In the November of 2020 I was contacted by the Municipality of Kotor to make 12 new black & white photos for their 2021 calendar. I have made a lot of calendars for Municipality of Kotor before, but only once in black & white, which is my favourite photographic medium for representing architecture & my home town. Medieval town of Kotor with its narrow streets, squares, churches, public & private buildings is perfect for black & white photography. In November, during Covid-19 pandemic, the town of Kotor was, more or less, a city with no people in it. That is a quite a contrast from the Kotor before pandemic, which was full of tourist almost the whole year. Cruisers do not come to our town any more! So, I wanted to capture this sense of isolation in which we are all now, including Kotor as well. I was not pursuing any specific motif, but after reviewing the selected photos for calendar it turned out that 6 of them have a gates or a doors as its motif. Doors & gates symbolise transition from one state to another, passage from one world to the another, they can be open or closed, forbidding or welcoming... We can associate it with the effects of pandemic, but also with the present situation which for us in Western Balkan and Montenegro in particular is transitional for a very long period of time. Let us hope that transition in 2021 will be a good one!
A short notice from the technical point of view. Photos were taken with Canon EOS R camera and 3 lenses: Canon TS-E 17mm f/4L, Canon RF 24-105mm F4L IS USM & Canon RF 35mm F1.8 Macro IS STM.
The Canon TS-E 17mm f/4L is tilt & shift lens which is ideal for architecture and landscape photography. Because of its shift capability this lens is very convenient for stitching panoramic photos. Usually I took 7 photos, which afterwards are stitched in Affinity Photo producing ultra wide photo that resembles on the photos taken with medium format camera.
The Canon RF 24-105mm F4L IS USM lens was used together with B+W 77 110 ND 3.0 - 10 BL 1000× E neutral density filter & gradual filter for long exposure shots. The Canon EOS R was set in the bulb mode. Approximately exposures were 1:00 to 2:00 minutes long.
Long exposure setup
Finally, versatile little Canon RF 35mm F1.8 Macro IS STM lens was used for macro shot of the Karampana water pipe.
For the conversion into the black & white photo I have used DxO PhotoLab 4 with 2 plugins from Nik Collection 3: Silver Efex Pro & Analog Efex Pro. I am a long time user of the Nik Collection and I find Silver Efex Pro a great tool for every black & white photographer. After conversion of the original photographs into the black & white Analog Efex Pro where used to give a final "analog" touch to the photos.
Calendar was designed by my friend & graphic designer Novica Zečević. He works at Birokonto printing company, from Herceg Novi, which printed the calendar. The format of the calendar is 116mm × 164mm.
Printed calendar of the Kotor Municipality for 2021
At the end, I am thankful that the Municipality of Kotor gave me this opportunity to make this calendar with more artistic approach! The fact that town of Kotor and its surroundings are UNESCO World Heritage Site oblige us to present it in the proper manner. I hope that with this set of 12 black & white photograph our town has adequate presentation.