I like Kandinsky’s idea that we all have an inner need for expression. Looking at pictures on instagram, it’s cool to look at individual people’s offerings and try to work out what they are trying to say to the world. There is no good or bad art, just images that speak to you more than others, or speak to you differently on different days or when you are in different moods.
‘spartacus and his army of freed slaves’
So when I make a picture, it is expressing something of how I am feeling or something I want to say to the world at the time of making it. It is cool to make abstract images because people can interpret them in any way they wish. I like to make images with balance in colours or in shapes, but then sometimes the words chosen to go with them can distract or help make a connection with another person.
The first image called ‘spartacus….’ I like because it is stark black and white with a slight tinge of red. It seems to show strength emerging out of a vague past, and yet also I hope it makes people feel connected to this vast sea of humanity.
‘two hemispheres unite’
It’s also wonderful to play around and arrange shapes so they make something geometrical and yet playful and whimsical at the same time. In ‘two hemispheres unite’ it seems to show that the whole world of instagram is uniting people who like to look at pictures and find some sort of commonality. We are made happy to be part of the big wide world and yet we all have our unique take on it.
‘throw dishes at your head’
Look at how harmonious the shapes seem to be in ‘throw dishes at your head, cos it’s what you were expecting’ – the shapes fit together, the colours speak of harmony but the title shakes people up and makes them think,(I hope) of what happens when your safe little world crashes in on you.
‘you may be fast, but I’m quicker than you’
When I take a real picture and glitch it up a bit I want people to question what is ‘real’ in this world. There are so many possibilities for parallel worlds, doors opening to different perceptions, unexplained phenomena and strange occurrences which should make us full of wonder at this glorious thing called life. I called this “ you may be fast, but I’m quicker than you” just because I want people to laugh and then sit back and think, what is this thing called life and why do words make me smile?
The last image has some text in it, (space bar) – I love images with text and shapes in them, as words can be so tricky, have so many meanings and yet have no meaning at all. The colours and shapes make me happy as well as the possibility that there is more beyond this life, some sort of spirituality, that we all seem to be searching for.
‘slow shutter speed’
‘try cutting through the mask’
‘heart beats slow’
‘orange, lime and mandarin’
‘from the upside down’
Kandinsky again said it best when he said that art was the soul, without which the body cannot be healthy.
ONE: At what point in the development of your photography do you think your images will start to speak for themselves?
Henri Cartier-Bresson is known to have said, “Your first 10,000 photographs are your worst.” I believe him.
I admit that I feel a long way off from having a consistent “body of photography work,” but in
the meantime, repeated efforts and studying others’ works feel very important.
Self-portrait with Water Lilies(Naoshima, Japan)
TWO: Whose photography have you studied? Which photographers and their works have impacted you the most in times to come?
Some photographers who come to mind are: Richard Avedon, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Annie Leibovitz, Peter Lindbergh, Alfred Stieglitz, Hilla and Bernd Becher, Helen Levitt, Diane Arbus, Imogen Cunningham, Dorothea Lange, Cindy Sherman, Graciela Iturbide, Denis Brihat, and Rinko Kawauchi.
Ready for the Journey (Toulouse, France)
It doesn’t seem like a huge list, but I ended up focusing on painting within the major of Visual Arts during college, so my inspirations are drawn from many disciplines.
Abstract Self-Portrait (Japan)
New Year’s Eve in Chinatown (Kobe, Japan)
Street Dancers (Shinjuku, Tokyo, Japan)
In particular during high school, I was really influenced by Richard Avedon. His 1994 retrospective at the Whitney Museum of American Art, “Evidence 1944-1994”, brought with it the opportunity to see him speak at a special lecture for high school students. My family lived one hour south of New York City, so I hopped on the train after school one day and was blown away by the photographer’s raw energy. His honest portraiture, which captured the uniqueness of the human spirit and body which was printed at a bigger-than-life scale, has left a lasting impression on me.
Before seeing the retrospective, I remembered reading about him and his work in magazines. He loved the photographed image so much that he apparently used to tape film negatives to his skin and expose them under the sun until the images burned onto his skin.
Portrait of My 91-year-old Grandmother (Tokyo, Japan)
Another photographer I met during my time studying abroad in southern France had a deep impact on me. His name is Denis Brihat, and he’s a multi-award winning nature portrait photographer who created his own chemical process to highlight the beauty of his inanimate subjects on photo paper. He was an advisor to a black and white photography class I took, and I will never forget him talking about a ten year period during which he was very quiet, developing his own method of photography. At that time, I understood better the possibility of portraiture in a wide range of categories.
Mt. Daisen (Tottori Prefecture, Japan)
Falling into an Underground Pocket (Tokyo, Japan)
THREE: You’ve talked about printed photographs by photographers you admire. How important is the printed product to you? We live in such a digital age now – how do you reconcile the difference between the wide availability of digital images and the decreasing number of images that exist as prints?
Yes, the tactile product holds a lot of significance for me since I trained as a painter. But it’s a whole different category of product now, more than ever, it seems. Ansel Adams is known to have said, “Twelve significant photographs in any one year is a good crop.” These days, that would sound absurd to hear from the mouth of a celebrated photographer! I currently live in Japan, but before I came, I was creating paintings that included photographic images printed on inkjet tissue paper. If I were still making those, twelve “photographic paintings” in one year would indeed be “a good crop”.
Gate 2 at Izumo Taisha Grand Shrine (Izumo, Japan)
Open Sesame (Kanazawa, Japan)
Rooftop Poolside (Barcelona, Spain)
FOUR: What about travel? How long have you been traveling, and what do you look for these days when you travel?
Traveling is of utmost importance to me! I’ve been traveling since I was a baby, and I have come to accept that I am always living “abroad” in one way or another. That probably sounds like an unstable mindset, but being at peace with it has opened up a lot of freedom in my thinking. For example, it allows my creative work to be more of a home to me than any geographic location. So actually, the longer I go without working on my creative projects, the more insecure and “homeless” I feel. In photography, the process of photographing and the process of editing for public viewing help me feel “at home” even if I am in a country that I wouldn’t identify as my native country.
Contemplation (Oita, Japan)
FIVE: How would you describe your relationship to architecture?
I’m pretty sensitive to spaces. Deep down, my interest in architecture is about one day finding or making a “real home” where I can work on many kinds of creative projects – a deluxe art studio. But in general, I’m keenly interested in how people build homes and other buildings for specific uses. It’s linked to my fascination about how people make themselves at home in the world – how they make themselves comfortable (personally and professionally) in order to live secure, fulfilling lives.
SIX: What inspires you, and what do you hope to inspire in others?
I’m inspired by a life lived with resolve – the ability to find and determinedly put into practice many original solutions amidst life’s challenges. It’s possible that I photograph people and places that speak to this topic. I hope that in the long run, my work can be strong enough to encourage people to live bigger than what they believed possible.
To see more of Shuko’s work, please visit her Instagram
Shuko is a fine artist who lives in the Tokyo area. Having moved to the metropolis this year (2016), she is finding the need to redefine her creative practices, including her photography.
What does Christmas mean to you? Do you look forward to this season earnestly or is it a mere family ritual and gathering that you do every year?… Here at Grryo, all of us in the team, come from different countries across the globe with distinct backgrounds. In this post, we will all share what Christmas means to us and how some of us Celebrate it.
Christmas for me is deeply rooted in my faith in Jesus Christ. This holiday is to be a reflection of everything he is and I find it summed up in the word giving. I’m talking about giving without any expectation of a return. This year I have found a couple of actions that demonstrate the type of giving I mean.
John and his wife Shayla started helping a couple of weeks ago at Soul Food Cafe, a local food ministry to the hungry. John’s heart was touched by the need he found all around him. Putting his photography talent to use he had the idea of doing free portraits for anyone who wanted one. On the particular day I visited John there, he took over 50 portraits in front of this tree as Shayla, with infant son “Cotton” in tow, gathered information. This week they are taking photos with Santa. In the meantime he made a video on Facebook about what was happening that generated 1500 views and gained help from several local photography clubs.
This past weekend I helped a group of teens that joined with several hundred other local Arkansans to fill food packs to send to hungry children in Haiti. A local restaurant, Tacos 4 Life, gives enough from their profits to feed one child for every meal they serve. They do this by teaming with Feed My Starving Children® which is a non-profit organization committed to feeding hungry children. They organize volunteers to hand-pack meals specifically formulated for malnourished children, and then ship these meals to distribution partners. These kids gave a couple of hours of their time on a Saturday to pack 492 boxes of food packs. That’s enough to feed 291 kids each day for a year.
Christmas has always been a favorite holiday for me. Despite living in Indonesia with the largest Muslim population, this festive season has always brought me a feeling of joy, warmth and excitement. For many Indonesians, Eid/Idul Fitri is the main holiday season that is celebrated extensively. The Christmas decorations and carols around Jakarta are mainly found in every mall across the city. The roads and streets are not light up with lights or decor as it is regarded as a normal public holiday. It is being recognized and celebrated more now by people in Indonesia. For me, during this festive end of the year season, it is more of winding down and enjoying the break from a well-spent hectic year.
Pictures of Christmas decorations in various places I found, that captured my attention.
Colourful Christmas ball ornaments on a huge Christmas tree at a nearby mall. The popping colours and lights was a lovely sight to capture.
A beautiful framed setting done by TWG Tea at a nearby mall. As i was walking past, I noticed a girl sitting next to the teddy bear and her friend taking a picture of her. The colours and moment itself intrigued me to capture it as it is.
Although, Christmas doesn’t hold a special meaning to me, someday, I would love to experience this festive season in countries that celebrate it. So, I can also experience the spirit of joy and bliss.
A huge part of Christmas for me is being thankful for, and spending quality time with, my family and friends – particularly my husband and our two boys. Our lives are pretty hectic; we’re always rushing from one thing to the next, Monday – Sunday. It’s all good and enjoyable, but hectic. So the few days we have over the Christmas period, where deadlines and school runs are thrown out of the window, are very special.
Playing board games and watching films together. Catching up with friends. Having late night adventures in the woods with our boys and their torches. Watching my kids playing and running free, without a care in the world. Like children should. Watching the adults behaving like kids again too. Enjoying the magic of school nativities and music concerts. Eating mince pies that we don’t even like. Wearing silly jumpers and daft Christmas accessories.
Enjoying long walks in the cold.
Not setting the alarm clock.
Decorating the tree together.
Remembering dear loved ones.
Enjoying the little things.
Because I work for a non-denominational church a lot of my time revolves around special events around the church. My wife and I have to get creative with our time to enjoy the holiday with our kids. We have our usual family traditions like decorating our house and listening to Christmas songs by Louis Armstrong. We also drive to neighborhoods and marketplaces adorned with a lot of Christmas lights and if when we can afford it, we will go to Disneyland to enjoy fake snow and watch people play at the skating rink.
The weather folks say that it snows in my region along the coast of Southern California only once for every hundred years, so unless we drive 2 hours up to the local mountains, any expression of “White Christmas” is man-made.
My family wanted to focus more of our attention on people in need this year. Our kids participated in Operation Shoe Box and filled a shoe box with gifts and a note to be given to a child on the other side of our world. Locally, I went with our church group to deliver groceries we put together to families nearby, so they could have a Christmas dinner.
It’s a special time of year for us. We could go insane trying to keep up with all of the traditions that go along with this season. Plus, it is too exhausting to get swept up in the shopping frenzy that happens from Thanksgiving to New Year’s. At my home, we try to simplify how we the celebrate birth of our Savior Jesus Christ by helping folks in need and getting together with family and friends.
December, the darkest of the months. I feel the lack of shadows, I feel in me the lack of light.
Yet Christmas gives me hope. It brings light, all sorts of lights: tiny little ones, bright ones, yellow, red and green, the white paper stars we set up on our window sills early in December. Christmas celebrates light and reminds me that nothing lasts forever, not even the darkest days. That light remains. That I’ll have the shadows back soon again.
I’ve always loved Christmas, how it changes us, the magic of it, and I spend the Christmas days together with my loved ones.
Hope you enjoyed our little contributions from the Grryo Family to spread the joy and spirit with you all.
Thank you to each and every one of you for your participation and contributions throughout the year. We deeply appreciate it.
We would like to wish all of you a Merry Christmas and a Blessed 2017!
Enjoy the holiday season with your loved ones and we look forward to another exciting new year with you!
Thinking back on my childhood, I realize photography has always been part of my family. As I was growing up, my father was often taking pictures. I remember the excitement when he brought back the developed images that we all gathered to look at. My mother was in charge of sorting and creating albums that we later enjoyed looking through while talking about the memories. Through my early years, I had access to different kinds of Instamatic cameras. When I entered high school I inherited my older brother’s Minolta SLR when he bought a newer one. That became my first camera.
During my 20s, I became an avid traveler, and while spending a few days in Hong Kong, I invested in a manual Nikon FM2. I started to create visual diaries of my travels. I was shooting mostly in color, not just the obvious sights of interest; but rather, everything including people, food, landscapes and detailed architecture. Inspired by travel magazines, I would create photo scrapbooks upon my return home, and photo albums with added “tokens” (i.e. admission tickets, menus, travel documents) and occasional short stories.
‘Untitled Cabaret DR’
‘Where Dreams Are Made Up’
In my later 20s, I completed my first photography course, “Beginners B/W Developing and Printing”. A couple of years later, my husband landed a job in New York and we made the move. As a stay at home mom, I would take occasional trips into the big city …and what a city!
I continued to take B/W printing classes as well as lighting, and a couple of portrait classes at ICP (International Center of Photography). It was an exciting time. I felt it was a true inspiration to be around other photographers and enthusiasts, feeding off their creativity. Unfortunately, it was very costly.
During this time I was exploring self-portraits as well as still life combined with some human form. Anybody that has done a series of self-portraits knows the time and hard work that goes into it. With this being said … I eventually wore out the time-release crank on my camera and decided to make an upgrade.
Just like many parents, I have taken numerous photos of my daughter as she was growing up. I began using Tri-X film, then slowly moving over to color film and eventually graduating into digital photography in 2006, when I bought a Nikon D300. By the time I got my digital camera, my daughter was already in high school and her interest in posing for me had diminished. Now she is 23, and I am lucky if I get one opportunity per year for a portrait session with her, although sometimes that is all it takes.
Three years ago, I got my first smart phone. My interest for iPhone photography grew with easy access of availability to the phone. I started to explore a variety of editing apps, and found Hipstamatic to especially be a great tool in expressing what I wanted to capture in the beauty of nature. I shoot mainly in the comfort of my backyard, and other nearby surroundings.
As much as I like portraits and the idea of shooting portraits, it’s challenging because my preference as a photographer is to study and explore as I work patiently with my subject. I find it difficult to focus on shooting while interacting with a model at the same time.
‘Bulb and Bottle’
‘Bulb & Bottle #2’
When photographing nature, I allow myself time, and the process becomes a slow unfolding discovery of the object. Most often I shoot outdoors, incorporating the use of different papers as background to avoid clutter and to help isolate the object. I explore different angles, turning the object continuously trying to find the right perspective for my shot.
After throwing out a dying poinsettia this past winter, I discovered a tiny dry leaf that resembled an embryo left. I do believe in pre-visualizing images, but with phone photography, I work differently. For me it is important to have an open mind about what I am shooting. There are many variables when shooting outdoors in ambient light and therefore it will frustrate me if I can’t capture that image. I try to assess and from there let my creativity take over. If time and light allow, I shoot extensively. Better too many than too few, because I may not be able to do it over.
A couple of months ago I had some friends over, and one of my guests brought me a lovely flower arrangement with miniature daffodils. As they eventually wilted, its leaves and flowers turned a faint golden and were cascading over the glass brim in which it was planted. In what is clearly garbage to most, I saw photographic potential. After separating the bulbs and untangling the leaves, I ended up with a bulb that looked like someone with a “bad hair day.” Sitting on my back porch, I was shooting against a black cold pressed artist paper, exploring shapes, patterns, lights and shadows as they changed while I turned it around. Finally I chose a self-made spray-painted silvery background – the reflections at times gives the impression of me using a background spotlight. I think my choice of shooting in Hipstamatic Classic with the John S lens enhances this effect. I really like how the new improved Hipstamatic 300 allows me to adjust the shutter speeds. I rarely shoot in “A” (Automatic). Changing speeds manually gives me better control and I almost always use a software flash, to give the image a bit of “kick”. I strive to get as good of a negative as possible, to cut down on any post-process editing.
I try to convey moods, or bring out expressions interpreting feelings of my own at that moment, whether spontaneously or triggered by collected experiences and old memories. When looking through the viewfinder, I see natures’ little secrets unfolding, and these discoveries make me feel very special and truly grateful to be able to recognize them. I often get so intrigued that I lose track of time.
You can find more of my work on Instagram as Swash63.
Susanne was born 1963 in Luleå, Sweden. Married and we have one daughter. After Highschool she went on to an education in “Sewing and Design”. She have worked various jobs including as a photo assistant. Moved to New York in 1997. She has taken several photo courses at ICP (International Center of Photography) incl. Bnw printing, lighting, portraiture and alternative processes. Currently, she works as a manager in an Outerwear Boutique.
“If you wish for light, be ready to receive light.” Rumi
As the season of gift-giving fast approaches, I’ve been thinking about the gifts I’ve received this year – images graciously given to me by my trusty old camera.
I’ve been interested in the practice of contemplative photography for a while now, and through it, continue to discover new and surprising things about this craft. A few years ago I came across The Little Book of Contemplative Photography by Howard Zehr, a book I have come back to again and again, not only because it is a quick and easy read, but because of the wisdom contained in its pages.
There is a particular chapter in this book that continually challenges me and makes me rethink my approach to photography. In this chapter, Zehr discusses the language and metaphors of photography and how aggressive and predatory they are. History shows that photography was once considered a gentle and respectful art, but its image as an art form became much more aggressive when small handheld cameras were introduced in the 1880s. It was around this time that people started going on photo shoots, carrying their arsenal of equipment, aiming their camera, taking their pictures and capturing their subject…metaphors that gradually became deeply embedded in our culture and consciousness. Before long, advertisers were marketing camera products that would ‘shoot to kill’ and camera store services that would ‘blow you away’. We began to use telephoto lenses and, more recently, smart phones to covertly photograph people. This shift, where the act of photographing became something of a hunt, has had a massive impact on the way we practise photography today.
When I first read about this idea, I’d been learning photography for a couple of years, so naturally I began to consider this in relation to my work and my process. I’d certainly been striving to ‘capture’ my children with my camera and getting frustrated when I didn’t get what I wanted or when I got something ‘wrong’. This put me in the position of taker, not receiver, and of triumphant predator when I did get something ‘good’.
But, the reality is, as Zehr quite simply points out, that when we photograph, we do not actually reach out and take anything. Light is reflected off our subject and enters through our camera’s lens, projecting a picture. So, essentially, the image is being received, not taken. And for me, here lay a secret to experiencing photography in a new and more profound way: I could open myself up to receiving images; I could change my perspective so that I no longer viewed images as trophies, but as gifts.
So where did this leave planning a conceptual photo session or the discipline of hunting out and capturing an image? Exactly where they belong, in their perfect time and place. Because whatever the situation, as we stand behind our camera we have an opportunity to experience new possibilities. We can do that by recognising that there is so much more to photography than our skill and our equipment – or, as Zehr so aptly puts it, we can shift our perspective so that we approach our art making with ‘wonder, respect and humility’. In other words, instead of seeing photography as a conquest, we can see it as contemplation; instead of seeing it as an exposé, we can see it as a revelation; instead of being concerned with control, we can embrace surprise.
No doubt, we’ve all experienced photographic surprises – sometimes by sheer accident (like when we unintentionally press the shutter) or sometimes simply because an image was unexpected (like when we think we didn’t ‘get’ anything good, but are later surprised to find that we did). But what interests me most is not this lack of control; rather, this concept of awe and humility, as a mindset and approach towards art making in general. By visualising myself receiving rather than taking images, I have been continually taken aback by what light has revealed inside my camera. I’ve relaxed. I’ve opened myself up to mystery. I’ve not always been given what I wanted, but what needed to be expressed was expressed in a new and surprising way. This surrender has become a very sweet part of my practice. Because it’s not only the unexpected images that are gifts – they are all gifts.
Of course, this change in attitude is easier said than done. Ironically, it takes a form of conscious effort to remember to let go, and even now, though I’ve intellectually understood the concept, I sometimes fall back into rigid ways of thinking. But whatever happens, the intention is set: to place myself in a position of receptivity and be surprised by what’s out there. As Jay Maisel once said, ‘The pictures are everywhere. If you’re open, they will find you.’ I try to be aware but not anxious because, at the end of the day, I am just a tiny part of the equation. There is something bigger, more magical and mysterious that takes place when my hands get a hold of the camera – something I can’t actually control.
I was recently amazed to discover that one of my favourite photographers, Sally Mann, had made references to this mystery and magic, and that she herself viewed photography as a humble act of receiving. In Immediate Family, she wrote, ‘At times, it is difficult to say exactly who makes the pictures. Some are gifts to me from my children: gifts that come in a moment as fleeting as the touch of an angel’s wing. I pray for that angel to come to us when I set the camera up, knowing that there is not one good picture in five hot acres. We put ourselves into a state of grace we hope is deserving of reward, and it is a state of grace with the Angel of Chance.’
And so, as the year draws to a close and a new one begins…whether you are a street photographer or a still life photographer, whether you photograph landscapes or your own family, and no matter what camera you use…there are gifts waiting for you. Be open to receiving them, and they will find you.
I see myself as both a photographer and an explorer. I like to find peculiar locations all over the city in my search for that unique shot. In a small city-state roughly 2/3 the size of New York and with a population of 5.5 million, Singapore manages to strike a balance between development and preservation of nature sites. Furthermore, recent efforts have been funnelled into projects that harmonises modern living with fauna. Therefore, sites like the Punggol Waterway litter all over Singapore, providing me with opportunities for unique shots.
Opened in 2011, the Punggol Waterway functions as a waterfront and a leisure park for residents of various ages. Cyclist and joggers are a common sight, however, in dusk the park can be strangely quiet. This serenity incubates the perfect condition for long-exposure shots, a technique I am still trying to perfect.
There is only so much our modern eyes can perceive. Conditioned in highly lit city environments, we sometimes fail to pick up details in a low light. However, aided by a trusty DSLR, one can bring out the underlying beauty; surreal landscapes in spectrums of light we can never imagine.
My general interest is architecture and hence, I always had an eye out for geometry and structure. As I threaded along the waterway, I came across a bridge crossing, with light adornments lined along the red struts, providing me with a perfect balance of contrast, as well as a sense of structure imposed on a ceiling-less sky. The bridge also gave me access to a commanding view of the waterway.
The dusky scenery, coupled with the loneliness, gave me a sense of melancholy I have never felt before. In fact it felt nothing close to eerie, but it was like I was happy to be alone. Being an extroverted person, I enjoy the company of others. However, when I take photographs, I believe in solitude as I like to keep my relationship with the subject a strictly visual affair. No verbal contact whatsoever. The bridge was one of such cases.
As stated previously, I keep an eye out for architectural beauty. However, I see value in buildings that are under construction. In some cases, they convey a sense of progress. Even In a highly-developed city state, scenes of construction are common in Singapore. As strange as it sounds, scenes of construction and cranes reflects the general attitude of the people; Good is never enough. This is in our blood. We never settle for enough, we try to build ourselves in any way possible. We embark on new projects and challenges given the opportunity.
The waterway was brightly-lit all through the night. In the absence of joggers and pedestrians, it was as if the lights wanted to show off the park. Singaporeans are indeed industrious and hardworking people, and in a Chinese influenced society, we never liked subtlety. We never cut corners when it comes to showing off, an act of which I champion.
