It’s been a while since springtime has come around, and the pandemic has affected most of us community members’ plans and projects for the season. However, it’s never too late to catch up as some cities are already easing in the quarantine period. Join Kostas Kritsalos a.k.a. kritsalos and Akio Nakai a.k.a. akio_nakai as they share some important pointers to remember when shooting the season of beginnings.
Write a Story about Beginnings
Not everything about spring has to be about imagery and symbolism. Kostas recommends taking pictures of folklore festivals, as various places in Greece, are being celebrated have roots in antiquity. For Akio, springtime is a way to tell a story.
"I want to feel the scene of the photo," Akio says, and it is through consideration of light and shadow one would be able to do this. As such, Akio recommends using a compact camera for easy movement. Fast enough for the photographer to take in and out of their bags or pockets, good enough to capture the fleetingness of stories and moments. To compensate for this, Akio used the Neptune Convertible Art Lens System.
Define Your Own Imagery
Each springtime in a place is unique. Our own definitions of 'beginnings' and 'life' are also varying. For Akio, who lives in the Land of the Rising Sun, these themes are most personal and relatable to him through the Japanese cherry blossoms and the saturation of colors. "I like places closer to me than remote tourist spots. I can take beautiful pictures." For Akio, spring is to be at home.
Colors also represent Spring for Kostas. Hailing from the beautiful Greek island of Skopelos, a blue sky and calm sea mark the spring. He prefers going to the countryside and visiting small cities and villages where seas and mountains are seen.
"Where I grew up we also had a lot of almond trees, so, as students, we would chop some small blossomed branches and decorate our classrooms. Martins and other migratory birds were returning to their nests, located in our balconies, chanting all the time, and bees were everywhere around. People on the island usually have livestock so you could also see baby sheep and goats running crazily on the fields."
Timing is Everything
While we will often associate springtime with sunlight, there's always a scene to be captured during any time of the day. Akio dares everyone to also try shooting in the evening. Some nighttime greenery and urban portraits, highlighting spring fashion can be an idea. Both Akio and Kostas see the sun as essential. According to Kostas, afternoon sunlight would usually create smoother shadows and lighting. Cloudy skies can also affect the kind of lighting one would get.
"Always pay attention to keep the sun on my side or on my back. When you want saturated colors it is essential to have a well-lit frame. If there are some clouds on the sky I will pause for a bit and wait for the sun to get out of them."
Kostas personally recommends color films less than ISO200 such as the Lomography Color Negative 100. Approaching everything with the mindset of a "hunter" helps him be in the zone to capture light, forms, colors, and emotions according to his liking. Films such as the Kodak Ektar 100 and Fuji Superia 200 can also do wonders. Use slide films for saturated shots. Do try experimenting with creative films too such as the Lomography Redscale 50-200.
"It is a feeling that makes you escape from your routine so you can search and depict a part of the world around you. I enjoy this feeling more with film photography where you have certain limitations, like the number of shots per film. This makes me push myself to seek the best frame to be captured and in order to do so my eyes scan the environment around me thoroughly. While I am on this state of focus, I re-discover and re-evaluate the world around me, boosting my creativity and euphoria. The results of this process are beautiful photos that help this feeling last in time."
Kostas is currently on lockdown in Athens, reviewing old photos, maintaining his gear, and creating future plans after the pandemic. Right now, being unable to shoot much during the lockdown and the summertime is too hot, Akio's anticipating the autumnal colors.
Already had your own spring projects coming to life? Let us know and share it through the comments section below!