Monday’s Inspiration – Marcel Gautherot

Marcel Gautherot was a French-Brazilian photographer. He was best known for his documentation in some three-thousand images of the construction of the Brazilian capital city Brasilia from 1958 to 1960. He initially studied architecture but then dedicated himself to photography.

He came to Brazil in 1940, his interest in the country awakened by reading the novel Jubiabá, by Jorge Amado. After a brief journey around the Amazon, he settled in Rio de Janeiro. He then  documentated projects for the recently created Serviço do Patrimônio Histórico e Artístico NacionalSphan [National Artistic and Historical Heritage Service].

He then contacted Brazilian intellectuals and architects, with whom he frequently worked, producing documentary series about the new Brazilian architecture.

During the 1940s, he travelled along the São Francisco River, recording human types and the popular and religious festivals with an almost anthropological eye. With the photographer Pierre Verger (1902 – 1996), whom he met in Paris, he realised long journeys around the country, documenting colonial and modern architecture among other things. Throughout his career, he contributed to specialist Brazilian and European magazines, with most of his output in black and white. He also began to use colour film from the 1970s onwards. During this period, his work was mainly directed towards books published inside and outside Brazil. Among other books, he is the author of Pernambuco/Recife/Olinda, 1970, Congonhas do Campo, 1973, and Bahia, Rio São Francisco, Recôncavo e Salvador, 1995. In 1999, the photographer’s collection of 25,000 images was acquired by the Instituto Moreira Salles – IMS [Moreira Salles Institute], in Rio de Janeiro. One of his books can be found here.

Here are a few images of Brazil from his point of view which include a few favourites. Which are yours?

Palácio do Congresso Nacional. Brasília, 1958. Foto: Marcel Gautherot/IMS

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Palácio do Congresso Nacional. Brasília, 1960. Foto: Marcel Gautherot/IMS
Palácio do Congresso Nacional. Brasília, 1960. Foto: Marcel Gautherot/IMS
Palácio da Alvorada. Brasília, 1962. Foto: Marcel Gautherot/IMS
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Palácio do Congresso Nacional. Brasília, 1960. Foto: Marcel Gautherot/IMS

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Money isn’t everything……….

Some of you might know that my photography journey as a way to deal with stress during my undergraduate degree. Once I completed my undergraduate degree, I went on to do my Masters.

However, as I was graduating we were hit by a financial crisis in this country which then resulted in many pharmaceutical companies either cutting spending or closing their doors. The following years did not get any better. Every job application was met with a minimum of 6 months to a year work experience. Me being fresh out of university means no experience but I continued to apply anyway. I even applied for work experience only to be told that I lived too far even though I was more than willing to travel. I’ve even applied from a laboratory technician position only to be turned down.

Since then, I’ve had to do some retail jobs to make ends meet. Nothing glamorous and most of them do not pay remotely enough to survive in London even if you work fulltime.

All the work I post on this blog are all taken and edited before or after work or on the weekend. I put all this work in because I love photography. I love creating and most of all I love the feeling I get when I pick up my camera and when I finish an image. I feel excited to share. The feeling of accomplishment I get when I finish a complicated image id like no other. Would I like to do what I love on the daily basis? Ooooh YES!!! Would I love to make some money from it, of course I would and that would be a dream.

However, being told that I should get back to school to get a better job and to earn more money is just not understanding where I’m coming from. Yes, I spend a lot of time on it but that is my choice.

Don’t get me wrong, I work and I am one of those that will even go to work when I’m sick. But I don’t get the same feeling. It is something I have to do in order to pay the bills. I feel like there’s nothing worse than that. The feeling of being trapped and doing only things because you need the money. I’ve work in places where I dread going to and the thought of waking up just makes me depressed and sometimes plain angry and I still do. I would not wish that feeling on anyone. So the idea of spending another ten thousand pounds that I don not have on a degree with no guaranteed outcome does not appeal to me.

I personally do not think that the problem are the studies. The curriculum is not right for the job market that want ready made employees. No one including the NHS is willing to train anyone for these kind of posts. Their priorities are on nurses and doctors and a Microbiologist isn’t just a priority to them.

So the thought of getting loads of money is great but at what cost? My sanity and health are very important to me so until the time I become a millionaire I’m muddling through the best way I know how.

Photography is my passion and I will continue on this path until I’m no longer able to hold a camera or walk. I will create through each image the world I want to see. I hope through my work I can find my purpose and hopefully make some changes on this earth that I am on temporarily.