The waterway path has led me to places i have never seen, and has brought me experiences I had never had. In a way it was an opportunity to reflect and a learning experience. In terms of technicalities, this experience has taught me new skills and a whole new way of seeing things.
For 6 months trip by the Otomi – Tepehua, Indian zone of the state of Hidalgo, Mexico area.
Most people who allowed me to portray their faces do not speak Spanish. They have their own native language. They harvest coffee,corn, peas, beans etc …
The small stories that accompany each portrait are words, thoughts and ideas from both sides. Just as the photographs were taken, a translator told me what they thought.
This is a sign of the profound strength of our state, Hidalgo.
The sun, the only witness who saw the afternoon’s work, marked my face more than my husband. The night came only to ask “What did you do? What’s to eat?” No one more than the sun, insolent, asked: “How much do you have to work today, so anyone will notice?”
“Above, always above.”
We see the light. We prefer because we care for others, because we do something eternal day to day. Above, the place we come from and where we are going. Where the routine is forever and always the same. Here in this heaven, it helps us all to be one. The light comes and enlightens us; leaves us at night, because the next morning we will know that this, too, is the afterlife.
My eyes see nothing, always the same, always the field, always the rain. I am a survivor of my office, rain flooded fields. Hope fills my hands with mud every morning.
You see my face marked? You’re looking at all the lines on my face?
I do not understand what you say. I want to know who you are and why you came to my home to see me.
Wood has struck me with oils and textures. He did not return and could not stop to wait; wood waits for no one.
I had no chance to dream.
I’ve been in the field since the beginning of my memory. I know no change. In the field there are no options. The field is routine, very noble and very beautiful. But without options, they believed that the earth would not hold, and showed them the power the land gives me when I’m in the harvest.
They need to know their opportunities out of the field, but someone has to show them that they cannot be afraid to leave the place where they were born. So I’m here in front of you. I know my chances.
Road over the streets:
pavement, dirt, dust…
I hope for someone, just hope. Road and wait.
I am what you have forgotten: the street pavement, dirt and dust.
The field has always been my way of life. Water, wind and poverty have always gone ahead. My happiness does not survive with corn and coffee. Flying with the annual harvest where happiness flooded every home. Buyers come quickly to see us. We cannot always sell at our discretion. We are not always happy.
I cannot look at you.
You are a foreigner and nobody knows where you come from.
Who buys from you?
I have stove ash all over my mind and you do not stop using that thing to steal my face…
Raided under my cheeks, under my cheekbones, survives a smile that stands forged by fire brick. The lips that support it have been sullied, wasted and returned to sully the river. Angry eyes that hide more than joys.
Steal my soul because you cannot steal anything else.
My body is dust.
The illusion age.
I was born in a world full of neglect and violence. Rob my soul because men want my body. Rob my soul because it has no economic value; it is useless here. Take her. Transform her into hope and light.
With special thanks for your participation in this project:
And the moon knocked at the doors of the Darkness “Let me in!”, but HE answered “no” And the moon knocked where there was the Silence But a very loud voice said “it’s not time anymore” So the moon opened the windows of the wind And went away to find something else, Something to do after crying a little a bit For another “no”, for another “no”, told by the sea
And the moon knocked at two sunglasses That gaze didn’t notice her so she tried at a pool-party But not even the moon can enter without invitation So she rolled on champagne and caviar and went away to find something else to do After crying a little bit for another “no”, for another “no” of a waiter And so by chance….
(text taken from the song “E la luna busso”/ “And the Moon Knocked”. Artist : Loredana Bertè)
Images like words, images like sounds, images like tunes.
Suggested to me the lyrics of this Italian song, although I usually try to shoot silence.
Like pieces of a mosaic each one seems to have taken it’s own place, as if everything had been already decided.
Painted skies “knock at the doors of the darkness”.
They want to come in to wrap up the essential in joy.
My flowers are lonely souls breaking into a negative space.
“It’s not time” anymore of their beauty but it’s the time of harmony and wonder.
A wind turbine stays in the sky waiting for “flinging open the windows of the wind”.
A wind turbine stays in the sky waiting for “flinging open the windows of the wind”.
To a land hesitant about so much obtrusiveness.
It is its white that fascinates, its silence.
There are ordinary things.
They are like shapes looking in the space for “something to do”
They are characters. Leading actors.
Little white clouds, pendants of the sky.
The truth in the ordinary.
“Truth is what you see” they seem to ascertain.
They soften the cool, they lighten the loneliness.
Images like words, images like sounds, images like tunes.
Silences I try to see, to discover, to celebrate.
Challenging myself mindless of techniques and formulas but attempting just the passion.
But I am also attracted to the ordinary and I try to see its photographic potential.
I look for it, I find it and after my click I wait with curiosity to discover its magic.
About the Author:
I shoot just with an iphone and everything becomes more accessible.
I love photos with a lot of contrast, with bright colours, like they used to be shot in the seventies. But I am also fascinated by black and white.
My first account @xeyaxeya is entirely dedicated to black and white.
I rarely take photos of landcapes or faces.
The ordinary is my preferred subject.
A space .. a subject and … nothing else.
The ordinary is always my favorite subject .
Of black and white I like the touch of drama given to all things.
I never consider black and white like an off colour, but as a second opportunity for beauty and charm.
Also in this gallery .. a space.. a subject and nothing else …
Moments, instants of life, the everyday details.
Also here, I seek simplicity in the image, the order and its uniqueness in space.
My artistic journey wants to keep on looking for pictures that suggest to me other songs, sounds and silences ever heard . . simple things able to make the ordinary extraordinary .
(Loredana Bertè is one of the most famous and loved italian performers, also recognized by the press as one of the most representative icons of italian rock artists. Her most commercially successful ever is “and the moon knocked” (1979)
(Artist: Loredana Bertè. Authors: Mario Lavezzi – Oscar Avogadro – Daniele Pace)
e se ne andò a cercare un po’ più in là “qualche cosa da fare”
dopo avere pianto un po’, per un altro no, per un altro no che le disse il mare…
e la luna bussò su due occhiali da sole,
quello sguardo non si accorse di lei ed allora provò ad un party in piscina
senza invito non entra nemmeno la luna
quindi rotolò su champagne e caviale e se ne andò a cercare un po’ più in là qualche cosa da fare
dopo avere pianto un po’ per un altro no , per un altro no di un cameriere.
e allora giù, quasi per caso….
