Featured #21: Riley Joseph

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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. 

Links to your work. 
Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/rileyjoseph
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/riley_joseph
Tumblr: http://stories.rileyjoseph.com
Website: http://www.rileyjoseph.com

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