For as long as I have taken photographs, I have preferred to use only the available light, which captures the authentic mood of the moment. All photographs shown in Exchanges – A Journey Over Five Continents are made without strobe light, and none of the photographs are manipulated.

While imagination is the key to photography, a skillful touch with the right equipment also is important. For this project, Kodak Tri-X was the primary film used for black and white photographs. The photos were typically "pushed" or developed to 1600 ISO. On some of the later photographs Kodak T-MAX 3200 was additionally used. Almost all indoor color photography was done using Fuji PROVIA and ASTIA films. Some early outdoor architecture photographs are exposed on Kodak Ektachrome 64, 4 X 5 inch sheet film. To get a precise exposure I used always an additional light meter. All photographs for Exchanges – A Journey over Five Continents are exposed on analog film.  

Over the last twenty years camera technology has changed dramatically. Electronic controls have taken over mechanical functions and the ability to control those additional electronic functions, like the programming of aperture, shutter-speed and focus, have become essential. In recent years, many photographers have given up analog film in favor of digital technology. I still use classical, mechanical equipment to control essential functions more directly than over a camera computer and prefer analog film.

When I got started with this project in the early 1980s, even something like auto-focus was not readily available, and I relied on mechanical cameras like the Nikon F2 Titan body, the Leica M2 and some classic lenses, such as the 18mm, 24mm, 35mm, 50mm and 85mm. Later I included the Leica M6, using it together with the 21mm lens.

To capture the architecture, in the early 1990s, I added the portable Linhof Technikkardan 4 X 5 inch sheet film camera including Schneider Kreuznach 47mm, 65mm, 90mm, 120mm, 150mm and 210mm lenses. Panorama photographs are all done with the Fuji G617. The Pentax 6 X 7 was the first medium format camera system used for this project, later substituted by another medium camera - system, using the unsurpassed Carl Zeiss lenses, like the 38 mm, 40 mm, 60 mm, 80 mm, 100 mm and 120 mm for indoor photography on the trading floors.

Between the initial idea and completion, more than twenty years passed; the production for Exchanges – A Journey over Five Continents was finalized in 2017.

Leon Dimitrios

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