The Petzval Art Lens Through The Eyes of Mark Havriliak


New York based photographer, Mark Havriliak, captures a connection between photographer and subject. Taking portraits since 1986, Mark has found a way to master what it means to document individuals in the world their living in. Not only do his portraits convey a unique quality to them, he makes these photographs one of a kind by using an exclusive technique specific to him. Through the Petzval Art Lens, Mark shows us how different one's perspective can be.

Can you tell us about yourself and the exclusive technique you use to create your works?

I am Mark L. Havriliak, I have been a portrait/advertising photographer in New York since 1986. To sum up my roughly 30 years as a photographer is somewhat difficult, but in a few words I would describe myself as a person who sees + captures the visual world in a never ending mode of change and constant reinvention. As to describing a technique? my aesthetic formula consist mostly of black + white or duo-tone imagery (that's when presented in a frame of large format perspectives) that leaves the viewer reminiscent of looking at a photo from Life Magazine from the 1940's. My goal when shooting an image, on film or digital camera, is staying focused on capturing the few seconds that make up the before and after of the obvious climatic moment that most artists usually strive to capture in their work.

Would you mind telling us about the individuals you choose to photograph?

I prefer to photograph a subject or person that has no emotional attachments to vanity, ego, or control over their presentation. I view a portrait sitting as an opportunity to document a person with all the freedom they are made up of -combining the components of the inner soul to that of their outside aesthetics to complete a final visual statement that becomes a frozen still from the cinema. As I have taken portraits for over 30 years, I maintain no rules be it one camera, only film, or one lens. But that being said when I discovered your Petzval 85mm Art Lens, my creativity became re-invented again. I have combined Japanese Tech Mounts' IE Tilt Shift mounts for my cameras that when used with the Petzval Art Lens gave me a large format camera on a 35mm frame or sensor.

Many of your works are shot through negatives, the negative photographs resonates a feeling of emptiness and distance when looking at your subjects (whether they be people, environments or buildings), how do you incorporate these elements to your photographs?

The sense of emptiness and space that occurs when shooting film is one that is intentional as we live in a world that is so full of over stimuli and busy-ness, that more times than not the message becomes lost because it is competing with all of the other information that is not relevant to the final image. The aesthetic fabric of negative film works very much like a raw canvas to a painter. The non-tangible texture of film grain lends itself to becoming the blank space of environment that I add or subtract the subject within, leaving the final image as one.

Do you have any advice for future Lomographers that are interested in working with the Petzval Art Lens?

My advice for future Lomographers is to look through the lens and bond with the aesthetic qualities that occur in their natural optic state of the Petzval 85mm Lens. From my opinion it would be a major mistake to try and manipulate what occurs through the lens with post productions (like Photoshop, Lightroom, etc.). It is best to let the subject co-exist in the natural environment that the lens captures rather than filtering or manipulating the image.

Do these photographs reflect your photographic style? If so, in your own words can you describe how you view your collection of works?

I feel that these photographs are an extension of myself in both how I see and feel the world. Whether it is a building or a person, if the viewer connects with and triggers memories in both conscious and subconscious mediums while viewing the image, I know I have succeeded.

Want to try it for yourself? Get the Petzval Art Lens in the Lomography Online Shop !

Find Mark Havriliak and many more of his works through Facebook and Instagram .

written by katphip on 2016-11-30

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