Remember Samuel Aranda: The important thing is the pictures

Samuel Aranda:
The important thing is the pictures
Samuel Aranda, Spanish photojournalist World Press Photo winner, talks about the craft and how to monitor the revolutions have been Arabs. The exhibition with the best photo journalism should be back to Macau in October.

It is likely that some of those who visited the Garden House between September and October of last year still remember several of the pictures there exhibited. But it is also normal that many have disappeared from memory. The photograph of the Spanish Samuel Aranda who has just won another edition of World Press Photo, the most important reward world of photojournalism, is among those not too shocking, perhaps, may even go unnoticed next to the blood more explicit.

This will pass and now, it seems, can be seen in Macau along with many others in the next October. The House of Portugal, which in recent years has brought exposure to Macau and the Garden House - the only place on Chinese soil where it has been shown - PERIOD told that although there is still no confirmation, the talks are forwarded to the best in the world press photo published again be enjoyed in the territory.

A photograph of Samuel Aranda, a man of 33 years born in Barcelona and began his career at 19 in El Pais and El Periodico de Catalunya, would be captured on 15 October 2011. A woman completely covered embraces a wounded man. The stage was Sanaa, the capital of Yemen, a mosque during the popular uprising in the country was transformed into a hospital by the forces opposing the regime of President Ali Abdallah Saleh.

"On that day the protesters protests began at 10am and the military through the demonstration began firing on them. The photo was taken near a mosque that was being used as a hospital. This woman, Fatima, is to hold the child while waiting for medical help, "says Samuel Aranda, by telephone from Yemen.

The connection is bad and it is not easy to hear the words of the photojournalist. The day in Yemen is of some importance, because it is the aftermath of the presidential election Tuesday, which had the only candidate - Vice President Abdurabu Mansur Hadi - but also the power to remove the name of President Ali Abdallah Saleh's political scene . "This implies in principle a transition and a constitutional reform, and a general election in a couple of years. The situation is more or less quiet in the center and north. In the south there are some separatist conflicts, "he continues Aranda.

Feminine forceThere is a photojournalist camera in hand, which in recent months has passed by Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and other parts of the tumultuous Arab world. And there's a woman hugging a wounded man. What drives the lens to go in that direction? "There were a lot of chaos, a lot of people running, noisy, and this woman had an attitude of tranquility, a lot of wholeness in the midst of all that chaos."

Samuel Aranda explains what you can remove the photo you did. "I think we have an idea of ​​an Arab world where women live entirely oppressed, always below the man, and I think it is not so. In most cases, women are responsible for many things. In this case it's own son, but women are very important in these societies, much more than we think, "bails.

Despite having covered some of the most emblematic of the movement of popular uprising known as the 'Arab Spring', the photojournalist is not aligned on generalizations that marry the different movements and ensures that "in each place was a different story in each country a different context ". In Tunisia the turn "was much more passive, no weapons, no nothing." In Libya "was a civil war more than anything else. They are very different cases, one can not generalize. "

Award of oxygenSamuel Aranda is in Yemen, where he has spent the months October, November and December last year. At that time "was quite complicated to work, because the police and the army of the government you could not identify yourself as a journalist." Aranda decided to remain and work in the country without authorization. People gave him security to do so. "In what is civil society have not had any problems. People are very friendly, very open and friendly. "

The prize was awarded to him this month "is very good at getting to do new projects, because people are more open to support," explains the man who has photographed in Lebanon, Iraq, Gaza, and even in Morocco China. More important than the high profile that brings the World Press Photo "images are" captured and that "the fact that the picture came back in the news these days," he recalls.

The image was selected from more than 100,000 photographs in the competition, written by 5247 professionals from 124 countries. It will be one that, from April 20 in Amsterdam, will join the new exhibition of World Press Photo that will travel more than 120 cities around the globe. "It's a picture that talks about across the region. Represents Yemen, Egypt, Tunisia, Libya, Syria, all happened during the 'Arab Spring', "said Koyo Kouoh, one of the jurors, said in a statement.

Despite the difficulties that have passed since he chose to devote himself to photography, Aranda account to continue. Where will the lens is more difficult to say, but can pass through a homecoming. "I do not know ... I said several times that he would shoot the current situation in Spain. I would love to have a perspective that, to see how young people rise up in revolt against Spain and the system we have. "

More distinguished photojournalists

The World Press Photo distinguished, and Samuel Aranda, professionals in various categories. The Japanese Yasuyoshi Chiba won the first prize in category "People in the News Singles", with a report on Japan after the tsunami that devastated the country in March last year. One image shows a woman to do the diploma of his daughter, found amid the rubble of the city of Higashimatsushima, north of Fukushima. The photojournalist Afghan Massoud Hossaini also saw their work by the jury awarded the World Press Photo, a photo taken with a Shiite shrine, the scene of an explosion on Dec. 6, in Kabul, Afghanistan.

