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  • THE PICTORIAL LIST | INTERVIEWS

    BLACK AND WHITE WITH A THREAD OF RED Valeria Cunha is fascinated by the street, using it as inspiration to find structure amidst the confusion. Her photography creates intriguing connections and relationships through dynamic compositions that convey emotion. READ INTERVIEW explore all interviews INTERVIEW THE AUTHENTIC GAZE: THE DON'T SMILE PROJECT Delve into the visual anthology of urban youth, a collection of moments where the mundane transcends into the profound, sparked by the click of Amy Horowitz's camera. INTERVIEW BLACK AND WHITE WITH A THREAD OF RED Valeria Cunha is fascinated by the street, using it as inspiration to find structure amidst the confusion. Her photography creates intriguing connections and relationships through dynamic compositions that convey emotion. INTERVIEW TALES OF A CITY With a passion for exploring the world through his camera lens, Seigar brings a unique perspective to his art, infused with reflections, colors, and icons. INTERVIEW 18 >> 20 Elsa Arrais composed a simultaneously artistic, emotional, poetic and imagery portrait of her city in a predetermined period of time. INTERVIEW WOMEN WARRIORS OF AZERBAIJAN Fidan Nazimqizi is aware of distinct challenges the women in her community are confronted with on a daily basis. Their struggles have become a focus for her photography. INTERVIEW SHOOT NEW YORK CITY Leanne Staples is a passionate and driven street photographer whose honest perspective of city life captures both its simplicity and complexity. INTERVIEW JESSE'S STORY Jesse’s story becomes a timeless testament of an unconventional and successful fighter. Andrée Thorpe invites us to reflect on the inspiring journey of this brave individual. INTERVIEW TRANSTEMPORAL Russell Cobb is an incredible photographer and storyteller who offers viewers a chance to step into the past and explore the nuances of culture and history. INTERVIEW A LOVE SONG TO THE AMERICAN WEST We have the pleasure of seeing and hearing the visual stories created between photographer, Ross Taylor and musician, Russick Smith. As the wind sweeps through the landscapes the notes of a cello fill every void. INTERVIEW WALKING BUENOS AIRES We take a deep dive into the journey of Alex Gottfried Bonder - an artist who has spent many years uncovering the soul of Buenos Aires through street photography. INTERVIEW ETERNITY Eternity is a pictorial story about Konrad Hellfeuer's own personal journey with religion and how photography has helped him find peace within it. INTERVIEW UNDER THE COVERS WITH AMERICAN BEDROOM Barbara Peacock, opens the door to her subjects' bedroom, revealing their intimate thoughts and emotions. Discover the confidence and trust shared between the photographer and subject for an authentic and inspiring experience. INTERVIEW BEYOND SIGHT Doug Winter is a photographic artist using his unique perspective as a semi-sighted individual to explore the experiences of partial blindness and vision disabilities. INTERVIEW HUMAN CONTACT By walking through the streets and observing people's behaviours, Jan Ponnet tries to develop a keen eye for the subtle nuances and rhythms of life on the street, and learns to anticipate and capture these moments that might otherwise go unnoticed. INTERVIEW FREEDOM TASTES OF REALITY Juan Barte does not choose to document what he sees, but creates a photograph that constricts the flow of information, allowing for the viewer to further investigate and question what they see. INTERVIEW HONK KONG TAPESTRY It is the minutiae of everyday life that most defines Giles Isbell's body of work. By exploring the intricate details, Giles Isbell has created a unique tapestry of what it means to to have once called this majestic city home. INTERVIEW CROSSING THE AVENUE Get ready to be transported by the street photography of Juan Sostre. His mastery of technique and ability to observe the world around him, allows us to experience the street in a whole different light. INTERVIEW DOWNTOWN ATLANTA By showcasing the understated beauty of ordinary city spaces, Branden May's photography captures the essence of urban life in a way that is both unconventional and captivating. INTERVIEW NEW REALITIES IN VISUAL POETRY Enter Monika Jurga's surreal world, and find out how and ultimately why she creates these fantastical photographic images where her imagination will become your reality. INTERVIEW THE RHYTHM OF MY PHOTOGRAPHY Mena Sambiasi is not afraid to try new things, living in the moment, finding a personal connection between her visual translation of the musicians rhythm, as if they were playing just for her. INTERVIEW CALL AND RESPONSE Three women have found a symbiotic relationship, creating pictorial conversations through the device of triptychs. INTERVIEW PHOTOGRAPHY AND REALITY In her project BODY NO BODY, Ypatia Kornarou draws its inspiration from the daily life of modern lifestyle in western culture, where the approach mainly focuses on satisfying the social expectations and meeting material needs. INTERVIEW COLOURS SUSPENDED IN TIME. GEOMETRIES OF AN ISLAND Alessandro Giugni shares the secrets behind the colors in his bright and colorful reportage of the Island of Burano. INTERVIEW NOT FULLY VISIBLE Nsiries allows himself through his photography to create and visualise a bridge that connects his very hidden innerself with the real world. INTERVIEW THE CURIOSITY GAP Samuel Ioannidis is a photographer who searches for beauty through light, color, and lines, communicating his story and generating a curiosity gap for the viewer. be on The List We are always on the search for unique visual storytellers of all genres. Would you like to join our portfolio of photographers and be represented on our website, and social media platforms. submit © Chetan Verma

  • THE AUTHENTIC GAZE | IN CONVERSATION WITH AMY HOROWITZ

    INTERVIEW February 26, 2024 THE AUTHENTIC GAZE THE DON’T SMILE PROJECT Photography by Amy Horowitz Interview by Bill Lacey The look. The eyes. Expressionless, yet intimately revealing. Something below the surface, waiting to be revealed. Youthful, individual, all with a story to tell. The captivating portrait work of Brooklyn-born photographer Amy Horowitz and her “Don’t Smile” project highlight the rich diversity of a generation unafraid of individual expression. Set against a backdrop in New York City’s West Village, Amy captures something honest and pure, not distracted by a reflex reaction to a raised camera. Instructing her subjects to avoid smiling, she is able to pull back a curtain and explore an unexposed depth not immediately visible. Overcoming a shyness to approaching strangers and with a 50mm lens in hand, Amy is frequently found photographing in Washington Square Park. When meeting her in person, she exudes a warmth and trusting aura, helping to set her subjects at ease. A veteran of the advertising world, she has a keen eye for spotting the uniqueness of individuals. Inspired by Diane Arbus and Mary Ellen Mark, Amy’s work reflects curiosity and empathy for her subjects, often photographing them more than once when the opportunity presents itself. Her daily walks in the culturally rich neighborhoods of NYC expose her to many young adults, typically students from nearby liberal arts universities. “On the surface, there was a vibrancy, a specific mix of joy, defiance, morality, kindness, and a bit of despair, that I like to think is tinged with hope. Underneath the dyed hair and accessories, tattoos, and thigh-high boots, stands someone’s son, someone’s daughter, a human with hopes and vulnerabilities. While we’re all trying to find our way in the world, the beauty of these people is in their self-expression.” Amy's portraits stand as a testament to the courage it takes to be truly seen. Each frame a narrative, each photograph a celebration of raw humanity. We invite you to delve into the visual anthology of urban youth, a collection of moments where the mundane transcends into the profound, sparked by the click of Amy's camera. “Okay, look in my eyes, and whatever you do, don’t smile.” IN CONVERSATION WITH AMY HOROWITZ THE PICTORIAL LIST: Hello Amy, so happy to have you part of The Pictorial List. Welcome! Please start off and tell us something about yourself. What would you say first drew you to photography? AMY HOROWITZ: Born in Brooklyn, New York, near Coney Island, my family moved to the New Jersey suburbs when I was six years old. After graduating college, with a major in Mass Communications and a minor in Psychology, I moved to New York City to pursue a career in advertising. There my clients included Coca Cola and Cover Girl. After working for about eight years, I married, moved back to the suburbs, got pregnant and chose to be a stay-at-home mom. Eighteen months later, I was pregnant again, this time, with twins. The three of them sparked my interest in photography, as is the case with most new parents. Photography resonates with me as I find it to be fun! Once my children left home, I was able to devote more time towards learning about it and improving my technique. As a creative endeavor, photography keeps me focused on the present. And I believe it helps me to concentrate, even when I’m not shooting. My mind often feels like a computer with multiple windows open all at once. When I’m taking pictures, I don’t feel that way. I feel calmer and directed and I like that. I enjoy photography because I can do it on my own, which is important to me in terms of managing my time. When I’m feeling inspired, I can immediately act on my creative impulses. TPL: How would you describe your photography, and what would you say you are always trying to achieve artistically? How do you hope people feel when viewing your work? AMY: I shoot street portraits in New York City, primarily in the West Village and Washington Square Park. I’m looking for people who catch my eye: who stand out to me in some way. I’m looking for something genuine. I see myself in my subjects, and I hope others viewing my portraits also see parts of themselves as well. Happy with my own company, and more introverted than social, I still long to connect with the outside world, albeit, in small doses. Photography allows me the opportunity to meet and engage with people I otherwise wouldn’t without a camera in my hand. With my photography, I hope to tap into emotions and traits that we all share…hope, despair, longing, success, vulnerability, sadness, and passion, etc. I hope my pictures make people stop and really look, and in some cases, look again and again. I’d like to think that people are spending time trying to discover the person in the portrait through various details in the image, like body posture, hand placement, location, expression, clothing. There is a little bit of every photographer in each of their images and mine are no exception. I hope that viewers of my work also see themselves, as we are all the same at the core, with hopes and dreams, and vulnerabilities and strengths. TPL: What have been some of your favorite places you find inspiration to explore through your photography, and what draws you there? AMY: My favorite place to shoot is Washington Square Park in the West Village of New York. The park is filled with people from all walks of life: NYU, Pratt, Parsons, and New School students, parents with their children, artists, musicians, drug addicts and random people strolling through or taking a break, sitting on the benches, taking respite from the busy city streets. Welcoming and relaxed is how I would describe the park. I’ve met and become friends with many other photographers and “regulars” there, so much so, that it feels like a second home. I find it to be the best place to find people to shoot for my “Don’t Smile” project, as many I approach are also artistic and want to support fellow artists. The young adults I meet there are individual in their style and make for interesting portraits. In choosing who to ask for a portrait, I’m always looking for “something soft underneath the shell” but I also hope they have something of interest about them as well, whether it be colored hair, spiky boots, tattoos, or something as simple as ripped jeans or an interesting, patterned shirt. TPL: What have been some challenges that you have faced as a photographer in NYC? AMY: New York City, itself, doesn’t pose any real challenges for me as a photographer. I find the opposite to be true as the shooting opportunities here are endless. Averaging about five or six miles of walking a day, I find that I always come upon the unusual, and the extraordinary, whether it be a protest, a celebrity cooking in a food truck for charity, a dance group practicing in public, a pet rabbit on a leash, a snake around someone’s neck, or even a cyclist balancing a garbage can on their head. I find it all delightfully entertaining. When I first started shooting portraits, the only challenge that I faced was within myself. I was a bit nervous to approach strangers and ask for their portrait. I distinctly remember seeing a person that I knew would make a memorable portrait and I just told myself that if this is what I want to do, I must face my fear and just go back and ask, which is what I did, and they said ‘yes.” After taking a few shots, I quickly scooted off, without even asking