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Frequently asked questions

Can you give me her phone number?

No, but feel free to try at any of her galleries.

Hello, my name is [...] and I am studying some of Hellen Van Meene's work for my A level in Photography. I am particularly looking at her image of [...]. For part of our analysis, we are supposed to write about the technical aspects of the work, but I couldn't find any information [...] about how the print was made, the lens used or shutterspeed or type of print for example?

(1) Hellen van Meene makes her photos with a Rolleiflex 2.8F "Rollei-WERKE FRANKE & HEIDECKE 2,8F 2476084, Made in Germany" (it's the 2.8F 2 from 1966 according to this site). It has a Carl Zeiss Nr 5120939 Planar 1:2,8 f=80mm lens. All her photos use available light, without flash, lamps or artificial reflection. She will ask you to step aside if you block the sun. She uses Fujicolor Portrait NPH 400 Professional Color Negative Film. That produces a 6 x 6 cm negative. These are developed by Lumino in Amsterdam. She makes color proof prints from negative in her own darkroom, or she scans the negative on a Canon CanoScan and makes color proof prints on a HP deskjet printer. In general the final print will show the complete negative. The final exhibition prints are made by Grieger in Düsseldorf, Germany and measure 40x40 cm or 30x30 cm. Since 2004 she also uses a Polaroid SX-70 Land Camera Alpha, mostly to keep track of proceedings during a multi-day shoot.

(2) Tell your teacher or whoever that these things really do not matter. Hellen started making photos on plastic snapshot camera she got from Santa Claus. She advises to get to know about color in the darkroom like she did, or simply by experimenting with Photoshop (like she does now, but based on what she learned among the chemicals in the darkroom). Learning to view the world like a photographer is the only thing that matters, not the hardware, film or settings used.

Tokyo, 2005-02-23