A Self-Interview: Shuko by Shuko

A Self-Interview: Shuko by Shuko


A Self-Interview: Shuko by Shuko

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Photographer and Clients (Yokohama, Japan)


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

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

Abstract Self-Portrait (Japan) 

New Year's Eve in Chinatown (Kobe, Japan)

New Year’s Eve in Chinatown (Kobe, Japan)

Street Dancers (Shinjuku, Tokyo)

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.


Lady with a Purple Parasol

Lady with a Purple Parasol (Tokyo, Japan) 

Univers Parallèle - Parallel Universe - 異世界 (Toulouse, France)

Univers Parallèle – Parallel Universe – 異世界 (Toulouse, France)

Portrait of my 91-year-old Grandmother

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)

Mt. Daisen (Tottori Prefecture, Japan) 

Falling into an Underground Pocket (Tokyo, 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)

Gate 2 at Izumo Taisha Grand Shrine (Izumo, Japan)

Open Sesame (Kanazawa, Japan)

Open Sesame (Kanazawa, Japan)

Rooftop Poolside (Barcelona, Spain)

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)

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.
‘Unfolding Discoveries of Nature – by Susanne Washington’

‘Unfolding Discoveries of Nature – by Susanne Washington’


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'

‘Untitled Cabaret DR’

"Where Dreams Are Made Up"

‘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.

"Curled Up"

“Curled Up”

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.


'In sync'

‘In sync’

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 and Bottle’

'Bulb & Bottle #2'

‘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.


Reflections in Night Light – Jin & Adam Lo.

Reflections in Night Light – Jin & Adam Lo.


Reflections in the night light

Photography by Jin @Visualdivision, Written by Adam Lo.

Photography by @visualindulgence

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.

Reflections in the night light

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.

dsc_0305  dsc_0358



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.

Portraits of a Distant Reality

Portraits of a Distant Reality


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?”

P1“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:

Timo Viejo(@timoviejo)



And the moon knocked by S.A. Xeya

And the moon knocked by S.A. Xeya


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.

uno due

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.


UNDICI DIECIImages 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)

You can find me on Instagram @xeyaxeya_space2 – @xeyaxeya – milan – italy

e  la luna “bussò, alle porte del buio”

fammi entrare!  lui rispose di no

e la luna bussò dov’era il silenzio

ma una voce sguaiata disse non è più tempo

quindi “spalancò le finestre del vento”

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.



duei 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













catenapiccole 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)

account Instagram @xeyaxeya_space2 – @xeyaxeya – milano – italia



To the Clouds by Caroline de Bertodano

To the Clouds by Caroline de Bertodano


One dancer’s love affair with dance.


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 2016.

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”

Find Caroline de Bertodano on Website | Facebook | Instagram | Eyeem | Google Plus | Steller

24HourProject, Around the City of Golden Friendship by Clement Dampal

24HourProject, Around the City of Golden Friendship by Clement Dampal



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.

Final Note:

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/ 23-1019pm 10-0903am 7a-0649am 5-0401am 1-1242am 2-0121am 4-0302am 7a-0649am 1-1242am 2-0121am 4-0302am 24-1102pmphotos 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.

Follow his passion and journey at his Website | Facebook.

A Soul Hunter by Nagore Tamayo

A Soul Hunter by Nagore Tamayo


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.

Found you

Found you





Morning duty

Morning duty





The passenger

The passenger

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

A life through his eyes





Lost soul

Lost soul




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

Smell: The perfume

Hearing: Surrendered to the music

Hearing: Surrendered to the music

Sight: The secret

Sight: The secret

Breathless : Between the light and the shadow

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

From the shadows

The florist

The florist

School time

School time



Market life

Market life

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.

You’ll find me on:

Instagram | Twitter | 500px

Welcome to my world! 🙂

Caza almas – por Nagore Tamayo

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.

Te econtré

Te econtré





Deberes matutinos

Deberes matutinos





El pasajero

El pasajero


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

Una vida a través de sus ojos





Alma perdida

Alma perdida





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

Olfato: El perfume


Oído: Rendida a la música

Oído: Rendida a la música


Vista: El secreto

Vista: El secreto


Sin aliento: Entre luz y oscuridad

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

De las sombras


La florista

La florista


Hora del colegio

Hora del colegio





Vida en el mercado

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.

Me encontraréis en:

Instagram | Twitter | 500px

¡Bienvenidos a mi mundo! 🙂

Cabanyal 2016 by Mattia Giordano

Cabanyal 2016 by Mattia Giordano


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.Rita.

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.