their name. I did this several more times with others and eventually became comfortable approaching strangers. TPL: What is the camera you are using now, and your preferred focal length? And, how involved in post-processing do you get? Do you try to get the shot in camera or refine the raw image in Lightroom or similar? AMY: For my “Don’t Smile” project, I’ve been shooting with a Nikon Z7 digital camera. My preferred lens is a fixed 50mm. My aperture ranges from f1.8mm to f2.5mm as I always want both eyes in focus. I always shoot manually and focus on the eyes. I always try to shoot the best image I can, but always edit. Henri Cartier-Bresson is the only photographer I’ve heard of that never manipulated his photographs after he shot them. I do a quick pass in Lightroom and then refine my edits in Photoshop. For me, it can mean the difference between an okay shot and an extraordinary one. At times, I’ve even changed orientation. Primarily, I shoot portraits vertically, but have, at times, cropped horizontally, to create tighter, more impactful images. TPL: What’s an important lesson you have learned over your career? AMY: One of the best lessons I’ve learned is that you can’t succeed unless you try. I was nervous approaching strangers for their portrait, but I did it. I was reluctant to share my work on Instagram, but I did it. Computers used to be challenging for me, but once I learned Lightroom and Photoshop and printing, I’m able to manage it all. Thank goodness for customer service! Once I saw the incredible images in Gulnara Samoilova’s Women Street Photographers book, it was a goal of mine to be part of that community, so I entered their Open Call in 2022 and became a finalist for the first time. Photography keeps me in the moment with no room to think about the past or worry about the future. TPL: Do you have any favorite artists or photographers you would like to share with us and the reason for their significance? If you could just choose one photographer to shoot alongside for a day...who would you choose? And why? AMY: Diane Arbus and Mary Ellen Mark are two of my favorite photographers. Diane Arbus’ work reflects a reverence and sympathy for her subjects. Mary Ellen Mark photographed some of her subjects over the course of decades, building trust and taking a real interest in their lives. In fact, she offered to pay for college for one of the runaways she photographed, called “Tiny”, but she had refused. Both photographers have greatly influenced my photographic experience. For my “Don’t Smile” project, that I’ve been developing for the past several years, I shoot primarily young adults on the cusp of adulthood. Many I run into and photograph again and again. It’s interesting to see how their looks change from season to season and year to year. It’s nice to catch up and see how they’re doing. We follow each other on Instagram to stay connected. Many are very creative, pursuing careers in fashion, film, music, art, and the like, and I follow their efforts, struggles and successes. I’m happy when a person I’ve photographed tells me excitedly that they are modeling at Fashion Week, or got signed by a modeling agency, or are arranging flowers in Virginia, or are interning with a famous music group, or looking to apply to art school, or got hired as a DJ at a famous club. I love when they tell me that they love their portrait, and that I caught them at a low point the day I took it, and they look at the image now and they don’t feel that way anymore. And I’m sad when I see them posting that it’s a dark time for them and that they are struggling mentally and/or are having a hard time making ends meet. I feel good when I shoot someone who clearly used to self-harm, with razor cut scars visible on their skin, but now they are thriving, feeling mentally stronger and pursuing new goals. I find the trust and connection that develops with many of those I photograph, to be tremendously rewarding. Mary Ellen Mark once said, “I realized all of the possibilities that could exist for me with my camera: all of the images that I could capture, all of the lives I could enter, all of the people I could meet and how much I could learn from them.” I totally relate to her words. There are so many talented modern day street portrait photographers whose work I admire and find inspiring, like Rob Bremner, Billie Charity, Ilana Rose, and Lewis Gant. I would love to spend a day with all of them, but I came upon Richard Renaldi’s book, Touching Strangers, and found it to be deeply moving. For this project, Richard approached and asked strangers to physically interact while posing together. This work is all about human connection. Like Renaldi and most portrait photographers, I’m an observer. I think we look for something of interest on the outside, but search for an inner authenticity in our subjects. There’s a trust and engagement necessary between the photographer and those they photograph. Beyond that, there’s a certain compassion we feel and expose through portraiture. Renaldi’s work speaks for itself in that regard. So, Richard, if you’re reading this, I would love to spend a day learning from you and watching how you work. TPL: What role has the digital community played in your photography journey thus far? AMY: The support I’ve received from the digital community, specifically Instagram, has been tremendous. A bit nervous to put my work out there, I made a year of “Don’t Smile” portraits before I created an account and began posting my work. I don’t remember if it was my becoming a finalist in the annual Women Street Photographers Annual Open Call for the first time in 2022 or an invitation from Danny Jackson to interview me on Street Badass that helped increase my visibility, and ultimately “followers” on Instagram. Most recently, Roma Street, another photography collective, has been very supportive of my work, often sharing it on their Instagram “stories.” Equally as important as the people viewing and following my work, is the incredibly talented pool of photographers that I “follow” and support. Each morning, I spend a couple of hours “traveling the world,” as I call it, looking at and analyzing images made by photographers all over the globe. I learn something from all of them. It is a wonderful community of creative individuals, many of whom I now call my friends. I’ve had walks in New York with photographers visiting the area from Israel (Iddo Pedahzur), London (Mish Aminoff Moon), Italy (Andrea Morani) and Florida (Adrienne Marie). It’s so interesting to see other photographers shoot, what they look for, what their eyes see, and if they shoot covertly or go up and ask like I do. I’ve had a wonderful photographer, Harry Williams, from San Francisco, send me a copy of his book, “Eye See You”, as a thank you for supporting his work. Marcos Queiro and Nina Go, both artists, have used my portraits as inspirations for their artistic creations. TPL: How do you educate yourself to take better photos? AMY: When I moved to New York City, I took several classes at The International Center for Photography. Through the “Grammar of Photography” series of classes, taught by Christopher Giglio, I learned about famous photographers and what sets them apart, as well as what makes a photograph truly special. In class, we would look at hundreds of photographs and analyze them. The experience helped me see in a new way. There would always be homework and the Professor would critique everyone’s work in front of the whole class. I learned to take better photographs by looking at other people’s work, and by trial and error. I try to shoot every day. TPL: What is the most rewarding part of being a photographer for you? AMY: My passion for photography has been rewarding to me in so many ways. It has broadened my world. For decades I’ve been focused on others, primarily my family. Now, I can focus on myself and devote the time it takes for this craft. Also, I love to walk and wander, and observe. I’ve always been that way and for many years that part of me was put on hold. Photography keeps me in the moment with no room to think about the past or worry about the future. It feels almost meditative, calming, in fact, until which time I find someone or something interesting to photograph and then my adrenaline fires, and the stimulation of knowing I got a good image takes hold. And there are times when I’m out shooting and I’m not sure of the quality of my images until I import them into my computer. Editing at the day of the day is a treat as I find the process to be relaxing and creative Interacting with the people I shoot has been remarkably gratifying to me. Having the camera in my hand opens the door for interactions with people I otherwise might not have met. Perhaps most importantly, I’ve found the photography community to be caring and supportive and have made many good friends. TPL: Are there any special projects that you are currently working on that you would like to let everyone know about? AMY: I’m continuing with my “Don’t Smile” project for now. I’ve thought about choosing another demographic or location for my project, but I just don’t feel the need to end this project yet. I have shot “Don’t Smile” portraits in my travels abroad and found it both challenging and fun to ask people to not smile when I don’t speak their language. Usually, I let them smile, as they’re inclined to do, take the shot, and then use my hand over my mouth to illustrate, “don’t smile”. My goal is to publish a book of my “Don’t Smile” images. I put together a hardcover coffee table book for myself, during Covid through Blurb (in Lightroom’s Book module) and loved the experience of curating my images. AMY: “When I am not out photographing, I (like to)… I enjoy spending time with my family. My interests have remained the same since I was younger: exercising (I’ve been a Pilates enthusiast for years) going to the movies, Broadway shows, art galleries, and museums. I love meandering through the cities, observing, and looking for inspiration. While I love doing these things with family and friends, I’m quite comfortable doing all of them by myself.” Amy Horowitz's camera serves as a window into the souls of urban youth. Through her "Don't Smile" project, Amy has embarked on a journey of discovery, venturing into the streets of New York City's West Village to seek out the stories waiting to be told. In the faces of her subjects, she finds a kaleidoscope of emotions – joy, defiance, vulnerability, and resilience – each one a thread in the rich tapestry of urban life. But beyond the surface, beyond the facade, Amy uncovers something deeper, something more profound. In the quiet moments between poses, she glimpses the innermost thoughts and desires of her subjects, revealing truths that words alone cannot express. Each photograph is a chapter in a larger story, a testament to the courage it takes to be truly seen and understood. Amy Horowitz remains steadfast in her mission – to capture the essence of humanity, one frame at a time. So, as we navigate the winding streets of life, may we be inspired to see the world through Amy's lens – with wonder, with empathy, and with an unwavering belief in the power of the human spirit. VIEW AMY'S PORTFOLIO Website >>> Instagram >>> read more interviews >>> THE AUTHENTIC GAZE: THE DON'T SMILE PROJECT Delve into the visual anthology of urban youth, a collection of moments where the mundane transcends into the profound, sparked by the click of Amy Horowitz's camera. BLACK AND WHITE WITH A THREAD OF RED Valeria Cunha is fascinated by the street, using it as inspiration to find structure amidst the confusion. Her photography creates intriguing connections and relationships through dynamic compositions that convey emotion. TALES OF A CITY With a passion for exploring the world through his camera lens, Seigar brings a unique perspective to his art, infused with reflections, colors, and icons. 