PHOTOGRAPHER: Nils Karlson
CAMERA: Mamiya RZ67 + 110mm lens + 6×6 film back
FILM: Kodak Portra 800
DEVELOPED & SCANNED: Canadian Film Lab
LOCATION: Batz Sur Mer (Bretagne/France)
Introducing Nils Karlson. As soon as we saw Nils’ soft and cuddly subject captured in beautiful Portra tones we simply couldn’t resist featuring him on L&L.
“These photos are from two rolls of film I exposed on a beautiful day in Batz Suer Mer (Brittany) in May 2016 with my RZ67. Though it is a huge and heavy beast, I found the RZ67 to be one of my cameras suited for a free and more spontaneous approach, and its waist level finder makes it a joy to work close to the ground, or as I prefer “On Eye Level” with my dogs. The photos with my companion Rüdiger were exposed during a short walk on a beach before I brought him back to the campervan to rest. He is getting old, so I try not to ask too much of him. After het snuggled in the bed, I headed off to expose some more detail photos in the very last light of the day.”
“The light is very special in Brittany. Travelling a long, long way over the whole Atlantic Ocean in the evening, it is very clear and clean, though also very smooth and subtle. Add the salty scent of the ocean, and a soft breeze, and it is pure bliss. But do not let this fool you – the light can be very dramatic, with storms and heavy rains rolling in. It still is the Atlantic Ocean, and it will show you all its various sides sometimes on one single day.”
“Using one single film stock from daylight to the late evening can be tricky when it comes to shutter speeds – the highest speed of the leaf shutter lens on the RZ67 is 1/400, and working slower than 1/125 will lead to blurry photos of my companion. Luckily, Portra 800 seems to be fine with a lot of overexposure – I rate this stock at ISO 200, and it never has let me down.”
“Photography is still quite new to me – I started snapping photos with a digital camera in 2011, made my first exposures on film in 2012, and cancelled all digital shooting in 2014. I moved from 35mm cameras to medium format, starting with 6×4.5, moving to 6×7 and finding my personal favourite in the square format in 2015.”
“Most of the time I work in themes or series; either “On Eye Level”, which is all my work using a camera with a wait level finder, close to the ground, and showing mostly the close relationship and love to my dogs and the little things. Also, there are minimalist abstracts of the seascape, using long exposures as well as Intentional Camera Movements, all under the label of “Earth Stands Still”. The whole approach is based on the concept of the Bardo in The Tibetan Book of the Dead and my understanding of transcendence as an ever-going process.” The latter has resulted in a photo book called Earth Stands Still, of which Nils recently launched a Crowdfund campaign for – it has already been enormously successful however there are still plenty of copies to be purchased.
Interested in submitting to LENSES&LOCALS Film Features? Find out all about them, here.