All of us have various coping mechanisms in life on how to deal with stress & other personal anxieties in life. For me I enjoy the escape to a place of solitude, a place where I can immerse my senses within the environment I choose to be in.
Whether it be in a rain forest in the Otway National Park or along a stretch of surf beach along the Great Ocean Road, I pause, I observe & I listen. As I close my eyes i feel the warmth of the sun and the gentle sea breeze that carries the salty air from across the scene to where I am standing. Often times the cold frosty breeze can be felt on those early morning treks, after you get to the destination it’s all worth it, especially if you can come back with an image you can learn from.
The Analogue Landscape objective
My objective for this series is to share my experience with a change in mindset to shooting landscapes and seascapes on film and how this alone can hone in on being a better photographer today and for the tomorrow. More importantly I hope I can inspire more people to enjoy the gift of nature & to get you out & about exploring & shooting.
As photographers, we have a natural tendency to want to share our experiences, to share stories. This doesn’t place me as a master, but a “continued learner” to help others achieve success – this is the true “Servant Leader” that I choose to be. To bring people along the journey & continues to challenge & bring the best out of photographers. The reward as a “Servant Leader” – is “joy”.
My background in photography stems from being a wedding photographer, having continued training in developing instincts to look for moments, to look for the right light, to curate the “happily ever after stories” that you are expected to deliver on. I thoroughly enjoyed that journey & now I am seeking a new journey & adventures. I will continue to take what I have learnt as a wedding photographer life and now capturing life itself through the gift that this earth continues to gives.
Simplicity is key when it comes to the type of film & gear choice. Let’s be honest, who hasn’t suffered from gear paralysis. Time spent in deciding “what film should I shoot?” or “what format am I looking to create from?”
When I am out in the field, my choices are pretty simple, one camera, two lenses for choice and 2-3 rolls of film whether I am out shooting 35mm or medium format. I try and keep simplicity & speed to set up & shoot in mind at all times.
Analogue Landscape Kit
Everyone’s landscape photography journey is different however the fundamental goal for analog film photographers is capture in frame with little post production in mind. With Analogue camera selection requires careful considerations to the format you are intending to create from. I’ll share in a future article the challenges of shooting for a format has in your overall creative process and mindset.
The essentials for me besides the camera & lens choices here are a few of my key essentials for shooting landscapes using analogue techniques;
- Sturdy Tripod – keeping your camera stable.
- Remote release cable – minimise camera shake & very useful for long exposure.
- Handheld light meter with a spot meter feature that allows for multiple light readings within your scene to help understand your lighting ratios before taking the scene.
- Filters play an important role in helping balance the scene based on your light meter readings.
- Filter holders is a necessity if filters are used.
- L bracket on my camera which allows for a quick camera rotation between horizontal (landscape) & vertical (portrait) orientation.
- Your selection of film will play a critical role of how the final output will look like & it does require you to also understand the film you are looking to shoot with. In this example I often use Kodak Ektar but other options will work also especially if you are just starting out won landscape photography.
In the planned future series, I’ll share more of how & why each piece of kit is invaluable to help create the images you want to create in the field.
This feature serves as an introduction to Landscape Photography using Analogue process & I’m looking forward to sharing more of what I have learnt & continue to learn to help you to find joy in your journey.
About John Yau
Based in Geelong in the state of Victoria for those living outside of Australia. Having The Great Ocean Road at my doorstep, there is always opportunities to explore the surrounds.
A professional photographer for the past 10 years, and enjoy both digital & analogue process.
My passion is to find & connect film shooters from across the globe with so many unseen photographers to share who shoot film. This is what drives me to continue to develop this amazing blog which was started about 4 years ago.
Connect with me and let me share your story to the world.