Gipsies, no posers.man-at-work gipsy-model.jpggipsy-toys

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.


/ Mattia Giordano /

 You can find Mattia on Instagram (@mattiagiordano) and Facebook.

(He doesn’t use any other social network. All photos were taken by mobile phone.)

/ www.mattiagiordano.com /

Whenever I see A Frame by Anuj Arora

Whenever I see A Frame by Anuj Arora


My name is Anuj Arora. I am a Delhi based contemporary photographer. I have been doing it for four years. It is not only a hobby for me; it’s more of a way out or a vent which helps me to connect with my surroundings. It keeps a part of me alive inside, like a new purpose of life. Basically, I try to capture moments through which I can describe a particular action.


Actions like daily people rushing in busy lanes, preparations for festivals or a religious activity; the human element adds more power to the frame. There’s a story in this picture. I waited for someone to come out. I waited for more than 15 minutes then suddenly, as I was leaving with an empty frame and lost hope, I heard “Mummy, going for tuitions!” She jumped and I clicked.

In the Shade

In the Shade

Before photography I was introvert; less open to people around me. But, after getting into photography more seriously, I became more open. Well, I had to because taking portraits without permission is hard for me. I can’t make candid frames. This picture was hard to take as this guy was already feeling irritated because of the saturation of photographers in the area. I had to convince him by cracking jokes and sharing information about each others’ lives.

Living in the Past.


Making motion frames is what I love doing in this field, like stopping time just for a second, so that a viewer can see and feel that particular moment where I get a moment which can never be re-written.


We are imprisoned in the realm of life; like a sailor on his tiny boat on an infinite ocean. Everyone can have their own opinion about the deep thought that the subject is thinking in this photo. 

“Seas shore love” is what I call this one.

Hands Of Blacksmith

Hands of Blacksmith

This was a series I wanted to do for a long time, inspired by a French photographer. It was the harshest environment I’ve ever been in. No oxygen, I was breathing in the chemical air, then I asked this boy who just turned 12 to show me his hands. Then, I thought how this environment would be to them.



Cold Sunrise at Red Fort, Delhi. One of the serene scenes is seen here during winters. It was the warmth that attracted me to this scene and the rays falling from the tomb. I waited for some people to stride by.

Processed with VSCOcam with b5 preset



I followed this lady for at least 16 minutes in order to align her with the peak of the background. Rajasthan, India is full of color full frames and moody environments – you just need to look for them. Such frames are always lovely to shoot and create an analog mood as though shot straight from film.



It was covert. I look for interesting subjects with unusual features like clothes, eyes and expressions. Most importantly, I wait and look for their gaze. When I get that perfect gaze, the shutter goes down from halfway.



I saw the rays falling on the floor and the contrasting shadows, hiding from metro guards. It was a perfect moment. I was anxiously waiting for a person to move to a more desired position. It was indeed an ecstatic time-lapse.

So far through my journey as a photographer, I have seen a variation in my style. Every time I go to shoot, it gets more complicated because I see similar frames in the city. I try to make new compositions and change the angles of the same frame. That’s what keeps me going; the reason why I keep clicking. One day such a perfect frame will come and it will fulfill my destiny. But I don’t really want that moment to come so that I will still have a reason.

Lately, pursuing commercial work in photography has made me lose my street sense and spirit. I don’t want to do that for much longer, because it cannot be like that. It’s not just me. Everyone should give priority to the personal side of their photography. It can be any genre: street, abstract, portraits. Whatever makes you feel more comfortable and less pressured.

Anuj Arora is a contemporary photographer specialises in street portraits and travel based photography. A graduate from University of Delhi with a bachelor degree in commerce. He is pursuing a degree in 3D animation and motion graphics.

Find Anuj Arora on : Facebook | Instagram

Photography as Memory by Anne Closuit Eisenhart

Photography as Memory by Anne Closuit Eisenhart

“I should perhaps make it clear that in speaking of love of the past, what I really mean is love of life, for there is so much more of life in the past than in the present. The present is of necessity but a fleeting moment, even when the fullness of that moment makes it seem eternal. When one loves life, one loves the past, because the past is present insofar as it survives in human memory.”
― Marguerite Yourcenar

I have never had any grandparents other than in the first pages of the family album, right before my parents’ wedding photographs. Among the dated portraits from that gallery, there is one I know better than the others. It is the sepia picture of a young lady wearing a black velvet hat: my grandmother, who passed away when my father was 4 years old. He could only keep memories of her, indistinct as shadows, and never talked about the unfillable void her death had left. On my part, as far as I can remember, I have secretly carried inside me what I was fancying as his pain, certainly mixed with my own anxiety of losing my parents. I have questioned time and time again this photograph without a legend. And the album gets heavier and heavier with each time I put it back on the shelf.

