Featured Street Photographer – Nathan Larkin

You can find Nathan on the interwebs here :

http://nathan-larkin.format.com/home

Why Street Photography?

I love the street.. I can tell the story I see, or I can make up something over the course of a day or so. I walk around in my own little world thinking about the stories people may or may not be living.

What Got You “Into” Street Photography?

Nothing really got me ‘Into’ street photography. I think in an odd connection it found me. I have been playing with many different types of storytelling and found that it was easier, more methodical, and freer to shoot in the street than work in studios or set up shots with models, lights, and all the other rubbish that goes along with it.

Best Tip?

Be relaxed and hold your camera in your hand, don’t try and sneak a shot. If people see you with the camera they are more likely not to worry too much if you take a photo.

Favourite “Go To” Spot?

I don’t have a real ‘Go To’ spot, but I do have a ‘Go To’ time and that’s generally in the middle of the day. I know it breaks all the conventions of photography, but I am always in search of that hard light and deep shadows.

What Gear Do You Like and Why?

I am a film shooter and mix between a couple of cameras. I use the Hasselblad 500C when I need to be a little more inconspicuous. For such a large camera it’s actually quite quiet and I can pre focus to a specific point and wait for my shot. Lately I have been shooting with my Fuji GSW690iii which is a blindingly amazing camera! It’s way load and very big and obtrusive when people see it on the street.

MSP : I asked Nathan some additional questions regarding his studies and some of his work…

What are your photography aspirations?

I work mainly in Documentary and Photojournalistic styles. I love to make work not only for me but to show what it’s like to live in the world we all live in. I love to look at the Psychogeography of place and how we wander and interact through our landscape and urban architecture.

Did our degree in photojournalism help you? Would you recommend it?

I don’t think university is for everyone. For me it was a perfect to teach me more about how to create and manage an idea from start to finish. It was also a wonderful in-depth look at how to create imagery through research. Reading books about the ideas you want to pursue and then finding other artists that visually look at the same ideas.

Tell me some more about your Bike Polo project. 

Bike Polo!! Wow what a thing to ask me about. I worked for a few years as a bicycle courier and raced bicycles for most of my life. I have always liked riding and since my racing career has come to an end and I thought I would try something new. I was doing a project about cyclists and and their bikes and had a few Polo Players pop in to have their portraits taken.

Once I got to talking to them i decided to change my whole approach to the project and just focus purely on bike polo, the people, and the game. Once I decide I would just turn up to matches and watched people play, made a few friends, and shared the images with them. Now with Uni over, and some of my time about to become my own again, I hope to get playing again and get more shots and build an archive of images for the games history.

MSP : You can see Nathan’s Bike Polo images here :

http://nathan-larkin.format.com/2433155-bike

Digital vs Film?

I have had access to a film camera for most of my life. My mother was an illustrator and used a camera on occasion to make visual reference. I was taught to cyanotype and contact print very early but have since forgotten how it all works, but will teach myself once again.

My grandparents gave me a couple of film cameras (a Minolta and a Box Brownie) and I have always been fascinated with the way light hits film and creates and image. When I started my final year at university I decided that I wanted to go back to film. I have always loved how much more of ‘Me’ is in the image when I get to work with film.

I felt oddly more in control when I went back to film and have been able to work slower and more methodical. Film, especially black and white, is still the best way to learn the basics of photography and when you really nail it, the feeling is amazing.

Final Thoughts?

Search Instagram and look at all the other street photographers feeds and follow the ones you like and share your work with them!! It will always make you better.

OK – let’s spend some time with Nathan’s images!

20151124_shanghaigp3_hass-314

A dark image, reflecting the mood of a rainy day. The image has a very uniform blackness, punctuated by contrasting light areas – the white line on the wall, the sign, butt collector, milk crate, and the outline of the subject.

The white line is broken, giving the subject an opportunity to stand out in the overall bleakness of the image. The subject has a mysterious feel, with the subject’s face completely in the shadows under the umbrella. The image has the unmistakeable feel of film grain to it. From the image tags, I think it was shot on Shanghai black and white medium format film on a Hasselblad 500 series camera. The perfect camera for such a “film noir” style of image!

 

20151009_shanghaiGP3_gull244

Slide1From the tags, again, I believe this was shot on a Seagull TLR camera – a kind of “toy” style camera. A great example of how “faults” in a toy style camera can produce wonderful results. The lens in the Seagull looks to have significantly vignetted the image, darkening the corners of the image and creating a circle of light which the eye is drawn to.

If you want to know more about Toy Cameras, here is a good place to start!

https://melbournestreetphotography.com.au/2014/07/12

It is interesting that the rule of thirds appears to be only optional when it comes to square format photography! This composition works perfectly with the subject bang in the centre of the image.

The circular feel of the image is further accentuated by the trees, which seem to lean in towards the subject, and is framed further by the pedestrians to the left, and the cyclist on the right. The frame is quite interesting, being round in design…

The subject has a very “grumpy old man” feel with his hands thrust deep in the pockets of his jacket.

untitled-362

 

The final image is a classical use of hard light edges. The subject is edge lit against a very dark background shadow. The sliver of light just in front of the subject runs along the road and up the wall, drawing the viewer’s eye into the image.

Thanks for spending some time with Melbourne Street Photography Nathan!

 

One Response to “Featured Street Photographer – Nathan Larkin”

  1. A very good interview and pictures! One more artist to look up to. Thanks!

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: