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The Art of Seeing

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  • The Art of Seeing

    I recently came across a photographer whose work and life are truly remarkable and inspirational - Ken Keen FRPS.

    First of all I thoroughly recommend watching this video about Ken - it's 20 minutes long but it really is worth it:
    https://vimeo.com/124642746

    And Ken's web site is also well worth a visit: https://kenkeenandlightfromthedarkness.com/

    In a very brief nutshell, in 2000, when Ken was in his late Sixties he had an operation on his nose which resulted in his optic nerves being damaged and he lost most of his sight. He can see things very close up and he can detect light and dark but other than that his virtually blind. Incredibly this didn't deter him from carrying on with photography, instead it spurred him on to new heights.

    Even more incredibly he uses a 10x8 view camera, processes the film himself at home and produces his own prints. Watch the video to see how he does this.

    Last week I got the chance to meet Ken and spend some time with him taking photographs in Gloucester Cathedral. He's 85 now, but still going strong.


    Ken with his beautiful Gandolfi 10x8 camera. He can set the camera up, level it and set the focus all by touch.

    He produces salt prints, which were pioneered by Fox Talbot in the 1830s - have a look at Ken's web site for examples of his beautiful prints.

    Meeting Ken was an amazing experience and it's certainly got me thinking about my own photography. It could set me off in a different direction photographically - I guess we'll have to see how that pans out.

    By the way, Ken travelled to Gloucester from his home in Buckinghamshire to Gloucester and took three shots - one more than he intended! He only takes photos that he thinks would make good prints.

    Although my main purpose of going to Gloucester Cathedral was to meet Ken and watch him at work, I also took some shots of my own on my Intrepid 5x4. I was intending to print these on Ilford Warmtone Glossy and selenium tone them but half way through printing last weekend my enlarger packed up so these are scans of the negatives as close as I could get them to what I envisaged the prints to look like. (I think I've found the fault with the enlarger and hopefully it will be a relatively simple fix.)

    Anyway, these were my efforts on the day:


    Gloucester Cathedral Cloisters, Intrepid 5x4, Schneider Super Angulon 90mm, Fomapan 100


    Gloucester Cathedral Cloisters, Intrepid 5x4, Schneider Super Angulon 90mm, Fomapan 100


    Chapel next to the Whispering Gallery, Gloucester Cathedral, Intrepid 5x4, Schneider Super Angulon 90mm, Fomapan 100

    I also stopped off at Beachley in Chepstow on the way home and took a shot of the Severn Bridge with the Intrepid.

    Roger

    E-M5, 20mm/1.7, 45mm/1.8
    OM-1N, OM-10, OM-4ti, 24mm/2.8, 50mm/1.8, 85mm/2, Tamron 70-210mm/3.5
    cariadus.com | flickr | tumblr

  • #2
    Re: The Art of Seeing

    Good for Ken, what a star he is!! Thanks too for the link and the background info.

    How do you like Foma 100? I've been meaning to try a roll or two myself. From what I've read Foma reaches into the near IR and can be used for IR photography with a suitable filter.
    My plan is to get hold of a roll or two of Forma 100, 200 and 400 and put them to the test. I like the old school emulsions very much.
    Steve

    on flickr

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    • #3
      Mark Johnson

      My Sailing Page

      My Flickr

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      • #4
        Re: The Art of Seeing

        Originally posted by Ricoh View Post
        Good for Ken, what a star he is!! Thanks too for the link and the background info.

        How do you like Foma 100? I've been meaning to try a roll or two myself. From what I've read Foma reaches into the near IR and can be used for IR photography with a suitable filter.
        My plan is to get hold of a roll or two of Forma 100, 200 and 400 and put them to the test. I like the old school emulsions very much.
        I've only used it in 5x4 but I love it - not least because it's half the price of other films! I haven't tried it for IR though.
        Roger

        E-M5, 20mm/1.7, 45mm/1.8
        OM-1N, OM-10, OM-4ti, 24mm/2.8, 50mm/1.8, 85mm/2, Tamron 70-210mm/3.5
        cariadus.com | flickr | tumblr

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: The Art of Seeing

          Originally posted by MJ224 View Post
          The art of seeing is the bedrock of photography and art in many forms.....
          Indeed - it's easy to forget that though.
          Roger

          E-M5, 20mm/1.7, 45mm/1.8
          OM-1N, OM-10, OM-4ti, 24mm/2.8, 50mm/1.8, 85mm/2, Tamron 70-210mm/3.5
          cariadus.com | flickr | tumblr

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: The Art of Seeing

            "A camera is a tool for learning how to see without a camera".
            Dorothea Lange
            Steve

            on flickr

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            • #7
              Re: The Art of Seeing

              Thanks Roger, an inspirational story, and I love the processing technique too. I love your warm toned shots in the cathedral.
              Bruce

              http://flickr.com/photos/bruce-clarke/

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              • #8
                Re: The Art of Seeing

                Originally posted by Bruce Clarke View Post
                Thanks Roger, and inspirational story, and I love the processing technique too. I love your warm toned shots in the cathedral.
                Thanks - hopefully I can get the enlarger up and running again soon and do some properly warm toned prints.
                Roger

                E-M5, 20mm/1.7, 45mm/1.8
                OM-1N, OM-10, OM-4ti, 24mm/2.8, 50mm/1.8, 85mm/2, Tamron 70-210mm/3.5
                cariadus.com | flickr | tumblr

                Comment

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