Desert Island DSLR
Street king and journalist Damian Demolder takes part
How would you describe your photography?
I try to shoot atmospheres and the feelings that I have about a place, a moment, an occasion or a person. I try to ignore the physical stuff, as much as you can in photography, and concentrate on conveying the sense of being there.
In street stuff it’s trying to capture the atmosphere of a place, even if it’s just a street. I look for the dramatic, beautiful, exciting and inspiring features of those places. Generally that’s around light and colour.
What was the last photo you took?
It was complete rubbish! I just got the Hasselblad 21mm for the X1D to test. It’s an extremely wide lens, so the last picture I took was in my library, looking up at the ceiling to see how distorted the view would be and what the chromatic aberrations would be like.
What’s the most expensive piece of kit you’ve ever used?
The Phase One XF camera with a 100MP back and a bunch of lenses. That was actually quite frightening. Recently I used Cooke’s Anamorphic/i 32mm lens, which costs about
$30,000. I was testing the anamorphic video on the Panasonic GH5, so I thought I’d get a proper anamorphic lens. It’s a great big movie lens, like a beer barrel. That was exciting to use.
Which lens would you be most upset to lose?
I use Panasonic’s Lumix kit a lot, particularly for street photography. It has the Leica Nocticron 42.5mm f/1.2 lens, which is spectacularly good because it has such a shallow depth of field. It’s really sharp when you use it wide open so you get this threedimensional quality of the subject that’s in focus jumping out from an incredibly blurry background.
For my everyday stuff, most of my work is taken with a Panasonic Leica 25mm f/1.4. The pictures it takes are very nice. It’s the lens I use most often, so it’s the one I’d be most disappointed to lose.
Which photographers (living or dead) would you like to have round for dinner?
Julia Margaret Cameron is my favourite photographer. Her work was mostly fictional, apart from her proper portraits, but I like her ideas of creating tableaux and themes from stories. You get a sense of what it was like to be in the company of those people.
I’d have Rankin around so he could ask questions as well, because I’d be interested to see how they would get on. It would be a weird one. I’d have to video the whole thing.
Where’s your favourite place?
I’m constantly surprised and amazed at the potential and opportunities in London. You turn the corner from one street into another and everything changes. There’s an incredible contrast of modern glass buildings next to ancient stone monuments. London is full of people and activity.
And finally, what is your Desert Island DSLR?
The Nikon D850 is one of those cameras that really does do everything. It’s got enormous resolution, so many features such as the multi-exposure overlay, and incredible dynamic range.
Damien Demolder runs photography workshops and tours through his website and for Light & Land. www.lightandland.co.uk