Friday, 6 February 2009

Getting Kitted Out

I'm not really very interested in the technical side of photography...rather like my painting activity I'm keen to find a way that works for me and then master that and then stick to it.  However as I started to think seriously about my portraiture project it dawned on me that my little  Lumix isn't suitable for the staged photographs I want to take and as I'm fully signed up to digital now (I've never been too hot in the darkroom, and I'm not about to start trying to master chemical  printing at this point in time) I did need to get a decent dslr.  I've plumped, after messing around a bit, for a Canon 5D as it seems a good all round solution, at least for now.  Looking at a lot of the larger format stuff there does seem to be a 'style' to it that I think I'd find in the first instance it hard to escape from.  Looking at stuff I really like that's been done recently I'm amazed at how Alex Soth manages to get an informal, close to snapshot, look to his portraits given that he uses a large format camera.  I feel that I want to try to bring off something similar with the work I make - hovering between the formalised, full frontal, studied images that characterise, say, the portraits of Thomas Struth and a more documentary style of 'traditional' 35mm - and to get anywhere near that, I think the camera I have will suffice.  The cost factor came into the decision too - the 5D rather than the Mark II enables me to get a fair amount of peripheral kit within budget.  I've also invested in a decent A3 printer to at least have some good working prints to show as we get more into the course.  I've gone for the Canon Pixma Pro9000 and am hoping this will make the 'hook up' to the 5D reasonably simple.  I want to stick to my Hahnemuhle paper for the prints - though I'm buying a sample pack from them and from Canon themselves to see what the options are.  So enough technical stuff already - now I want to start planning initial activity - and more importantly get on with it.

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