Photographer Bryan Chavez reached out for an opportunity to test the Daguerretype Achromat Art Lens and we were happy to oblige him. Check out his soft, dreamy views of Iceland, which he astutely describes as “a photographer’s paradise.”
What drew you to Iceland as the destination of your photographic adventure?
After viewing so many photographs of Iceland across social media, I knew that was going to be my next destination. The scenery, wildlife, and climate change really persuaded me to go. Everything and every where was photo worthy. It’s by far a photographer’s paradise. Whether you’d like a mountain, volcano, glacier, black sand beach, or family of sheep in your shots, you can count on it being in Iceland.
What other photography projects did you shoot while in Iceland?
This was the only photography project I took on. After being so busy with photographic work the entire first half of the year, I wanted to fly to Iceland for vacation. I did however love the look and effect that the Daguerreotype art lens had to offer and I just had to reach out to collaborate! Using that lens works greatly with digital and film. I had the opportunity to shoot with both which was amazing.
Some of the photographs in this series picture your subject either holding a camera at his side, taking pictures or looking up at you from reviewing his shots on his camera screen. Is your subject also a photographer? Were you trying to capture the collaborative experience of friends photographing together or do you have another reason for referring to the craft of photography within your photos by including a camera in your shots?
My subject was indeed a photographer. His name is Christian Urbina and he’s a portrait/fashion photographer based in Miami, Florida. I did, in fact, keep him as my main model to capture the collaborative experience and friendship throughout our trip. We drove around the entire country along the Ring Road, which took us about 6 days to complete, and I definitely wanted my photos to have a consistent theme for a future coffee table book I want to create.
Some of the photos in this series are reminiscent in their glowing effect (created by a soft focus) and their texture to and paintings and graphic-printed fabrics respectively. Did you feel that this lens and its accompanying Lumière and Aquarelle Aperture plates gave you a sense of artistic freedom and a greater ability to experiment than other lenses have?
The lens definitely helped give me a sense of artistic freedom. I found myself wanted to shoot more with this lens than my Sigma 35mm 1.4 Art lens. I was fascinated with the glowing effect it created shooting at F/ 2.8. It was so dreamy and timeless and the only way I could describe the soft focus would be creamy and buttery. Having the option to change the aperture plate gives the photographer more of an artistic mindset while learning and playing around with the lens. This is a new lens to add to my collection for sure!
The Daguerreotype art lens is equipped with the Waterhouse Aperture System which allows the photographer to experiment with a variety of bokeh effects. What kind of bokeh effects did you use? How did you choose which frames to use a bokeh effect on and what was your process in choosing certain types of bokeh for certain frames?
I had this bokeh experience in a Lupine field, which gave the photographs more of a texture and dream-like feel. The Waterhouse Aperture System made the highlights give off a soft and subtle glow which really peaked my interest. There’s an unlimited amount of ways to use this lens and this collaboration was my next step geared towards setting my artistic vision free.
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