Kimberly Ross is an Italian photographer whose work is mainly focused on portraiture and documentary photography. This time she has chosen to take awesome photographs with the new Petzval 55 MK II Bokeh Control Art Lens during the Pitchfork Festival.
Please tell us a bit about your photography background. How you started and your influences.
Hi, my name is Kimberley, I’m a photographer and I work mostly in portrait and documentary photography, focusing on music, art, and fashion. I’ve been a professional photographer for about five years now, and as long as influences go I’d say cinema and music have always played a huge part in influencing my style and my visual research as well as all the tools that are able to put me in touch with other photographers’ work - right now I would say I spend way too much time on Instagram!
Could you tell us about your approach or philosophy behind your style in taking these photos?
I was incredibly excited about testing the Petzval! The unique style of its bokeh is amazing and I wanted to see in which way I could incorporate such a distinctive look into my work. I was also very eager to work with manual focus for once, something that I rarely use - it’s something that can totally change the approach to shooting, making everything more pondered and slow and I have to say that I enjoyed it immensely
Concert photography is very challenging. How do you prepare yourself? Which camera or accessories do you think are nice to have?
Concert photography is absolutely my favorite thing and I agree it can be challenging. The one thing I think it’s absolutely essential is a fast lens, the focal length depends on what kind of stage you’re shooting, but a good 2.8 for a zoom lens or less if you want to try a prime. In terms of preparing myself, I like to know what kind of venue I’ll be shooting at, both for lenses but also to know if there'll be a space dedicated to photographers or not - that can make all the difference.
Could you tell us your experience using the new Petzval 55 mm f/1.7 MKII lens?
I have to say that in a concert environment the Petzval is not the easiest lens to use, haha! It surely needs some time to get used to, but it’s also a LOT of fun, the pictures are different and very interesting. But I think with portraits you can make the most out of this lens, I’m so in love with its bokeh!
How does the Petzval 55 MKII lens help you in your photographic style? What impressed you most using this lens?
I think for every photographer having a chance to try a new thing, also being forced out of one's comfort zone can be very rewarding. In this case having to rely only on manual focus and on a fixed focal length helped me see things in a different way, and I hope it translated into my photos.
The lens features a long-throw focusing ring for smoothly and accurately adjusting focus while you’re shooting. What do you think about this?
I think the smooth focus system can be a very interesting feature when shooting video, which is something that regrettably I didn’t have time to do, but I hope to try it in a second time.
Any tips for photographers who are using the Petzval 55 mm f/1.7 MKII lens for the first time?
I would say don’t be scared haha! Seriously, I’d say if they are like me and come from a habit of relying on autofocus and fast shooting this can be a game changer, it will give you an opportunity to try something different and you’ll be amazed by the results!