Monday’s Inspiration – Thomaz Farkas

Thomaz Jorge Farkas was Photographer, teacher, cinema producer and director. In 1930, he emigrated with his family to São Paulo, where his father was one of the founding partners of Fotoptica, one of the first shops of photographic equipment in Brazil. He joined the Foto Cine Clube Bandeirantes (FCCB) [Bandeirantes Photo and Cinema Club] in 1942, and began to exhibit his work in national and international salons. Through imported books and magazines, he became acquainted with the works of Edward Weston and Anselm Adams, two exponents of modern American photography. In the 1940s, he photographed ballet companies, sports, landscapes and scenes of everyday, urban life in São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. In 1949, he held an individual exhibition, Photographic Studies, at the Museu de Arte Moderna de São Paulo (MAM/SP) [Museum of Modern Art of São Paulo], and seven of his photographs were incorporated to the collection of the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), New York. In 1950, together with Geraldo de Barros, he developed a project for the photographic laboratory of the Museu de Arte de São Paulo Assis Chateaubriand (Masp) [Assis Chateaubriand Museum of Art of São Paulo], and taught classes there in the following year. Concomitantly, he experimented in cinema, frequented the studio of the Vera Cruz Cinematographic Company, in São Bernardo do Campo, São Paulo, and began a correspondence with the Dutch documentary-maker, Joris Ivens. He graduated in mechanical and electrical engineering from the Polytechnic School of the University of São Paulo (Poli/USP), in 1953. From 1957 to 1960, he documented the construction and inauguration of Brasília. After his father’s death, in 1960, he assumed the direction of Fotoptica, an office he held until 1997.

Sombra do fotógrafo José Medeiros. Rio de Janeiro, 1946. Foto: Thomaz Farkas/IMS
Edifício antigo do Rio de Janeiro. 1947. Foto: Thomaz Farkas/IMS
Fachada lateral do Ministério da Educação e Saúde, série Recortes. Rio de Janeiro, 1945. Foto: Thomaz Farkas/IMS

São Paulo, década de 1950. Foto: Thomaz Farkas/IMS
Mirante do Trianon. São Paulo, 1945. Foto: Thomaz Farkas/IMS

Monday’s Inspiration – Ray Atkeson

Ray Atkeson was an American photographer best known for his landscape images, particularly of the American West.

He began photographing the Western landscape in 1928. As a pioneer in large-format, colour scenic photography, Ray Atkeson became a legend in his own time, having done more to promote the scenic splendour of Oregon than has any other individual photographer. Atkeson’s work has been widely exhibited across America and appeared in numerous national magazines such as National Geographic, Time, Readers Digest etc. His photography has illustrated over twenty large format books with over one million copies sold. His photographs captured 1930s fishing vessels recently adapted to use engines to women building warships for World War II.  As can be seen below images, Alan Engen called Atkeson “the finest ski photographer ever.” No surprises there.

Ray was decorated with a number of awards and distinctions during his lifetime including Photographer Laureate of the State of Oregon, honorary Doctor of Fine Arts from Linfield College, Distinguished Citizen of Oregon, and the Governor’s Award for Arts in Oregon.

He created an archive of over 250,000 images during his career and those images are now held in the Ray Atkeson Image Archive. More of his work can be found here. From the 1930‘s through the 1950’s, Ray documented the Ski & Snow Country of the intermountain region of the Western United States. During that period of time Ray created several thousand black and white images that are now considered to be the finest privately held collection of winter and ski photography of that era. His timeless images of winter are still sought by collectors around the world.

 

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Monday’s Inspiration – Victor Skrebneski

Born  in Chicago in 1929, Victor Skrebneski is a photographer born to parents of Polish and Russian heritage. He was educated at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1943 and attended the Illinois Institute of Technology from 1947 to 1949. He set up his own studio in Chicago in 1952.

Skrebneski is most known for his fashion photography and his work for the ad campaigns of the cosmetics company Estee Lauder, Inc. He has photographed various celebrities, including Cindy Crawford (whose first notable photos he took), Oprah Winfrey, Audrey Hepburn, Diana Ross, Hubert de Givenchy, Diahann Carroll and François Truffaut He has created numerous other ad campaigns.

I’ve added a few personal favourites but a lot more can be found here on his website.

 

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My analog photography journey ……

For a while now I’ve haven’t had a same feeling I get when I pick up my camera. So I promised myself that I will get more involved with analog.

I have the camera and the film and I just needed to get going. I promised myself that this year, I will put more effort into it.

Getting started was easy but getting tangible results proved a little more problematic and more expensive than I thought.

My first and second were a wash. Out of 35 frames on each roll, I managed to have 10 decent images. That’s discouraged me a little but it wasn’t about to give up.

I then found out that the light meter on the camera wasn’t working properly so I decided to get a light meter app. That didn’t help much probably didn’t because I didn’t have the patience for it.

As a photographer, I’m not a fan of shooting 20frames per second on digital, when the cost of film processing is a lot more than digital, it definitely makes you rethink everything before you press the shutter.

Here are the few images that I’ve been successful with. Although I would have liked better results, the imperfections are what makes me like these images. It’s almost makes you smile to think about the effort put in.