Farfarm (taking a break) 5:40pm, 26 November 2008
Let me introduce this weeks BPP Portfolio of the Week by the wonderful Yan Pritzker.

a portrait of the artist as a young man

If you wish to view Yan's photostream, you can find it HERE
And you can find his portfolio here PORTFOLIO

1. For how long have you been doing photography?

My father was an avid amateur photographer. As a child I played in our home darkroom set up in the bathroom of our small apartment. I first started shooting pictures in late highschool or early college, starting with a compact digicam. I purchased my first DSLR two years ago, and have recently started shooting film.

2. Tell us a little bit about yourself and your photohobby/profession.

I am 26 years old. My actual day job is as a software engineer and entrepreneur. I'm involved in several startups including Planypus ( and CohesiveFT ( Much of my free time goes to photography these days. I live in Chicago and travel once a month to the SF Bay area for a week, where I also shoot pictures in my spare time.

3. What's in your kit?

I tend to have a camera for every occasion :-) When I go on ski or mountaineering trips or want a lightweight carry around camera, I grab my compact Ricoh GX100. For general event shooting, I've got a Pentax K100D.

I've recently started shooting a lot of film using rangefinder cameras. Minolta CLE is my compact carry around. I just got my first digital rangefinder Epson R-D1. I also shoot medium format using a Rolleiflex TLR and occasionally a Super Ricohflex as a backup. I use prime lenses almost exclusively unless I'm shooting headshots, and even then I tend to prefer a fifty on a digital slr for a 75mm equivalent short portrait lens. I recently acquired a screwmount Leica.

My lenses:
K: Pentax 50/1.7, Sigma 28/2.8, Pentax 35/2.0, Pentax 50-200 DA
M: Leica Summicron 50/2, CV Color Skopar 28/3.5, CV Heliar 15/4.5, CV Nokton 40/1.4

4. What computer/software/printing do you use?

Macbook Pro with Adobe Lightroom for processing. I print on a Canon i9900 printer, but mostly I just publish my photos online.

5. When you go out and shoot, do you already have a concept in mind?

Sometimes I have an idea for a location or subject matter but I generally prefer to go out street shooting with an open mind and see what crosses my path. I tend to carry a camera on me at all times to catch an interesting scene. What draws my eye is interesting lighting, surreal street scenes, and architecture.

6. What are your favourite things to shoot?

I love street photography, and candid portraiture. I like to capture genuine emotion expressed by a person not posing for a picture. I am now starting to shoot models to develop a better eye for posing and facial expressions.

7. What has been your greatest accomplishment as a photographer up to the present date?

I'm not sure how to measure this. I've gotten published in several local online publications (, etc), but the biggest achievement for me has been to develop a pride in my own pictures. When I can look at my photostream and be proud and happy with every shot, that is the ultimate achievement.

8. Which photographers inspire you the most?

For street shooting, the usual suspects - Cartier-Bresson, Robert Frank. I also enjoy the portraiture of Richard Avedon. Diane Arbus's disturbing but intriguing portraits. But most of all I'm inspired by my contacts on flickr. Of course all the fine people on BPP :-)

I am especially a big fan of the unusual wedding photography and abstract medium format shots of Edward Olive, and portraits of Michael Dörr and zamario for nude portraits, but there are too many to list. Just see my favorites :-)

9. What was important for you when choosing your pictures for your portfolio?

Every time I go through the Explore stream I see the same pictures rehashed. The macro flower, the over-photoshopped HDR image, the cute baby, the beautiful girl portrait, the long exposure saturated color landscape, the bokeh galore, the water drops caught mid-fall. While all of these are fine examples, and I'm not going to contradict the thousands of people who fav pictures like this, I am choosing pictures that I think stand out in their own way, not conforming to any common flickr standard.

10. What are you dreams, goals and aspirations as a photographer?

To develop a style that is distinctly my own. I want people to look at a picture and say: Yan took that. It's a lofty goal, but where would we be without lofty goals :-)

The Mannequin Dreams

Wow Yan, what a great interview, love your serious work, and the way you still work with these state-of- the-art traditional camera's....!! Your inspirational photographers are really your pics...which have your handwriting.... :)))
march25/AnnaZ PRO 9 years ago
Hi Yan, thank you for this interesting interview...your gear sounds great, I wish I could try it :)
wonderful portrfolio you have, especially street shots - your work meets high standards indeed.
Keep it up ! :)
Nick Haigh 9 years ago
Hi Yan,

Nice to meet you and a very interesting read I must say.
bullseyephoto 9 years ago
i love you work Yan, great interview too. I think you have a big future in photography and I cant wait to see how you progress. respect.
Joon Koo 9 years ago
Thank you very much for this interview...
i'm very inspired!...
MOD PRO 9 years ago
Thanks everyone!
JonPac 9 years ago
Great interview and portfolio Yan. Love the depth in your street work. Welcome to the group!
moggierocket PRO 9 years ago
I must remember to take a look at your favorites :-)
My Baby Mia PRO 9 years ago
Very interesting interview!
Your photos are as film, story behind, most impressive is how you use light!
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