Featured #21: Riley Joseph
Personal intro. My name is Riley and I am a photographer & a gentleman. I live in Calgary, Alberta, Canada with my wife and cockapoo puppy. Living in a bustling city within expansive prairies with the mighty Rocky Mountains within an hour drive is awesome but I have taken that for granted for far too long.
I love exploring. Whether it is in the city, the country, the mountains or in a building I have never been in.. I am always exploring.
Your personal story with photography. I always remember taking photos throughout my life. When I was quite young when we would go on vacation I would always have a cartridge of 110 film for my Kodak Star camera or a disposable 35mm camera. When I was in my mid-teens I received a Canon Rebel film SLR. I made many terrible photographs with that camera using full-auto in terrible light.
When digital became the next big thing I received a Kodak Easyshare digital camera as a gift. It was 3.1mp and the LCD was the size of a postage stamp. I took that thing everywhere.
As I became an adult my priorities changed and I got away from photography. In 2005 while working for the Canadian Government in Northern Alberta I decided to buy my first digital SLR camera. There wasn’t much to do in my downtime way up there so photography took over. It just kept going from there.
The favourite photograph you took? A portrait in the mountains of my Dad. Both my parents are not fans of having their portrait taken. I have found that people who don’t like having their portrait made seem to be more agreeable when it is with a film camera. I think it is a mix of the character of the old camera with the fact there isn’t an immediate review of the photo.
He was excited to have his photo taken and even struck a pose without prompting. Shot with a Rolleiflex 3.5F on Kodak Portra 400. Metered with my Lumu.
What do you want to achieve? I want there to be a documented history of my family in tangible photo albums that can be passed down. Photography for me is a way to preserve history. Even if it is just the history of me.
Camera Bag & Process Photo What I carry in my camera bag is always changing. I really have 3 different systems right now.
For digital, which is mostly used for work, is a Fujifilm X-T1 and a 14mm 23mm & 35mm lenses. It is a very light kit that is very capable of producing really great results.
For film I work in two formats. For 35mm film I have a 1959 Leica M3 rangefinder. I use either my Carl Zeiss C-Sonnar 1.5/50mm lens or my 1955 Leica Summarit 1.5/50mm lens. They seem like the same exact lens but they have very different character. My Leica is a everyday carry kind of camera.
For medium format I use a 1961 Rolleiflex 3.5F TLR camera. I do always have my iPhone 5s with me so if needed I can take a snap with that but mostly it is used with my Lumu light meter. I shoot primarily Kodak Portra 400 & Fujifilm 400H film. I rate my film at half box speed and meter for the shadows of the scene. Usually I only meter once when I am at a location and make adjustments depending on the light without taking a new reading.
I like to only have 1 camera and 1 lens at a time. That takes all the guess work out of it for me. Instead of worrying about missing a shot because I don’t have a certain lens with me I can focus on using the lens I do have to make photographs.
If you could give one piece of advice to fellow photographers, what would it be? Don’t base your success by comparing yourself to others.