22 October 2010

Marcus Olsen · SPECIAL POST

Marcus Olsen, born in 1981, is a U.S. based photographer who lives in Portland, OR. He has always had a passion for art and, ultimately, this led to his discovery of photography. He wanders the streets and industrial wastelands looking for ways to draw attention to subjects that, ordinarily, appear to viewers as uninteresting and boring.
Marcus likes to capture a feeling of solitude in his photographs and focuses most of his attention on man-made structures. His work provides insight into the way humans interact with the environment they inhabit; for example, the inevitable breakdown of the things humankind creates and the ways in which manmade infrastructure dominates society. Ultimately, his images portray a desolate landscape in which the subjects are separate from the human element that created them. See more;

Marcus tells us which techniques uses to take these amazing photographs;

"When I go out shooting I will occasionally spend time doing research on an area that interests me. Sometimes I scope out the area in person and other times I do Internet research using Google maps to zoom in on the area. Other times I'll just grab my backpack with my camera and the rest of my gear and wander aimlessly.As far as what I am looking for when I'm out shooting photos, it really depends on whether I'm shooting during the day or at night. During the day I tend to look for subjects that are interesting as-is. I try to include details or textures that catch my eye and I do my best to shoot from interesting angles or perspectives. "

"While I'm walking around the city doing night exposures I look for interesting lighting and shadows. I decide whether I want to include the direct source of the light in the frame or only the light that is reflecting off the surface of the subject."

"I also look for other things that I can use to my advantage before I begin my exposure; if there are clouds or stars in the frame and the duration of my exposure is not going to be all that long, then I increase the length of the exposure to incorporate some streaking clouds and star trails. I usually do this by stopping down a bit more, or in some rare circumstances by adding a neutral density filter. Typically my exposures range from 2-8 minutes so incorporating streaking clouds and star trails is pretty easy."

"I used to use a Voigtlander R3M and Minolta SRT-200 when I was shooting 35mm film. But, eventually, I started experimenting with medium format film using a Pentacon Six. After some time I found myself only shooting with medium format cameras and I subsequently upgraded to the Hasselblad 503cx. At this point that is the only camera I use and I don't see that changing anytime soon. My favorite film is Kodak Portra 160NC because it’s a low-contrast film. I think it works really well for night exposures because it retains more of the shadow detail. During the day I alternate between Portra NC and VC, depending on the lighting conditions. I'm also a fan of Fuji Pro and Reala films."

All images © Marcus Olsen
Thanks Marcus!