In the 13 years I have shot weddings and indeed the 20 years I have studied photography I have never used the square ratio on my digital camera. I may, from time to time have cropped an image after the event but have never seen the world in a square at the time of shooting - aside of course from my old medium format cameras!
Guidance: Make it more sensual.
Assignment: Today you must shoot a single subject using multiple exposures (a series of 6), using a novelty or vintage lens (otherwise pick your fastest glass) and your favorite camera.
BY JONAS RASK
With my huge vintage lens collection, it wasn’t the choosing of the gear that proved tricky for this assignment. It wasn’t the fact that I should shoot a series of 6 images of the same subject matter. What proved to be the real challenge here was sticking to the guidance.
Sensual does not equal sexual. It does not have to be. I thought it had to be. But I chose not to.
I chose the senses.
But how do you go about that with only 5 of them around.
I will leave the 6th up for interpretation. I know what it is to me. Do you know what it is to you?
Shot on the Fujifilm X-Pro2 using a 1971 Minolta Rokkor 58mm f/1.2 and a 12mm extension tube.
Guidance: Decorate, decorate.
Assignment: Today you must shoot moving vehicles or individual motion, using a lens closest to 135 millimeters (35 equivalent) and your best camera.
Shoot vehicles or individual motion. I started out using a tripod in the middle of the day with a variable ND. I hated the colour cast and I just wasn’t getting what I wanted. So I moved to nighttime, still on a tripod. I shot light trails over a motorway, but that’s been done to death. In fact, I have a slide that I shot on the opposite bridge to this one from 1979 or 1980. Light trails with a horrible green colour cast, but it worked and it was an important shot in my early development in photography.
So I took the camera off the tripod. I shot handheld out of focus shots of moving vehicles, eventually arriving at the idea to shoot moving vehicles with a moving camera at around a 5-second exposure. Vehicles moving, camera moving and time is moving.
Guidance: Change nothing and continue consistently.
Assignment: Today you must shoot abstract images, in your least comfortable orientation (portrait or landscape), using your longest focal length and your oldest camera.
BY KEVIN MULLINS
In my case, this has manifested itself as the original FinePix X100 with the Tele Converter lens.
The TCL wasn’t really designed for the original X100 and I’m not really designed for abstract photography nor vertical orientation.
Going back through my main commercial photography (weddings), I think I’ve shot no more than 50 vertical images in ten years.
Guidance: You can only make one dot at a time.
Assignment: Today you must shoot images with at least 3 people in the frame, using a lens closest to the current temperature in Fahrenheit and your newest camera. You must also use your device’s widest ratio.
By Patrick La Roque
Right, so we’ve now published half of this issue’s Generator theme but have yet to explain what in the world it is we’re doing. So here’s a brief overview: awhile ago Derek shared a workflow he’d devised to generate shooting assignments with a friend. It involved technical variables, themes and dice throwing. I thought this could be a cool idea to automate so I created an iOS Shortcut that does exactly that: it dishes out assignments. It’s called KAGE Assignment Generator and it’s a free download if you want to check it out. Also feel free to modify it and add your own variables if you’re into this geeky stuff.
But anyway, this is what this issue is based on: Robert sat down with the generator a few weeks back and gave each of us the resulting assignments. And if you’re wondering what the “guidance” is about: I integrated Brian Eno and Peter Schmidt’s Oblique Strategies into the workflow as well. To add even more randomness.
The following images are essentially an exercise in compromise as far as I’m concerned. Luck of the draw saw quite a few of us having to use a focal length based on the temperature...which strangely—given how spread out we are on the planet—ended up leading us all to the XF 56mm f/1.2. I don’t mind shooting street/urban images with longer lenses; I’ve even used the XF 90mm in the past. But the combination of needing at least three people in the frame, ideally having them isolated (that’s how I interpreted the “dot”), a wide ratio (16:9 in this case), an 85mm equivalent and very few human beings around when I went out there (surprisingly)...let's just say I was more than a little unconvinced during the shoot. But that’s the point of the game: to work through the limitations and find a way in spite of them.
I’ll be honest with you: these are ok but I’m not sure the series is all that interesting as a whole. I feel there’s an emotional thread missing. Probably because there is, and in the end there’s no faking these things.
But perhaps that’s the lesson here.
Guidance: Don't break the silence
Assignment: Today you must shoot crowds or total emptiness, using a lens closest to the current temperature in Fahrenheit and your newest camera.
You must also use your device's square ratio.
BY BERT STEPHANI
I could have easily shot this assignment one or two months ago. But now, I absolutely hate it, it's the shittiest assignment I ever did for KAGE. Don’t get me wrong, I love the generator-idea, I just don’t like what came out of it for me.
I've started the year looking for silence, but lately I have moved on to conversations, meaningful real-life conversations. I've never liked crowds and I don't want to look for emptiness at a time when I'm starting to feel whole again. It's too warm to use the lenses I'd like to use and the square ratio limits my expanding view on things.
I tried to get some pictures within the assignment and I failed badly. But you know what? I'm happy that I couldn't shoot anything decent for this one. It means that I've broken the silence.
We’re coming up on a federal election in Australia; so it’s safe to say some people are on edge.
But it’s hard to discern left from right out on the streets - unless they’re standing next to a sign in a t-shirt, handing out ‘how to vote’ cards, of course.
Will we continue on the conservative path that’s seen three prime ministers (and two deputy prime ministers) in the past six years? Or return to a more liberal - though that word means something else, here, as the Liberal party are the conservatives - some would say progressive, considerate way of running the country…?
“Les paupières des fleurs, de larmes toujours pleines,
Ces visages brumeux qui, le soir, sur les plaines
Dessinent les vapeurs qui vont se déformant,
Ces profils dont l'ébauche apparaît dans le marbre,
Ces yeux mystérieux ouverts sur les troncs d'arbre,
Les prunelles de l'ombre et du noir firmament
Qui rayonnent partout et qu'aucun mot ne nomme,
Sont les regards de Dieu, toujours surveillant l'homme,
Par le sombre penseur entrevus vaguement.”
As a reportage photographer rapidly developing stories, unpredictable action and consequently fast shutter speeds tend to be my primary domain. But within those .somethings of a second that I ultimately capture I always seek to find a truth - to reveal something, some essence, big or small of the subjects and scenes in front of me that I can give back to the viewer to help them understand not just what was happening but who the people in these photographs really are.
I’m a street photographer, and for me that equates to candid pictures without asking permission. But for this latest Kage assignment, I wanted to get out on the street and ask if I could take peoples portrait. I went out with a Hasselblad 500c/m with an 80/2.8 and an X-Pro2 with a 50/2. I wanted to capture the men of Glasgow with as much character on their faces as possible.
An old man near the train station was causing a bit of a commotion with a piece of religious artwork. Although he looked impoverished, he had actually commissioned an artist to create this painting and having just collected it (on his wheelchair), he wanted to show it off.
I was given a poem about a female athlete by the man with the silver hair and I was asked on several occasions if I was from the press. People are suspicious about cameras these days. It seams that if you shoot with anything other than a phone, you must be press or up to something dodgy, even with an old Hasselblad.
Around one in three said yes to having their portrait taken. In the end I only used two shots from the Hasselblad due to a problem with the lens. Medium format film or a 1.5 crop sensor, can you tell which two are from the Hasselblad without looking at the metadata?