Believe it or not, but people have been taking photographs for almost 200 years now. In that time we’ve gone from taking blurry, long-exposure landscapes on metal plates to recording every aspect of our lives with HD digital cameras in our pockets.
It’s easy to think of old technology as dead or obsolete. At MOTAT, we love to show just how alive and exciting it still can be. As part of our Love / Science exhibition, we are profiling four talented photographers who share MOTAT’s passion for new technology while still keeping old tech ticking.
Photographer Lorenzo Thapliyal discovered his passion for photography at the age of 15 while working in a photo lab, where he learned to process film and was inspired to invest in his first camera – a 35mm Pentax SLR.
As a photographer, Lorenzo prefers portraits — shooting on medium or large-format film on a Cambo 4 x 5 camera. “I like how much soul and emotion you can pack into a portrait,” he said. Part of the appeal of the format is the massive size of the negative, which he feels produces amazing quality and depth.
Camera of choice: Cambo 4 x 5 camera
He also enjoys experimenting with alternative processes like pinhole photography and lumen prints. Doing away with physical cameras entirely, lumen photography involves placing objects on silver gelatine photographic paper and exposing it to sunlight. This creates colourful, otherworldly silhouettes.
Lorenzo has turned his passion into a business, opening his own photo lab in 2017. Despite the ubiquity of digital cameras these days, he has seen a steady rise in analogue photography. “In particular the last year has been a boom for the industry with a lot of new labs popping up all around the world and lockdowns giving people more time to research and get back into it,” he said.
See what Lorenzo and his team are up to at The Black and White Box and see his wet plate collodion portrait in Love / Science – open now.
Story by Todd Dixon, Exhibitions Curator, MOTAT
CITE THIS ARTICLE:
Dixon, Todd. Photog Blog Series: Lorenzo Thapliyal. New Zealand: The Museum of Transport and Technology (MOTAT). First published: 24 November 2021. URL www.motat.nz/photog-blog-series-lorenzo-thapliyal