133 — Essential Camera Features — Interview with Royce Howland

Pho­tog­ra­phy pod­cast #133 fea­tures an inter­view with Cana­dian fine art pho­tog­ra­pher Royce How­land. Dur­ing the inter­view we dis­cuss what cam­era fea­tures we think are essen­tial. There are loads of extra bells and whis­tles on cam­eras these days and even though both Royce and I have kick-butt cam­era gear, we ignore the major­ity of the new fea­tures and focus on the essen­tials. We also dis­cuss essen­tial cam­era modes and touch on essen­tial lenses.

Of course feel free to let us know if you feel we missed some­thing essential.

Thanks to The Cam­era Store (The largest cam­era store in Cal­gary, Alberta, Canada)  for spon­sor­ing the Photography.ca podcast.

Click the player at the end of this post to lis­ten to (or down­load) the 44ish minute podcast.

I Should Be So Industrious by Royce Howland

I Should Be So Indus­tri­ous by Royce Howland


Royce wanted to men­tion some­thing about this image because it relates to a cool fea­ture of some new screens on cameras.

Some­thing we’re see­ing more com­monly, and the Pen­tax 645Z also has it, is a cam­era LCD that pops out with tilt or tilt-swivel move­ments so you can see it from dif­fer­ent angles. I think this idea is great.….

…This sea holly bloom and bees were about 18 inches off the ground. I wanted a shoot­ing angle of more or less straight across, rather than steeply down­wards or what­ever. That would have been very awk­ward (or even painful!) to shoot through the cam­era viewfinder, hav­ing to con­tort my neck, back, knees, etc. to work through the viewfinder for any length of time. Even using a nor­mal, non-moving LCD would have been a bit of a chal­lenge to see from above. Instead, I was able to put the cam­era on a sta­ble tri­pod, sit on a short 3-legged stool, and pop out the LCD to a com­fort­able angle that I could see just by look­ing down. No neck or back strain even though I pho­tographed from the low shoot­ing angle for about an hour.”


Nick Cave Osheaga 2014 by Marko Kulik - This high ISO image was made using aperture priority and I moved the focus points over the hand invading Nick's shirt. Moving those focus points is my favourite essential camera feature.

Nick Cave Osheaga 2014 by Marko Kulik — This high ISO image was made using aper­ture pri­or­ity and I moved the focus points over the hand invad­ing Nick’s shirt. Mov­ing those focus points is my favourite essen­tial cam­era feature.


Links /resources men­tioned in this podcast:

Royce Howland’s Pho­tog­ra­phy / work­shops
Tours-courses by Marko Kulik

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You can down­load this pho­tog­ra­phy pod­cast directly by click­ing the pre­ced­ing link or lis­ten to it almost imme­di­ately with the embed­ded player.

Thanks for lis­ten­ing and keep on shooting!

Wounded The Legacy of War — Q&A with Bryan Adams

I saw some new pho­tog­ra­phy work by Bryan Adams a short time ago ago where he pho­tographed wounded sol­diers. The images of wounded sol­diers were stark and I wanted to ask Bryan a few ques­tions about the new work. What fol­lows is a quick Q&A about Bryan’s new work called Wounded: The Legacy of War.

Wounded - Karl Hinett © Bryan Adams

Wounded — Karl Hinett © Bryan Adams


Wounded: The Legacy of War — Q&A with Bryan Adams

Ph.ca - I’ve been fol­low­ing your pho­tog­ra­phy for a while and this lat­est work is the ‘rawest’ work of yours I’ve seen thus far. Can I ask what drew you to this sub­ject matter?

ba: I felt com­pelled to do some­thing for these guys as I was never happy that we went to war in the Mid­dle East. I was for­tu­nate to have meet a jour­nal­ist called Car­o­line Frog­gatt who wanted to do some­thing and she was acquainted with some of the sol­diers already, so the project started from that.