18 >> 20 Elsa Arrais composed a simultaneously artistic, emotional, poetic and imagery portrait of her city in a predetermined period of time. WOMEN WARRIORS OF AZERBAIJAN Fidan Nazimqizi is aware of distinct challenges the women in her community are confronted with on a daily basis. Their struggles have become a focus for her photography. SHOOT NEW YORK CITY Leanne Staples is a passionate and driven street photographer whose honest perspective of city life captures both its simplicity and complexity. TRANSTEMPORAL Russell Cobb is an incredible photographer and storyteller who offers viewers a chance to step into the past and explore the nuances of culture and history. A LOVE SONG TO THE AMERICAN WEST We have the pleasure of seeing and hearing the visual stories created between photographer, Ross Taylor and musician, Russick Smith. As the wind sweeps through the landscapes the notes of a cello fill every void. JESSE'S STORY Jesse’s story becomes a timeless testament of an unconventional and successful fighter. Andrée Thorpe invites us to reflect on the inspiring journey of this brave individual. WALKING BUENOS AIRES We take a deep dive into the journey of Alex Gottfried Bonder - an artist who has spent many years uncovering the soul of Buenos Aires through street photography. UNDER THE COVERS WITH AMERICAN BEDROOM Barbara Peacock, opens the door to her subjects' bedroom, revealing their intimate thoughts and emotions. Discover the confidence and trust shared between the photographer and subject for an authentic and inspiring experience. BEYOND SIGHT Doug Winter is a photographic artist using his unique perspective as a semi-sighted individual to explore the experiences of partial blindness and vision disabilities. ETERNITY Eternity is a pictorial story about Konrad Hellfeuer's own personal journey with religion and how photography has helped him find peace within it. CROSSING THE AVENUE Get ready to be transported by the street photography of Juan Sostre. His mastery of technique and ability to observe the world around him, allows us to experience the street in a whole different light. HUMAN CONTACT By walking through the streets and observing people's behaviours, Jan Ponnet tries to develop a keen eye for the subtle nuances and rhythms of life on the street, and learns to anticipate and capture these moments that might otherwise go unnoticed. FREEDOM TASTES OF REALITY Juan Barte does not choose to document what he sees, but creates a photograph that constricts the flow of information, allowing for the viewer to further investigate and question what they see. HONK KONG TAPESTRY It is the minutiae of everyday life that most defines Giles Isbell's body of work. By exploring the intricate details, Giles Isbell has created a unique tapestry of what it means to to have once called this majestic city home. DOWNTOWN ATLANTA By showcasing the understated beauty of ordinary city spaces, Branden May's photography captures the essence of urban life in a way that is both unconventional and captivating. NEW REALITIES IN VISUAL POETRY Enter Monika Jurga's surreal world, and find out how and ultimately why she creates these fantastical photographic images where her imagination will become your reality. THE RHYTHM OF MY PHOTOGRAPHY Mena Sambiasi is not afraid to try new things, living in the moment, finding a personal connection between her visual translation of the musicians rhythm, as if they were playing just for her.

  • THE PICTORIAL LIST | Building a community of photography

    © Copyright THE AUTHENTIC GAZE: THE DON'T SMILE PROJECT IN CONVERSATION WITH AMY HOROWITZ Delve into the visual anthology of urban youth, a collection of moments where the mundane transcends into the profound, sparked by the click of Amy Horowitz's camera. READ INTERVIEW PICTORIAL STORY ON THE TRAIL OF LOVE LOST We are given a glimpse into a beautiful love story and the unbreakable strength and resilience of the human spirit. Join us as we explore Sasha Ivanov’s heartfelt tribute to Lydia and Nikolai. INTERVIEW BLACK AND WHITE WITH A THREAD OF RED Valeria Cunha is fascinated by the street, using it as inspiration to find structure amidst the confusion. Her photography creates intriguing connections and relationships through dynamic compositions that convey emotion. PICTORIAL STORY THE FRANKINCENSE BOY France Leclerc’s documentary exploration embraces the community finding captivating stories for her visual translations. Her story takes us to the village of Poshina, where we meet Sahib. INTERVIEW TALES OF A CITY With a passion for exploring the world through his camera lens, Seigar brings a unique perspective to his art, infused with reflections, colors, and icons. PICTORIAL STORY THEY ARE GONE Lorenzo Vitali felt compelled to explore the landscapes of Eastern Veneto, to understand its emotional affective relationship and document it through his photography. PICTORIAL STORY I AM WATER Paola Ferrarotti explores her deep connection with the water and how it has transformed her understanding of life and herself. INTERVIEW 18 >> 20 Elsa Arrais composed a simultaneously artistic, emotional, poetic and imagery portrait of her city in a predetermined period of time. GALLERY BUILDING A SOLID FOUNDATION Martin Parr Foundation supports photography and photographers of the past as well as genuinely mentors and creates new opportunities for photographers of the future. PICTORIAL STORY THE STRANDED PAKISTANIS Anwar Ehtesham captures the beauty of human emotion in the face of adversity and offers an insight into the complexity of the lives of the Bihari people and their relationship with their environment. INTERVIEW WOMEN WARRIORS OF AZERBAIJAN Fidan Nazimqizi is aware of distinct challenges the women in her community are confronted with on a daily basis. Their struggles have become a focus for her photography. INTERVIEW SHOOT NEW YORK CITY Leanne Staples is a passionate and driven street photographer whose honest perspective of city life captures both its simplicity and complexity. INTERVIEW JESSE'S STORY Jesse’s story becomes a timeless testament of an unconventional and successful fighter. Andrée Thorpe invites us to reflect on the inspiring journey of this brave individual. INTERVIEW TRANSTEMPORAL Russell Cobb is an incredible photographer and storyteller who offers viewers a chance to step into the past and explore the nuances of culture and history. PICTORIAL STORY BLINDFOLD CHESS Anastasiya Pentyukhina’s documentation of blindfolded chess provides an insight into this often overlooked world of sports, and sheds light on the unique challenges faced by visually impaired players. INTERVIEW A LOVE SONG TO THE AMERICAN WEST We have the pleasure of seeing and hearing the visual stories created between photographer, Ross Taylor and musician, Russick Smith. As the wind sweeps through the landscapes the notes of a cello fill every void. PICTORIAL STORY SKIN STORIES Tony Reddrop strives to look beyond the ink in his latest project, believing that by looking beyond the physical appearance of a person you will find their unique story. INTERVIEW WALKING BUENOS AIRES Driven by his curiosity and creativity, Alex Gottfried Bonder explores the urban landscape of Buenos Aires, capturing moments in time that are both mundane and extraordinary. PICTORIAL STORY CRACKS TO MEND Ida Di Pasquale shares the story of her birth house in Faiano, Italy - a village that was left in ruins after two fatal earthquakes. PICTORIAL STORY WHERE THE WAVES MEET THE OCEAN Uma Muthuraaman explores the idea of finding in ourselves what we seek in other people and places — like waves searching for the ocean, being it, and not knowing it. PICTORIAL STORY THE ARTISANAL SALT FARMERS OF GOZO Naima Hall takes us on a journey with the Cini family, giving us a glimpse into their artisanal salt-farming practices and uncovering the broader geo-heritage of Gozo. PARALLEL REALITIES PHOTOGRAPHY AND STORY BY CATIA MONTAGNA Through her lens, Catia Montagna explores the impact of socioeconomic factors and social norms on our daily lives, revealing the subtle poetry of small, insignificant moments that capture the ‘existential’ and the ephemeral, in the human condition. READ STORY SELECTED STORIES FINDING HOPE AT THE UKRAINIAN BORDER When the war broke out in Ukraine, Sonia Goydenko volunteered her services. She describes her personal journey. RUNNING TO NOWHERE Documentary photographer Christina Simons travelled to Central America embarking on a visual journey to pursue, share and expose the...Why? END OF AN ERA Mish Aminoff opens her aperture, revealing her impressions on the days following the Queen’s death leading to the funeral procession. SOMETHING ABOUT THE FUTURE Francesca Tiboni investigates through a series of collaborative portraits with her daughter Cecilia her transition into adulthood. WONDERLAND Visual artist Karen Ghostlaw Pomarico invites us to step through her looking glass with her, and experience Wonderland for themselves. ZAINAB THE SUPER FARMER Anwar Sadat tells the story of super farmer Zainab who improved her standard of living through education programmes. MODERN NOMADS Callie Eh takes us to the steppes of Mongolia to document a family of nomadic herders. THE INVISIBLE WORKERS Adrian Whear traveled to Bangladesh where he was introduced to the people that churn out bricks by hard manual labour. ROCKETGIRL CHRONICLES These chronicles are a tribute to a family's strength and inspiration on how to find the possible in the seemingly impossible. AMY'S ASHES Photojournalist Camille J. Wheeler shares her impactful story about Scotty and his mother Amy. EXPLORE STORIES A TALE OF NATURE AND HERITAGE PHOTOGRAPHY AND STORY BY ANA-MARIA ALB With her words and photographs, Ana-Maria Alb invites readers to join her on a journey through the breathtaking Carpathians. READ STORY SELECTED INTERVIEWS REPRESENTING THE PEOPLE Camille J. Wheeler documents Austin's streets, with a particular focus on its homeless community. COMEDIANS Steve Best documents the British comedy scene, backstage and on stage, the highs and lows, and the joy of being a comedian. QUARANTINE IN QUEENS Neil Kramer's humorous and compassionate lockdown diary has gone viral. ENROUTE TO THE PINES Robert Sherman shares his documentary series about drag queens celebrating the 'Invasion of the Pines'. SERVICE INTERRUPTION Wojciech Karlinski documented Poland train stations during the pandemic, highlighting their formal and aesthetic side. VOICES OF THE NILE Voices of the Nile by Bastien Massa and Arthur Larie is a project documenting the relationship of Ethiopians with the Blue Nile. BREAKS FROM REALITY The magic only dreams are made of become reality for viewers as they engage in the poetic imagery of Mariëtte Aernoudts. BEYOND THE STORY Through her documentary photography, Christina Simons is compelled to tell the stories of those who are unable to do so themselves. EXPLORE INTERVIEWS © Juan Sostre join the Pictorial Community >>> Media Partners BUILDING A COMMUNITY OF PHOTOGRAPHY If you are a photographer with a photo story to share then we would love to see it! We want to help support you and the work you create. Share your photography projects with us. submit © Bill Lacey

  • TALES OF A CITY | MEET SEIGAR: The Curious Visual Artist Exploring Pop Culture Through His Camera

    INTERVIEW December 13, 2023 TALES OF A CITY ​ Photography by Seigar Interview by Melanie Meggs Meet Seigar, a multifaceted artist based in Tenerife, Spain, who has a passion for exploring the world through his camera lens. With a background in philology and teaching, Seigar brings a unique perspective to his art, infusing it with his fascination for reflections, saturated colors, and icons. But it's not just the visuals that draw him in; Seigar is also deeply interested in pop culture and conceptual art, using his camera to tell stories and capture moments in a new and thought-provoking way. Seigar's journey as an artist began with travel and street photography, but it has evolved into something much more. He sees himself as a pop visual artist, constantly inspired by his travels and the people he meets along the way. He strives to go beyond simple postcards and instead create a continuous narrative that reflects his experiences and encounters. His camera has become his tool for documenting the world and exploring his obsessions and curiosities. While Seigar is primarily self-taught, he has also pursued formal education in advanced photography, cinema, and television. He has dabbled in various forms of art, including collage, video, and writing, always pushing himself to learn and experiment. He has exhibited his work in both national and international settings, and his art has been featured in publications around the world. Seigar's work has also caught the attention of publications like Dodho Magazine, and VICE Spain, where he has contributed his passion for supporting art and artists through text. Recently, Seigar has been exploring the world of video art, using his unique perspective to shed light on important societal issues, from individual freedoms to diversity and equality. His latest passion is documenting social issues related to identity, constantly searching for what makes people who they are. But amidst all of this, Seigar never forgets to embrace the present and seize the day, a message he shares through his captivating travel photo narrative series. In 2005, Seigar began a long-term project documenting the United Kingdom, a place that holds a special place in his heart both personally and professionally. Through his pop-inspired lens, he aims to capture the essence of British identity and share his connection to the culture. During his recent visit to the UK, Seigar revisited familiar urban locations, capturing his signature fetishes like shop windows, plastic people, food, and abandoned objects. But he was also drawn to the vibrant street art that adorns the city walls, using reflections, repetition, and saturated colors to capture its energy and essence. The result is a collection of photos that radiate a bright and shining light, reflecting Seigar's joy and love for life. Join us as we delve into Seigar's unique world of pop visual art, exploring his latest series. Through his direct and thought-provoking images, Seigar invites us to see the world through his eyes and experience the beauty and complexity of everyday life. “‘Tales of a City’ started as a way to portray the British identity, and then, it has become an invitation to live our lives fully and free. It is also a reflection of my ideas and views about the world. I want people to see these photos as my reading of British culture, a heritage that I feel linked emotionally and personally for a million reasons, and as a way to state the world is a beautiful