Tag Archives: Hasselblad Xpan

Cinematic Photography by “Variety of Light”

The is something about the look and feel of movies that’s captured the public attention for over a hundred years. Maybe it’s the size of the silver screen that makes its stories and emotions larger than life. Maybe it’s the unforgettable characters that become a part of our lives. Or maybe it’s the way we see the world through lenses and film.

Photography has always been a rival sibling to cinema. While blockbuster movies gets all the glory and attention, a single still frame can be hauntingly more powerful than we can ever imagine. So when somebody combines the best of cinema and still photography, the effect is that much more powerful.

iLHP is proud to feature Herbert from Variety of Light and his cinematic still photography. There is a melancholic beauty to his images. We spoke with the man and tried to understand the inspirations behind his beautiful photographs.

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iLHP: Hi Herbert, thank you for speaking with us today. Could you please tell us about yourself? 

Herbert: Hi Ed. I grew up in Germany in a family full of photographers and so it was inevitable that I’ve learned that stuff right as a child. My very first camera was a Voigtländer Vito B and I started with black and white film which our father developed in his darkroom.

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I’ve used that camera quite some years until my interest shifted a bit when I was a young man. Later and when digital photography emerged and since the introduction of mirror-less cameras, photography gained my attention again and today it’s my hobby and passion.

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iLHP: I first came across your work via your website called Variety of Light. Your works are gorgeously cinematic in terms of composition but especially tone and color. How did you develop your style? 

Continue reading Cinematic Photography by “Variety of Light”

Aspect Ratios – Legacy or Aesthetics? (Part 1: The Golden Rectangle)

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Leica 35mm f/2.8 Summaron @  ISO 2500, cropped to 24mm x 65mm Xpan format (a/r 2.708)

I’ve wrestled with the concept of aspect ratios, for as long as I have been into photography. It was simple enough in the film processing days, where photographers mostly used 35mm (135) film or medium format (120) film and standard print sizes at your local labs were 4×6, 5×7, 8×10, etc. Aspect ratio was physically limited by the physical size of the film/slide used and the available developments, unless, of course, you cut the photograph to size after the fact. Digital could have changed all this. But it didn’t. And why is that? Is it because of legacy or aesthetics?

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I can imagine a variety of arguments in support of the traditional 2×3 (a/r 1.5) 35mm format, such as “our modern day FF and APS-C sensors are based on this format and our old and new lenses cover this format.” Yes, this is a legacy argument. But with digital cropping, you can easily achieve different aspect ratios. Also, manufacturers are forever coming up with new camera lines with new mounts and new lenses. What a perfect opportunity to change the aspect ratio.

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Zeiss SEL55F18Z @  f/2.5, ISO 250, 1/200s, cropped to 24mm x 65mm Xpan format (a/r 2.708)

Realists might say “but if you crop, you are not using your sensor to the fullest.” Yes, but with today’s high megapixel 24MP or 36MP cameras, you can easily afford to lose 10% or more of those megapixels and still retain a huge image. Olympus fans may jump in and say “Ha! We have thought of this so we use the 4/3s format.” Yes, to which we will collectively roll our eyes at the 4/3s format (a/r 1.33) for its hideousness in proportions, at least in the landscape perspective. Remember our old (now “retro”) cathode-ray tube television boxes. Looking at it now, they are hideous compared to our 16:9 HDTVs. What changed? Our of-the-moment sensibilities or something more?

Continue reading Aspect Ratios – Legacy or Aesthetics? (Part 1: The Golden Rectangle)