It was my first contact with photography. It taught me, what would be for me, the essence of it. That a photograph is a guardian of memory, that it is the fabric on which one can embroider one’s own story, and yet that it is also a kind of lie, as it tells of a present that no more exists.


I have in me an artistic sensibility that was all along thwarted by ten clumsy fingers. Therefore, I worked to develop my artist’s eye by studying the history of art. I learned to recognize what I liked, as I could not create it. I intuitively integrated many compositional rules. But mainly I understood the importance of light; how light can ennoble everything, even the vulgar.




I photograph essentially still lifes and landscapes. Since the birth of my children, I hunt through flea markets looking for a patrimony I did not receive, but would like to pass on to them. I always bring back the same treasures: mildewed mirrors, bottles with the glass turning opaque, moth-eaten cuddly toys, shattered vases glued back together, old drawers. Simple objects with no particular style, that have survived over the years, bearing the signs that they were useful and that they were loved.




I never know in advance what my next photograph will be. I pick objects, a flower languid in a vase, and I nudge them into a relationship.  I make them talk to each other. I place them a certain way and then another. I circle around. I wait for the right light. I try to create a tension or a harmony. I am not looking to establish a symbolic meaning, just a visual emotion that moves me and that maybe will touch somebody else as well.




It is the same thing when I photograph landscapes.  I am not interested by the picturesque aspects. Most of the time they are familiar places and I have previously charged them with emotion. Excess details that merely distract are often erased by mist, by night, or by speed when taking pictures in the car.  I wander and suddenly something calls me, something I can relate to, something I recognize. This is precisely what I try to capture in my photographs. And if that feeling is not present enough when I develop the pictures, I heighten or diminish the light, I play with contrasts, I add dust or scratch here and there, in order to find back my initial vision.





Surely my photographs speak about another time.  A time that is not today.  A time when one took one’s time.  When one valued the sustainability of things. When the world didn’t feel so big.These are nostalgic photographs. Namely they are bearers of memory. Witnesses at the same time of permanence and of fragility.One does not escape one’s own story.

Anne Closuit Eisenhart is @lesfifoles on Instagram


Photographie et Mémoire – par Anne Closuit Eisenhart

Quand on parle de l’amour du passé, il faut faire attention, c’est de l’amour de la vie qu’il s’agit; la vie est beaucoup plus au passé qu’au présent. Le présent est un moment trop court et cela même quand sa plénitude le fait paraitre éternel. Quand on aime la vie, on aime le passé parce que c’est le présent tel qu’il a survécu dans la mémoire humaine.” – Marguerite Yourcenar

Je n’ai jamais eu de grand-parents ailleurs que dans la première page de l’album familial, juste avant les photographies du mariage de mes parents. Dans cette galerie de portraits démodés, il en est un que je connais mieux que les autres. C’est l’image sépia d’une jeune femme avec un chapeau en velours noir : ma grand-mère, morte quand mon père avait quatre ans. Il n’en gardait comme mémoire que quelques ombres et ne mentionnait jamais le vide qu’elle avait laissé. Moi, d’aussi loin que je m’en souvienne, j’ai porté secrètement ce que je m’imaginais être sa souffrance avec sans doute aussi la peur de perdre mes parents. Cette photographie sans légende, je l’ai questionnée à maintes reprises. Et à chaque fois que je replaçais l’album sur l’étagère, il pesait un peu plus lourd.


Ce fut mon premier rapport avec la photographie et j’y ai appris l’essentiel. Qu’une photo est gardienne de mémoire, qu’elle est un tissu sur lequel chacun peut broder sa propre histoire et qu’elle ment aussi un peu car elle dit un présent qui n’existe plus.

J’ai en moi une sensibilité artistique que depuis toujours dix doigts malhabiles s’acharnent à contrarier. Alors je me suis faite un oeil en étudiant l’histoire de l’art. J’ai appris à reconnaître ce que j’aimais à défaut de pouvoir le créer. J’ai emmagasiné intuitivement certaines règles de composition. J’ai surtout compris l’importance de la lumière, comment elle peut tout anoblir, même le vulgaire.


