2012 Olympians Photographed Using A Century-Old Lens

“I was reminded of the creative serendipity that comes with shooting film: I couldn’t look at the back of the camera and see what had just happened when I took that picture! I enjoyed the challenge and reveled in the “mistakes” that happened along the way.”

If you’ve listened to our podcast, On Taking Pictures, you know that Bill and I spend a fair bit of time talking about film. We both really love the process of shooting film as well as the idea that film and the resulting prints are actual objects. They have a physicality that goes beyond just the image and in that way have weight, not physical necessarily, but emotional. So, when I saw this story on Framework, it hit me right where I live.  Photographer Jay L. Clendenin made a wonderful set of portraits of Olympians competing in the 2012 London Olympics using a 4×5 camera and a vintage Petzval lens that is more than 100 years old. Though he also shot color images with a 5D MkII, it was the black and white images that proved to be the most cumbersome but, according to Clendenin, also the most rewarding. “I brought 23 film holders to every shoot, in addition to a bulky camera and tripod,” Clendenin says. “But shooting the large-format film was a relaxing and, most important, creatively rejuvenating experience. I was forced to slow down and think about each frame.” 


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[via Los Angeles Times Framework]