place we should enjoy. This series is a part of my long-term travel and street photographic narrative about the UK, primarily captured in London, a project I initiated in 2005.” MEET SEIGAR: The Curious Visual Artist Exploring Pop Culture Through His Camera THE PICTORIAL LIST: Hello Seigar, thank you for the opportunity to discover more insight into your process of creating your visual stories. Welcome to the Pictorial List! Please tell us a little about yourself, where are you from, and where are you based now? What were some significant choices you made along the way to land on your home base? Seigar: I feel my hometown is La Palma Island, in the Canary Islands, which is called La Isla Bonita. La Palma is a peaceful, probably the most beautiful island I have ever been to, and the one I have felt more at ease. However, I decided to live in Tenerife, Puerto de la Cruz, probably because it’s quite similar to living in La Palma. In Tenerife, we can enjoy the sun the whole year around, good temperatures, the sea, the mountains, villages, traditions, local cuisine, and museums, it offers everything you expect from a paradise. That is how I see Tenerife, a paradise. Though I have visited 53 countries, and I love traveling, I wouldn’t change my residence. I think I can enjoy a quality life that can’t be beaten. I’ve always been interested in the visual arts since I was a child you could find me having a look at magazines and encyclopedias at home, attracted by the paintings of Dalí, and Frida Kahlo, but also quite fascinated by the lives and looks of celebrities and especially musicians, such as Madonna, Michael Jackson, and Prince. I would also be sketching women’s clothing designs in my notebooks and writing stories. This creativity has led me to what I am today. I consider myself, a teacher because I love my job, but also a visual artist, because I have found ways to express myself through different forms. Writing is essential for me because it helps me to complete the concept. Conceptual art is the prism I use to create. I usually join visual art with text, the statement lets me complement the art product. TPL: Tell us about your background in philology and teaching. How has it contributed to the way you see through the lens? What first drew you to photography, explain the importance of photography in helping develop your narrative in your visual stories. Seigar: I am very satisfied with the training I received at the University of La Laguna. I debated between linguistics and literature until I ended up dazzled by the methodology and everything it offered me. Being a pragmatic person, I decided that this was the most functional path to specialize in. When I finished my degree in Philology, I dedicated a school year to combining the Doctorate and the Pedagogical Qualification Course. I put into practice what I learned in private classes for children and adolescents. I also worked in academies until I obtained the Diploma of Advanced Studies. I passed the first exams I could take to become a Secondary School teacher. And since then, I have been teaching in secondary schools. I think that the University of La Laguna places us very well academically in the labor market; then, making your way depends on many external factors. My transition from student to worker was quite natural. I work as a high school teacher. I combine this profession with creating visual arts, writing, and collaborating with multiple magazines. Working as a teacher allows me to use the knowledge acquired in methodology and continue learning new strategies daily. There is an essential human factor in everything I do, and especially in a common point that education, arts, and writing unite: communication. I feel that all the tasks I dedicate my time to have that same element. I am interested in the ability to express and understand messages through interaction. I am pro clear and direct expressive speech, and I believe the main reason for communication is to transmit messages. In the classroom, I teach my students to interact with each other through language and other codes. In photography, I try to make the focus of my images clear and make sure people understand what I want them to see. I even wait for their responses in a dialogue, like I did in my series entitled Visual Interaction. When I write, I become personal. I like to research the topic without forgetting my reading. Concerning my infatuation with photography, I have always been a very visual person. Since I was a child, I remember drawing female dresses; I still draw them or buy music and film magazines, and I still collect them. I keep a lot of that creative side from my childhood. Traveling opened the doors to the world of photography for me. I remember that every time I came back from each trip, I would show the photos to my friends, and they were the ones who saw “something”. Far from bringing stereotypical images or postcards of the places I visited, I always captured repeated details from every trip. My fetishes in photography were defined automatically, intuitively, and without much planning: stolen portraits, shop windows, food, messages, garbage, and abandoned objects. TPL: We all face challenges and obstacles we could not have foreseen, what are some of yours, and how did you overcome them? What advice would you share? Seigar: In my life, I have struggled to achieve some of my objectives in the past, and now I can comprehend that I probably failed in getting obsessed with obtaining what I wanted. These days, I see it from a different view, it’s important to be passionate about your goals, but we have to be careful about the lines between passion and obsession. I would advise people to wish for what they want, but not to overthink or make an extra effort that could harm them. You need to wish, and then work for it with balance. And I would also recommend to choose carefully what they want to get. It’s important to be sure that our goal is our real goal, and that is going to bring good things in life. Careful with the things you are wishing for, ask yourself, is it going to be good for you? When I look back, I think I have chosen good goals in my life, and I’m proud of that, however, I think I sometimes failed in the process because I worked too hard to get them. I would do it with more balance if I could go back. That is something I would change. I can understand now that we can achieve our goals with equilibrium. And what is more important, I advise people to understand that our main goal is to take care of ourselves, eat, move, and rest the best we know, and also to keep on educating ourselves, our main work is self-care. I have realized that is our main job. The real job we all have is to take responsibility for ourselves. As an artist, there are some obstacles I can see these days, these are globalization, censorship, and the cancellation culture. I think globalization has brought blurred lines to the world of the arts. It seems the saturation of images and the use of social networks tend to unify visions or spread the sense of what is on and what is not. The main challenge is being faithful and loyal to yourself as a creator, trying not to depend on trends or accept the limits imposed by what you are supposed to be doing. I like the concept of the local and individual self; I like the idea of being me and keeping my identity as a creator. I think that is the most challenging task for creators nowadays. If you start doing what everybody is doing to be bigger, you may need to stop, think, reflect on that, and make a different decision. The world needs what you can give as an individual; the world does not need every person to show the same content with the same way of presenting it. When I see these videos about how you should be sharing your art, how to get new followers, and all that, I think that is not the right way. I think keeping your way is the key. I do not want to be a copy or a version of any other artist. Who wants 100 artists telling the same story, and in the same way? No one. And concerning censorship and all that, I think artists need to be brave, fight, and do it! Think about artists like Madonna, who has fought against so many taboos and is still there fighting against the rules and conventions. Artists need to stand up, be brave, and just go for it. If we all do it, the system won’t be able to keep up with this nonsense. I believe individual freedoms must be kept, and they are in our hands. For instance, if any social network censors a type of image or a type of expression and this one doesn’t damage anyone, it’s a matter of us all united to stop it; we are the ones who should decide. I think it’s a matter of time for people to realize that we are the ones who decide. No one authorizes me to create; I authorize myself to do whatever I want. It’s not out; it’s just me. My authority to be free and independent is inside of me; I don’t need to wait for anyone or anything for approval or permission to do what I want to do. I feel I am powerful, and I believe we are all powerful beings that just have to act and do. Throughout art history, many voices have rebelled against the rules, and they changed the path by doing that. I think it is time for contemporary artists to do things and break the rules. Actions are more important than words. There is no point in sharing a message asking for freedom; just be free. Let me tell you this with a metaphor. The metaphor is clear; it’s like a bird inside a cage with the doors completely open. That is how I feel about censorship. I also feel the same about many other situations society is facing these days: the same pattern, a bird that can fly and doesn’t. Why? I think common sense must be above any rule in the system. We can't obey a system when it goes against common sense or individual freedoms, and we cannot wait for its authorization to take care of us and do the best we can for ourselves. You just have to follow your instincts instead of blindly following “what you are supposed to do." Let’s be free and stop begging for our freedom. TPL: In your long-term project, ‘Tales of a City’ What do you want the viewer to experience from your work, what is their takeaway from their visual experience? Seigar: ‘Tales of a City’ started as a way to portray the British identity, and then, it has become an invitation to live our lives fully and free. It is also a reflection of my ideas and views about the world. I want people to see these photos as my reading of British culture, a heritage that I feel linked emotionally and personally for a million reasons, and as a way to state the world is a beautiful place we should enjoy. This series is a part of my long-term travel and street photographic narrative about the UK, primarily captured in London, a project I initiated in 2005. During the process, I have intended to capture moments of charm as a friendly reminder that we should view the world through our prism. Life and magic are omnipresent; we only need to open our eyes. In recent years, I've consciously distanced my ego from my heart, focusing on immersing myself in the creative process. My priorities have shifted to living, self-care, and relishing life. These new tales reflect this sweet phase in my life, and I am committed to making it last for a long, long time. I will no longer enumerate these series separately; I've realized these tales belong to the same project: Tales of a City. In my quest to identify British identity, I found my voice. TPL: You love to travel. You also live in one of the most picturesque locations in the world. Do you find your inspiration to create on or within the streets of Tenerife? Outside of home and London where has been your most favorite or interesting ‘tale’? And what city is next on your Wishlist to add to your series? Seigar: In Tenerife, I have done street photography in the villages and towns during my walks. I love exploring my island, too. I have done some landscape photography, though I have never felt completely reflected in this type of photography. I prefer other types of photography that let me show ideas, such as social or documentary. I have met people and told their lives through photography and text. Collaboration makes art richer and more complex; something simple can become something big with the right connections. I have worked with creative people who have added layers to my photography and video art. They have conveyed the ideas I wanted to express. I have worked several times with a young drag queen called Candy Porcelain, who has elevated my concepts through her art channel. I have also worked on the theme of new masculinities with young men. I have also worked on a project entitled 1, 2, 3 No Hashtags to deal with diversity, equality, body positivity, ageism, and other topics. I have done projects with trans people to talk about them as individuals and to tell their personal stories. I have worked with all different kinds of people to tell them who they are and their identities. Every life has some interest for me. I have shown the living moments of a boxer, a group of voguing dancers, belly dancers, drag queens, beauty pageant contests, theatre plays, ballet and contemporary dancing shows, fashion content creators, music festivals, and a digital and design illustrator. As I said, I like meeting people and showing what they want to