Pierre Wilen - Fotograf

Pierre Wilen - Fotograf


This blog will be about my work as a photographer.
Here I will upload the pictures I am most happy with, and also pictures from my photo challenge 2017.

I will also try to communicate my thoughts about the photographs I've taken and my journey over all.

I hope you all will enjoy the photographs and what is written.

Artistic - Shadows

PhotographyPosted by Pierre Wilén Fri, September 22, 2017 10:31:57
When you get one vision in your mind and feel that you really need and want to make that vision, and then realise that time is not on your side, then it gets a bit frustrating.

I had a vision. I had a plan. I saw pictures in my mind with someone placed by a large wall and then play around with shadows on that wall. I saw pictures in my mind with a more horrific sense with hands reaching out from the dark.

Time, vision and execution didn't go hand in hand. So I ended up with doing something that I haven't done before: Working in a small space with very little and poor equipment.

I made my own gobo head for the light source to create shadows on my subjects. I used small subjects instead of people. I worked in a space that were no larger than 70x50 cm.

And the result? Well, it became better than I thought. My first impression of the photos where poor. I felt that I didn't succeed at all, but having a look at the photos once more and then really look at them, they grow.

I think that is a very important thing to be aware of: That you can't just have a quick look at the photos and then just disregard them. Most of the times you have to stand and really have a look at the picture infront of you.

I used my medium format camera with Fuji Pro 400H as film. And also developed the film at home.

Here are my top three selection and the video about the assignment:

My next assignment is: Landscape - NightOwl.

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Artistic - Transportation

PhotographyPosted by Pierre Wilén Sun, August 27, 2017 15:06:42
This assignment is hard to explain in written words. I would recommend for you to see the video where I explain how and why I did this assignment.

I will write a more analysing text about it later.

Here are my top three photos and the video:

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Up and down

PhotographyPosted by Pierre Wilén Fri, August 18, 2017 10:06:20
I am halfway through my photo challenge for this year and I think it is time to reflect over what has been made so far.

My main goal was to make a new assignment every second week but due to a lot of reasons that just didn't work out. The work load from my ordinary work became to much and this has been a year filled with many different kinds of emotions.

Some days I have used my photography as therapy. It has been a reason for me to just get outside and get some air. I remember in March when I forced my self to pack my camera and go to the coast and just walked for four hours. I didn't intend to make any photos but I made four. And I remember how important it was to just be outside and go for a walk.

I have met obstacles in shape of people telling me that my photography is dull and boring. I have made assignments that has been painful emotionally to make. I have struggled with a huge lack of inspiration and lack of time. I have had cameras that has broken down in the middle of everything.

But then on the other hand I have also made assignments that I have loved so much. Assignments where I had to be creative not only when looking through the lens, but also in creating the setup for the image. I have had luck to find subjects that became perfect for my photos. I have got comments about how great my photography is and how weird, in a good way, my ideas are.

This morning I woke up and realised that when it comes to large format photography I have to be much better in searching for the perfect composition. I need to give it way more time to find the perfect angle, the perfect light, the perfect atmosphere so that my photography becomes way better.

I know I can make a photo. I know I am a good artist. I know I can produce if I only step back and relax.

For the coming months I wish that I can find a way to just breath and not stress over all the assignments that is left. I wish that more people can see and understand the value of analog photography and that more people will ask for analog photography for their weddings and portraits. Maybe even for fashion and commercial stuff.

I know that my hobby, my therapy, my creativity lays within photography. Within my frame I am safe. Within my frame I have control. Within my frame I feel...

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Artistic - Metal

PhotographyPosted by Pierre Wilén Fri, August 04, 2017 17:32:10

My 11th assignment has got me in to real doubt. Not because of the result, that I know isn’t my best ever. It is because a person who has expressed that my photography is dull and not interesting. I guess that this person hasn’t got into how I work with my challenge, that I don’t decide what would be my next assignment and so on. And that is okay with me, but I still think that you shouldn’t express negative comments about someone else’s work, unless it is pretty obvious that you have made everything wrong. But then you can still try to criticize someone method in a constructive way. Not just say that it is bad.

I know I shouldn’t waste my energy at those kinds of people but this person has criticized more than just a few photos.

I know that this assignment didn’t turned out as I planned. I had a totally different idea in my head, but once again life caught up and just started to mess around. And it is all about MY interpretation of a theme/subject, not what everyone else wants to see. I consider all photographers being artist. We create art with our cameras and our way to see a subject, the light and so on. Not all artists’ work is for everyone.

