Wednesday, April 18, 2018
I have long been a fan of Michael Kenna's photography. Many of b&w photographs, often taken at dusk or dawn, possess dream-like qualities. Sometimes, the rich detail in the shadows invites us to linger over an image, so that we discern even more than we anticipated. With his array of landscapes, the often ethereal quality makes them timeless. His architecture-related images run counter to the notion that architecture photographs must be technically perfect. Instead, we are treated to a luscious world of tonality and keen observation of details.
When I first saw an announcement of Kenna's latest book, HOLGA, with the image of the white dove on the cover, I knew that I had to have it. After some delay, the book finally shipped in early March of 2018. I was not disappointed with the content. I know that Kenna has primarily used Hasselblads for his work, but to find out that he has also been carrying along a Holga on his trips was a surprise. It is not a surprise that his Holga images are wonderful. The very qualities that make a Holga an unpredictable camera - simple lens, limited aperture adjustment, and only two shutter modes - Instant and Bulb, are used masterfully by Kenna. I suspect that many of the images were done in B mode on a tripod. You don't have to be a fan of the Holga to appreciate the images in this book. Kenna wields the Holga as well as he does his 'Blad, and the luscious photographs are his forte. He uses the attributes of the Holga to produce images that are enchanting, evocative, and soulful. The printing is excellent, and the 7x7 inch images are perfectly sized to view properly.
The old axiom, "It's not the camera, but the photographer that wields it" holds true here. Kenna's use of the Holga is indicative of his vision and his craft, and the book is a must-buy.
HOLGA - Photographs by Michael Kenna. 151 pp. Prestel Verlag, Munich, London, New York. 2017. ISBN 978-3-7913-8377-4 Price: USA $60.
Monday, April 09, 2018
|Tools and shot film, NC trip|
Hopefully, I'll have some material for some posts later this month, and I look forward to having some time to write and work on my photos. The so-called spring weather has yet to take hold in Michigan, and I have to say it was a delight to be in a warmer climate last week. Back at home in Ann Arbor, it is once again snowing (but not sticking), and spring weather would be welcome right now.