say to the world. I have also recreated My Plastic People with a real model. I have done all these works in Tenerife; we have many creative souls on the island. I have found great inspiration in Europe, and I have been traveling all around doing my tales there. I found excitement in photographing Eastern Europe because of its different rural and urban scenery. However, I have also opened the doors to new narratives. From my recent works, I’m especially fond of my photo narratives from Cuba and Morocco. I think what I found there is so different from Europe that it has made my gallery have some new twists, intricacies, and storylines. These two countries unlocked new possibilities for my work. Last summer, I spent two months in Asia, but I haven’t had time yet to work on that material. I can tell it was an incredible experience that moved me. I can’t wait to see what I did there. Finally, my next destinations are Finland, Canada, and Liechtenstein. This is going to be at Christmas, in the winter, so this context would add some meaningful layers to my photography. TPL: Tell us about the many years of contribution to the arts, writing about art, and interviewing artists. What is your takeaway from the work you do? How have you grown as an artist, visually and intellectually? Seigar: Art and writing allow me to stay awake, grow, innovate, investigate, and learn. I can communicate and interact with other people and creators through these two channels. These are the two ways I have to express everything I have inside—two means of expression that I need to complete my life. I am a social person who enjoys the contact with people. Teaching has been my vocation since I was a child. I knew I wanted to be a teacher very early. My job keeps me in contact with lots of people and souls daily. And this routine is inspiring and makes me grow. Arts helps me to share my thoughts and the things I believe in. It’s the code to free my soul. TPL: Do you have any favorite artists or photographers you would like to share with us, and the reason for their significance? If you could work alongside someone, who would you like to rub elbows with and learn from? Seigar: My main art references come from pop music: Madonna, Michael Jackson, and Prince. They have been the three icons I have admired the most in my life, and they still have a big influence on me, and who I am today. In cinema, I love Pedro Almodóvar, Alfred Hitchcock, Robert Aldrich, Lars von Trier and Tarantino. In painting, I adore Frida Kahlo, Salvador Dalí and Andy Warhol. All these people share very personal but radical views about what art is. They all show a unique universe that is glued in my brain and my heart. I’m sure if you scan me, you can find their musical and visual imagery in my soul. They all share a strong and passionate vision of art. That's what I'm looking for with my visual art. I can say that my favorite photographer is Martin Parr, I think he knows how to perfectly combine the image and the content with a very pop style. I also greatly admire the documentary nature of his work. Regarding the form, I stick with photographers like Man Ray, Diane Arbus, and Cindy Sherman, and paying attention to the content I would name Vivian Maier, Sirkka-Liisa Konttinen, Thomas Tom Wood, and Paul Graham. Almost all of them work in street, social, or documentary photography. Concerning the latest photography, I feel Lua Ribeira stands out; her sense of photography is fresh and original. I had the chance to write an article about her for The Cultural Magazine and it was fascinating to learn about her work. I’m also into the controversial Greek photographer Kostis Fokas, and the new realists Panos + Mary. Recently, I have had a crush on Greek photographers and the way they document reality, I would say Greek Photography these days has become a new expression of magic realism, and I’m also heading in that direction. I like to think that I’m sharing common views with them. I think right now, my sensibility is close to the works of contemporary Greek photographers, and also Eastern European countries, so that would be my first option for a collaboration. When we talk about admiration and influences, I would like to mention two special people who are everything to me in life, my mum who passed away but is still present in my everyday, and my sister who is my life. They are the real ones. Love you. TPL: Is it impossible for you not to be constantly on the lookout for a moment to be captured? Seigar: I think the key is discipline and perseverance. I consider myself an organized and planning person. I stay ahead of deadlines, I try to keep my work up to date, and the experience I gain with each project helps me not make the same mistakes. I am very observant and an analyst, I usually reflect on work processes and learn from them to be able to go faster the next time. It is part of my personality to be pragmatic and not waste time. I like to give myself fully to projects and grow. As you said, it is impossible for me not to be constantly on the lookout for a moment to be captured, I think that sentence defines the way I understand art and creation. Thanks for your deep dive into my work and soul. I can tell you love what you are doing too, and that is something wonderful. Thank you. TPL: Are there any special projects that you are currently working on that you would like to let everyone know about? What are some of your photography goals? Seigar: I would like to find time to work on my last trips, as I do not stop moving, and I will never stop moving, it is not that easy to select and work on the materials that I am creating. However, my priority is living, so it will be done whenever I have the right time to do it. I accept it, and I’m fine with that. I would say that my main goal in photography would be to keep on selecting and working on my travel and street photo narratives. Telling my moves through my trips, as a testimonial diary. I have some ideas for video art too, connecting the tradition of this form with my view to understand it. I see video art as a way to experiment and channel concepts. And I also want to keep on exploring college to deal with current issues, collages help me to express my views on things that concern me. And finally, I would love one day to start doing installations, it attracts me. TPL: If you could explore another area of photography or art, what would that be? Why, what is it that you would be inspired to learn? Seigar: I want to start doing installations. The use of new materials and forms to create interest me. I already have some ideas that include toys, plastic people, or some furniture. I like the experimental aspect of an installation and its connection to the senses. The focus could be the idea of playing with toys, or the ready-made pieces. If I do something, I suppose it will be colorful, pop, and weird. When I visit a museum, I always find the installations quite intriguing and captivating. They commonly move me to feel things and to think, they usually surprise me. TPL: Your zest for life and your mantra to seize each day, how do you balance work and life? Seigar: I try to dedicate time for myself, that means taking care of myself and giving myself some love. I feel the more I care for myself, the more I can care for others. The more I help myself, the more I can help others. I try to be balanced and to listen to myself. To care about the words, I talk about me because we become what we say we are. It’s important to care about how we define ourselves. I listen to myself and my body to know and decide what is the best thing for every single moment. If you need to eat, to move, and to rest, that is how I understand my everyday life. And if I want to express myself, I also count on the art expression. I guess the moments I have felt at ease with myself, I have been able to be nicer and more generous with the people around me. The more you love yourself, the more you can give love. TPL: When you're not creating your visual stories, what do you do for leisure? Seigar: When I’m not creating, I hike, exercise, and eat out. I listen to music; I spend hours listening to music and reading music reviews. I love reading books about pop culture, and music magazines. I have coffee with my best friends. I meet and travel with my loved sister. And finally, I also go out and travel with my partner, and we enjoy life together. Thanks for the love. Seigar is a true testament to the idea of being a multifaceted artist - someone who constantly evolves, learns, and pushes boundaries in their art. From exploring the world through his camera lens to using his unique perspective to shed light on important societal issues, Seigar's passion and talent knows no bounds. His work is a reflection of his own obsessions and curiosities, capturing moments and telling stories in a captivating and thought-provoking way. And with his project, Seigar shows us that even in familiar places, there is always something new and exciting to discover. With his captivating photos and energetic spirit, Seigar reminds us all to embrace the present and seize the day, creating our own narratives and capturing the beauty of life. VIEW SEIGAR'S PORTFOLIO Website >>> Instagram >>> Facebook >>> read more interviews >>> THE AUTHENTIC GAZE: THE DON'T SMILE PROJECT Delve into the visual anthology of urban youth, a collection of moments where the mundane transcends into the profound, sparked by the click of Amy Horowitz's camera. BLACK AND WHITE WITH A THREAD OF RED Valeria Cunha is fascinated by the street, using it as inspiration to find structure amidst the confusion. Her photography creates intriguing connections and relationships through dynamic compositions that convey emotion. TALES OF A CITY With a passion for exploring the world through his camera lens, Seigar brings a unique perspective to his art, infused with reflections, colors, and icons. 18 >> 20 Elsa Arrais composed a simultaneously artistic, emotional, poetic and imagery portrait of her city in a predetermined period of time. WOMEN WARRIORS OF AZERBAIJAN Fidan Nazimqizi is aware of distinct challenges the women in her community are confronted with on a daily basis. Their struggles have become a focus for her photography. SHOOT NEW YORK CITY Leanne Staples is a passionate and driven street photographer whose honest perspective of city life captures both its simplicity and complexity. TRANSTEMPORAL Russell Cobb is an incredible photographer and storyteller who offers viewers a chance to step into the past and explore the nuances of culture and history. A LOVE SONG TO THE AMERICAN WEST We have the pleasure of seeing and hearing the visual stories created between photographer, Ross Taylor and musician, Russick Smith. As the wind sweeps through the landscapes the notes of a cello fill every void. JESSE'S STORY Jesse’s story becomes a timeless testament of an unconventional and successful fighter. Andrée Thorpe invites us to reflect on the inspiring journey of this brave individual. WALKING BUENOS AIRES We take a deep dive into the journey of Alex Gottfried Bonder - an artist who has spent many years uncovering the soul of Buenos Aires through street photography. UNDER THE COVERS WITH AMERICAN BEDROOM Barbara Peacock, opens the door to her subjects' bedroom, revealing their intimate thoughts and emotions. Discover the confidence and trust shared between the photographer and subject for an authentic and inspiring experience. BEYOND SIGHT Doug Winter is a photographic artist using his unique perspective as a semi-sighted individual to explore the experiences of partial blindness and vision disabilities. ETERNITY Eternity is a pictorial story about Konrad Hellfeuer's own personal journey with religion and how photography has helped him find peace within it. CROSSING THE AVENUE Get ready to be transported by the street photography of Juan Sostre. His mastery of technique and ability to observe the world around him, allows us to experience the street in a whole different light. HUMAN CONTACT By walking through the streets and observing people's behaviours, Jan Ponnet tries to develop a keen eye for the subtle nuances and rhythms of life on the street, and learns to anticipate and capture these moments that might otherwise go unnoticed. FREEDOM TASTES OF REALITY Juan Barte does not choose to document what he sees, but creates a photograph that constricts the flow of information, allowing for the viewer to further investigate and question what they see. HONK KONG TAPESTRY It is the minutiae of everyday life that most defines Giles Isbell's body of work. By exploring the intricate details, Giles Isbell has created a unique tapestry of what it means to to have once called this majestic city home. DOWNTOWN ATLANTA By showcasing the understated beauty of ordinary city spaces, Branden May's photography captures the essence of urban life in a way that is both unconventional and captivating. NEW REALITIES IN VISUAL POETRY Enter Monika Jurga's surreal world, and find out how and ultimately why she creates these fantastical photographic images where her imagination will become your reality. THE RHYTHM OF MY PHOTOGRAPHY Mena Sambiasi is not afraid to try new things, living in the moment, finding a personal connection between her visual translation of the musicians rhythm, as if they were playing just for her.

