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Time for an update: I still use film, though. Not vast quantities, but I have a darkroom, and I'm not afraid to use it.

I enjoy every image I take: I hope you'll enjoy looking at them.
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22 Oct 2020 9:23AM   Views : 320 Unique : 203


I’ll be putting a link in a comment once the blog’s posted – for some reason, links in the body of a blog cut off the words that follow.

I’ve been captivated by a series of portraits by Robert Pranagal, in Poland. They look to me to have been shot on film, with a medium format camera and a wide-aperture lens, possibly a telephoto. They have a softness to the background that speaks of heavy and perfectly controlled differential focus, and a gentleness of tone that shouts ‘film!’ at me.

I’m sure that you can achieve the same look digitally (and it’s possible these were digital images), but the ‘look’ goes beyond the depth of field and Bokeh. There’s soft light (the sort that I complained about the other day, because it makes images without a close subject very hard work), and a real sense of style to all of his portraits. The girls are slender, wistful, but not necessarily passive. But they are elusive and elfin rather than sexually aggressive: they’re not women who bow to a stereotype, I suspect.

While many of us make pictures that are thoroughly time-locked, I could imagine very similar images being made any time over the last century, or more. The clothes are timeless but stylish, and the props, where there are any, are largely free of the sort of thing that makes them very specifically Twenty-First Century. That’s not fanatical: in a shot of Jo holding a bicycle, there’s a plastic-coated cycle lock wrapped round the frame. But you need to go looking for that sort of tell, and it doesn’t matter compared with the elusive mood. We all knew a Jo at school or college – or perhaps were a Jo…

Anyway, go and look at Robert’s pictures – he deserves more views, votes and awards, I reckon. And I shall wonder whether I can find models with that same otherworldly (or unworldly) look.


dudler Plus
17 1.4k 1732 England
22 Oct 2020 9:25AM
And HERE is the link I promised.

My picture of Kierra is in a very different style to Robert's signature... I hope you like it anyway. Next time I photograph her, maybe I'll aim to pay tribute to his lovely images...
mistere Plus
7 6 4 England
22 Oct 2020 1:59PM
Thanks for introducing us to Robert Pranagal. I see what you mean about his images, he has a very nice style
and he works with some lovely models.
GeorgeP Plus
13 62 26 United States
22 Oct 2020 3:50PM
Thanks for the link. Looking through the images I was reassured to discover that I had voted on more than a few. I really appreciate your analysis - to the uneducated, those portraits just felt right. Now I know why. Smile.

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