There are some older photographs from the 30s to 50s that have a certain beauty.
Usually it’s of people in bars where the flash bleaches out their skin or a moment caught at a beach on a particularly bright sunny day. Visually sterile, when the world was anything but.
It wasn’t wholly my intention to create a photograph that was a reproduction of that feeling but it was a good starting point. Overexpose the photograph, keep the clutter to a minimum and have some sort of action happening. Simple really but it wasn’t the mood I wanted, the mood I was in.
Bill Brandt, 1958
I’ve given an earnest try recently to reproduce such photographs as I described above but the reality is, even with my Leica the feeling simply isn’t correct. I know why of course, it’s the type of camera lens and use of digital rather than film. I have film cameras but they’re too modern optically. I have older lenses I use with the Leica but as its digital and the lens aren’t nearly old enough, well, they don’t work either. Sure there are various ‘effects’ and ‘filters’ I can place on the image digitally but they simply aren’t correct. In my humble opinion anyone who says they are simply hasn’t looked hard enough and the idea of ‘good’ to them is barely ‘ok’ to me.
It’s likely that if I’m to create a truer reproduction of that feel I’m simply going to have to buy another camera and lens. Sounds expensive. Maybe next year. You can see more of Bill Brandt's work (pictured left) here.