Wednesday, 7 May 2008

David Burnett - "He's been everywhere, but only for an hour"...

I'm always on the look out for inspiration and idea's from fellow photographers around the world and I recently came across the work of David Burnett.

A photojournalist for over 35 years he is well published in Time, Fortune and ESPN Magizines. Was co-founder of Contact Press Images and has received various awards such as 'Photographer of the Year', 'World Press Photographer of the Year' and the ' Robert Capa Award' to name just a few.

Having read various interviews regarding his work, It was very interesting to hear him describe that nowadays all the photojournalists basically use the same digital SLR's with the same set of 4 lens.... and that he wanted to do something different.

What this meant was that he started photographing assignments with Holga's (a plastic camera from China), Rolleiflex TLR's (the de-facto professional camera from the 60's) and the Speed Graphic, which you see him pictured with above.

This camera, apart from being large, heavy and from the fifties, is made more unusual with the choice of lens, the Kodak Aero.

This lens was primarily used during the second world war for aerial reconnaissance. What is so special about this large format lens is that its minimum aperture is F2.5 which is almost impossible to find in a 'normal' large format collection of lenses as you need a lot of glass to get that much light in.!

This combination of minimum aperture on a 5x4 camera means that you get 'bokeh' to die for in your images and was what attracted me to his work.

Since that point I have discovered a whole underground of people using this combination. Definitely something to investigate further......

Anyway, hats off to David for daring to do something different and showing that 'digital' can't do everything after all....

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