issue016

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.


Flickering

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Text and Photography by Jonas Rask

Again the same conundrum.

I'm a photographer. I know what that entails. I know it's about creating my art. Seeing. Envisioning. But my art is not art when it's tucked away in my head, or on my harddrive or printed in my house. It needs to be shared. It needs to be viewed. Preferably to a wide audience. 

I'm a brand ambassador. I know what that entails. I know it's about handling gear. Hard numbers. Calculated. But my representation of the brand is not representation when it's tucked away in solace. I need to be visible. I need to share. Preferably to a wide audience. 

..... And so I flicker. Neither both at the same time. But awkwardly interlaced. Just like striped clothing.

A Thin Veil

Heavy with seed of warriors incarnate

she knelt by a river
body heavy as the moon
& cried.

Dreamt images juxtaposed, filmic.
Who knew nothing of the madness behind the eyes;
of the sulfur in the cross
of the tangent, of the arc;
of the speed & curve
of a flaming moth.

7X016

Mountain/Man  Derek Clark | X-Pro2, 1/4000 sec at f4.5, ISO 640 (35mm f2 R WR)

Mountain/Man

Derek Clark | X-Pro2, 1/4000 sec at f4.5, ISO 640 (35mm f2 R WR)

Chez Patrick

Robert Catto | X-Pro 1, 1/125s at f/2.0, ISO 2000 (35mm f/1.4)

kevin-mullins.jpg

Size Matters

Kevin Mullins | GFX 50S, GF45mm F2.8 W R Lens, 1/500s at f/8, ISO 1,600

© Vincent Baldensperger

EVOL

Vincent Baldensperger | X-Pro 2, 1/250s at f/8.0, ISO 200 (56mm f/1.2)

Boy / man  Bert Stephani | GFX 50S - GF63mm F2.8 WR Lens, 1/250s at f/5.6, ISO 250

Boy / man

Bert Stephani | GFX 50S - GF63mm F2.8 WR Lens, 1/250s at f/5.6, ISO 250

Thrice  Jonas Rask | GFX 50S - GF45mm f/2.8, 1/500s at f/8, ISO 200

Thrice

Jonas Rask | GFX 50S - GF45mm f/2.8, 1/500s at f/8, ISO 200

MAILBOX

Patrick La Roque | X-Pro2 - 1/8500 sec at f/2.0, ISO 400 (XF 35mm f/2 R WR)