A photograph of an Afghan child 12 years to scream along with several dead and wounded won second prize in the category "Spot News Singles." The Russian Yuri Kozyrev won first prize in the category "Information" by the photograph of a group of Libyan rebels, captured on March 11 in Ras Lanouf. In the category "Contemporary Issues Stories" stood out Mexican Pedro Pardo, for his work on the war of the drug cartels in Mexico. The World Press Photo jury also awarded a special mention of an amateur photography that shows the former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, when he was captured and dragged into a military vehicle on 20 October 2011 in Sirte, shortly before his death.

London's Puddles Reflect the City's Beauty

Gavin Hammond
London is known to be a rainy town, which isn't thought to be an ideal location for uplifting inspiration, but Londoner Gavin Hammond finds captivating beauty in his city's soaked streets. 

Hammond's series entitled London in Puddles depicts a somber yet intriguing view of the damp town, focusing on puddles that reflect its surrounding citizens and architecture.

We've shared the lomography enthusiast's photography in the past, but this new series of images exhibit a heightened sense of uninhibited love for one's city. 

There's something about seeing a town through the blurry ripples of a splash of water on the ground that makes it seem all at once magical, haunting, and beautiful. 

Through the cracks in the streets an image of London's greatest architectural attractions emerge. Hammond's series offers an alternate universe within the dreary puddles that displays the city in its simplest form, without the gloomy weather to mask over its magnificence.


The Verisimilitude of Violet Forest's Film Photography

The Verisimilitude of Violet Forest's Film Photography

Violet Forest is not just 'another film photographer.' To her, film photography exudes a sense of purity and truth. She prefers to captivate natural phenomenons instead of staging photographs. Read more about her analogue endeavors and take a look at her masterful series, right after the break.

Tell us something about yourself.
I’m a 22-year old artist. I started making art consistently by photographing and I’m venturing into other mediums like video art and music. I’m also in the process of having my photographs shown in some Miami galleries, so I’ve been busy with presentation like framing and matting, and paving a path for myself outside of college, which is pretty nerve-wrecking.

How/When did you begin taking pictures? What was your first camera?
After doing two years of a technical Web Development degree I was dying to take a Fine Art class. I started taking black and white 35mm photographs in my Intro to Photography class in Community College. I’ve been doing 35mm for almost four years now and have been pretty consistent with the Canon AE1 and a 50mm lens. I switch to wide angle 24mm from time to time, and lately I’ve been shooting medium format.

Describe your style in photography. What are your usual subjects and themes?
I don’t remember the last time I staged a photograph. I prefer to see my days unfold and let my camera document what is presented in front me. I guess it adds some kind of truth to my practice, to know that certain event, habits, natural phenomenons will go on without my control. And when I go through my negatives in the future I can see how I reacted to my environment and the conditions of what I was going through at the time, and the people I was involved with.

Sometimes I don’t want the person to know I am watching them, because once they find out, they change their demeanor and therefore my initial vision, like they react to an invasion of privacy.

This photograph is part of the Vickie series, a body of photographs I’ve been editing for over two years now. I would visit her at her apartment with my camera and an extra change of clothes to spend the night. Our relationship grew over time as I got to know her better in an intimate setting, where I watched her like a guardian angel, getting to know her strengths and weaknesses, which required a great deal of empathy. The project naturally enfolded into an epic poem, with Vickie as the hero and her own enemy, as both muse and martyr.

Lately I’ve been working with disposable cameras to let go of my rigidness and increase the confidence in my practice. Since they are fixed lens I can extend my arm toward my subject without looking at the viewfinder, kind of like pouncing on prey, where my subjects don’t know its coming. Ideally this needs to develop with a Yashica T4.

And then there are times when I’m alone and studying phenomenons that are beyond me.

What is the soundtrack for your series of photographs?
I would guess the soundtrack depends on the ambience of your surroundings when you are looking at the photograph. Which makes the internet a great thing, because every individual can have his own soundtrack when he looks at the photographs on their computer screen. Galleries are interesting because the same ambient soundtrack is shared by everyone who is in the room at the same time.

We all have our idols, which photographers do you look up to? Who or what influences your photographic style?
I know more about photobooks than the oeuvres of photographers. Robert Frank’s The Americans is great because of its epic narration. There is no gimmick, only a sequence of great photograph after the next. Which is kind of the same as the The Ballad of Sexual Dependency by Nan Goldin. Both deal with sociology, but I would say Robert Frank’s has less to do with a subcultural, social realism and more with constructing a mythological symbology of the essence of 1950’s American culture as a whole.

