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CONTAX G2 PHOTO GALLERY PORTFOLIO

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focusnetwork

Hello,

I am a 20 year old photography student.
I have just spent the last three weeks updating my online portfolio which includes film and digital social documentary photographs.
The film images were taken mainly using a Contax G2 with vario sonnar but also a G1 with 45mm planar.
I would appreciate to hear fellow users comments and constructive criticism.

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Thank you,


James Wakefield
 

coyot

Well-Known Member
>James,

Very nice set. I book marked your site!! The good thing about organizing your photos is that they are themed. The bad thing is that they have a little bit of redundancy. (i.e. the narcotics section ... smokers ...). Each on its'own is a nice shot, but still ...

I'm not sure if there is a solution. I like the way your site is layed out. The social commentary is interesting. But the problem with verbal comments is that they elicit emotions just like the images. Sometimes, depending on ones perspective, the comments can be contrary to the images content.

But, very nicely done. Nice images. I'll be back.

Thanks,

Michael.
 

beary

Member
James,
Your career is off to a great start. Keep up the great work.

I'm curious how you like the G2 Vario Sonnar lens. I've heard many conflicting views on the overall quality of this lens compared to the other fixed focal length Zeiss lenses. What are your views?

Barry
 
M

mayebaza

> As a social documentary photographer, you seem to capture the events and circumstance of modern life but not the feelings and the emotions of the people experiencing them.



Your pictures reveal that you are not really a people person. This can be seen when you do capture feelings and the emotions because they are caricature, an imitation, rather than a revelation of a personality with the picture.



As social documentary photographer, who captures the events and circumstance of modern life, you are very good and possess the embryos of greatness. However, your pursuit of style in presentation completes with your subject matter. By increasing your understanding of people your photography will improve. Currently, your photographs present humans as immanent expressions of caricature, more suitable to the advertising industry, than real social documentary, more slogans, than real analytical reflection on life.



Love yourself, then you will lean to love others, then your picture will possess a window look outwards, not a door on the outside looking in.



I hope I have been helpful and constructive.
 

ander

New Member
>[..Sir

Your photographs are very good. Do not let the comments by barrington maye sway nor discourage you. We need to focus our feedback on the photos and not the inner workings of anyone.

My very best to you, you will do well.

Mia Anderson
 
F

focusnetwork

Michael,

Thanks for your constructive comments. With regards to the 'narcotics' section, this is a bit limited at the moment as I have only just decided to embark on it as a major project, so obviously it will improve as I get more subject matter and the project progresses. I agree with you on the verbal comments. I decided that I wanted to make some points / ideas clear with various images but obviously this does not work all the time especially when there is not really much to say about an image. Thanks for your time, regards James.
 
F

focusnetwork

Barry,

My knowledge of photography as a medium is vast but I don't consider myself a top authority on judging image quality. This is because my work in the past has been limited to 'low' quality 35mm optics (canon etc.) and digital work. I don't have any experience with medium format for ex&le. What I will say is, after using both the 45mm planar and 35-70mm vario sonnar they are undoubtedly the best optics available for 35mm film (I'll leave leica out of this). The fact is that the vario sonnar is a unique and very expensive lens. I am aware that some people argue that is not the same quality as prime lenses but in my opinion this is irrelevant. Any difference in quality has certainly not been noticed by myself when compared to the planar lens. I would say if you have any hesitation about buying the lens then don't. The advantage of an immediate 35-70mm zoom range on a rangefinder far outways any minor issues with lens quality. At the end of the day, the lens uses carl zeiss optics and is constructed in a way that minimises distortion to the maximum extent possible. It is an incredibly engineered piece of optical equipment.
 
F

focusnetwork

Barrington,

Thank you for your comments. A lot of what you said makes a sense and I will take it on board as I develop my style.

Best regards,

James.
 

beary

Member
James,
Thanks for your comments regarding the vario sonnar. They were very helpful.

And I agree entirely with Mia's comment.

Best regards,
Barry
 

wyatt

New Member
I'll get this down.... Mia, thanks. You have my second. Did anyone say "the camera is the window to the soul". I thought that particular brand of criticism gave it's last breath in some obscure graduate school in 1982... > Sir, I enjoyed your photos very much. Technically, anyone worrying about > the G2 meter should 'take your course' and I found your subjects > provoking, thanks > Wyatt
 

stargazer

Member
James,

I enjoyed looking at your photos very much. They made me re-examine my own photographs and they gave me a lot to think about. I was unable to comprehend the adverse criticism from one respondent who felt able to identify you as 'not a people person'. I could not see the justification for that. Great work.

