Its been a while since my last post and a lot has happened in terms of how I now approach photography. You have probably noticed that the name of my website has changed from 'Kevin Langan Landscape Photography' to 'Kevin Langan Photography'. You also probably noticed that the photographs that I have been taking recently are not primarily of landscapes, but of cityscapes, portraits, still life and abstract forms. The change in my photography came about during my trip to Asia last year, where I visited Shanghai and Beijing in China, and Taipei in Taiwan. For the first time since I started the website I began taking photographs of urban environments with the inclusion of people. Some of the photos were even pure portraits of people. My style of shooting also changed on this trip. Up until then the majority of my landscape photographs were shot using a tripod in a very calculated and controlled manner. In Asia a lot of my photographs were shot hand-held apart from some long exposures and the night photographs I took of buildings.
My most recent photographs have been mostly shot hand-held using a 50mm lens. I really enjoy using a prime lens to create images. I love its limitations and the fact that you have to use your legs to help frame the subject. The other reason I love it is because of it is a fast lens (f/1.4), allowing me to shoot my subject using a very shallow depth-of-filed if necessary. Most of my landscape work has been shoot at f/8 or above, where as my most recent work has been shoot at f/4 or below. Of course there are no fixed apertures for photography. Aperture settings are a tool the photographer uses to control the amount of perceived focus in a photo, and have a very direct impact in how the image is interpreted. For me, I love the way light and form gets abstracted using wide apertures. What may have been a banal image can get transformed into something magical using shallow focus.
I would like to digress here and talk a little about my influences. As an Fine Art student who mixed it up between painting and photography my influences were diverse to say the least. As a painter I would have been influenced by artists such as Richard Diebenkorn, Willem de Kooning, Hans Hofmann, Franz Kline, Mark Rothko, Robert Motherwell, Paul Klee, Edward Hopper and many more. For those of you who are unfamiliar with these name, most of these artists were abstract painters, apart from Hopper whose work was representational. As a photographer, again the list of influences is long and diverse. Photographers such as, Ansel Adams, Edward Weston, Dorothea Lang, William Eggleston, Ernst Haas, Steve McCurry, Paul Seawright, Paul Graham, Nan Goldin to name but a few. Despite it being fourteen years since I left art school, all these influenced have remained and are starting once again to influence how I take photographs. I also have discovered new photographers that I like, such as Michael Kenna, Bruce Percy, Fred Herzog, Wynn Bullock and Saul Leiter.
To finish this rather long blog post, I would like to say that my photograph will continue to grow and develop, and to be honest I'm not entirely sure what direction it will go. All I do know is that I will continue to take photographs of things that interest me and i hope interest you as well.
Until next time, have a good one.
I came across this interesting character at the Great Wall of China in Mutianyu...As you can see he's dressed up as an ancient warrior protecting the wall from raiding Mongolian tribes! He make a living charging tourists, like myself a small fee to take his picture..I haggled him down from 10 Yuan (€1.20) to 5 yuan (60 cent)...Expensive racket this photography!