10 November 2006

Guest: Martin Norberg

Once again I proudly present a photographer which pictures I find amazing - Martin Norberg. About his photography he says:

"Photography is for me a way of approaching the world around me. Or rather, a way of keeping it at arms length. I watch, I wait, and I seldom direct people, even in the studio. Yes, people are my main subjects. I'm not too hot about scenery or nature. I believe that the strength of still photography lies in its ability of accurately capturing the moment, although perhaps not at the expense of aesthetics.

For me, the perfect photo consists to equal parts of factors that we may call composition, subjective content, and presentation. A well executed composition hits the onlooker like a kick in the stomach, a composition where the geometric elements come together in perfect unity. I use a camera that shows 100% of the image in the viewfinder, and I never crop afterwards (therefore I also have a 95% reject rate). However, composition is still second to the actual expression or content. If an image has been badly composed, but shows something important or interesting, the content wins every time. Sadly the reverse is never true. Every photographer has a different opinion on what makes an interesting image. I once knew a photographer who without exception, every time, always picked the frame next to the good one. He was a great photographer, it was just that his vision of what he wanted to do was too far from what he actually did. But, that is just my subjective opinion, feel free to disagree (I know he did).

People are constantly changing creatures, they are the victims of their culture, context or their work life, and they are very busy with trying to show a proper facade towards everyone else. Sometimes they forget, though, but only for a moment. And that is when it is the right time to press that button and fire the shutter. Because of this the photographer is in some ways a thief, a vampire that lives off other people's energy. But it's all part of the game.

And then there is the third factor, presentation. It is crucial to catch the viewer's attention and nobody looks twice at a sloppy photo. Craftsmanship is important, and a lot of fun, and you are never fully learned. I just started doing lith printing myself, although I've emulated some of the effect for years with bleaching solution. That digital imaging is dominating the current market for utility photography is no surprise. Especially for color darkroom people the digital age is a blessing. But I do get annoyed when people see my work and ask when am I going digital. I admit, my cameras are as old as I am, but still. You'd never ask a wood sculpturer when he is going plastic, would you. Chemical photography is a tool, a medium, with its quirks and advantages, just like oil painting, knitting and digital photography is. I think I will stick to grainy black and white for as long as I can, but at the same time I don't mind trying out different image tones on the computer screen with my scanned negatives. Thank you for looking.

Martin Norberg, Gothenburg, Sweden

35mm equipment: Nikon F or F2, mostly with Nikkors 35mm f1.4, 28mm f2.0,105mm f2.5. Film: Neopan 1600.
Medium format 6x6: Bronica S2 or Hasselblad, Tri-X or Neopan.
Lab: Focomat Ic, IIc
Other: Two eyes, one brain (for now)."

More of his work you kan find here. Invited by Fredrik Skott.


Exposed Material said...

It's great to see your work here, Martin! I like your attitude towards photography and that's also clearly seen in your pictures. Thanks for sharing and for the inspiration that I'm always in the need of! Excellent choice, Fredrik!

mats äleklint said...

Yes this is great martin! Love the feeling in your pictures.

Anonymous said...

great portraits, I am happy to have a chance to discover for me your work

Mikael said...

Very nice to see Martin´s work here, like so many of them!

Anonymous said...

Martin, thanks for participating on the F blog! As you already know I find your photos fascinating.

F said...

May I select one of these fine pictures?
I really love the one with the girl lying on the floor with a pen writing something and a couple of anonymous legs approaching. So many possibilities in that one.

F said...

-u, that one is my favorite too.

Anonymous said...

Yes, great photography. Like the fresh approach!

F said...

I like this very much Martin. Great to see and also fun to read about your thoughts concerning photography. Thanks to you and to Fredrik!