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I am a 20 year old photography student.
I have just spent the last three weeks updating my online portfolio which includes film and digital social documentary photographs.
The film images were taken mainly using a Contax G2 with vario sonnar but also a G1 with 45mm planar.
I would appreciate to hear fellow users comments and constructive criticism.


Thank you,

James Wakefield

Very nice set. I book marked your site!! The good thing about organizing your photos is that they are themed. The bad thing is that they have a little bit of redundancy. (i.e. the narcotics section ... smokers ...). Each on its'own is a nice shot, but still ...

I'm not sure if there is a solution. I like the way your site is layed out. The social commentary is interesting. But the problem with verbal comments is that they elicit emotions just like the images. Sometimes, depending on ones perspective, the comments can be contrary to the images content.

But, very nicely done. Nice images. I'll be back.


Your career is off to a great start. Keep up the great work.

I'm curious how you like the G2 Vario Sonnar lens. I've heard many conflicting views on the overall quality of this lens compared to the other fixed focal length Zeiss lenses. What are your views?

> As a social documentary photographer, you seem to capture the events and circumstance of modern life but not the feelings and the emotions of the people experiencing them.

Your pictures reveal that you are not really a people person. This can be seen when you do capture feelings and the emotions because they are caricature, an imitation, rather than a revelation of a personality with the picture.

As social documentary photographer, who captures the events and circumstance of modern life, you are very good and possess the embryos of greatness. However, your pursuit of style in presentation completes with your subject matter. By increasing your understanding of people your photography will improve. Currently, your photographs present humans as immanent expressions of caricature, more suitable to the advertising industry, than real social documentary, more slogans, than real analytical reflection on life.

Love yourself, then you will lean to love others, then your picture will possess a window look outwards, not a door on the outside looking in.

I hope I have been helpful and constructive.

Your photographs are very good. Do not let the comments by barrington maye sway nor discourage you. We need to focus our feedback on the photos and not the inner workings of anyone.

My very best to you, you will do well.

Mia Anderson

Thanks for your constructive comments. With regards to the 'narcotics' section, this is a bit limited at the moment as I have only just decided to embark on it as a major project, so obviously it will improve as I get more subject matter and the project progresses. I agree with you on the verbal comments. I decided that I wanted to make some points / ideas clear with various images but obviously this does not work all the time especially when there is not really much to say about an image. Thanks for your time, regards James.

My knowledge of photography as a medium is vast but I don't consider myself a top authority on judging image quality. This is because my work in the past has been limited to 'low' quality 35mm optics (canon etc.) and digital work. I don't have any experience with medium format for ex&le. What I will say is, after using both the 45mm planar and 35-70mm vario sonnar they are undoubtedly the best optics available for 35mm film (I'll leave leica out of this). The fact is that the vario sonnar is a unique and very expensive lens. I am aware that some people argue that is not the same quality as prime lenses but in my opinion this is irrelevant. Any difference in quality has certainly not been noticed by myself when compared to the planar lens. I would say if you have any hesitation about buying the lens then don't. The advantage of an immediate 35-70mm zoom range on a rangefinder far outways any minor issues with lens quality. At the end of the day, the lens uses carl zeiss optics and is constructed in a way that minimises distortion to the maximum extent possible. It is an incredibly engineered piece of optical equipment.

Thank you for your comments. A lot of what you said makes a sense and I will take it on board as I develop my style.

Best regards,

Thanks for your comments regarding the vario sonnar. They were very helpful.

And I agree entirely with Mia's comment.

Best regards,
I'll get this down.... Mia, thanks. You have my second. Did anyone say "the camera is the window to the soul". I thought that particular brand of criticism gave it's last breath in some obscure graduate school in 1982... > Sir, I enjoyed your photos very much. Technically, anyone worrying about > the G2 meter should 'take your course' and I found your subjects > provoking, thanks > Wyatt