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Of Concern and Demise – The Leica digital camera Weblog

In prior collection, the photographer staged bugs (Of Monster & Dragon) and sea creatures (Creatures of the Seven Seas). This time round his work is devoted solely to snakes. As soon as once more, he has photographed in opposition to a white background, isolating the reptiles from their environments. When creating his prints, he opts, as all the time, for the uncommon and costly historic growth course of with platinum, and invitations the viewer to discover the fantastic thing about these harmful creatures from up shut. Jan C. Schlegel explains that, upon nearer examination, his work is just not a lot concerning the photos of the reptiles themselves, however somewhat, about coping with one’s personal fears.

In your Of Monster & Dragon collection you handled the fascinating world of bugs; then got here Creatures of the Seven Seas; and with Of Concern and Demise, it’s all about snakes. How did this continuation of nature research come about?
I needed to work on a collection that offers particularly with the topics of concern and dying. Perhaps, additionally, as a result of I’ve seen that rising numbers of younger individuals should battle with fears. So I regarded for the potential of displaying the sweetness and uniqueness of issues that we could also be afraid of. I feel that snakes are animals that most individuals concern, and don’t dare to take a look at too carefully.


The place did you {photograph} the Of Concern and Demise collection?
I started in Spring, 2019, and really hoped to be completed with the collection by the center of 2020. But, due to Corona, travelling grew to become tough; so I ended up taking the final image for the collection in Spring, 2021. I photographed on-site at breeders and snake keepers in Thailand, the Netherlands, the Czech Republic and Germany. In complete, I took photos of 35 snakes, of which 16 seem within the collection.

What’s it that you really want the images to convey?
It fascinates me to disclose issues that you could’t and usually wouldn’t see. I wish to present particulars, shapes and constructions, highlighting the individuality of each dwelling creature, and nature and its magnificence. Color distracts, which is why I {photograph} in black and white. It’s additionally concerning the secretive; the mysterious.

Which reptiles did you choose for the presentation?
In fact, the collection could be very a lot about form and construction, so this was the important standards for the number of the snakes. For the reason that title is Of Concern & Demise, the one snakes that have been an possibility have been people who actually are life-threatening. Every snake is a consultant of its native habitat: China, Australia, America, Africa, Thailand, Malaysia and different locations.

How did the photographic course of work out? What challenges got here up?
Taking the images was not as simple as I had initially imagined: a snake, picked up by its proprietor, was positioned in a specifically ready white field; and a digital camera on a tripod was positioned, strictly vertically and with out protecting glass, above it. The largest problem was that the snake needed to “cooperate” – it needed to current a stupendous form – similar to, for instance, when the inexperienced mamba created the completely surprising double coronary heart. In fact, some snakes are very fast, and in a matter of seconds might be wherever within the room. So the hazard actually was a problem for me. It was clear to me that I needed to cope with my very own fears to have the ability to produce a collection the place the viewers might ponder on issues that make them afraid.

Mixed with the prints, your pictures are true artistic endeavors.
I’m not involved with scientific documentation; I’m fascinated with a brand new and, if doable, good manner of displaying the fantastic thing about the photographed object. I discovered that making platinum prints supplied the very best likelihood to current my topics completely; as a result of, with platinum, every image turns into distinctive, identical to the creatures themselves. Platinum brings out element and offers depth, like no various photographic course of can do.

Please clarify one thing concerning the particularities of platinum prints.
I contemplate platinum the very best risk for producing the right presentation, all the way down to the smallest element. No different photographic course of produces such depth: the platinum course of can cowl the most important vary of gray scale, and reveal the best quantity of element within the blacks.

What was the most important problem concerned in working with platinum prints?
The method has quite a lot of ranges. Every part is completed by hand, and could be very pricey. A platinum answer is unfold on the paper. Publicity, involved with the destructive, produces metallic platinum, which reveals the picture. Unexposed platinum is washed out with a weak citric acid, after which the picture is soaked intensively in water for a number of hours.

What position does the paper play, and why?
With platinum, paper performs a necessary position. For these sorts of images, solely Arches Platinum Paper labored, it was solely right here that I obtained a pure white. Due to the chemical processes, no chemical residue ought to stay on the paper; so it should be pure cotton.

Which Leica digital camera system – physique kind and lenses – did you employ for this undertaking?
The Leica S007 with Summarit-S 70 f/2.5 ASPH (CS); Summicron-S 100 f/2 ASPH; and APO-Macro-Summarit-S 120 f/2.5 (CS). All three lenses are excellent, and have the required optical efficiency to have the ability to realise this collection. The sharpness of those lenses is just unbeatable.

Born in Triberg within the Black Forest in 1965, Jan Schlegel‘s ardour for black and white images unfolded throughout a workshop with Walter Schels. Toni Schneiders, a profitable photographer in his area, grew to become his mentor. Schlegel works loads within the portrait images style; his focus is on themes of globalisation and identification. His photos are displayed internationally in galleries, exhibitions and artwork gala’s. Discover out extra about his images on his web site and Instagram channel.

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