With our ‘Machines’ photo contest, we challenged you to send us your best shots of machines and industry, from beautiful mechanical shapes to atmospheric industrial landscapes.
From all of your fantastic entries, we chose Blende22 as our overall winner. We caught up with him to find out what camera equipment he used and to get the story behind his haunting photo.
Firstly, can you tell us where you’re based and what you do?
I'm from the beautiful region of Franconia in Germany, and I'm happy to say that I only have 30 days of work left until I can completely devote myself to my hobbies — travelling, writing, photography and painting.
When did you first get into photography and what was your first camera?
My father and grandfather were both keen photographers, so I grew up with photography. I got my first camera—a Kodak Instamatic—when I started secondary school aged 10. Then, when I was 14 and had my first holiday job, I bought my first second-hand SLR, an Exa IIa.
Can you tell us the story behind your photo? Where did the idea come from for this picture?
The photo was taken in the Chernobyl exclusion zone. The harbour cranes are near the damaged reactor, where the radiation levels are still relatively high. Despite this, the entire harbour area is completely overgrown, which makes the scene look like the set of a disaster film. This surreal effect is amplified further as I used an infrared filter to change the greens to white.
Can you run us through the equipment that you used to get the shot?
I used a PEN-PL5 that had been converted for infrared photography. You can do that with any model of camera though — all sensors are fitted with a removable UV and IR blocking filter. Then you just need to screw on an IR filter in front of the lens and you can take infrared images with your existing camera.
What would you advise other photographers to do to get a winning picture?
You definitely need the latest full-frame camera... Only kidding — you need ideas, unusual subjects or images that tell a story. If you have those ingredients, even an 8 MP camera would be enough to create a winning photo.
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