'imprévu est roi, le portrait y figure. Ces exercices sur un mode "improvisation" développent une attention particulière. Il est question avant tout d'échanges, d'écoute, de patience, de confiance, de liberté...

Cela a commencé tôt. J'avais tout au plus l'âge de ne rien comprendre. Quelques années plus tard, la photographie devenue langage précieux, j'affine mon regard, j'expérimente et simplifie, essayant d'être au plus près d'une nature à chaque fois complexe, inconnue, riche intérieurement. Principalement en studio pour le moment, éclairage minimum, deux sources Elichrom Quadra, le 56mm essentiellement, parfois un Lensbaby, une double exposition (Auxane sur fond blanc)... puis un post traitement léger, respectant au mieux les traits du modèle. J'y pense à l'instant, au-delà d'une simple image, ces portraits je les écoute comme un morceau de musique, parfois classique, parfois jazz, rock ou plus si affinités.

Chacun à ses références, ses coups de cœur, ses éclats émotionnels. Deux domaines que j'affectionne tout particulièrement, le documentaire d'une part, Patrick La Roque m'a offert son univers et sa sensibilité, le portrait d'autre part, Lee Jeffries m'a bouleversé avec sa série "Lost Angels". Merci donc à l'un et l'autre. Me voici sur la voie, guidé par deux étoiles.

PHOTOGRAPHY AND TEXT BY Vincent Baldensperger

Portraiture exists within the realm of the unexpected. These “improvisational” exercises demand a very specific type of alertness—sharing, listening, patience, trust, freedom...

It began early. I was barely old enough to understand nothing. A few years later, as photography becomes my language, I refine my gaze. I experiment and simplify, attempting to reach a hidden nature—each time more complex, unknown. A richness. I work mostly in the studio: minimal light (two Elinchrom Quadra), the 56mm (sometimes a Lensbaby), a double exposure (Auxane against white background)...then light processing to respect the lines of my subject. I listen to these portraits like music—classical at times, jazz or rock or more. Each with its references, crushes and emotional outbursts.

My heart alternates between two spheres. Documentary photography for one—Patrick La Roque offered me his universe and sensibility; and portraiture, Lee Jeffries’ Lost Angels series shaking me to my core. My thanks to both.

I am on the path, guided by two stars.