Link: Shooting film for a different look at the NY Times

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Continuing with yesterday's neo-Luddite theme, the New York Times has an article on documentary photographer, David Burnett, titled Which Camera Does This Pro Use? It Depends on the Shot - New York Times:

Mr. Burnett was explaining why in this age of ever more plentiful megapixels, at this moment when the concept of "film" seems as old-fashioned as a rotary telephone, he has spent most of the last two years lugging around a 55-year-old 4-by-5-inch Graflex Speed Graphic camera, complete with tripod.


"Everyone is using the same couple of Canon and Nikon digital cameras and the same three or four lenses," Mr. Burnett said. "And it isn't that everyone is using them in exactly the same way, but I started to notice a sameness in the look of most things I was seeing. Don't get me wrong: I think digital is incredible in a lot of ways. For me, digital has pretty much totally replaced shooting 35-millimeter slides. But as a photojournalist, you're just trying to get someone turning the pages of the magazine to stop for that extra second before they go on to the jeans ad or whatever. So I started thinking about different looks."

Naturally, Mr. Burnett found his new look in the closet. He hasn't gotten rid of a camera since 1978 (when he traded in all his Nikons for Canon gear) and he has around 50 cameras and 50 lenses at his home near Washington. So by the time he hit the campaign trail last year for Time magazine, he was packing not only the Speed Graphic and the digital Canon, but also a 2 1/4-by-2 1/4-inch Mamiya or Rolleiflex and a $15 plastic camera called a Holga. In fact, a photo of Al Gore on the stump that Mr. Burnett took with a Holga won a top prize at the 2001 White House News Photographers' Association's Eyes of History contest.

(Via MuseumFreak.)


I dont think that digital or equipment has much to do with the plain style seen in the media. To shoot different it's required to think different, and choosing equipment is only a step to do it.

Go Speed Graphic!

Hurray for Mr.Burnett. I own a 1947 Crown Graphic and I use it all the time. The stares that it brings is comical at best but the conversations can be fun. Film in the digital age does have to die. Mr. Burnett has the right ideas: to be different and not to follow the masses.


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This page contains a single entry by Karen Nakamura published on June 10, 2005 11:16 AM.

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