Whether you’re a vintage camera nerd, a camera collector, or a passionate film photographer, you probably enjoy vintage poster ads of gear from decades past. It’s easy to get nostalgic over them, especially since camera companies don’t make ads for cameras and lenses like them anymore. So, when we spotted the convincing, retro-inspired posters made by Texas-based photographer and seasoned director Aaron Arizpe, we couldn’t help but ask him to tell us more about them. Luckily for us, he obliged with a really detailed and interesting story!
Arizpe, who hails from Austin, began by telling us about what inspired him to do these cool posters. First, he cited a combination of things as his inspiration. He found a great affinity for the late ’70s/early ’80s aesthetic, likely brought about by most of the movies he grew up watching. “The lighting style, in both films and photography from that era, speaks to me on a creative level,” he added. Next, is his love for fonts, which often compels him to spend hours searching for “the right one.” This is also coupled by his obsessive nature, which he considers as his boon and bane. “If I see something that I like, I will spend an unhealthy amount of time reading, searching, dissecting and digesting everything that I can about that particular subject until I feel that I understand it well enough to attempt it.”
His other biggest source of inspiration was his uncle, who has a poster collection on his bathroom wall that sowed the seeds of ideas for Aaron. “They were mostly pictures of Budweiser girls and Max Headroom, but I loved staring at them all the same.”
Now, onto the posters themselves. He shot the photos using his Panasonic GH5 and Voigtlander lenses. The first poster he did was for his Voigtlander lenses. “I already had four of them, and then bought the fifth in the set to complete it so I celebrated by taking a few pictures and began to mock them up in Photoshop. I think I used a tabletop desk lamp on an articulating arm for those with a matte black wall.”
Recently, he also picked up two Leica lenses from a brick and mortar shop in his town: a Leica 135mm and 180mm (both in f2.8). Setting up a shoot for these was fairly straightforward but also more complex than the others. He described it below:
“I set up in my bedroom with a small table and piece of tile I picked up from home depot. I used two Aputure LS1 daylight LED panels with a pop-out diffuser (to smooth out the lens reflection), a high powered flashlight for that hard edge, an Aputure AL-MX pocket LED, and the tabletop desk lamp with articulating arm. I used a black sheet for a backdrop that I pinned to my wall for one set, and then hung off a c-stand for a second set.”
It’s impressive how Aaron managed to achieve results that are both fitting tributes to his lenses and faithful to the era that inspired him. We hope he makes some for iconic cameras next!
Don’t forget to check out Aaron Arizpe’s website as well to see more of his creative projects.