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Young Masters #09: Johnny Martyr

Johnny Martyr shoots almost exclusevely on 35mm film, with classic manual cameras. Some of his pics have been featured in several Baltimore and New York art galleries. What is cool about his photography is the main focus on natural light, which is particularly important if you don’t want to deal with studio equipment.

Some of Martyr’s old analog cameras (some belong to the 50s) has been refurbished by himself; he likes 35mm cameras very much.

Johnny is a photojournalist: he photographed Sarah Stup, Sonia Shah, several bands like Hangdog and PromiseLab, politicians like Ralph Nader and Bill Clinton. He firmly believes in this photojournalistic approach for the images he shoots, focusing on describing something or someone: even when he sets up a posed photo shoot, his photos have a lot of elements of improvisation and documentary at the same time.

From this point of view, the idea I got is that shooting on film helps the photographer to reach this aim and look for the right moment in which starts the shutter. It’s more important to focus on the next shots, instead of watching the back of your camera and check what you shot in the LCD screen of your brand new digital SLR. Looking at Johnny’s picture, I think this could be his point of view, too.

The amazing quality of film doesn’t require so much focus on photo editing because pictures are perfect just as they are (if you’re able to do the best job ever with your camera). Films will help you, as it helped Johnny, to create a really warm atmosphere and make your pictures remarkable: THE picture, not just A picture.

Martyr is a fan of natural light, just like me. Natural light improves portraits because it adds a very sincere and humble way to express what you have in mind, just because natural light doesn’t look like a fake light (that you usually find in studios). Even flashes sometimes add a strange and fake look to the pictures, even though they are unique in certain situations.

Alessandro Panelli (aka yo.panic or .panic) is a Medicine and Surgery student, a photographer and a writer from Padova (Italy, near Venice). Read more about Alessandro’s work and life here or add him on Facebook or Google+.

Johnny Marty

written by yopanic

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This is the original article written in: English. It is also available in: Deutsch.