To clear my mind between exhibitions during Visa pour L´Image this is what I do.
For some years a friend and colleague of mine has visited the big Press Photo Festival in Perpignan, France. Visa pour L´ Image. We are not press photographers but we travel together with press photographers from the Nordic countries. We share the same tool, the camera, but we are to use it differently. From this article that I share you understand the importance of honesty for a press photographer. Not only when sending images to competitions. Me and my friend are, on the contrary, most often to present a portrait, food, furniture etc. in as much a positive way as possible. For us it is OK to manipulate our images. Our clients most often expect us to do it. During the festival the city is completely filled with images everywhere. Even in an old prison there are photographs exhibited. Visiting the press festival is a challenge. Images are presented from war, catastrophes or disasters from around the world. Once I had to leave a film with tears in my eyes because it was simply “too much” for me to take. Photographers doing this documentaries are heroes. They are doing important work for us to see and learn from the state of the world. Today photographers and journalists are working under great pressure and they are often taken prisoners or are being shot at in war zones. Yes, to me they are heroes. It is a personal challenge to see these images during whole days, but they are so important, and we will go there again.
“The struggle of man against power is the act of memory against forgetting.”
-Milan Kundera, The Book of Laughter and Forgetting
I have my own personal reasons for choosing to photograph over other mediums, for believing that we must look sometimes even when we are more often compelled not to. The collective memory of societies around the world relies on aesthetics, whether represented through flags, leaders, advertising and propaganda or news photographs. Only the last can claim to attempt to accurately reflect the conditions of all citizens but especially the disenfranchised, even if so often the focus is on podiums and the powerful.
Earlier this month, World Press Photo announced the results of its annual competition. Shortly thereafter, the mayor of the Belgian city of Charleroi sent the Amsterdam-based foundation a letter stating his objections to an essay entitled “Dark Heart of Europe” that depicted his town as some sort…
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The third day and final letters in my photographic alphabet, The Stockholm version 2015. It will take some time before i stop thinking about letters when I take my walks in the city. But another time and another place, and I will do it again. No, it was not made in order from A to Z, if you ever wondered. I gave myself the artistic freedom not to.
R was the trickiest to find. But when you do this exercise for some time you get a skilled eye. This is the only R, while I have many of the other letters. Some more favorites than others.
Yes, it is me. Like Hitchcock or Jacques Tati…
I have found the letters all over the city. Building sites are useful. Letters are everywhere, just start looking.
Now when my alphabet is finished, I can´t stop looking at details. Everywhere I see letters. Some are obvious, others more obscure. It certainly keeps my mind and fantasy going. My photographers mind. If I do it again the fonts will not be the same.
I will present the final letters tomorrow.
Here is how Wikipedia explains photography. ( I have simplified the text a little ).
Photography is employed in many fields of science, manufacturing and business, as well as its more direct uses for art, recreational purposes, and mass communication.
“…as well as its more direct uses for art, recreational purposes, and mass communication.” I like that!
You can certainly use the media in your very own way. Let´s simply say it is writing with light. So I created my own alphabet. I made this exercise in art school years ago but in black and white. This is much more colorful. Doing your own is a good exercise for your eyes and mind. And I can promise you that you will get to see your surroundings in a new light. But why don´t you do it in your kitchen, garden, on your vacation or, well where ever. Good luck!
I had great fun doing this, and many people asked me what I was doing… They were a little surprised when i explalined.
There are more letters to come.
The name in the calendar today is Gertrud. The name of my aunt. She gave me my first camera and she always encouraged me to take pictures when we met. She moved early to Stockholm where she worked in a dairy. I made this homage to her in 1998, as you can see. It is Gertrud in the hat. You can also see my mother and my sister. Today I send her an extra thought of gratitude for what she did for me.