(testo tratto dalla canzone “E la luna bussò” – Artista: Loredana Bertè)
immagini come parole.. immagini come suoni, immagini come melodie
mi hanno suggerito il testo di questa canzone italiana, nonostant io cerchi di fotografare i silenzi.
come tessere di mosaico ognuna sembra averne preso il posto , come se tutto fosse già deciso.
cieli dipinti bussano” alle porte del buio”
vogliono entrare per avvolgere di gioia l’essenziale.
i miei fiori sono anime solitarie che irrompono nello spazio negativo.
“non è piu tempo ”della loro bellezza ma è il momento dell’ armonia e della meraviglia.
una pala eolica sosta nel cielo aspettando di “splancare le finestre del vento”
a una terra incerta di tanta invadenza
è il suo bianco che affascina, il suo silenzio.
ci sono oggetti comuni.
sono forme che ricercano nello spazio “qualche cosa da fare”.
sono personaggi . protagonisti
piccole nuvole bianche ciondoli del cielo.
la verità dell’ordinario.
“è vero quel che vedi” sembrano accertare.
ammorbidiscono il freddo . alleggeriscono la solitudine.
le immagini come parole, immagini come silenzi
silenzi che cerco di vedere, di scoprire, di celebrare
mettendomi alla prova incurante di tecniche e formule ma osando la sola passione .
ma sono attratta anche dall’ordinario e cerco di vederne il potenziale fotografico.
lo cerco , lo trovo e attendo con curiosità di scoprirne la magia a scatto finito.
scatto solo con iphone e tutto diventa piu accessibile.
amo le foto molto contrastate, dai colori forti, come usavano negli anni 70, ma sono molto affascinata anche dal bianco e nero.
il mio primo account @xeyaxeya è interamente dedicato al bw.
raramente fotografo paesaggi e difficilmente volti.
l’ordinario rimane sempre il mio soggetto preferito.
del bianco e nero mi piace il tocco di drammaticità che dona a tutte le cose.
non considero mai il bianco e nero come un togliere colore ma come una seconda opportunità di bellezza e fascino.
anche in questa gallery..uno spazio .. un soggetto e.. null’altro.
momenti, attimi di vita, dettagli di quotidianità.
anche qui, ricerco la semplicità nell’immagine, l’ordine e la sua unicità nello spazio.
il mio viaggio artistico vuole proseguire alla ricerca di immagini che mi suggeriscano altre canzoni, suoni e silenzi mai sentiti.
Cose semplici che sappiano rendere straordinario l’ordinario.
Loredana Bertè è una delle più famose e amate interpreti italiane, riconosciuta anche dalla stampa come una delle icone più rappresentative del rock italiano. Il suo maggior successo commerciale in assoluto resta “E la luna bussò”, (1979).
(Artista: Loredana Bertè Autori: Mario Lavezzi – Oscar Avogadro – Daniele Pace)
If you have ever danced seriously, in any field of dance, you will know the sacrifice & dedication it requires. You will also know the driving force of the passion for the movement & flow within of dance.
This is Claudia Morosini, 23, an Italian living in London working as a Trainee Solicitor. Whilst photographing her, the quiet girl I had met, seemed to evaporate and a fearless and free woman emerged.
“When I dance the whole world disappears and nothing scares me anymore”
Her story is the story that many dancers face and each decision requires immense courage with lifetime ramifications. Claudia started her first dance class at 3 and by the age of 13 she had already been in professional Russian ballet school for 3 years.
Thirteen is the defining age for a ballerina, it is when they have to make the monumental decision whether to continue to become a professional ballerina or not.
In the months she was deliberating, she hurt her ankle and realised the limitations & effect of physical injury. “From that moment on I did not decide with my heart, but with my head”. Fully accepting that her future could hold no education and no professional ballet career based on a serious injury.
There is a period of grief that follows any such life changing decision there was an emotional adjustment and grieving period. However the love for the dance never left her and she still dances and does classes to this day.
“The beauty of dance is that you can do it anywhere.” Claudia Morosini
Caroline de Bertodano is a documentary & street photographer that believes in truth in all its forms and no labels. Trained in music and Art History & worked in Modern Art for 12 years. Became a photographer at 37 whilst living in Japan for 3 years. Raised a family. Her work is in collections worldwide. “There is a place I go behind a lens where I disappear. I have no real idea of how or what I do, I just know there is untold peace & courage in that space”
What does a whole day in Cagayan de Oro City look like? What if you could see the city in one day?
Excitement growing when I received the news from Renzo Grande (24HourProject Founder) that I will be going to lead a Documentary project around Cagayan de Oro City as the first City Ambassador for the 24HourProject, a global street photography experiment with this year’s theme: Human Condition. It was actually a fellow photographer named Gian James Maagad’s initiative on joining this global photography awareness which he started last 2014.
The idea of the project is simple yet complex in its sense. Starting at 12:01am, registered participants assured themselves to capture as many scenes they want through photographs every hour and share one chosen image on social media sites such as Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. It might sound simple yet the project is physically challenging as participants needed to keep themselves awake for the span of 24 Hours, hence the name of the project which includes keeping your mind on constant creativeness for that one decisive photo.
Out of the 107 countries that joined the event with over 718 cities and 2,785 registered participants, 19 photographers from Cagayan de Oro joined the initiative with 1 from Iligan City. For the first time on joining this project, I was tasked in documenting the city as this year’s Ambassador.
March 19, 2016. The clock reads at 12:01am, that fleeting moment when excitement reaches its apex and everyone is ready to start the event. Because I take this event so seriously, it took me a lot of thoughts, and careful consideration with the given time to give them the necessary guidelines and the official itinerary. “Every image uploaded and shared every hour must express Human Condition that somehow reveals the real beauty of the image either happiness, sadness, humor, fulfillment, pain, love; an image that portrays both composition, and story, thus space and time.” I explained. Then, the event officially started.