I am not a big fan of Pablo Picasso for example, but I love Salvador Dali. I love the abstract surreal world that Dali created. The sharp colour but still the very subtle feeling in all the details. Both Picasso and Dali were great artists but they had their own audience.

I am doing this challenge to improve as an artist. I am doing this to explore areas of photography that I haven’t explored yet. To learn and to see where my skills are and if I can improve to broaden my field of work.

This challenge was all about artistic and metal. I know I could have done things better. But this is what I could manage this time. It became a small studio where I could make a setup for jewelry and mannequins.

This became photos where I tried to make more of a commercial kind of photography. Photos that could work in an ad or on a billboard and those three that I finally choose works within that kind of area. I already have a favorite even though all three are good.

It feels that I am halfway through this years challenge with 11 assignments finished. I will do my best to get rid of the negative energy that this person has spread in me and hopefully I will pick a new assignment soon again. I just need to find some positive energy from somewhere.

Maybe from the thunderstorms that now comes and that I like to take photos of. Maybe from the best festival in the world: Medeltidsveckan on Gotland. Maybe from all of you that actually enjoys my photos.

Here are my top 3 selection from the assignment Artistic – Metal:

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Artistic - Candy

PhotographyPosted by Pierre Wilén Wed, August 02, 2017 20:54:08

This challenge, artistic – candy, I really enjoyed. Looking at how other has made similar pictures they were all very colourful and happy. There were a lot of pictures of gummy bears, rainbow lollipops and Skittles. And if there were photos involving people most of the models were dressed up in colourful clothes and had make-up that looked similar to candy. Some even had candy attached to their bodies.

I new at once that I didn’t want to go that way. I knew I had to do something different and so I did. I came up with the idea of a very de-saturated image with the candy being something bad. My first idea was to make a birthday party in my garden, where all the kids had eaten too much candy and the adults just came with more and more, almost forcing the kids to eat. Then I though of making something closer to a Virginia Andrews book cover.

I started to make my own props. I made pieces of cake from Styrofoam and painted them in a pastel colour. I bought clothes for my models and put them in a bleach bath just to get a paler look. I bought candy and sweets for 400:- sek (that is equal to $50 USD). I built a table and found this really old wax cover that I used.

I just started to enjoy life and felt the creativity exploding within me. I haven’t had this much fun since I made the Fantasy photos in January. This was just what I needed to continue with my photography. Something wild and crazy.

I started to build up my scenery in my garden and then I looked at the weather forecast and it was predicted heavy rain and hard wind. I had to find another location and thankfully I did. Some of my friends had just moved to a new house and they have this big barn that was perfect for the photo shoot. I moved all my stuff to the new location and started to build up my scenery. And being in that barn made the photos even better. It was scary, freaky and very close to a Virginia Andrews book cover.

My models came and I had asked as many kids as possible, but in the end I got three younger kids and one teenager. They dressed up in their costumes and I had told them that the photo would be at a birthday party where everyone is unhappy. The teenager played the big sister forcing the kids to eat more sweets and candy.

They sat down at the table and we just went on with the photo shoot and it was a blast! My models were all so wonderful to work with. They took instructions very well and seemed to enjoy every moment. And I have never seen a child so sad while drinking a glass of candy.

And the teenager, whom I have been working with before at the Fantasy shoot, just played her part so well. It was all a very convincing story with great talents.

One roll of Kodak Portra 160 and two sheets of Kodak Ektar 4x5 was the result of that day and when we were done the kids could take as much candy as they could carry. They almost cleaned of the table…

When I developed my film and saw the result I was overjoyed. I laughed at almost every picture and knew that this would be one of the hardest selections ever!

The result however is based on the theme of the assignment: Artistic! It wasn’t portrait, it wasn’t telling a story, it was artistic candy and the top three photos are those that are the most artistic within the theme. I could have chosen the portraits but they weren’t artistic. They were just portraits with a fun and sad twist.

When I uploaded the video and result on my facebook page I got some comments that made me wonder. It was comments like: “I feel sad you put so much effort in to this” or “Well, this was not what I was expecting”. I think that most people thought I would go with the happy and colourful photography. That I would do what everyone else has already done. But guess what, I don’t like to do what everyone else does.

