Ahead of his first international solo show, the photographer behind popular YouTube channel Negative Feedback shares his story and the process behind his latest body of work
“For me the beach is the perfect place to observe people,” wrote Massimo Vitali on his blog back in July 2018. “In other words, we go to the beach to take pictures of people, not to take pictures of the beach. The beach is the most suitable place to observe human beings’ behavior, the existence of us human beings. How do people share the space on the beach, how are they staring at each other, or are they looking the other way? This is more important than geographical elements.
His new series, Short Stories, features plenty of beach scenes, often shot in his native Italy. Born in Como in 1944, Vitali studied photography at the London College of Printing and worked as a photojournalist in the 1960s and 70s before becoming a cinematographer for TV and film in the early 1980s. He started to shoot large format photographs in 1993, finding fame with his work Beach Scenes in 1995. He’s also shot crowds in other landscapes though, including in nightclubs, and the new portfolio includes these other social spaces as well as beach scenes.
“I see the bastard countryside everywhere I go,” says Robin Friend, pointing out of the window of his studio in East London, where an ivy plant has climbed up a nearby wall and is wrapping its vines around a rusting CCTV camera. “I ran with this idea of city and countryside splattering into each other, creating this hybrid nature,” explains Friend, who has been producing photographs for his book, unknowingly at first, for 15 years since he started started his BA in Brighton, where he studied under Jem Southam.
“Bastard countryside” is a phrase coined by Victor Hugo in his novel Les Miserables, in which he describes the city of Paris as an “amphibian”, stretching out into the countryside and devouring everything in its path. It is a zone in which the urban and rural mix, the manmade and the natural, clashing and colliding to create a strange form of beauty and ugliness.
“The first time my American agent came here, she said ‘I can’t believe you do all these pictures in this little room’,” laughs Paolo Roversi as he looks around the modest space he’s used as his studio for more than three decades. The Italian remains one of the world’s most sought-after fashion photographers, having forged his reputation during the mid-1980s shooting inspired catalogues for designers such as Comme des Garçons and Yohji Yamamoto, in an age when creatives were given unparalleled freedom of expression. Yet his studio is just a room in an unremarkable building in a nondescript arrondissement of southern Paris, furnished with battered chairs and old blankets. He wouldn’t have it any other way.
In 2011, Chatelin, a successful photojournalist and author of the photobook Israel Borderline (2008), was sent to Libya to cover the uprising at the beginning of the war. After a few months he became frustrated with the work he was producing and decided to head in a different direction. Switching to a large format camera, he travelled to the Egyptian desert and began looking at the impact of shifting economies on the landscape and territories surrounding the nucleus of action. This work has also seen explorations to Detroit, western China and Siberia, which, like Egypt and Libya, are places with diverse histories and contrasting geographies but which are fixed in outside perceptions with a single vision.
In the the third in our Arthur Conan Doyle series the writer heads to Ireland – a place which defies his preconceptions and offers some fantastic opportunities for large-format photography.
We are happy to announce the three winners for this years Intrepid Film Photography Awards!
Today we’re sharing 10 of the best submissions we’ve had to the Intrepid Film Photography Award, in which each photographer tells us about their strongest film work, and what it is that brings them back to film time and time again. All you need to do to enter is choose your strongest photograph shot on film and tell us what it is exactly that brings you back to using film, time and time again. You only have a few days to enter! The Intrepid Camera Co. is a young start-up enabling a new generation of photographers of all kinds to put down their digital cameras and embrace the world of film with their affordable large-format cameras. Scroll down to the bottom of the article to find out how to submit to the competition and win one of Intrepid’s large-format cameras – it’s free to enter and only open until Sunday 11 June, so don’t miss out! Catherine Hyland The Photographer I am a female photographer whose work is primarily landscape-based and rooted in notions of fabricated memory, grids, enclosures, and national identity …
Today we’re sharing another 10 photographers who choose their strongest photographs and tell us what it is exactly that brings them back to using film, time and time again. Plus, you only have a few days to enter the Intrepid Film Photography Award. The Intrepid Camera Co. is a young start-up enabling a new generation of photographers of all kinds to put down their digital cameras and embrace the world of film with their affordable large-format cameras. Scroll down to the bottom of the article to find out how to submit to the competition and win one of Intrepid’s large-format cameras – it’s free to enter and only open until Sunday 11 June, so don’t miss out! Kamil Śleszyński The Photographer I’m a former postman, Bulgarian forklift operator and autodidact documentary photographer. I live in Bialystok, Poland, where I work on long-term projects focusing on complex relationships between people. The Image This photo was taken in the Polish detention center where I was working on a documentary project about prisoners. It is one of the better frames I have made, …
Of the many adjectives you could use to describe large-format film photography, affordable isn’t the first that springs to mind. But one Brighton based start-up is on a mission to change that. Hot on the success of their £250 4×5 camera, which they financed through crowdfunding, the Intrepid Camera Company has today launched their Kickstarter for an 8×10 model. Intrepid’s founder-director Maxim Grew had the idea for the camera while mid-way through an undergraduate degree in Product Design at the University of Sussex. He’d become increasingly fascinated by the format beloved of photography greats from Ansel Adams to Gregory Crewdson for its magical, contemplative process and the incredible visual quality of images it produces. However, on finding that his student loan didn’t stretch to the several thousand pounds it can cost to buy a camera, he started experimenting with building one himself. “I was making these really simple things – essentially just boxes with lenses on the end, using instant film and using photographic paper to make paper negatives,” he remembers. Originally Grew’s vision was …