Photographers who inspire me ~ #4 ~ Mark Olwick

There are many photographers who inspire me.

Most often, it is their photographs from which I draw the inspiration. Sometimes I am influenced by their philosophies of workflow, technique or craftsmanship. Occasionally inspiration will flow from how they choose to live their creative life.

Whatever their uniqueness, each in their own way have added something to my own journey as a landscape photographer.

From time to time, I would like to share these photographers with you here, so that you too have the opportunity to discover and be inspired by them.

~~~

 :: Mark Olwick

I like Mark Olwick’s work because his work will often surprise me.

“Show me something I have not seen before” is the catch-cry of many photographic judges, photo buyers and curators. It forms the bases of a worthy goal for any serious photographer to strive to produce such work.  But that is a lot easier said than done.  Yet this is a barrier which Mark will often break through.  He offers up compositions and interpretations of subjects which I find to be fresh and different. In doing so he pushes me out of my own comfort zone. His work is challenging and sets higher benchmarks. His vision is often very different and that gets me thinking and gets me wanting to try new ways to approach capturing a subject.  And that is a good thing.

Mark does not run with the pack. He seeks out his own vision and makes photographs which often stop me and require me to look deeper and longer.

Mark has just recently won a silver medal at the ‘Prix de la Photographie’ in Paris, in the category “Altered Images” for his entry entitled, ” Three elephants, Botswana.” This highly competitive juried competition selected winners from thousands of entries from over 85 countries.

Mark is also a very supportive and helpful photographic colleague. He is often willing to reach out and share his thoughts and suggestions with other photographers.

I would encourage you to bookmark Mark’s site and visit from time to time. His work and his blog are both inspiring and thought provoking.

www.olwickphotography.com


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Mamiya 7II medium format rangefinder camera system.

The Mamiya 7II film camera

Mamiya web site  Photography examples  Other Mamiya 7II reviews – Ken Rockwell  Other Mamiya 7II reviews – Tom Westbrook

The Mamiya 7II is a special camera. It shoots film and uses some of the most outstanding lenses ever made… and that’s about all there is to it.

Most camera reviews try and tell (and sell) you all the great features which a camera has. Well this film camera has very few features and yet the Mamiya 7II is one of the best cameras ever made.

In fact for many specific applications, the Mamiya 7II is most likely the best camera in the world. Its exceptional optics and  simplicity of use makes it a near perfect camera for ‘walk-about’ landscape and fine art photography.

The Mamiya 7II is a medium format rangefinder film camera. It makes a 6 x 7cm image on 120 or 220 rolls film.

Mamiya 7II film camera

 

What is a rangefinder camera?

The key characteristic of a rangefinder camera is that you don’t look through the lens, but through a separate window which has a range finding focusing mechanism built-in. This is coupled to the focusing movement on the lens itself. The benefit of this approach is that it allows for a more perfect optical design of the actual lens than has been possible in a ‘through-the-lens’ camera system. The result is the potential for a more technically brilliant lens, a very quiet shutter and a more compact overall camera system. The Mamiya 7II meets these objectives.

What is the benefit of a photographic film camera?

Film photography has some significant benefits. While there is absolutely nothing wrong with digital, film offers some unique advantages. I have written separately here as to Why I shoot film.

Mamiya 43mm f/4.5 lens

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Photographers who inspire me ~ #3 ~ “RAX” Ragnar Axelsson

There are many photographers who inspire me.

Most often, it is their photographs from which I draw the inspiration. Sometimes I am influenced by their philosophies of workflow, technique or craftsmanship. Occasionally inspiration will flow from how they choose to live their creative life.

Whatever their uniqueness, each in their own way have added something to my own journey as a landscape photographer.

From time to time, I would like to share these photographers with you here, so that you too have the opportunity to discover and be inspired by them.

~~~

:: “RAX” Ragnar Axelsson

I would describe Ragnar Axelsson as a photographer’s photographer.
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Creativity and the Photographer

Some thoughts…

I am wondering, what is creativity? And, what can we do to become more creative photographers?

Of course, there are no easy formulas. And this short post can not even start to answer such profound questions. However, I think there are a few ideas which can help us. Let me share two. But first, some context.

Over the last few years I have been on a journey into photography. Like many people, I have been trying to discover and develop my creative side. I have always enjoyed building, crafting and making things, particularly photographs.  And while these are often seen as ‘creative’ activities, the simple act of making something, does not, by default, mean we have been or are creative. Making things can be very functional, lacking in any creativity.

Many people speak of creativity using nice woolly words like soul, mood, passion, feeling and spark. And yes, these are all great words to wrap around the concept of creativity,  however they are not particularly helpful in giving us some real goalposts to aim at.

For me, creativity implies that we have created or added ‘something extra’. It is that bit of ‘magic’ which will occasionally take what we make and transport it to a special place.

Here are two things I have learnt which have help me to understand what creativity is and how to find it.

Mamiya 7II / 80mm / Velvia 50 Film
Mamiya 7II / 80mm / Velvia 50 Film

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