  • SOCIAL REVOLUTION | IN CONVERSATION WITH RUBER OSORIA

    INTERVIEW January 29, 2021 SOCIAL REVOLUTION ​ Photography by Ruber Osoria Interview by Karin Svadlenak Gomez Ruber Osoria is a Cuban photographer whose remarkable journey has taken him from the vibrant streets of Havana to his current home in the remote corner of southern Chile. Growing up in the countryside of Cuba, Ruber’s early love for photography was sparked by the stories he heard from his grandfather, who was a passionate photographer himself. With the help of his mobile phone, Ruber captured the everyday beauty of his rural home, allowing him to explore the world around him through a lens. It wasn’t until he arrived in Chile that he was lucky enough to get his hands on a used camera, and it was then that he was able to truly hone his craft. His work is now focused on documenting life in the streets and exploring the hidden stories within conflict. Through his lens, Ruber strives to bring attention to the misfortune of humanity, and shows us a unique perspective of what it means to be human. “I started taking photos with an iPhone that an uncle who lives in the United States gave me during one of his trips to Cuba. I would go out with my rectangle in hand and isolate myself far between the embrace of palms and carob beans, I did not know that there was a photography movement and much less that it was considered an art. I just felt good, full, in the climax . And so my friends, artists who graduated from the academies of plastic arts, fell in love with my photography, to the point when I did my first exhibition in my town. Everything was very nice, I fell in love with that social recognition, which gave me my own identity, a unique and exclusive language, and there was the enormous task of learning and educating oneself, difficult for a peasant like me in a country without internet to even see a tutorial. But I had cinema and, most importantly, good friends.” IN CONVERSATION WITH RUBER OSORIA THE PICTORIAL LIST: Ruber, please tell us about yourself. RUBER OSORIA: I was born in eastern Cuba, in a town of Taino heritage, which is subtly penetrated from the back by a wonderful river, which gives the name of Contramaestre to my beloved land, the land of the last mambí, and where the three greatest men in the history of Cuba, Cespedes, Marti and Fidel, washed their bodies in that river. Son of a single, peasant mother, an example of feminism, my mother, without knowing what it was to be a feminist, lived in the town of Maffo, in a wooden house with earthen floor, and 70 percent of the food on our table was produced by my mother's hands, because instead of planting flowers and roses, she planted bananas, corn, beans, an infinite number of things. TPL: How did you get to Chile, being Cuban? What are you doing there? RO: I was born in eastern Cuba. I come from a humble family where the majority of its members, and Cubans in general, perceive the United States as a very civilized country with rich, sophisticated and noble people. It was the perfect destination to migrate to, even more so with all the benefits that we were able to obtain, thanks to the differences between Cuba and the USA, benefits such as the Cuban Adjustment Act or the Wet Feet Act. When those laws were eliminated, Cubans had to rethink a new direction to migrate to, first finding Chile, the paradise of neoliberalism in Latin America. In 2018 I made the decision to migrate to Chile in search of a good job, with the aim of buying my first camera and continuing with this passion that continued to grow every day. I went through 4 countries in less than a month. I was a victim of human trafficking, thirst, hunger and fear. Being in the hands of traffickers, anything unexpected could happen. I finally arrived in Chile as an undocumented migrant. I had never imagined living in Chile, much less working there. It was an impossible dream for a young man like me. Before arriving in Chile, apart from soccer, Neruda's poems, and some emblematic places like the Atacama Desert, I did not know anything about this country. With the money I earned from the first illegal jobs I did, I bought a second-hand camera. It was a Sony A58, my first camera with the kit lenses. Months later it happened that I had to live through a social revolution, so I took a series of photographs entitled *"Chile the other earthquake". *Read THE OTHER EARTHQUAKE through the link at the end of interview. ​ ​ TPL: Where do you find your inspiration? RO: I find my inspiration in literature, in audiobooks, and reviewing a lot of work by other photographers and photography groups. TPL: Do you have any favourite artists or photographers you would like to share with us, and the reason for their significance? RO: My favourite photographers are Sergio Larrain, Raúl Cañibano, and Sel Sagama. Sel Sagama is a photographer and friend who has changed the way I look and do my work. He has changed my style by 95%, in terms of the technical as well as the subjective and creative aspects. ​ ​ I photograph with an authorial look and with a message behind it, there is already a working table, it is no longer taking photos just for the sake of taking photos. TPL: Do you have a favourite place to take pictures? RO: The street, conflict, misfortune are my favourite places. But my special place to take photos is the theatre. It is a challenge, it is composing on top of a composition. TPL: With what type of equipment do you do your photographic work? Do you think equipment is important to achieve your vision in your photography? RO: I do my photographic work with a second-hand Sony alpha 58 with the kit lenses, which I bought with months of savings. If I believe that the instrument is a driving motor of a photographer, not in the vision as such, but I believe it is a bridge, where the unreal and the subjective become palpable and solid, such as photography is. TPL: Besides photography, do you have an artistic background? RO: Before discovering this beautiful sensitivity for photography, I was dedicated to the Moorish art of the tablas (a type of drum), and I was the vocalist of a small punk band in my town, also performing for the radio. TPL: Is there a special project you are currently working on and would like to inform us about? RO: I am working on a documentary project about the arrival of baseball in the south central region of Chile, as well as the influence of migrant foreigners in this area. Hopefully I can publish a book. TPL: "When I'm not out taking photos, I (would like)... RO: To be a good lover, a good father, a good companion and to fight the patriarchy. ​ ​ Ruber Osoria's story is a testament to the power of passion and determination. His journey from rural Cuba to distant Chile is an incredible one, and his photographs of the streets and conflicts he encountered along the way are an invaluable reminder of the complexity of life. We can all learn from Ruber's example and use our own talents and interests to pursue our dreams and make a difference in this world. We invite you to join us in supporting and celebrating Ruber's work, as he continues to explore the world through his lens and capture the hidden stories of humanity. VIEW RUBER'S PORTFOLIO read more interviews >>> THE AUTHENTIC GAZE: THE DON'T SMILE PROJECT Delve into the visual anthology of urban youth, a collection of moments where the mundane transcends into the profound, sparked by the click of Amy Horowitz's camera. BLACK AND WHITE WITH A THREAD OF RED Valeria Cunha is fascinated by the street, using it as inspiration to find structure amidst the confusion. Her photography creates intriguing connections and relationships through dynamic compositions that convey emotion. TALES OF A CITY With a passion for exploring the world through his camera lens, Seigar brings a unique perspective to his art, infused with reflections, colors, and icons. 18 >> 20 Elsa Arrais composed a simultaneously artistic, emotional, poetic and imagery portrait of her city in a predetermined period of time. WOMEN WARRIORS OF AZERBAIJAN Fidan Nazimqizi is aware of distinct challenges the women in her community are confronted with on a daily basis. Their struggles have become a focus for her photography. SHOOT NEW YORK CITY Leanne Staples is a passionate and driven street photographer whose honest perspective of city life captures both its simplicity and complexity. TRANSTEMPORAL Russell Cobb is an incredible photographer and storyteller who offers viewers a chance to step into the past and explore the nuances of culture and history. A LOVE SONG TO THE AMERICAN WEST We have the pleasure of seeing and hearing the visual stories created between photographer, Ross Taylor and musician, Russick Smith. As the wind sweeps through the landscapes the notes of a cello fill every void. JESSE'S STORY Jesse’s story becomes a timeless testament of an unconventional and successful fighter. Andrée Thorpe invites us to reflect on the inspiring journey of this brave individual. WALKING BUENOS AIRES We take a deep dive into the journey of Alex Gottfried Bonder - an artist who has spent many years uncovering the soul of Buenos Aires through street photography. UNDER THE COVERS WITH AMERICAN BEDROOM Barbara Peacock, opens the door to her subjects' bedroom, revealing their intimate thoughts and emotions. Discover the confidence and trust shared between the photographer and subject for an authentic and inspiring experience. BEYOND SIGHT Doug Winter is a photographic artist using his unique perspective as a semi-sighted individual to explore the experiences of partial blindness and vision disabilities. ETERNITY Eternity is a pictorial story about Konrad Hellfeuer's own personal journey with religion and how photography has helped him find peace within it. CROSSING THE AVENUE Get ready to be transported by the street photography of Juan Sostre. His mastery of technique and ability to observe the world around him, allows us to experience the street in a whole different light. HUMAN CONTACT By walking through the streets and observing people's behaviours, Jan Ponnet tries to develop a keen eye for the subtle nuances and rhythms of life on the street, and learns to anticipate and capture these moments that might otherwise go unnoticed. FREEDOM TASTES OF REALITY Juan Barte does not choose to document what he sees, but creates a photograph that constricts the flow of information, allowing for the viewer to further investigate and question what they see. HONK KONG TAPESTRY It is the minutiae of everyday life that most defines Giles Isbell's body of work. By exploring the intricate details, Giles Isbell has created a unique tapestry of what it means to to have once called this majestic city home. DOWNTOWN ATLANTA By showcasing the understated beauty of ordinary city spaces, Branden May's photography captures the essence of urban life in a way that is both unconventional and captivating. NEW REALITIES IN VISUAL POETRY Enter Monika Jurga's surreal world, and find out how and ultimately why she creates these fantastical photographic images where her imagination will become your reality. THE RHYTHM OF MY PHOTOGRAPHY Mena Sambiasi is not afraid to try new things, living in the moment, finding a personal connection between her visual translation of the musicians rhythm, as if they were playing just for her.

