The Cambo Wide RS series cameras is the choice for many photographers specialising in architecture, landscape and car photography. This specialised ‘pancake’ camera uses Medium format digital backs and digital lenses to capture fine detail and tonal range.
At Photokina 2014 we met a lot of photographers who already own a Cambo camera and quite a number that were making that step into deciding which system to invest in. One of those photographers was Achim Birnbaum.
Achim is a self-employed photographer based in Stuttgart, Baden-Württemberg, who specialises in architectural photography. He has been commissioned for many years by architects, publishing houses and agencies to produce images for high quality print and online display.
Charles: “We had a very interesting conversation at Photokina and I was pleased you read my previous Cambo camera reviews, however I’m also interested to know how you work and what inspires your photography?”
Achim: “Yes, we had a nice talk and I bought the Wide RS and a Phase One digital back after the show. Photography for me started as a hobby and I went on to study architecture and photography in Trier and Warsaw. I was inspired by many of the spectacular Museums in Europe, both art and architecture influenced my career. I spent many hours drinking coffee during the Museum visits and replying to a lot of “assistant wanted” photography jobs. During this period I was successfully working for a number of famous photographers and I realised it was time for me to create my own business as an architectural photographer.”
“I create pictures, which are bright or dark, capturing a wide tone range, high density and multiple images for stitching. The photographs often tell stories, they have a beginning and an end, also showing the final spurt, which explains how things get together, clarifying the proportions, circumstances and visualise the power and effort which is needed to build a house. The photographs explain what was thought, spoken and built over a long period of time.”
“I approach new architectural projects with great pleasure, anticipation and curiosity. Part of my process is to check the location carefully with the facility manager, weather conditions and building position to ensure elimination of shadows. After this inspection, I can work constantly for 8-10 hours, concentrating, shooting without a break and capturing every aspect in fine detail.”
“Architectural photographs convey between the constructed area and an interested wider public audience, therefore I usually try to catch every typical scene. In my understanding the architecture is the scenography and the performance is taking place in front, besides or inside it.”
“In my mind the picture is already taken, the challenge now is – and it doesn’t matter how – to bring the photocamera to the right spot. I prefer working with a light and small “large format camera”. Of course the large format camera today is squeezed down to a medium format size of the Cambo Wide RS. The Wide RS and Phase One digital back is my winning combination. A huge sensor, high end digital lenses and perfect movement ensures the results I’m looking for.”
“I’m very flexible the whole time with this equipment and for they way I am working, it’s very important. After capturing the post production consists of correcting the Gradation, adjusting the hue and saturation. I rarely crop a picture and I do the majority of work on location.”
Charles; You have some pretty interesting images, how did you capture these and how much is post processing/editing?
Achim; Thank you. Here is an overview of my capture process for these images.
- Haupmotiv Skate has vertical shift, ISO400 f11 1/8sec converted into black and white in Photoshop.
- IGS West has vertical shift with a grey filter applied, ISO50 f8 2/3rd, 1/2sec
- Kirmes ISO50 f8, 1/15sec has vertical shift with “sensor manipulation” during exposure, no post editing in Photoshop.
- Neubau ISO50, f8 1/15sec with vertical and horizontal shift and stitching
- Skate ISO100, f5.6, 1/30sec captured handheld
Charles; Thanks for your feedback and an insight to your photographic expression and thought process. To see more of Achim Birnbaum’s creative work either visit his website www.achimbirnbaum.eu or visit the “Change of Perspectives” exhibition sponsored by Cambo NL. The exhibition opens 11th March, for further information visit the website http://www.aedes-arc.de/cms/aedes/de/programm?id=16518606
The Exhibition : Change of Perspectives
Architectural photography is one of the most important media of our time to capture form, shape and atmosphere of architecture, cities and landscapes (landforms) and to represent it to the wider public audience. Exhibitions and publications about city and architectural space would have been inconceivable without images. I refer to the quotation “a picture says more than thousand words.” The power of the images is capable to transport spatial expression and moods and / or to capture special moments at the location, which pictorial message will be conveyed by the world of media.
The exhibition represents selected photographers, who have dedicated themselves to this broad field of “Space – Shot” … With a view from the other side – behind the camera lens – the exhibition provides a special perspective on the work of visual artist, because it is the photographer themselves, who are in the centre of attention at the exhibition. They explain their work philosophy and approach to a topic (Thema) of pictural expression of space and time. Due to synopsis in the exhibition one can differentiate the diversity and specific visual aesthetic (Bildästhetik) of photographers. The works that will be shown, are not only a pure documentation of buildings, but above all, free artistic works, which visualise especially an individual expression of images.
Each of the photographers, which are presented here have developed a distinctive and individual work style and philosophy over the years, which provide images with a noticeably strong atmosphere and aura. Through their reflection of reality they show more than a reflection of the present (Wirklichkeit). Like painting, they reproduce their perspective of the depicted constructions (buildings – Bauten) and places with the help of visual language. The palette of colours is the light in all its manifestations: an early winter morning almost without shadows, a bright summer day, an afternoon of long shadows, or night-time sea of lights.
Different technical facilities like plate cameras or digital cameras with supporting equipment and lenses serve as working tools. Depending on the personal attitude and way of working, images will be technically corrected/processed – or may not. The choice of location and perspective, precise setting of the scene and image section, its composition and construction, as well as involvement of people or plants as a spatial companion – all play a role in a carefully selected space staging. At the end of this creative work process a unique visual language emerges (entstehen), which shapes expression and so our impression of the built-up space.
For more information and to arrange a demonstration of our technical cameras please contact Cambo UK on M:07863 116150 or send us an email; email@example.com