Photography and Emotions

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

Little Things

I edited the image above the day that I wrote this article.  

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.

Little things II

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.

 

 

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Monday’s Inspiration – Germaine Van Parys

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.

Monday’s Inspiration – Ed Van Wijk

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.

The Variation series – Part I Simplicity

One of my favourite to do with my work is work in series. Creating series allows me to work at my own pace and most importantly create a coherent story.

At the time, I am working on two to three series at a time, a remedy that I find to work against monotony boredom. The series that I am introducing to you today is my “Variation Series”.

This series started as an exercise but grew into something else. I chose a subject and I wanted to see how many composition I could create but I started to think about how we see things.

We are all different so our way of perception is also different so how many can one create based on one subject.

Here I share with you the first part of this series.

Monday’s Inspiration – Harold Cazneaux

Harold Cazneaux was an Australian pictorialist photographer; a pioneer whose style had an indelible impact on the development of Australian photographic history.

Cazneaux moved to Sydney in 1904 and worked in Freeman & Co. Ltd’s studio, becoming manager and chief operator. In his leisure time he began to document old Sydney. In 1907, he showed photographs at the members’ exhibition of the Photographic Society of New South Wales and two years later held his first solo exhibition in Australia: the critics praised the diversity of his work – landscapes and portraits.

He sent some of his images overseas and was recognised as a pioneer of the pictorial movement. In 1916 with five friends, he founded the amateur Sydney Camera Circle. Opposed to slavish imitation of overseas trends, he argued for a break with the typical low-toned British print in favour of ‘truly Australian sunshine effects’.

In 1914 Cazneaux won Kodak’s ‘Happy Moments’ contest and used the £100 as a deposit for a house in Roseville where he lived and from 1920 worked for the rest of his life. Frustrated and in poor health, he had left Freeman’s in 1918 and was rescued from penury by S. Ure Smith, who gave him regular work for his new publications the Home and Art in Australia. His frontispiece photograph for the first issue of the Home in 1920 used sunshine effects so successfully that it sparked a new trend in local photography. He benefited greatly from the publicity. A member of the London Salon of Photography, he exhibited there from at least 1911 and in 1924, with other members of the camera circle, opened the short-lived Australian Salon with a hanging of 170 pictures.

He produced a series of portraits of well-known artists, musicians, and actors and many books including Canberra, Australia’s Federal Capital (1928), Sydney Surfing (1929), The Bridge Book (1930), The Sydney Book (1931), Frensham Book (1934), and the jubilee number of the B.H.P. Review (1935). As a critic he wrote for the Australasian Photographic Review and the Gallery Gazette, London, and columns for the Lone Hand and Sydney Mail. Sometime president of the Photographic Society of New South Wales, he was elected an honorary fellow of the Royal Photographic Society of Great Britain in 1937.

Harold Cazneaux
Harold Cazneaux
Harold Cazneaux
Harold Cazneaux
Harold Cazneaux
Harold Cazneaux
Harold Cazneaux
Harold Cazneaux
Harold Cazneaux
Harold Cazneaux
Harold Cazneaux
Harold Cazneaux
Harold Cazneaux
Harold Cazneaux
Harold Cazneaux

Learning to curate……

I’ve always heard photographers and curators talk about curating your work. Although I heard the term often I had absolutely no idea what they meant until I decided to make a zine. There’s no better to learn than to be thrown into the deep end to lean things.

It is said that curation is key. What is meant by that? In a simple word, not everything that is captured needs to be published. I had to learn to not only create but choose images that represented me and my vision. As much as we like not to think about it, every image we put out represents us, so it good to think about what we are about to publish.

Through this journey, I’ve made a lot of mistakes and I created 3 zines in total before ending up with the final printed zine. One of the best compliments that any of us can get is when someone sees our knows whose work it is. I for one know when I see a Salgado or a Mckenna image, I instinctively know the photographer. That’s my aim, to create a body of work that is of my vision, define me as a photographer and truly for itself.

My work has changed over the years but it is normal as I am still growing. But it was only when I started sorting the images for this that I noticed subtle changes and additions that have creeped up in my work. It is those differences that make our work different to other photographer’s.

As artists, we get excited about new projects that we are working on and we tend to overshare. We are all different when it comes to our workflow. Due to the extensive edits I carry out on my work, I am not able to create nor share images on a daily basis. It took me quite a long time to realise that. However, due to all the information that are flying at us from every angle, it is first impressions that count. You are only good as your last image. It is not a point of view that I agree with but that’s the reality and that’s just how the internet works.

For this reason, I took my time to carefully select the images to go in the zine. There were a few thing that I struggled with. Deciding on the images to not use and the images that worked and which simply that are simply not good enough. I had to completely change the way I was thinking. I had to be completely objective to the verge of being brutal. Even though, some images were personal favourite, I chose not to include them.

The other thing I had to learn was to take criticism, that is constructive criticism. After I finished, the fist zine I showed it friends and family. People that I trusted to be honest. As I had original thought on first impression, it simply wasn’t good enough so I had to go back to the drawing board.

I streamlined the theme and then redesigned the layout and then reprinted a proof. Even after this, I had the feeling that something else was missing but what was it?

I am not use to putting words to images. What helped was my original process of working. I have a habit of naming each image according to what I’m feeling, thinking so that helped with this process. What was missing was the words to the images, my process, what is personal to me about these images.

After having written this, I knew the zine was ready to be printed. I’ve attached a few images of zine as well as some images included in the zine for you to see.

I will be doing a live talk about the zine on Saturday at 8pm GMT on Instagram and go through the process in depth. My Instagram handle is @pamelaaminou if you would like to join me.

 

Zine Cover
Zine inside pages
Zine inside pages
One of the images in the Zine

Khao Lak in 35mm…..

Earlier this year, I was lucky enough to go to Thailand for 10 days. I’ve spent most of my life either in Europe or the African continent so this was my first time in Asia.

I was a little nervous before I left, as I only speak French and English so I wasn’t sure what to expect and I also have a fear for airports. Not airports as such but more for border controllers. For some reason, each time I travel, they question whether it is me or someone else on the picture. I’m not sure if it’s my face that tend to change every time I travel. As far as I know, I haven’t changed.

But not only the country was pretty amazing but all my expectations were exceeded. Every person we came across were extremely helpful and most of all genuinely kind. It is the type of place where strangers say hi to each other. That is something that I’ve never experienced. Even the people that don’t speak English, take time to listen and help you out.

More than anything else what stood out to me was the large amount of greenery all around. Although I love architecture, I am completely against destroying nature for wealth and especially for oil.

Before I start ranting, here some of images I captured on the 35mm that I brought with me on the journey.

For these images, I used Kodak TriX film 400. From what I heard about this film I expected something a little different but then again I’m a newbie at film.

Khao Lak on 35mm

Khao Lak on 35mm