Michael Kenna is a true master of the photographic art. His images are hauntingly beautiful and create a real sense of longing and loneliness. It is partly due to the fact that though he includes man made objects, he never actually shows the people who made the objects and also due to the length of his exposures. Over the years he has developed a system where he can take his standard Hassleblad cameras and lenses and expose his images for 3-8 hours even in the middle of the day.
I was first exposed to his work when I first started my course work at Brooks Institute and when I saw his work, it really inspired me both for his mastery of not only the artistic aspect of his work, but also the technical mastery of the photographic process. His work is what first inspired me at Brooks to delve into the world of alternative processes and understand the science behind creating images.
Though I now focus most of my time on shooting action photography, which is the basically the total antithesis of his work, I still find myself being influenced by his work when I compose my action shots and also when I play around with shooting landscapes and long exposure images.
I occasionally dabble in alternative processes and have a fairly wide range of alternative cameras that I pull off the shelf when I feel like my images are getting stale and boring. I find that it is sometimes really good as a photographer to step away from what you always shoot and shoot things you don’t normally shot or shoot the same subjects but with different equipment.
If you are looking for some inspiration and want to see more of Michael Kenna’s work, check out his website here.
He will also be the Keynote Speaker at this year’s NZIPP InFocus conference being held here in Rotorua August 3-5 where he will be delivering the opening address and answering questions about his work. You can find out more about the conference here.
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