Paul Nicholson Leeds
 
W

writing4me

Hello James, It's so good to see young enthusiasm for photography. I really wish you well with your studies and then career. I'm sorry I can't offer much in line of a critique, the style you're developing is very different from the type of work I typically study and produce. However, I have a question if you don't mind? I was looking through the section titled Narcotics and I couldn't help wondering if you might be inadvertantly placing yourself in a dangerous position. While you mention that this segment is a spin off of another about drinking, your subject carries a bit more danger, alcohol not being illegal for of-age adults, but drugs of this type are. (Or am I wrong about the UK? I'm American) I couldn't help wonder if documenting deals on film and publishing them is a safe plan. While it may seem semi-private in publishing them on your own web site, the dealers may not feel so liberal about it. (In fact, there is at least one UK police officer who frequents this list who would probably love to have the guilty photographed to make his life easier) Anyway - I hope you don't mind I ask about this. What are your thoughts about it? And again, keep shooting, and look for advice of the people who are successful and making 100% of their living (and living well) in the niche you want to work in. Those are the opinions that will do you the most good. And if there is criticism from these sorts of people, take it in stride but never give up. Best, Lynn
 
F

focusnetwork

Hello Lynn. Thank you for your kind comments and encouragement. With regards to the drugs project. I have decided to embark on this project for a number of reasons. Firstly, my brother in law recently came third in the stories category of the world press photo awards 2003 for his work entitled 'drinking of england' which highlights the drinking habits of the english from students to pensioners. This encouraged me to investigate an issue which I feel is even more relevant to my generation. Drugs are an important issue in modern day social documentary. I have seen little or no work on the topic which is why I feel it is my responsibility to embark on such a project. I hope the project will develop over many years until it becomes a body of work in its own right. The reason why it interests me is mainly down to the 'misinformation' that exists today because of the ignorance of politicians and drug users alike. In this project I hope to remain objective as I feel I did with my anti war protests project. This will allow me to explore the true effects of drugs on people and society without being influenced by how they are classified in law. I personally feel that the current attitude towards drugs by politicians and law makers is completely ignorant of the facts and legislation is simply not working. There is level of hypocrisy to allow free use of alcohol and tobacco yet classify ecstasy at the same level as heroin. My work will be an investigation as well as a photographic commentary on what drugs mean in our society. My interest is in the facts and the facts only. If this causes controversy or gets me in trouble then it just clarifies the absurdity of the whole situation. Prohibition did not work in America for alcohol. Time has proven that it is not working for drugs. Attitudes need to change and I hope to show why through a combination of imagery and facts. If the UK police officer is reading this I would encourage him to contact me as obviously his views on the issue would play an important part in the project. Thanks again Lynn, regards, James.
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W

writing4me

Hello again James, thanks for your response. I can see why you are passionate about this angle of your photography. But I still can't help feeling that you might not realize the danger, not from the legal aspect, but at the hands of ones who are selling in the big leagues. I can see if you were working on a piece for publication in a news expose, where your employer would hopefully also be behind you and working to keep you protected and shielded from backlash of criminals, but you are alone in this. Yes I probably worry too much and maybe I sound like a worry-wort, but that's me. However, if you feel you can keep yourself out of harms way - then why not explore the physical aspects of drug use? I mean, how about documenting those who have ruined their bodies and minds physically by it's use? I agree that prohibition was useless here in the US. If you study anything about Capone in Chicago during this time you'll see that prohibition merely gave him another avenue for extortion and exploitation. The angle of approach on keeping drugs or even alcohol out of a community or culture needs to start with families instilling values into their children, in my humble opinion. But I don't want to get into a political debate on a friendly photography forum
Anyway - do be careful. The sort who sell these things don't fool around. -Lynn
 
F

focusnetwork

Hello Lynn. I understand what you are saying. The project would not concentrate on how the drugs reach their users, but rather how the users use and experience them. I have no interest in following criminals around, but rather exploring why people use drugs, what effect it has on their lives (good and bad) and the facts surrounding their usage. I agree with your point about instilling values into children as opposed to attempting to control the supply and distribution of substances. Best regards, James.
 
J

jaques_b

Hello, James,
I just want to add a little detail to the ongoing discussion, and that is aesthetics. I mean, talking about your subject matter, about being a "people person" or about dangers of the drug scene is one thing, but hasn’t anybody seen how immediate, how captive and -- dare I say it -- contemporary your work is? After all, the formal aspect of photography is as important as the "message", and here you explore the (technical) possibilities of this camera & optics to a quite astonishing effect. Keep up the good work, I think you've already found your way.

My favourite is your self-portrait in the lift. It's very ... off-centeres. Definitely.
 
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