Portraiture is a very exciting branch of photography probably because of its subject. It is indeed a very ancient and natural thing to depict our fellowman. Therefore an enormous amount of portraits has been created over history and especially nowadays.
Most likely this is the reason why portraiture is not easy to do well, fortunately, all of us genetically attracted to faces. People are hard-coded to recognize human faces virtually everywhere and in anything even if there are only a few random craters and some shadows on the surface of a dead planet.
I also do love good portraits, and I am generally taking a lot as well. Unfortunately, I am not as good as I wish to be.
It is rather hard to catch the moment of emotion in the right composition among proper lights to get a really special portrait. In addition, as it is an interactive process you have to be connected to the other human-being on a level which is challenging and exciting at the same time.
This is overall very rewarding for me and I am going to keep shooting portraits for sure, hopefully on a higher and higher level.
I was planning to post some of my portraits here for a long time ago, but on the other hand, I decided to push myself to publish new works as much as possible.
Finally, the time has come and I have developed a few rolls of film a few days ago. So now I have some new photos which I will mix up with a few not so new ones.
The recent shoots caused a quite a bit of excitement because as always everything was experimental. I have tested a new focusing screen in my Pentacon Six as well as 2 new types of film (Fuji Across 100, Lomo Lady Gray 400) and this was the first time I used Kodak D76 developer.
It turned out all good, however, there were lessons to learn again.
Some new shoots
Some not so new shoots
These two pictures were among those I shoot on my first few rolls and developed myself around 2007-2008. The guy was my roommate during the university and these were taken in our kitchen next to a big window.
By the way, he is also a photographer and shooting film too from time to time. He is the founder of a really nice blog called 100ASA.
Naturally there are many more portraits in my collection which deserve a frame in this blog and certainly many will show up. I only need to find the occasion and the context to merge them with recent works and publish. But hey this is only the round 1. I hope some of these cached your eye.
Last weekend I have found some forgotten rolls in a basement we rent and used to be a kind of fallout shelter under a Soviet-type blockhouse.
Even though it was intended to be sheltered at the time of bombing the place was used as community club rooms and workshops for various groups like radio amateurs and people who built small airplanes and other models. This has ended as the Soviet Union crashed and Hungary transformed into a capitalist structure and so the governmental support of these activities canceled. Since then we used this basement as storage, and as we moved to a smaller flat we had to store things which we shouldn’t have there due to the lack of room.
Unfortunately, some very “clever” guys broke in a few years and destroy everything which was fragile and stole everything which they thought was worth for. Therefore many things including these few rolls of film were forgotten. Time to time we go down and try to clean up the place as we don’t want to keep it longer. And this is how I found some film in this dirty and wet place.
This basement is a really special for me, lots of memories and full with retro stuff. Huge iron doors, old electron-pipe based radios, even older posters about girls and movies on the walls from the 70s and all of these covered with a thick layer of dust and spider-nets. Some posters are funny, others hold messages of the propaganda of that time. So this is really a kind of time-capsule for me with a very special atmosphere.
Apart from the obvious signs of destruction done by the “clever” guys and time some water pipes got leaked that’s why we had to deal with a lot of moisture in there. I can tell you moisture and dust is not really ideal for keeping your negatives safe. As it turned out the emulsion was completely eaten by some fungus and the pictures can be easily washed down and lost by any attempt of cleaning. Therefore most of the pictures are completely ruined and those ones which I could finally scan are in pretty bad shape. Although I suppose some would like the unique look of them.
The rolls come from the late 70s as I found some film packaging with the note “process it before 1979” and my Father confirmed that it is highly possible.
All in all, it was a great fun to recover some pieces of history, especially because the pictures were taken by my father. I am trying to get background information of the usable scans so I may update this post. I hope you will also like some of the images.