January 25, 2022

Andrew Low Feels Portraits Don’t Always Need to Be Sharp

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Even those among us who arent obsessed with pixel peeping typically measure the effectiveness of a professional photographers strategy by the sharpness of their images. Low feels otherwise, and he often experiments with sluggish shutter speeds for some creative outcomes.

“You never ever know what you will get, however thats why I love movie,” states Scottish photographer Andrew Low on why he shoots with film so typically. Instead of decreasing the standard path for an album cover, Low chose to experiment. It paid off effectively in the form of a top-five positioning at the 2021 International Photography Awards.

The Essential Photo Gear Used by Andrew Low

Andrew told us:

Andrew Low: My Name is Andrew; I come from a town called Renfrew simply beyond Glasgow. I began photography about 3 years ago. One day I decided I wanted to attempt out some new hobbies, so I attempted a couple of, and photography was among them. Ever since, I ran with the hobby and put all my time and energy into it. Two years after beginning, it became my full-time job, with me now being a commercial professional photographer for a clothes company called Little Lies. Over the couple of years of doing photography, I tried my hands at the majority of styles, from landscapes which I started with, to cityscapes and street photography, followed by portraits, and I discovered that portraits was my kind of thing and stayed with it.

Andrew Low: This album cover is heavily inspired by an American photographer called Jake Wangner. He does a great deal of these slow shutter pictures, and I was constantly inspired to try them out. Prior to this photo, I shot a few test shoots due to the fact that its not a simple thing to do on film since you never know how it will end up. The artist I shot this for pertained to me and stated they liked what I was doing and stated it would fit their design due to the fact that they preferred to be somewhat mysterious and hide their face. This design was best for the cover.

The Phoblographer: A really non standard album cover. What inspired you to shoot in this manner?

My main camera is a Mamiya RZ67 Pro II with a 110mm lens, I enjoy this cam because it works for everything I need, the waist level viewfinder allows me to maintain eye contact with my topic and doesnt add any diversions, my go to film when using the cam needs to portra 400 or 800 depending what im shooting, I simply enjoy the method it renders.

The Phoblographer: Please tell us about yourself and how you got into photography.

The Phoblographer: Had you been practicing the strategy on a digital cam for a while, or was this a speculative shoot?

Andrew Low: It is a tricky thing to do on film since you never understand what you will get, but thats why I like movie. I really never tried out digital; I simply jumped straight in and did a test roll when I was evaluating a camera. I did it on a set of fitness instructors in the studio just to get a feel for it, and I needed to check out the video camera anyways. After that very first roll, I simply put the actions into practice on people I knew or models that used to be a part of it.

The Phoblographer: Given that you couldnt see the shots up until they were established, how confident were you of the results?

The Phoblographer: Tell us how you performed the album cover shot. Did it match with the theme of the music of the album?

I likewise own a Sony a7 III for any wedding events, product or video work. With film being my main way of photographing I own a great couple of electronic cameras from a Nikon L35AF, Contax T2 to Canon EOS 3, all serving different purposes depending what Im shooting..

Andrew Low: I established a few continuous lights for this shoot, one at the front with a colored gel and one at the back with colored gel. The method is to have darkness on the opposite side of the lights so when it drags, it stops and doesnt continue past the face. Shutter speeds I would say they were around the 1/4 -1/ 8th, which is my go-to for these sort of shots. And the artist was incredibly delighted with the end result.

The Phoblographer: This series likewise won you a leading five putting at the 2021 IPA event. What was the sensation like to become aware of that outcome: to find out that film photos still make acknowledgment?

Andrew Low: Im typically pretty confident when shooting film; I never ever shoot any digital backups and so far have been fortunate (touch wood!). But provided that I had done it a couple of times with various outcomes, I understood I had it in the bag when it came to this shoot. I think if youre shooting movie, you just need to commit to it and trust your abilities.

The Phoblographer: How did it feel when they ended up simply the method you desired? Did it inspire you to do more work like this?

Andrew Low: It was really satisfying to see how they turned out. We did the exact same shot for a full roll to make sure we had a few to pick from, and they turned out exactly how I imagined. It absolutely has actually motivated me to shoot more, and Im planning to return to shooting more innovative and creative work like this. However with my business job finding the time can be pretty hard.

Andrew Low: I was over the moon with this, I had actually entered a few various images into this, consisting of a set of long direct exposure images, and I hoped something would get gotten by the IPA, and I was extremely happy it was this set of images. Im proud that movie is returning, and individuals are more open to the concept of shooting film instead of digital.

The Phoblographer: With the majority of professional photographers so consumed with sharpness nowadays, why do you feel this series was so well gotten?

The Phoblographer: Photographers who grew up on film always revisit it. Why would you say those who never ever shot movie previously are more drawn to it during the previous couple of years?

Andrew Low: I just think due to the fact that its on movie and due to the fact that its not the easiest strategy to get right, so much can go incorrect with slow shutter speeds and even more so when you cant see the result, and I believe this won over the judges. Its about the image and how it makes you feel, not how it was photographed.

Andrew Low: I think with how the world has actually evolved and whatever ending up being so sophisticated its good to go back to basics with some things, youll observe it in fashion and the return of classic clothing, music with the return of records. More and more, I see individuals changing from the high end expensive digital cameras and choosing up a ₤ 100-200 film camera from eBay and attempting their hand at it.

“You never know what you will get, but thats why I enjoy film,” says Scottish professional photographer Andrew Low on why he shoots with film so often. Andrew Low: It is a challenging thing to do on film since you never ever understand what you will get, however thats why I like film. Andrew Low: Im generally pretty confident when shooting film; I never ever shoot any digital backups and so far have actually been fortunate (touch wood!). I think if youre shooting movie, you simply require to dedicate to it and trust your skills.

Andrew Low: I just think because its on movie and because its not the easiest method to get right, so much can go incorrect with slow shutter speeds and even more so when you cant see the outcome, and I believe this won over the judges.

If I wish to utilize a 35mm camera but still have great information in my images I go with my EOS 3 with a sigma art 50mm lens but if Im out with buddies or traveling my go to is either my Nikon or my T2.

All images by Andrew Low. Utilized with authorization. Please visit his website and Instagram page to see more of his work.

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