Desert Is­land DSLR

Digital Camera World - - CONTENTS - Damian De­molder Street pho­tog­ra­pher, jour­nal­ist and ed­u­ca­tor www.damien­de­molder.com

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

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