PLAZA DIVISORIA- This is the assembly place where we started to kick off the event. We walked within the area and examined scenarios that will somehow represent the theme.
GASTON PARK- Another area where we headed our way to the flower shops.
CAPISTRANO STREET- Named after one of the greatest generals in Cagayan de Oro which is considered to be a local hero, the street is still as great as the name implies. Well, not literally about heroism but more on foods. Here you can find one of the local’s best “lugaw” with affordable rates. Check out the Image 4 showing a girl checking and/or preparing the food entitled “KONJI”.
COGON MARKET- After roaming around the street of Capistrano, we headed ourselves to Cogon Market via Velez Street and JR Borja Extension. Cogon Market is actually CDO’s public market, a great spot of documenting the local scenario and its daily activities.
MACABALAN PIER- Cagayan de Oro’s very own Sea Port (Cargos and Passengers). This is good spot of documenting the sunrise.
BULUA WESTBOUND MARKET- Another public market on the west side of the city. If you like documenting fishermen doing transactions with middlemen or business owners, this area is good for you.
DE LARA PARK (MCARTHUR PARK)- Another public recreation site located in the city.
VELEZ STREET- The road connecting to the sea and considered to be one of the oldest roads in the city. Yes, it was called the “Kalye del Mar” during the Spanish period.
Being the City Ambassador is one of the most challenging positions while doing the project. Not to mention that you need to be awake for the span of 24 hours. That’s from midnight to 11:59pm. Taking part in this project is like a marathon. You need to be constant with yourself, with your creativity and your skills while presenting your image results. As my first time on joining this event, the experience is totally amazing and possibly one of the most noteworthy occasions i had for a photowalk.
What something worthy about the event is that documentation is unimpeachable, so does reality in photographs. While in the same manner, we never know the condition, the story, and the moment that we are heading through. Sometimes, we need to learn to listen to the story before we see the truth. It explains the basic nature of the photography- in particular, the connection with reality and time which portrays that sense of narrative.
I may not have completed the entire 24 hour challenge of taking every photo lacking the 2pm and 3pm time schedules nonetheless, I believe I am successful on documenting human condition in Cagayan de Oro City which applies to this event. A total of 22 hours is much interesting than compromising the entire project because your body says “I quit!”
As what Henri Cartier-Bresson once said, “Of all the means of expression, photography is the only one that lives forever the precise and transitory instant. We photographers deal in things that are continually vanishing and when they have vanished, there is no contrivance on earth that can make the come back again.” As stated around 1952.
See you on the next 24HourProject!
Check out the official 24hourProject site : http://www.24hourproject.org/photos i had during this year’s 24HourProject. Click the image for bigger size format or click mouse 2 then click the “open image in new tab”.
About the Author: Clement Dampal from the Philippines is a Hotelier, Writer, Economist, Photographer, Travel Blogger, Numismatist, Adventurer, and Travel Consultant. The first ever City Ambassador in Cagayan de Oro, Philippines for the 24HourProject.
About three years ago I created an Instagram account and started taking photos with my mobile phone. This was my first contact with photography, or at least the first time I was exposing my photos to the world. At that time, I thought I would probably get bored soon and look for something different, but when I found myself expressing different emotions and feelings through photography and discovered this new visual language, I knew it was just the start…
When I got my first reflex camera two years ago, I definitely felt in love with photography and my camera became part of me, so I take it with me everywhere I go. You never know what you will find out there! Sometimes I just wait for something special to happen and other times something special finds me. I just want to be ready when that happens.
I consider myself a “soul hunter” who enjoys street photography, street portraits and creative photography. Everything which is spontaneous and dynamic automatically grabs my attention. Something similar happens with street portraits: that moment when you suddenly get your target looking at you and you get a raw emotion is priceless.
When I take a photo I wonder what that person’s life is like; what’s the story behind that scene or behind that look. I like to imagine that whoever looks at my photos thinks about those questions too…
A life through his eyes
From time to time, when I’m not in “hunting mode”, I enjoy exploring the creative side of photography. To me, creative photography is about finding a way of translating an idea or my view about a given concept into a photograph. It is also a good way of keeping inspiration alive and finding new challenges. When you can’t go out there to discover new places and people to take photos to, why not create them yourself? Some of my pictures are taken at home, in a little room which I call my “creative corner”. A reading lamp, a tripod, my camera and imagination is all I need to satiate my photography thirst 🙂
Smell: The perfume
Hearing: Surrendered to the music
Sight: The secret
Breathless : Between the light and the shadow
Photography has certainly changed the way I see the world. As my Instagram’s bio says: “Beauty is in the ordinary things you see every day”. I like challenging myself to get something beautiful from places, people and/or objects around me in my day to day. Trying to find beauty anywhere around me is kind of a romantic exercise that has helped me educate my eyes. However, I must admit that travel photography provides very unique and exotic moments and opportunities to take wonderful photos too, so you will find travel photographs in my gallery too.
From the shadows
When it comes to editing, you’ll see that most of my pictures are black & white. I think black & white helps isolate the subject and get the focus on the right spot, although in the end, it is all about the light. Even though I have a personal preference towards black and white, I try to get out of my comfort zone and post color photographs as well.
As an amateur photographer, I’ve learned all I know so far by experience. I have listened to different conferences around photography but never took any class. I have also had the chance to participate in several group photo exhibitions. A few years ago, if someone would have told me that I would be exhibiting my work, I wouldn’t have believed it. Self-learning is something I really enjoy and I’m looking forward to continuing growing my skills and expressing myself through photography.
Nagore is a self-taught photographer and a tireless learner. From the Basque Country but based in Barcelona, she enjoys capturing the street life of the places she visits and the soul of its citizens through street portraits. She re-discovered herself through photography a few years ago and hasn’t stopped taking photos since then. In love with black and white photography, she loves playing with the light and the shadows to reinforce the message she wants to transmit with her photos. Besides photography, she enjoys singing and playing acoustic guitar, an evasion of her day to day work as a Computer Engineer.
