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Artistic, Aesthetic Or Abandoned: Making It With An Ultra Wide-Angle Lens

Irix have been talking to fashion turned urbex photographer Dimitri about his work (warning: NSFW).

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Artistic, Aesthetic Or Abandoned: Making It With An Ultra Wide-Angle Lens: Irix  1

Image © Jahz design

 

Photographer & freelance graphic designer Dimitri, better known as Jahz design, lives and works in France. A self-taught artist, the multifaceted Jahz began working in fashion in 2006 for the ready-to-wear brand called "Kavany" (of Christian Karembeu - World Cup soccer champion in 1998) as a graphic artist/designer. He collaborated on many other projects like "Peace and Sport" (Prince Albert II of Monaco), And many more. He started in freelance photography in 2009 with clients such as Julia Channel, Damon Dash (Roc-A-Fella Records), Nouvelle Donne Music label and Das EFX. In 2010 He met the group 112, a band leading artists of the label of Puff Daddy (Bad Boy Records).

After this meeting, Jahz decided to start a musical project with Daron Jones (112) and another former Bad Boy rapper G-Dep, both together. In 2011 followed other collaborations with Tory Lanez, Black Rob, Q.Parker (112) Murda Mook (from Ruff Ryders), Cali Swag District, and Lloyd.

These days, Dimitri is spending more of his time on urban exploration. In 2017 Dimitri became an Ambassador of young & dynamic Swiss photographic gear brand - Irix. Here Irix interviews him about his career.

 

Artistic, Aesthetic Or Abandoned: Making It With An Ultra Wide-Angle Lens: Irix 3ÔłŹ

Image © Jahz design

 

Urbex (Urban exploration). How did it all begin for you?
Ever since my childhood, I’ve always been attracted by ruins and places that have been abandoned. But I really started six years ago when I discovered, by chance, a very old abandoned orphanage with a friend. Because of its size and atmosphere, this building just fascinated me. Virtually nothing had been disturbed for years and everything was covered with dust. I just wanted to transcribe this atmosphere into a photograph.


How do you decide which places to photograph?
The places are chosen according to their size, architecture, and light, and especially if the place isn’t dangerous when going inside. I know lots of urbex photographers who are looking for and discovering places that have been left untouched, regardless of whether they’re safe or not. In my case, however, what concerns me most - especially when I’m working with models – is safety. This is a must! What’s more, my aim is to show through photographs a sense of rebirth of these places; I want to show how time is changing these buildings but at the same time feel like someone who is giving these places the opportunity to show off their former glory and beauty for at least one more second while I’m taking the shots.

 

Artistic, Aesthetic Or Abandoned: Making It With An Ultra Wide-Angle Lens: Irix advertorial 2

Image © Jahz design

 

What was the idea behind the “Alone” project?
The idea of the "Alone" series came about during a trip to Germany when I visited some abandoned castles. The architecture and staging of some of these places were perfect for this kind of photo, and I started putting the series together a year later in France. My idea was to combine the dying stillness of these abandoned places with the beauty and vitality of the models I work with. I found myself wondering what a collision of these two realities would be like.

 

Tell us about photographing models with the wide angle.
One interesting challenge may be the use of UWA lenses when photographing people. Now, this isn’t a typical portrait because the perspective caused by the ultra-wide angle of a specific image may create a caricature of the individual being photographed (which, of course, can have an artistic expression). If we want to photograph a person in an interesting way with a wide-angle lens, we must first think about what we want to achieve. Typically, the person should be the main subject of the photograph and at the same time be within the environment. This is an integral part of the frame as we want to show the context of the photographed scene. One rule is to keep the characters within those internal lines that are the Rule of Thirds because it allows us to avoid problems with perspective. When composing such a scene we combine two artistic perspectives: cooperation with people because we want the model to come out in a favourable photo, and landscape/architecture photography because the whole environment is not only a background but it’s also a story about a photographed person, which can be difficult, that's for sure! But at the same moment, all this can repay you with some fantastic effects.

 

Artistic, Aesthetic Or Abandoned: Making It With An Ultra Wide-Angle Lens: Irix 4

Image © Jahz design

 

You had a chance to compare the Irix 11mm and 15mm. How would you describe each of these two lenses?

The two lenses are complementary, and each has a very specific use. The 11mm is fine in a narrow environment or an extremely large place. The 15mm is more multipurpose, and it’s more manageable than the 11mm as that requires a more accurate shot. When it comes to taking shots without models in those abandoned places I prefer to use the 11mm. People say it’s a difficult lens; nevertheless, no other lens in such a price range can show so much to such a high degree. I consider it to be a must-have in architectural photography. Less is more! I bring with me a minimal amount of equipment as it’s a question of comfort. After a day’s exploration, I can feel the weight of all my kit on my shoulders. In addition to my camera and my lenses, I keep a wide angle in my bag most of the time. I also carry a headlamp and a torch, my tripod and a remote control for shooting: nothing more.

 

If you had to choose only one place for your last urbex photography session, where would it be?

The Abandoned Casino of Constan»õa (Romania). It’s just a fantastic place!

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Comments

mervynjg Avatar
mervynjg 15 2 United Kingdom
15 Aug 2018 9:32PM
A nice set and a lovely model but not made the best use of needs a bit more practice
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