As far as contemporary photographers, I found Canadian Dimitri Karakostas here on Lomography and was excited about how authentic I felt his photographs were.

Amongst your numerous film photographs, which is your favourite?
I just printed this image 20 × 24 and I could spend hours staring at it. I think the aesthetic experience is at its richest. My eyes never get bored flowing from each grain to the next. I guess I was so enthralled in the experience that the camera as a medium was successful in translating that.

If you could take anyone’s portrait using film, can be living or dead, who (would it be), which (camera would you use), and why?
I already created a contemporary photographic mythology out of Vickie. I want Alice Glass to be the main character of my next epic poem.

Analogue vs. Digital. What makes analogue/film photography more special than digital?

The more mediums you go through, the more information is lost, and I think there is something more valuable in an experience that is rendered more purely. A digital image is just a binary code, decoded by a computer. But when light hits the grain on film, the photons of the light chemically react with the grain to make metallic silver. There is a sense of purity, or truth, to me at least, that the actual photons of light that bounced off my subjects are now in my negatives, in an evolved, not substitued, silver metallic form.

Do you own Lomography cameras? Which is your favourite? / Which Lomographic camera would you like to have and why?
I did use a Diana F+ for about a month. Lomography cameras are a great bridge from the digital world to the analogue world. It’s easy to feel intimidated by film, but Lomography cameras make the experience fun and comfortable. Here are a couple of 35mm images I used with the Diana to give it the panoramic feel. I also bumped up contrast:

A lot of people are into photography today, what would you say to them to inspire them more?
Do you what love. If you don’t know what you love, try things until you find out. Follow your intuition. Don’t stop. Make it your life.
“It does not matter how slow you go so long as you do not stop.” — Wisdom of Confucius

Aside from your website, do you have other creative online/offline projects? If none, what other creative pursuits do you wish you could explore?
I have so many… As far as visual, I’m working on a video art project that investigates the same concept of the analogue VHS tape versus the digital DVD, except it involves the moving image instead of the photographic image. So I’m getting old VHS tapes from Goodwill and editing them on VCRs and video mixers instead of Final Cut Pro, and I’m finding ways of projecting them on walls. I also got invited put some photographic work in an issue of the zine Blood of the Young. And I’m still actively photographing, but this time with a medium format Mamiya 7, and I’m dying to buy a Yashica T4.

Halina 35X

Halina 35X

Falling somewhere along the vague line between toy cameras and "real" cameras - is the old Halina 35X. It's really a very strange camera. It may or may not have been a copy of the Japanese made Ranger 35 camera. It's not quite certain, but the Ranger 35 went out of production around the same time the Halina 35X appeared, so there may be a more direct link than mere imitation.

Halina was a brand name used by Haking of Hong Kong. The 35X appeared around 1959 and seems to have been available for at least a decade after that. It was sold primarily in Britain, though a few went to Canada and other countries. It does not appear to have ever been sold in the U.S. 

A quick look at the specs: F3.5/45mm triplet lens. Shutter speeds 1/25 to 1/200 +B Shutter speed is regulated by spring tension, and must be cocked manually. Scale focussing down to 3 feet. Knob wind.

The body is very compact, but surprisingly hefty. The camera doesn't seem to have any aluminum parts, and is composed mainly of die-castings, with a few brass bits here and there. The quality of the camera is really - interesting - to put it one way. It's so "loose" and "un-camera-like" it gives the feeling that it must be a facsimile of a camera, rather than an actual camera. This sounds weird, but when you have one in your hands you'll understand. It is both familiar and alien at the same time. 

This one came to me with fungus in the lens, and upon disassembly I found another surprise. The front and rear elements of the triplet lens are coated. The center element is not! A penny here, a penny there...

Also it was perhaps the most frustrating experience I've had disassembling a camera. The design is very simple and straight forward, but they used a tacky substance on the lens helical to "hold" the focus in place. It's definitely not grease, and I was told the focus on these was stiff when new. The annoying thing is this stuff is really sticky and once you get it on your hands you get it everywhere, and it's near impossible to get off. So be warned! If you have to take one of these apart clean this goop off of right away with lighter fluid and save yourself some frustration. I regreased it with white grease.

There is noticeable light fall off in the corners on most images taken in anything other than bright direct sunlight. The overall effect created by this camera reminds me a lot of the Lomo LC-A, except without the noticeable pincushion distortion. The soft contrast, tendency to flare, vignetting.

Other notes: The camera has double exposure prevention, but you have to cock the shutter manually. If you press the shutter release without first cocking the shutter - you forfeit your exposure for that frame. However if you do do this - just continue to hold the shutter button down, and cock and release the shutter with your other hand. In fact as long as you hold the shutter button down, you can make as many exposures on a frame as you want by recocking the shutter. Once you let up on the button though, you are prevented from making another exposure until you wind on. 

