“The organisation of light and shadow effects produce a new enrichment of vision.” – László Moholy-Nagy
I haven’t shared any inspiration in a while so I thought that I would with this Hungarian photographer. What really struck me in his work is his abstract and his amazing use of items to create incredible shapes and play with shadows. So let’s start with getting to know him a little better.
Laszlo Moholy-Nagy was a Hungarian painter and photographer born in 1946. He was highly influenced by constructivism and was a strong advocate of the integration of technology and industry into the arts. Laszlo Moholy-Nagy possessed one of the liveliest and most versatile minds to come out of the revolution in artistic thinking that occurred in Europe after the First World War.
In addition to being a painter, designer, and photographer, Moholy was perhaps the most persuasive and effective theoretician of the concept of art education that grew out of the Bauhaus, the experimental design school that flowered briefly in Germany during the days of the Weimar Republic. Through his own work, his teaching and writing, and through the influence of his colleagues and followers at the Chicago Institute of Design (which Moholy founded in 1938), his ideas have had a profound effect on the art and art theory of the past generation. In none of the areas of his concern has his influence been greater than in photography.
His key ideas include:
He believed that humanity could only defeat the fracturing experience of modernity – only feel whole again – if it harnessed the potential of new technologies. Artists should transform into designers, and through specialisation and experimentation find the means to answer humanity’s needs.
His interest in photography encouraged his belief that artists’ understanding of vision had to specialise and modernise. He believed that artists are used to be dependent on the tools of perspective drawing, but with the advent of the camera they had to learn to see again. They had to renounce the classical training of previous centuries, which encouraged them to think about the history of art and to reproduce old formulas and experiment with vision, thus stretching human capacity to new tasks.
His interest in qualities of space, time, and light endured throughout his career and transcended the very different media he employed. Whether he was painting or creating “photograms” (photographs made without the use of a camera or negative) or crafting sculptures made of transparent Plexiglass, he was ultimately interested in studying how all these basic elements interact.
Moholy-Nagy’s influence on American art was felt broadly in several disciplines. Along with the other emigres from the Bauhaus, he succeeded in instilling a modern aesthetic into American design. His impact was felt most strongly by his students, but his use of modern materials and technology impressed other young designers, including Charles Eames, who visited the New Bauhaus while studying at the Cranbrook Academy of Art. Moholy-Nagy’s influence on photography is felt equally through his writings as through his photographs and photomontages. His first Bauhaus book established photography as a fine art equal to painting. His experiments in light and shadow reinforced photography’s value as a subjective medium, and therefore an artistic medium, rather than simply a means to document reality.
Recent years have brought international attention to Moholy-Nagy’s achievements with several major museums organising retrospectives, including the Tate Modern in London, the Schirn Kunsthalle in Frankfurt, and the Loyola University Museum of Art in Chicago, that celebrate the impact of his work on American art.
Essentially photography is painting with light. The action of painting with allows us to see the beauty around us and as well as everything else. But I wonder if the capture of each moment. With my new obsession with analog photography, I’m able to slow down and savour each moment.
This process has taught me a lot. Observation is key and learning to read light when shooting. I love the simplicity of the cameras. The click of the shutter and the winding motion. I find each of these things soothing and refreshing.
Not being able to preview the images is another aspects. Although it can give knots in my stomach and questions on whether my capture is succesful. I’ve resigned to leaving the rolls for a couple of weeks before having them processed. It is a slow process but I’m loving the process.
I just came back from a week in Florence and to my surprise, I’ve used my Pentax ME more than my canon 5D. I’m looking forward to processing these myself but I have a few more purchases to make before I’m able to do that.
Sometimes we wake up and we know clearly what to do with our day. The others days just feel like a blur. Not for the lack of remembering what happen throughout the day but simply because of the confusion those days bring. I’ve had a few of of those days lately which made me realise that I was simply tired.
A lot of things have been happening lately. Good and bad and it’s a balance that I’m learning to live with. While I was away a few wonderful have happened one of which that I’d like to share with you all.
I’ve had my work featured on http://www.dodho.com. and online photography magazine. It is a strange and surreal feeling to have my work published. I truly still cannot believe that it has happened.
If you have a moment, please click on the link below and read the article.
I’ve always believed that the way and what we are feeling greatly affects how we edit our images. I can almost map my feelings through my work. Let me walk through this……..
I named the attached images “Little things” because it is the little things that we feel and the way we process our emotions that makes us who we are. At the same time it is those same emotions that makes us who we are.
I have a history of keep my emotions down and I’ve noticed that it shows through my work
If you read the article in the link, you will know that my feathers were a little more than ruffled that night. The only way I know to work through what I feel is by doing what I know best.
Unbeknown to myself, a couple of weeks later I edited the same image again. Only this time, I was a lot calmer and collected. Having seen both images together, I’m not sure which is my favourite.
The aim behind each image is to always be able translate how I felt when I captured each image. However, the edit is different each time. One thing I’ve learned is that photography is an art. And as an art it is an exploration of oneself as much as a creation of images. Every photograph you make is a culmination of what you have experienced, what you have thought, who you have loved, all combined with your skill as a photographer.
As a result, our photographs are a reflection of who we are, and our lives can be read in them.
Germaine Van Parys (1893–1983) was a pioneering Belgian photojournalist and first woman in Belgium who practiced this profession. By the end of the First World War, she was recognised as one of Belgium’s most competent photographers.
She first worked for Le Soir(1922), then for La Meuse (1932), also contributing to the Paris weekly L’Illustration. In addition to images of royalty, she covered national catastrophes, plane crashes and assassinations. Of particular interest are her photographs of the Namur floods in 1926. She was one of the few women photographers to be a correspondent during the Second World War, also covering the Belgian liberation.
In 1956, she created her own agency, Van Pariys Media. Van Parys died in Brussels in 1983.
Ed van Wijk was a self-taught Dutch photographer. As with most photographers of his generation, he started young. Precisely at 12 years after he received a camera from his grand-father. At school he gained more experience by taking candids of his classroom unnoticed using a Rolleicord. After school, he chose to turn his hobby into a profession and soon bought a Leica 35mm.
Although he is know for his black and white imagery, van Wijk initially applied himself intensively to colour photography. His early experiences with colour photography resulted in his first large official commission. He documented the famous sixteenth-century stained-glass windows by the Crabeth brothers in the Church of Sint Jan in Gouda, because of the threat of war.
After the war he made portraits and pictures of children, as well as photo reports for the theatre group Residentie Toneel. His photographs appeared in the women’s magazines.
One of the first photo books in which his work appeared was Nederland – wonder uit water (The Netherlands – Miracle out of Water, 1954) published by W. van Hoeve after the example of publishing house Contact’s series ‘De schoonheid van ons land’ (‘The Beauty of our Country’). This was followed by the books: ‘s-Gravenhage (1955), Amsterdam (1958), Rotterdam (1958), Leiden (1961), Madurodam (1963) en Friesland (1963).
From 1952 onwards, Ed van Wijk was a core member of the Dutch Photographer’s Art Society. In his work the influence of Otto Steinert’s ‘subjective’ photography is clearly in evidence. In the sixties he was a member of GKf for a short period. Having made a name for himself with his photo books, he was given teaching positions at a number of academies.
In 1957 he became a teacher at the Vrije Academie voor Beeldende Kunsten in Den Haag, in 1959 at the Haagse School voor Fotografie en Fototechniek and in 1964 at the Akademie voor Beeldende Kunsten in Arnhem.