Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Perfection can be over rated.

A little while ago I was asked to photograph the golden wedding anniversary celebrations of the parents of two of my best friends.
Werner and Klara Hollenstein (the couple) are Swiss/German and I wanted to use a camera that would be appropriate for the occasion. Something German and around 50 years old.
I had a couple of options -- a Zeiss Contaflex, a Voigtlander Prominent, a Rolleiflex -- but I opted for a 50 year-old Kodak Retina Reflex. The Retinas were made by Nagel & Co in Germany and are sometimes referred to as the "Stuttgart Leica." My particular example sports a 50mm f2 Schneider Kreuznach lens that is an absolute belter.
My idea was to capture the spontaneity and joy of the occasion rather than shoot posed pictures. I also wanted to include black and white images to give it an "aged" feeling.
There is no doubt, using a single camera with a standard lens is limiting. It would definitely have been easier to use a zoom and motordrive-equipped, autofocus camera but I think having to "zoom with my feet" to get the right framing produces a unique look. Sometimes perfection is over-rated and in truth the two images I like best from the shoot are not blindingly sharp yet beautifully capture the moment and the joy of the occasion.
The rest of the images can be seen here.

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