  • THE EXTRAORDINARY ORDINARY | IN CONVERSATION WITH MARCI LINDSAY

    INTERVIEW August 2, 2021 THE EXTRAORDINARY ORDINARY ​ Photography by Marci Lindsay Interview by Melanie Meggs Street photography is an art form that celebrates the beauty of everyday life. Marci Lindsay's photographs capture the essence of this in a unique and timeless way. Her eye for emotion, expression, connection and humour allows us to see the world in a new and different light. By looking at the world through a street photographer's lens, Marci is able to appreciate life in all its complexity and joy. Marci’s love for street photography began at a young age, but it wasn’t until 2017 that she went all in and started taking her passion seriously. Since then, her work has been exhibited in major cities around the world, and she has become a part of the Women in Street Collective, the DC Street Photography Collective and the Optic Nerve Collective, all dedicated to promoting street photography. In this interview, Marci shares her story and experience of street photography, and what it means to her. From discovering new streets with her camera to the joys of capturing everyday life, Marci lays open her heart and soul to give readers a glimpse into the world of street photography. Join us as we explore what it means to have a love for street photography with Marci Lindsay. “I got my first film camera when I was maybe eleven. I shot mainly around my suburban neighborhood, which I found extremely boring. All I could do was shoot during walks in the woods with the dog. I even remember shooting our beat up metal trash cans in the golden hour, with their long shadows. I made my own photo album, which I still have.” IN CONVERSATION WITH MARCI LINDSAY THE PICTORIAL LIST: Marci please tell us about yourself. What got you involved in photography? MARCI LINDSAY: I was born in Boston and currently live in Washington, DC. In between, I lived in Virginia, Iowa, St. Louis, and Austin. But I came of age in New York City, where I chose to go to university and then began a short-lived career in urban planning. That may be the place I still feel most at home. I was introduced to photography - street photography, actually - as a young child. My parents had a book from a Museum of Modern Art (NYC) exhibit called The Family of Man. It had photos by Bill Brandt, Lisette Model, and Garry Winogrand, among many others. I was entranced. Of course, I had no idea there was something called “street photography,” and I’m not even sure the genre had the moniker back then (circa 1970). Not long after, I got my first film camera. I was maybe eleven. TPL: What is your perfect street scene? Where do you find your inspiration? ML: Like most street photographers, I love to shoot in places where there are a lot of people and at least some action. And like many others, I often find more inspiration with the change of scenery you get when traveling. But these situations are not always possible (especially in the past 18 months), so I have tried to be open to the challenge of shooting wherever there are any people at all. Interesting street photos can be made anywhere at any time—home and away, protests and everyday life, and in cities and small towns. Because of the pandemic, I am working on opening my mind and thinking outside the box, to find inspiration in new places. TPL: Do you have any favourite artists or photographers you would like to share with us, and the reason for their significance? ML: Maybe it’s because they were the first photographers I was exposed to, but some of my favorites remain the classic, largely black-and-white photographers from the early to mid 20th century, such as Brassaï, Cartier-Bresson, Doisneau, Erwitt, Levitt, and Winogrand. As a poor college student in Paris in 1981, I bought myself a gift of a book of Magnum photographs, which I still have. In addition, I took a lot of film classes in college. I was fascinated by Italian neorealism in particular. This genre was characterized by slice-of-life stories, and non-actors were often used in leading roles. (Everything seemed to be propelling me toward street photography.) Today I still spend time looking at art; I think it’s helpful for photographers to be exposed to the best of other mediums. I’m very much drawn to impressionist painters, especially their composition. It’s almost as if they were street photographers before cameras were widely available. TPL: What were the difficulties you encountered when you first started out in street photography? ML: Although my introduction to street photography was at a young age, and I’ve always loved looking at street photographs, I didn’t know it was a genre until about four years ago, when I got on Instagram. Between childhood and then, I didn’t shoot a whole lot except on the rare trip or taking snapshots of my children. Once I knew there were many people out there doing this thing called street photography and learned more about it, I decided to take up the challenge myself. But being shy, this was a bit terrifying. I was still raising a family in the suburbs at that time, but I started dipping my toe in on trips to New York or to Europe. Those places are good for the newbie - densely populated, many tourists, and people rather laid back about being photographed in most instances. Early difficulties for me were getting close enough to people (still working on that) and learning to use a digital camera (still working on that). I took a few classes back in the days of film, and I would really like to take some workshops now, although I haven’t yet. Then again, we’ve been in a global pandemic for a good chunk of the time I’ve been doing this. I’ve gotten comfortable shooting on the street, but there’s so much more to learn about making good street photos. The process will continue. TPL: What are your thoughts and feelings about shooting individually with a friend/s when out on the streets? ML: Just as I can’t shop with someone when I need to find something specific, I prefer shooting alone. A few days ago I met up to shoot with some DC photographers. It was great because we hadn’t been together in person for quite a while. But it reminded some of us why we prefer being alone when trying to get something done besides socializing. I like to meet other street shooters when I travel, but many times we’ll make it a coffee or lunch rather than a photo walk, just to get to know each other. TPL: What is the most challenging part about being a photographer during the pandemic? ML: It’s been tough not being able to travel. Even in DC, I didn’t want to get on public transportation for a long time, so all my shooting was done on short walks from my home. It was a very sudden change, too. In March 2020, my husband and I cut short a trip to Japan because of Covid. Within a week I went from shooting in Tokyo - one of the best places to do street - to hunkering down in DC and taking photos of empty streets. Soon after, when everything was shut down, my husband and I would take a walk after he was finished working for the day. We called it our “sanity walk” back then and I took my camera. So in that way the pandemic was good for me because it was when I began to take my camera every time I went out. They were short walks, but they were every day. Because of the pandemic, I am working on opening my mind and thinking outside the box, to find inspiration in new places. TPL: When you take pictures, do you usually have a concept in mind of what you want to shoot, or do you let images just “come to you,” or both? Describe your process. ML: If I’m not shooting at an event, I usually let images come to me, or rather I go hunting for interesting things to shoot, without a preconceived idea. I’ve learned, like most of us eventually do, that if you’re out there often enough, you will capture something worthwhile. I would like to find a project to work on, so that I go out with a goal, but I haven’t really done that yet. I have a project in mind, but it involves foreign travel, so that will have to wait a little longer. TPL: Does the equipment you use help you in achieving your vision in your photography? What camera do you use? Do you have a preferred lens/focal length? ML: I currently have a Fuji X-T3 that I bought with an 18-55mm lens. More recently I added a 27mm pancake lens. I guess my equipment does help me in that I have a camera that is small and light, silent, weather-resistant, and with wider-angle lenses. I’m not sure if I’ll ever need anything more than that. I am definitely NOT a gearhead and am not particularly tech savvy. The best camera for me is the one that I will have with me, so it has to be one I am willing to carry all the time. TPL: What are some of your goals as an artists or photographer? Where do you hope to see yourself in five years? ML: I want to keep shooting as much as possible. I’m not young anymore, so I am definitely starting to internalize that time isn’t endless. But street photography has become more than just a hobby - it’s become somewhat of a mild obsession (and I’ve heard many others say the same). I just want to get better and see what experiences it leads to. TPL: Are there any special projects you are currently working on that you would like to let everyone know about? ML: There’s a project I’m working on with the DC Street Photography Collective, but no personal projects just yet. I would very much like to do that, though - it’s time! TPL: "When I am not out photographing, I (like to)…. ML: These days, I’m editing photos, submitting photos, reading about photography, looking at photos, or talking to one of my groups of like-minded photographers. I am in two collectives, the DC Street Photography Collective and the Optic Nerve Collective. I also do occasional writing for Women in Street (Blog, Facebook and Instagram) and I’m curating for @street_macadam (Instagram) and Photographers Under Containment (Facebook.) When I’m not doing photo-related things, I like to travel, the only other thing that I’ve been as passionate about as photography. And then there’s spending time with my husband and four kids, who always come first, but now I bring my camera along! ​ ​ Marci Lindsay reminds us to take a moment and appreciate the remarkable in the ordinary. Her work encourages us to take a closer look at the world around us and to see the beauty in even the most mundane activities. It is a reminder to be curious, explore the unknown, and to be present in our everyday lives. We invite you to take a look at Marci’s work and be inspired to seek out the beauty in your own everyday life. VIEW MARCI'S PORTFOLIO Website >>> Instagram >>> read more interviews >>> THE AUTHENTIC GAZE: THE DON'T SMILE PROJECT Delve into the visual anthology of urban youth, a collection of moments where the mundane transcends into the profound, sparked by the click of Amy Horowitz's camera. BLACK AND WHITE WITH A THREAD OF RED Valeria Cunha is fascinated by the street, using it as inspiration to find structure amidst the confusion. Her photography creates intriguing connections and relationships through dynamic compositions that convey emotion. TALES OF A CITY With a passion for exploring the world through his camera lens, Seigar brings a unique perspective to his art, infused with reflections, colors, and icons. 