Afghanistan with a Leica MP & Film By Daniel Zvereff

Afghanistan with a Leica MP & Film

By Daniel Zvereff

Afghanistan was truly an unforgettable adventure. This was partially because I never intended to visit there. I was originally bound for Turkmenistan and, at the last minute, was denied entry. Thus throwing me into a sort of tangent undertaking through Afghanistan’s incredible scenic north and then encountering the inspiring people of Kabul’s outskirts.

All photographs were taken with a Summicron 35 ASPH, and the Voigtlander 15mm 4.5 on either TRI-X or Across 100 film.

For more please visit my website at www.zvereff.com

1gaurds

1scissorboy

boy4

breadboy

gatekeeper

kabul-ollie

kabulman

men

tired

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70 thoughts on “Afghanistan with a Leica MP & Film By Daniel Zvereff

  1. Honest, direct portraits in this series, it shows that a link was stablished, kudos for that. If i may, i think the series would benefit from a bit more variety, like seeing people in their day to day activities, or more intimate situations – also, some sense of a story unfolding would add a deeper layer to the pictures, i can imagine that getting into Afghanistan must be quite a journey. Just my humble opinion, as these concepts are things i criticize on my own work as well 🙂

    Very cool website, i got hooked 🙂

    Keep the work going, it shows you have passion for photography and people

  2. Great work & portraits. Lovely tonality in the shots too. Makes me want to work harder with a 35mm lens as opposed to my usually preferred 50mm.

  3. Wonder photographs, wonder webpage. Blown highlights? Are you guys blind or are your eyes extra sensitive due to too many hours surfing the web? I see tones of highlights in almost every Leica MM or in many Fuji x’s posts, for instance. Zvereff work is high quality work, and highly personal. I relished it. Thanks guy.

  4. Excellent. No digital on your trip? The freedom of film and a mechanical camera . No battery reliance, no computers — awesome and gutsy!

  5. Love your photographic “eye”, Daniel. Have bookmarked your website so I can return and continue to watch your travels. Very inspiring imagery in your journals. The images give an insight into the people you have encountered in your travels. Your writings remind me of HCB. Thanks for sharing!

  6. This is just awesome! Who neeeds a Monochrome? These shots have everything they need – atmosphere, character, tonality. I hope to see more of your work! Thanks for sharing 🙂

  7. Brilliant stuff, Daniel. Your website theme is pretty impressive as well; I love the fonts, the journal graphics, etc.

    You are a very talented individual; wishing you the greatest success in your life.

    Also, kudos to Steve for always showcasing such talent on this site.

  8. awesome work thanks for sharing and i love your site reminds me of my son he’s a doodler and invents characters and loves photography do you plublish your work or have shows?

  9. Just amazing.
    Goes to show all those fancy bells and whistles on electronic cameras, especially DSLR’s, add nothing.
    Also don’t need a 90mm for moving portraits! I prefer 35/50mm.
    Looking at these just reaffirms my staying course with film!
    Keep kicking ass with your MP.

  10. Thanks so much for all your feedback. the top two are actually 300mb drum scans, the rest below were scanned on a v700, everything has minimal processing. I try to avoid sharpening and anything that i wouldn’t be able to do in a dark room naturally.

    George, Now that I am looking at these it is possible they are all Acros. I will have to look back into my negatives from this summer (that is when I went).

  11. Hey Daniel, your website is absolutely great! Not only are your photos really super, your graphics are top notch also!
    This is the best readers contribution to this site in a long long time IMHO. I spent hours reading and looking at your fantastic travel logs!

    But hey, how can you travel so much and so far in such a short period of time? I really envy you 🙂

    Keep up the excellent work!! Very well done, I’m impressed!

    1. Thank you Kris. I hope to start traveling in longer stints in smaller regions, rather than jumping from here to there so fast. It’s more rewarding having a little more time to explore rural areas of these regions that I find myself zipping through too quickly. Lots of buses and train travel, but a great way to meet locals and get some nice portraits.

  12. Awesome set! Foto Kooch, blown highlights is a matter of opinion. They are great captures and there is enough detail in the background to understand where you are. If I can’t see a cloud or two so be it…

  13. Daniel, so inspiring to see a young person LIVING his life. I have 3 children your age and forwarded all of them your site. I hope it inspires them to go out and live. Get off the phone and explore. I feel so sorry for the comments about grain, sharpness and are you kidding me blown highlight! I’m sure if most of us were with you we would have blown highlights and maybe a few blown underwear too. Long live you sir, you will have so much to tell.

  14. Great stuff! And sharp, not that that is so important. Shows what a good simple camera, a few lenses and some b&w film can do in the right hands.

  15. wow those are awesome portraits! great work!
    just for the record: you said you shot tri x and acros! did you use any software to get rid of the grain as well? if not i d be interested in how you processed! those look reeeally clean with nearly invisible grain! 🙂
    awesome stuff! keep it up! 🙂

  16. The second was disturbing! Good catch! The photos aren’t very sharp…wonder why..? They also have a very different appearance than what is common now – would likt to know the rationale….? Most pictures shown these days seems to be quite high contrast and very sharp – good to see somebody that choose differently.

    1. Hope this post wasn’t taken the wrong way. The photos were truely inspiring from a content perspective. The processing is a little different than what I have seen – less USM and contrast increase… HCB’s prints weren’t high contrast either. When inspiring photograhs make decisions that affect the visual experience it is interessting to know the thoughts behind. Zvereff’s site is great BTW. The combination of “sketches” and storry-telling pictures made me want to buy it in book form.

      1. Christian, I welcome all forms of criticism. To me they are extremely valid. With sharpness lots of these were shot wide open, the boy sitting in the carpet store may have been 15th or 30th of a second. Sometimes these moments go by so quick I cant think twice about how perfect my settings and focus can be, the boy with the scissors moment passed in about 5 seconds. With contrast it’s really just a feeling, I’m looking to tell a story, maybe if every photo had high contrast and were more individualistic it would detract from the story as a whole. But in all honesty it’s just how I feel they should look, there is no special reasoning behind it.

    1. They were extremely open and wonderful. Most people were so curious at my presence I felt like I was the subject rather than they, mostly I would be approached. The only downside was after shooting their portrait they wanted to see the photo on the back of the camera :(. All my encounters with the Afghan people were positive and pleasant.

  17. Hi Daniel!
    Thanx for some greats shots here and then even followed by a whole trip in itself entering/exploring the stuff at Your website… Much inspiration to be ‘refound’ there – You seem to enjoy a free spirit and a great way of expressin’ it as well. Keep it comin’… If ‘it’ so chooses;o)
    Best
    klehmann

  18. Hi Daniel,
    your website is absolutely good; I love your shots; you are using M9 also or you prefer the M with film ?
    Matthias – Germany

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