The adults that were there during the photo shoot said I had a very twisted mind and all I could do was to smile at them and say: Thank you!

I am super-happy with the result and the photos came out just as I had predicted in my head. For once I felt at peace with my self both as a photographer but also as an artist! This was my interpretation of the assignment. And that is the most important thing: that it is my vision that shines through!

And here are the result of the Artistic – Candy assignment:

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A meeting...

PhotographyPosted by Pierre Wilén Sat, July 08, 2017 10:46:15

Had a great meeting yesterday. I am running a small yard sale in my barn where I am also trying to sell some of my photos from the exhibition “Känn”.

Then a lady stopped by just to have a look and she saw my photos and asked me about them. We had great talk about analog photography since she also practiced analog photography with an old 9x12 camera. She said it was from around 1920-ish.

She asked me if I did any digital photography and I said “No”. I told her that I don’t understand the world of digital and that I feel more comfortable with film. Then I know what I get from each film type and I can plan my photo sessions better. I did tell her that I used digital photography when I experimented with thunderstorms and auroras, but I also told her that I now want to make a perfect thunderstorm photo with my 4x5 camera.

We also talked about developing film at home and I think she got little impressed when I said that I develop all my black and with film and slide film at home. I still ship my color negatives to Team Framkallning in Stockholm, mainly because the deliver excellent service and I feel safe and comfortable with them.

The next question she asked made me think a little, even though I replied very fast. She asked me if I did any editing after scanning my negatives and I said “Only very little”. I do raise the sharpness since the scanner I am using doesn’t deliver the best sharpness, but after that I only work with the levels and contrast. I rarely do any editing to “destroy” the image I’ve taken. And yes, one thing that I do is to remove all dust spots! The most time consuming thing ever!

I told her that I was about to make a new photo session and I have bought some costumes that I put in a bleach bath, just to make the colors more pale, since I knew I wanted that palette in my picture. For that photo session I will work with Kodak Portra 160 and that film really loves the pale palette.

Then she said that she thought that I planned everything very well and that I had to be very precise about every detail, color palette and so on, just to make the picture perfect already in camera.

I guess that's what characterizes my photography and me. To be precise in every detail before I make the photo. To see what kind of environment, color palette and costume I need for my vision. Only to minimize the editing after I have scanned my negatives.

Back in the old good days they had no scanners, they had to make it perfect from scratch. And that is what I like about analog photography. To have that sense of an atmosphere in my mind and to make that vision become real on a picture. To put all that effort in to one single frame but then to be able and relax knowing that I have made my best to achieve the result I had in my mind.

I have to be precise. I need to see all the details. I need to know exactly what I want so that I can reach perfection.

I am happy for that conversation I had with the lady. She also told me that she was interested in letting me have an exhibition at her shop in the future. Now she knows what kind of photographer I am and hopefully some of her customers will enjoy the handicraft that lays beneath each photo I make.

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Large format and slide film

PhotographyPosted by Pierre Wilén Sat, June 24, 2017 12:22:53
Time for something completely different. I am finally catching up with all my video editing and things I made during March, April and May.

This time I want to talk about when I used slide film for the first time with my 4x5 camera.

I bought a package of Kodak Ektachrome e100SW on eBay, only because slide film is very expensive, and I didn't want to spend a fortune at once.
And since I can develop slide film at home I knew that this trial wouldn't be too expensive.

The film I bought expired 2001, but that is also the fun with analog photography. To try all different kind of film and methods. And due to the fact that it was an old film all my apps for reciprocity failure etc. didn't had any answers to how to work with this film when it came to long exposures. So I really had to make tests just to see how the film worked.

In the video I will show you three photos out of the four I made. The last photo will be revealed in the next video, when I made a photo shoot with my very good friend Alec.

Then I used the 4x5 camera for the first time with a person as a subject.

So this time I will only show you some nature photography.

I have used the e100SW a bit more after this and made some great photos when I were in Norway. Those photos will be shown later this summer.

Anyway, here is the video of my first trial with slide film and my large format camera.

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Artistic - Texture

PhotographyPosted by Pierre Wilén Fri, June 23, 2017 12:12:07
Even though this assignment was done about a month ago I haven't been able to reveal the results until now.
And maybe I shouldn't reveal these at all due to the fact that I am not happy with my effort and the result.

Without further explanation or a deeper analyse into the assignment I will now show you my top three photos from this one. All taken with my Pentax 645 and Fuji Acros 100:

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