Shooting Something New from Something Old
Photographer Q & A
You are well known for your images of news, politics and sports, but we also know you as a fine arts photographer. What inspires that form of your work?
I love design and am especially intrigued by architecture — the lines, angles and the light reflections that change continually as morning shifts to afternoon and the afternoon fades into night. In my fine arts series, Cities: The Carbon Prints I put together a portfolio that draws from all the elements of design I most love.
Tell us about the one-of-a-kind camera you created.
The inspiration for that first came first out of frustration. I felt the standard camera formats weren't interesting enough for the type of work I wanted to capture. So I started experimenting. I found a box of old scrap lenses, combined one of those with my old Hasselblad film camera and a leather bellows and discovered a look that was unique and absolutely impossible to duplicate.
How does it work?
The bellows is manipulated by hand to bring things in and out of focus and produce subtle variations to each and every shot. This is its unique aspect. Lighting changes the way you hold the camera and hand-adjust the lens by tilting and shifting the bellows. This means these are all original prints.
Your images of cities are particularly striking with a vintage appeal. What's the key to creating that work?
I look at city scenes almost like a hunter—I look for the nuances. I'll spend many hours walking into, out of and around a building for instance. Over time the light changes and the building takes on a whole new look. When I'm not on assignment, I can wander by myself for hours. It's wonderful when you can go to a city and get lost in it. You just turn the corner and discover something fantastic.
To see more of Todd Korol's work, please visit www.toddkorol.com
"Two Lowepro items live with me practically every day. The Pro Roller x100 with a small kit of lenses and cameras always goes into my car. I never know when I'm going to get a last-minute news assignment, so I need a light and efficient kit to travel with me everywhere. The other indispensable Lowepro item I use is the great little S&F Laptop Utility Backpack 100 AW. It carries my laptop and accessories for transmitting content on-the-run—which is what I do most days. It's simply the best and most efficient backpack for a small laptop."
- Todd Korol
Todd Korol's editorial work has taken him around the globe as he shoots for publications such as Reuters, Time, Sports Illustrated, Canadian Geographic, Stern and The New York Times, as well as corporate clients. His imagery is published in more than 200 books. His own book, Harvest, takes a look inside the life of a Saskatchewan farm family. Korol is a member of Aurora Select.