Je photographie essentiellement des natures mortes et des paysages. Depuis la naissance de mes enfants, je parcours les brocantes à la recherche d’un patrimoine que je n’ai pas reçu et que je veux leur transmettre. Je rapporte toujours les mêmes trésors : des miroirs piqués, des bouteilles au verre devenant opaque, des peluches mitées, des vases recollés, de vieux tiroirs. Des objets simples, sans style particulier, qui ont survécu aux années et qui portent sur eux des signes qu’ils ont été utiles et qu’ils ont été aimés.

Je ne sais jamais à l’avance quelle photo je vais prendre. Je choisis un objet, une fleur qui traîne dans un vase et j’instaure entre eux une relation. Je les fait parler. Je les place, les déplace. Je tourne autour. J’attends la bonne lumière. J’essaie de créer une tension ou un accord. Je ne cherche pas à donner une dimension symbolique, juste à créer une émotion visuelle qui me touche et qui va peut-être toucher quelqu’un d’autre.


C’est la même chose quand je photographie des paysages. Le pittoresque ne m’intéresse pas. La plupart du temps ce sont des lieux qui me sont familiers  et que j’ai déjà chargés d’émotions. Le surplus de détails qui distraient est souvent gommé par le brouillard ou alors par la vitesse quand je prends des photos en roulant. Je me promène et soudain il y a quelque chose qui m’appelle et fait écho en moi, quelque chose que je reconnais. Et c’est cela que j’essaie de photographier. Ensuite lors du développement, si ce sentiment initial n’est pas assez présent, je pousse certaines lumières, je joue avec les contrastes, j’ajoute quelques taches pour accentuer ma vision initiale.

Sans doute mes photographies parlent-elles d’un autre temps. D’un temps qui n’est pas aujourd’hui. D’un temps, où l’on prenait son temps. Quand on valorisait la durabilité des choses. Quand le monde n’était pas si grand.

Ce sont des photos nostalgiques. C’est à dire porteuses de mémoire. Témoins à la fois de permanence et de vulnérabilité.

On n’échappe pas à sa propre histoire.

Anne Closuit Eisenhart est @lesfifoles sur Instagram.

Unease – A Collaboration of Two CdeBs

Unease – A Collaboration of Two CdeBs


U  N  E  A  S  E

Collaboration between Clara de Bertodano and Caroline de Bertodano

Photography, whether selfies or self portraits on social media, especially Instagram, have become increasingly ‘intimate’ & ‘provocative’. But what is the effect on young children & teenagers between 10 and 19 years old?

JPEG image-843FE63D72DE-1

By Clara de Bertodano (16yrs old)

“I hate myself, I hate my life and everyone in it. It seems as if I can never please everyone or even anyone, and just need someone to agree with me, approve of me, or just pretend they do. I despise my character and my looks, and my mind, body and soul seem to be united by a sole hatred, my own”

These are the (narrowed down) thoughts I think many teenage girls, such as myself, have to fight against. Each one of us has a different way to deal with them, which might be defined as depressive or just part of life itself, by suppressing them, ignoring them, trying to find solutions if we choose to call them problems or just accepting them and trying to modify them in order to feel well; the latter being the one I hope I apply in life.

Nevertheless, these thoughts can take over your life and even start controlling it. They can lead a person resorting to the Internet, in particular Instagram, just to get approval while hiding behind a screen, an ideal, imagery. They can start obsessing over the amount of followers, likes and comments they have and start basing their success in life on numbers.

Some “instagrammers” start showing their body, parts of it or a bit too much of it, seeking for attention and approval, without evaluating the cost and consequence that this might have on their lives. This could affect them physically because they may start searching for a perfect body that doesn’t exist and getting frustrated over it, and mentally because all they care about is what is shown through pictures, as if they described who they are.

Furthermore, although they might get positive and encouraging comments to pursue this “vocation”, in real life people won’t take them seriously, may consider them sluts or worse, and make their thoughts known. They might even get to an extreme point where they shut down the real world and lock themselves in a room with a screen in front of them, thinking that this will make them happy.

And it all comes down to that – doing what you think will make you happy. If it does then I say keep doing it, but I am absolutely convinced that showing your body to complete strangers and basing your happiness in life on numbers can’t possibly make anyone happy,  at least not in the long run. The happiness that matters is the one you can share with your loved ones and cherish throughout your entire life, during the good times and the bad times.