Ph.ca - Why pho­to­graph wounded soldiers?

ba: I want to cre­ate pho­tos of the time and doc­u­ment as many peo­ple as I could that had incurred these severe war injuries in order to raise aware­ness to their plight and also show peo­ple a side of the hor­ror of war that is often con­cealed from every­day media. The long term idea was that per­haps it could maybe be an exhi­bi­tion or maybe even a book down the road. All of that hap­pened thank­fully in part to my pub­lisher Steidl who saw the beauty in the pho­tos and agreed to make the “Wounded — The Legacy of War” book with me. It’s now its tour­ing the world as an exhibition.

Wounded Mark Ormrod © Bryan Adams

Wounded Mark Orm­rod © Bryan Adams


Ph.ca –How long did you pho­to­graph each veteran?

ba: For an hour at the most, then we would sit and have a chat and film that, I’ve not even looked at the inter­view footage, it’s just archived. Some­times these guys would stay over at my house as they had come great dis­tances from the North of Eng­land and even Scot­land to be involved and it was too much to travel there and back in a day.

Ph.ca - How long did this project take from start to fin­ish and where were the pho­tographs taken?

ba: sched­ules were always being sorted out, I sup­pose the whole thing took nearly 5 years, it was very on and off. Ini­tially it wasn’t easy to find sub­jects that would agree to being pho­tographed, but once a few sub­jects had agreed and par­tic­i­pated, rec­om­mend­ing their friends became nor­mal and the word got out.

Ph.ca - All of the pho­tographs that I’ve seen from this series high­light the vet­er­ans’ wounds, ver­sus play­ing them down through pos­ing tech­niques as other pho­tog­ra­phers have often done. Was the pos­ing of the sub­jects a col­lab­o­ra­tive process or solely under your direction?

ba: it was all ulti­mately under my direc­tion, how­ever they were wel­come to show as much as they liked and I always hoped they would show as much as possible.

I would show them what I had done with other sol­diers, and usu­ally once they saw what was going on, the shirts would come off and the wounds became very apparent.

Wounded Rory Mackenzie © Bryan Adams

Wounded Rory Macken­zie © Bryan Adams


Ph.ca - Did some vet­er­ans have trou­ble expos­ing their wounds so boldly?

ba: Only one as I can remem­ber who didn’t want to take off his pros­thetic limb. I never asked why.

Ph.ca - Was it an emotional/cathartic process for some veterans?

ba: I think they were curi­ous that some­one like me was doing some­thing like this, but I’ve had a lot of pos­i­tive con­ver­sa­tions with them since and the reac­tions have been incred­i­ble. Too many to men­tion here.

Mostly to do with see­ing them­selves as a vehi­cle to help other peo­ple, the unselfish­ness was hum­bling, let me tell you.

Wounded Rick Clement © Bryan Adams

Wounded Rick Clement © Bryan Adams


Ph.ca - Our read­ers will want to know - Can you describe the cam­era gear and the light­ing gear you used to cre­ate these photographs?

ba: It’s all shot in my day­light stu­dio using nat­ural light which I would drape off to cre­ate the amount of light for each guy. Occa­sion­ally if the stu­dio got too dark in the late after­noon, I would bounce a light into the wall to give me a stop or two and mix it with the day­light. There was never a direct source of light it was always dif­fused. I used a Mamiya RZ cam­era with a Phase One back.

Ph.ca - Given that the legacy of war will con­tinue, and there will be no short­age of future wounded vet­er­ans, will you be adding to this body of work, or is this a closed project?

ba: it’s closed for now, espe­cially now that the book is done.

Ph.ca - What addi­tional pho­tog­ra­phy projects are on the horizon?

ba: another book of sub­jects I’ve worked with is being planned, but it may be another year before it’s ready.


I’d like to thank Bryan Adams for tak­ing the time to answer this Q&A.
30 images of Bryan’s new work are on exhibit at Som­er­set House from 12th Novem­ber 2014 – 25th Jan­u­ary 2015. The pho­tog­ra­phy book Wounded: The Legacy of War, Pho­tog­ra­phy by Bryan Adams, Edited by Car­o­line Frog­gatt is avail­able here.