Weekly Top Pics Inspiration

Top Pic of the Week: Anthony Bermudez

Congratulations to our Top Pic of the Week, Anthony Bermudez. Read to learn more about the production of his photos.

Seaport 2019, Workout Routine | Leica M4-2 +Voigtlander Ultron 35mm f 1.7 | South Street Seaport, Manhattan

Taking during the early afternoon. I exposed for the shadow area. As I was in bright sunlight I wanted just enough of the dark area to get detail but not so much so the subject can be a silhouette.

How long have you been a photographer & how did you begin your journey?

I’ve been doing photography on and off since I was a child; however, I started taking my photography serious about a year and half ago.

I got my start when my mother allowed me to use her Polaroid camera when I was about 7. Ever since then she would give me disposables to take on school trips and we got them developed at the local one hour photo (when those still existed).

When I was a teenager she got me my first SLR, the Nikon N65. The catalyst for taking my photography seriously was the passing of my father to cancer. It happened not too long after Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico. Having to go back to the island for the funeral was a hard experience. Seeing the aftermath along with dealing with the loss of my father had me in a place where I had a hard time expressing what I was feeling. The only way I found that worked was through photography.

Alone | Leica M4-2 + Voigtlander Ulton 35mm f 1.7| Bronx, under a train overpass

Taken during a bright day in the early afternoon. I under exposed the shadows by a stop. I  noticed the shadow of the train tracks and took shots as people passed by.

How would you describe your photographic style?

As of lately, I would say I look for harsh lighting, heavy contrast, repeating patterns and some  obfuscation. I gravitate to scenes where light almost becomes binary. Within these scenes you can see something that is otherworldly. Sometimes when I have people within these scenes I look for an expression. An aggressive pose, a cower, or a look of suspicion.

What is your favorite genre to shoot? What tips do you have for shooting some of your favorite genres?

My favorite genre to shoot is street photography, along with still life.

What advice or tips would you give to other photographers regarding finding their style?

It takes time (probably a long time) to find your style. It takes a lot of experimenting, learning from peers, and most importantly, a lot of images before you start seeing a commonality to what you shoot. Even after a year and a half of shooting, I am still figuring myself out. Also, don’t shy away from images you have taken because they do not fit an aesthetic you are currently going for.

 

Gone | Canon Canonet QL17 GIII+45mm f1.7  | My old Apt in the Bronx

Taken early morning as I was getting ready for work. Morning sunlight came through my window and lit half my body while leaving the trace of the window. I stood still and did my best to take that picture one handed.

Do you own multiple cameras? Which is your favorite?

I own a few cameras. Although Nikon is my first love (I have a N65, F3, and a D500), my current favorite is the Leica M4-2. Its size and weight are great for taking it everywhere I go. Being fully mechanical means I don’t have to worry about batteries dying at the wrong time. I also enjoy the bare-bones shooting experience with it. Sometimes auto-focus and metering modes get in the way of taking an image. Having all of that removed can be liberating. I look at it akin to driving a Ford Mustang when you are looking for just the pure joy of driving.

What gear are you hoping to add to your collection?

I really want to get into Large format photography so a 4x5 camera would be something I look into in the near future. Besides that maybe the Fuji GW690 medium format rangefinder.

Faded| Leica M4-2 + Voigtlander 35mm Color-Skopar f2.5 | Water St, Financial District in Manhattan

Taken on a foggy late afternoon. I exposed for the building, I think maybe a 1/3rd stop under. I was looking for the building to disappear in the fog.

POST PRODUCTION

All images were shot on film, so I let the characteristics of the film do most of the work. In all the shots except ‘Faded’, I used Eastman Double X (also known as Cinestill BWXX). On Faded I used Kentmere 400. I digitized all my images using my Nikon D500 and the 40mm Macro lens. In Lightroom I used basic contrast adjustments. In ‘Seaport 2019, Workout Routine’ I did some burning of the subject to make the silhouette stronger.

Thank you, Anthony, for allowing us to share these photos! Check out more of his work on Instagram.