Janko Belaj. Photographer.

Why “Before”?

(Janko Belaj, for the first publication)

I photograph food, in different variations and aspects, almost every day. But, those food photo sessions are usually dictated by someone else. The client, art director, the publication itself…

And I, on the other hand, like to play. I love black and white photography because it has the power to emphasize texture. I love the large format film, because it yields loads of detail. This gallery is the result.

Well, yes, the guiding idea in playing with this series was to find a photogenic moment of a part of our food chain in some of the stages prior to ingestion. Thus the name of the series: “Meals and Drinks. Before.”

And, finally, some information for the lovers of technique: all the photographs, all of them, were taken using Sinar F 4x5, and the “Garlic Sausages” were taken using Tachihara N45, because Sinar isn't really prone to levitating. As the lenses go, I used Super-Angulon 90mm f8, Symmar 135mm f5.6 and G-Claron 210mm f9. All of them Schneider-Kreutznach. All the photographs were made on 9x12cm negative material, ISO 50 or ISO 100, and were developed, according to desired tonality and mood, in Rodinal, X-Tol, or lying down in my thin mixture of Rodinal and X-Tol. They were finally scanned on Creo-Scitex Supreme II scanner.

(Janko, May 2007.)