I'll be shooting a roll of B/W in the future so I'll probably do an update when that happens.

The Importance Of Lomography

Experience the might of monochrome on medium format with our latest evocative emulsion – Lomography B&W Potsdam
Kino 100. Cut from a vintage reel of German cinematic film, Potsdam Kino is perfect for capturing your world
in divine detail. Steeped in a rich past and prestige, this film isn't just a tribute to history – rather a part of it.

For a while now I have been wanting to write about the importance of Lomography, not just in terms of keeping analogue alive, but the importance of the community and the actual effect of Lomography on the individual. Until recently I did not really know how to begin but now I do.

Recently I have been diagnosed with a condition called Generalised Anxiety Disorder or GAD (I rather wish it was syndrome and then I would truly have GAS!) and this basically means that I cannot control my anxiety and am therefore pretty much scared of everything. I have had this all my life but have hidden it from everyone. Until recently I didn’t know that it was OK for me to feel like this and have spent years forcing myself to do things that really I am afraid to. 

Some examples would be, hiding behind a door if I saw the post man approach so he couldn’t see me, avoiding ever using the phone (thank god for texting and email!) and having to leave pubs with a “stomach ache” almost as soon as I have entered. The worst part is the visions that I have of Lukas being injured, falling off a cliff, out of an aeroplane, being run over, eaten, electrocuted and me being too frozen with fear to help.

My wife has had to put up with a lot: Me manufacturing arguments to avoid going for dinner with her friends or so I didn’t have to go to one of Lukas’ little friends birthday parties. If people I didn’t know were coming for dinner then I secretly wished that they would break down or have a better offer or be abducted by aliens rather than turn up.

A couple of years ago I went to New York to visit my sister. Getting there was an ordeal, I was on my own which is not good as I have to be responsible for everything, and then there is the small 8 hour flight, so 8 hours of high anxiety and adrenalin, plus being afraid of going to public toilets meant I held it in all the way! I don’t really like big cities, too many people not enough space, so New York was possibly not the best place to go, but it’s New York! Of course I had to go! We went to the Moma gallery where I bought a Fisheye 2.

My sister had to go and visit a friend, and of course I could not go with her due to my fear of strangers, so I walked around NY on my own – not the best plan but I also needed a cigarette to calm my nerves, and as my sister thinks I have quit it was best she did not see. It was at this time I got swept up in the Puerto Rican day parade. Suddenly I was in a crowd, a big crowd and it was moving. I could not escape. My heart nearly exploded, but then I realised I had a choice I could either panic or go with it. I chose to go with it and since then I have been ok with crowds. This made me want to tackle everything head on. But it’s impossible.

Lomography offered me a security. I can lose myself in the site looking some incredible pictures and colours. Making friends, talking about whatever, all from behind the shield of my laptop screen. It gives me a place where I can say what I want without fear and I am not afraid to put myself out there for you to judge.

Since being diagnosed, my world has crumbled a little bit, well a lot actually. All the defence mechanisms I had unknowingly been putting in place were taken away, locked in a box which was then burned and the ashes fed to the wind. It is a very confusing and rather scary time for me. But within this time I do have a little beacon that I hold on to, and it is the thought of getting my pics back from the lab or reading and writing locations and camera reviews, entering competitions where the winning isn’t as important as entering, thinking up new ways camera can be used. But mainly it is getting lost in truly amazing pictures that allows me not to think and not be anxious and helps keep my rather low chin up.

Now I live in Denmark which is extremely scary for me, lots of new things to get over. But worst of all the only camera I had was my Lomo LC-A which broke and then vanished, so my security was gone and my anxieties rocketed. Such was my desperation I forced my wife to go to a flea market where I found a Konica C35 (review coming soon!). This camera allowed me to shoot and invent and for a while, function.

So, thanks to LSI for doing what you do keeping this going and thanks to the community for being just generally awesome and none frightening.

The 10 golden rules of Lomography

The 10 golden rules of Lomography

At the very base of this lie the 10 golden rules that define our philosophy and approach towards photography. 

Memorise them, recite them by heart, or break all the rules; whichever way, be ready to throw all your inhibitions about photography to the wind.

 1.   Take your camera everywhere you go

 2.   Use it any time – day and night

 3.   Lomography is not an interference in your life, but part of it

 4.   Try the shot from the hip

 5.   Approach the objects of your lomographic desire as close as possible

 6.   Don’t think (william firebrace)

 7.   Be fast

 8.   You don’t have to know beforehand what you captured on film

 9.   Afterwards either

10. Don’t worry about any rules