Hace tres años creé una cuenta de Instagram y comencé a tomar fotografías con mi móvil. Esta fue mi primera toma de contacto con la fotografía, o al menos la primera vez que exponía mis fotos al mundo. Por aquel entonces, pensé que probablemente no tardaría en aburrirme y buscar algo diferente, pero cuando comencé a expresar diferentes emociones y sentimientos a través de la fotografía y descubrí este nuevo lenguaje visual, supe que la fotografía había llegado a mi vida para quedarse…
Con la llegada de mi primera cámara réflex hace un par de años, definitivamente me enamoré de la fotografía y la cámara se convirtió en una extensión de mí. Allá donde fuese, ella venía conmigo, ¡nunca se sabe lo que puedes encontrar ahí fuera! A veces toca ser paciente y esperar a que ocurra algo especial y otras veces ese algo especial te encuentra a ti, así que quiero estar preparada cuando eso ocurre.
Me considero una “cazadora de almas” que disfruta especialmente con la fotografía callejera, los retratos callejeros y la fotografía creativa. Todo lo espontáneo y dinámico atrae automáticamente mi atención. Lo mismo me ocurre con los retratos callejeros: ese momento en el que la persona que quieres fotografiar dirige inesperadamente la mirada a tu objetivo y te permite capturar esa emoción pura y espontánea, no tiene precio.
Cuando tomo una fotografía me pregunto cómo es la vida de esa persona, cuál es la historia que hay detrás de una determinada escena. Me gusta imaginar que quien mira mis fotografías, se hace estas mismas preguntas y se sumerge en esa misma reflexión.
Una vida a través de sus ojos
De vez en cuando, cuando aparco el “modo caza callejera”, me gusta explorar el lado creativo de la fotografía. Para mí, la fotografía creativa es encontrar la manera de plasmar una idea o mi punto de vista sobre un concepto determinado en una fotografía. También es una buena manera de mantener viva la inspiración y encontrar nuevos retos. Cuando, por el motivo que sea, no se tiene la ocasión de salir a descubrir nuevos lugares y gente a la que fotografiar, ¿por qué no crear las fotografías uno mismo? Algunas de mis fotografías están realizadas en casa, en una pequeña habitación a la que yo llamo “mi rincón creativo”. Un flexo de escritorio, un trípode, mi cámara e imaginación es todo lo que necesito para saciar mi sed fotográfica 🙂
Olfato: El perfume
Oído: Rendida a la música
Vista: El secreto
Sin aliento: Entre luz y oscuridad
Definitivamente, la fotografía ha cambiado mi manera de mirar el mundo. Como dice la biografía de mi cuenta de Instagram: “La belleza está en las cosas cotidianas que ves en tu día a día”. Es por esto que me gusta retarme a extraer algo bello de los lugares, gente y/o objetos que me rodean en mi vida diaria. Tratar de encontrar esa belleza en cualquier rincón es un ejercicio romántico que me ha permitido educar mi ojo para la fotografía, moldear mi manera de mirar. Debo admitir que fuera de lo cotidiano, es innegable que la fotografía de viaje ofrece momentos únicos y exóticos para realizar buenas fotografías, así que también encontrareis fotografías de viaje en mi galería:
De las sombras
Hora del colegio
Vida en el mercado
En lo que se refiere a edición, la mayoría de mis fotografías están editadas en blanco y negro. Creo que el blanco y negro ayuda a aislar el sujeto y a centrar el foco en el punto exacto, aunque al final… ¡todo es cuestión de tener una buena luz! Pese a tener una inclinación o debilidad por la fotografía en blanco y negro, intento salir de mi zona de confort publicando también fotografías en color.
Como fotógrafa amateur, todo lo que he aprendido hasta ahora ha sido a base de experimentar. He asistido a diferentes conferencias y charlas sobre fotografía, pero nunca he asistido a cursos específicos. Dentro de mi aún corto recorrido en el mundo de la fotografía, he tenido la ocasión de participar en varias exposiciones colectivas. Si hace unos años alguien me hubiese dicho que hoy estaría exhibiendo mi trabajo, ¡no me lo podría creer! El auto-aprendizaje es algo con lo que disfruto muchísimo y estoy deseando seguir adquiriendo nuevos conocimientos y seguir expresándome a través de la fotografía.
Nagore es una fotógrafa autodidacta y con unas ganas inagotables de aprender cosas nuevas. Del País Vasco pero residente en Barcelona, le gusta capturar la vida callejera de las ciudades que visita y el alma de su gente a través de retratos callejeros. Se re-descubrió a si misma a través de la fotografía hace unos años y desde entonces no ha parado de captar momentos. Enamorada de la fotografía en blanco y negro, le gusta jugar con las luces y las sombras para reforzar el mensaje que quiere transmitir con sus fotografías. Además de la fotografía, le gusta cantar y tocar la guitarra acústica a modo de evasión de su trabajo diario como Ingeniera Informática.
I lived for a couple of weeks in the Cabanyal (El Cabañal), a neighbourhood and old fisherman’s village in the city of Valencia. Although the area is an historically protected neighbourhood, the coast is gradually being cemented over to drive a monstrously wide road through the middle of it. 1651 houses would be demolished. Some amazing buildings destroyed in the midst of political rubble.
Rita’s stripes where once there were houses; the plots have been walled up and painted with bands of brown and fawn.
Estate agents sell 60m2 flats at €25,000-30,000 in the Cabanyal area.
I was overwhelmed by the scenes in which I found myself. It was like a natural movie set. Sometimes I was part of the films talking to strangers in the streets, to the gypsies living in squats often with no running water, to the mother sitting on the side of the street with her child, to the pusher on the other side, to the young Romanians running happily through the streets pulling a bottle of soda around on string.
El Cabanyal has always had its problems, from the devastating fires of 1796 and 1875 to the cholera epidemic in the1860’s; from the Spanish Civil War to the major floods of 1957. I consider the stupidity of destroying the history contained in the neighborhood the worst epidemic that has occurred in the Cabanyal.