IMG_4153“I feel like there’s so much freedom, that the limit has vanished. They no longer distinguish between defending a woman’s body and looking sexy.” – Camila, 17, Argentina

© Caroline de Bertodano“I don’t think that the women that post those pictures are insecure, but I do think that they make other girls insecure. They show what a body should look like and make other girls unhappy about their own body because it might not live up to society’s expectations, and that’s where all the illnesses and food disorders come to life.” – Clara G., 16, France/Argentina

© Caroline de Bertodano“Personally, I wouldn’t post those kind of pictures, but I believe that everyone owns their own body and Instagram account, and they can do whatever they want and post whatever they want. I find it wrong that people call these women “sluts” just because of a picture, because in that picture they don’t show who they actually are. And very often, when a person uploads those kind of pictures it’s because they’re missing things in their lives (love, attention, etc.), and the last thing we should do, is judge them” – Ines, 16, Argentina

IMG_4147“I think they need attention and they use their sexuality to get it, and in some way they want to improve their self esteem, “overpower” or feel superior to everyone else” – Dominga, 17, Chile

IMG_4166“I think everyone should be free to do whatever they feel like doing. Instagram being what it is you don’t have to follow people, if you don’t want to follow someone you just don’t… In my opinion, there’s no difference in a girl showing off her body or a mom showing her child or someone their house decoration, their holiday blablabla” – Camille, 22, France

IMG_4155“I think the amount of sex in media and stuff has spiraled so far out of control that loads of girls are becoming prostitutes to some extent, and what is deemed as appropriate is getting more and more inappropriate. It’s more sickening that girls are hurting themselves to be objects of physical pleasure rather than human beings.” – Louis, 16, UK


By Caroline de Bertodano

Photography on social media, especially Instagram, whether selfies or self portraits, has become more ‘intimate’ and ‘provocative‘. Women either doing repeated coquette player poses or doing full nudity on feeds alongside pictures of their children. Some men are beginning to do similar things. Whether for social reasons or so called art, it is increasing.

There is a lot of talk amongst kids between the ages of 12-25 years old about this. With a view that it is out of control on social media, especially Instagram, giving rise to anxiety, inadequacy and feeling pressurized. Many young children, especially girls, have started copying these poses and feeling the need to remove clothes in order to fit in.

It is now commonplace to see people walking around looking at their mobile phones. Many on social media. Every photo uploaded is viewed by countless strangers. Likes & comments have become approval ratings. It is a fake world that has been accepted as a transient reality.

However, these images are labelled by adults; children have not yet learned to categorize them accordingly. The NSPCC (National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children) and the Children’s Commissioner commissioned a report on how pornography impacted on children between the ages of 11-16. Full report available www.nscpcc.org.uk “I wasnt sure it was normal to watch it” 2016.

In summary, explicit images are desensitizing young people. Most have been exposed to some by their early teenage years, many girls feeling under pressure to expose themselves and many boys treating the girls like the images or films that they see. Many young people themselves concerned.

IMG_4163“I feel like pictures can sometimes be exposing and girls can get a bad reputation, and girls are judged by what they post. Generally, if someone of any gender uploads something exposing I judge them, but it’s only when they have a bf or gf when I see it as wrong.” – Josh, 16, UK

IMG_4157“I think they’re ridiculous in thinking that those pictures make them prettier and get them actual real attention from other people”. – Gaston, 13, Argentina

IMG_4274“They should do whatever they want, it’s their life, if they want to expose themselves in that manner and it makes them happy, then it’s fine. Nevertheless, I pity them a bit because if they upload those pictures, they do it for everyone to see, even people that don’t know them and will therefore only see them as objects or bodies, and not as an actual person. The problem would appear, if they didn’t realize people saw them in that way.” – Tamara, 16, Argentina

IMG_4165 “It’s porn” – Rhea, 17, Lebanon

JPEG image-297B13A0FE34-1“To be honest, I feel like it’s as if they didn’t have a personality of their own and needed to get attention. It’s a matter of insecurity” – Catalina, 15, Argentina

IMG_4162“I think everyone has the right to show whatever they want of their body, and there’s no reason to make someone feel bad about themselves for it. Then there’s the subject as to why they do it. If they’re looking to compete with other people, are insecure or need someone to tell them they’re pretty, then that might not be the best solution for the problems they’re having. But because that’s each person’s issue, I’m not going to judge anyone for posting a picture on Instagram.” – Antonia, 16, USA


Clara & I did our own small survey to find out for ourselves how opinions varied. Not a single person, both in images and quotes, turned down the opportunity to affect change on this subject.   I am all for free will and an advocate of artistic license but I personally would hate to be the cause of young girls’ descent into dark emotions & behaviour. The question remains, is it for the individual or social media to take responsibility & offer some protection for the vulnerable?  All identities have been protected.

© Caroline de Bertodano 2016 2 CdeB’s © Clara de Bertodano 2016

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”

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