18 >> 20 Elsa Arrais composed a simultaneously artistic, emotional, poetic and imagery portrait of her city in a predetermined period of time. WOMEN WARRIORS OF AZERBAIJAN Fidan Nazimqizi is aware of distinct challenges the women in her community are confronted with on a daily basis. Their struggles have become a focus for her photography. SHOOT NEW YORK CITY Leanne Staples is a passionate and driven street photographer whose honest perspective of city life captures both its simplicity and complexity. TRANSTEMPORAL Russell Cobb is an incredible photographer and storyteller who offers viewers a chance to step into the past and explore the nuances of culture and history. A LOVE SONG TO THE AMERICAN WEST We have the pleasure of seeing and hearing the visual stories created between photographer, Ross Taylor and musician, Russick Smith. As the wind sweeps through the landscapes the notes of a cello fill every void. JESSE'S STORY Jesse’s story becomes a timeless testament of an unconventional and successful fighter. Andrée Thorpe invites us to reflect on the inspiring journey of this brave individual. WALKING BUENOS AIRES We take a deep dive into the journey of Alex Gottfried Bonder - an artist who has spent many years uncovering the soul of Buenos Aires through street photography. UNDER THE COVERS WITH AMERICAN BEDROOM Barbara Peacock, opens the door to her subjects' bedroom, revealing their intimate thoughts and emotions. Discover the confidence and trust shared between the photographer and subject for an authentic and inspiring experience. BEYOND SIGHT Doug Winter is a photographic artist using his unique perspective as a semi-sighted individual to explore the experiences of partial blindness and vision disabilities. ETERNITY Eternity is a pictorial story about Konrad Hellfeuer's own personal journey with religion and how photography has helped him find peace within it. CROSSING THE AVENUE Get ready to be transported by the street photography of Juan Sostre. His mastery of technique and ability to observe the world around him, allows us to experience the street in a whole different light. HUMAN CONTACT By walking through the streets and observing people's behaviours, Jan Ponnet tries to develop a keen eye for the subtle nuances and rhythms of life on the street, and learns to anticipate and capture these moments that might otherwise go unnoticed. FREEDOM TASTES OF REALITY Juan Barte does not choose to document what he sees, but creates a photograph that constricts the flow of information, allowing for the viewer to further investigate and question what they see. HONK KONG TAPESTRY It is the minutiae of everyday life that most defines Giles Isbell's body of work. By exploring the intricate details, Giles Isbell has created a unique tapestry of what it means to to have once called this majestic city home. DOWNTOWN ATLANTA By showcasing the understated beauty of ordinary city spaces, Branden May's photography captures the essence of urban life in a way that is both unconventional and captivating. NEW REALITIES IN VISUAL POETRY Enter Monika Jurga's surreal world, and find out how and ultimately why she creates these fantastical photographic images where her imagination will become your reality. THE RHYTHM OF MY PHOTOGRAPHY Mena Sambiasi is not afraid to try new things, living in the moment, finding a personal connection between her visual translation of the musicians rhythm, as if they were playing just for her.

  • EIGHT HOURS | IN CONVERSATION WITH ENZO CRISPINO

    INTERVIEW February 15, 2021 EIGHT HOURS ​ Photography by Enzo Crispino Interview by Melanie Meggs Enzo Crispino is an acclaimed artist and interpreter of photography who defies conventional definitions of what a photographer is. Born in Frattamaggiore, a small town in the South of Italy, Enzo has been recognised for artistic merit by the International Academy of Modern Art in Rome and has been awarded the Diploma al Merito in Art by the Accademia di Significazione Poesia e Arte Contemporanea. His work has been widely published in esteemed magazines, and he has had two books published. His latest project 'Eight Hours' explores the human experience through a series of stunning photographs. As the world continues to evolve and technology advances, so do the ways in which work is performed and completed. From the introduction of automated processes to the mass transfer of production, the workforce has experienced a dramatic shift, with a significant reduction in role and increase in job losses. Through 'Eight Hours' project, Enzo seeks to commemorate and remember this ever-changing industry, creating nostalgic scenes of a once bustling metalworking company that has since been transformed into an exhibition space. His aim is to capture the memories of this type of work and provide visitors with a glimpse into the history of a place that was once full of life. Through the use of carefully chosen tones, Enzo hopes to evoke a sense of melancholic beauty, allowing visitors to connect with the past and recognize the impact that advancements in technology have had on the workforce. Through his art, Enzo invites us to discover the world around us through a unique and captivating perspective. “It was important for me to emphasise the enormous loss of skills created in these small engineering companies, which were very widespread in northern Italy where these manual skills were fundamental, while today with the digitization and robotization of the industrial process they are no longer needed. In this way we will lose forever the great training school of the mechanical engineering world. My intention is to induce all of us to question ourselves about the negative effects that globalisation inevitably brings with its relentless pursuit of profit as an absolute goal. Cultural roots and memory make us emerge for our place, our history and cultural diversification, are a heritage and a wealth that people of every place cannot afford to lose, beyond which there is only homologation.” IN CONVERSATION WITH ENZO CRISPINO THE PICTORIAL LIST: Enzo you have shared with us your special documentary project EIGHT HOURS. What is this about? ENZO CRISPINO: These fifteen photos are part of a project with the same name composed of eighty five images, which I realized in the small metalworking company where I have been working for 22 years as a turner on machine tools. The 'Eight Hours' project that I present is inspired by an idea based on two considerations: the massive transfer of production and the increasing automation of all processes in the sector that have had a strong impact on the workforce employed, both eliminating it and reducing its role. In this project I wanted to give a nostalgic imprint, using tones that would help me to imagine this metalworking company no longer operational, but only as an exhibition space; its ultimate utility function. Ample spaces are offered to visitors, where its previous appearance is shown, leaving these spaces now destined to cultivate 'memory'. TPL: The negative impact of globalisation has thrown uncertainty over our smaller industries worldwide. You personally are being impacted. What would you like the viewer to experience when they see these images? What would you like for them to take away from this? What did this project reveal about yourself? EC: When I decided to create the photographic project “Otto Ore” (Eight Hours) I posed many questions, the prevailing one was whether it would be useful to produce it. In those photos I brought a small reality out of the context of the world of metalworking, unknown to most people, made of old machinery and tools whose use is not familiar to everybody. Certainly I would not have produced anything original, since photographs and books on the world of work and industrial architecture have existed for a long time, a masterful example is the reportage on Pittsburg that the American photographer W. Eugene Smith did for Magnum in 1955, or the important research of the German couple Bernd and Hilla Becher. Nevertheless I wanted to talk about 'my' world of work, a daily school that teaches us to know and love what work is and to discover that there is also the culture of work. That culture made of territorial identity of the world of work that unfortunately we are losing with the advent of the new dogma of 'globalisation' in the 2000s. In these photos, where I have taken pictures of details of machine tools that I use every day, I wanted to connote it with a choice of a particular chromatism that would induce a nostalgic sense, even to those who observe them and are not familiar with this small but important world of work. I think that a small result has been to draw attention to such a particular subject. An Italian publisher decided to make it into an editorial project by publishing a book with the same title. The project has also received the attention of several photo magazines in Italy, France, Spain, Germany, Austria, England, and Australia, plus a personal exhibition of three months in my home town during the 13th edition of the Festival of Photography and Fotografia Europea 2019 Reggio Emilia, sponsored by the same municipal body. TPL: You do not consider yourself a photographer but an interpreter of photography? Can you explain what you mean? EC: In the beginning, photography was just a simple hobby for me, I didn't pose any questions, I just took pictures because I liked what I saw and it attracted my attention. As time went by, this hobby turned into something more important that stimulated me to go deeper. I felt the need to fill my gaps in photographic technique, but even after this study I was still dissatisfied. I didn't feel the photos I took were mine, I perceived them as anonymous, cold images, far from me without a personal identification. By reading books on photography I decided to study chromaticism and how to interpret it differently in photography. In one of them, a book by one of the great masters of Italian photography, Luigi Ghirri, the author described what photography was for him. He said, "Photography is not pure duplication or a chronometer of the eye that stops the physical world, but it is also a language in which the difference between reproduction and interpretation, no matter how subtle, exists and gives rise to an infinity of imaginary worlds." It was revelatory for me, it was the answer to my continuous dissatisfaction, his thought gave me the way to understand that photography has different languages. Taking a picture is not only to freeze forever a moment, but in it we have the possibility to transfer any emotion, feeling, or mood, artistically reinterpreting that moment with our own sensitivity and making it unique, so it will never be just a photograph as an end in itself. TPL: When did you first discover your love for photography? EC: My encounter with photography was completely accidental, during a driving vacation to England in the summer of 1990. At that time I had bought a compact Ricoh camera without any ambition but only to bring home some memories. During the vacation I remember the moment when we were in Avebury visiting the Stone Circle, I asked a friend if he would let me see through the viewfinder of his Minolta Reflex camera the scenario in which we were immersed and I clearly remember the huge wonder I felt. At the end of the vacation I decided to get started with the hobby of photography by buying my first low-cost reflex camera, a Canon 1000. TPL: In general, your photography feels incredibly personal, focusing on storytelling and pulling the viewer into your inner thoughts. What do you want to express through your photography? And what are some of the elements you always try to include in your photographs? EC: I have been asked this question many times on other occasions and this has always been a reason for me to feel embarrassed; I am afraid of appearing inappropriate, of giving a presumptuous image of myself. I don't intentionally seek to create an intimate photograph: it is a natural inclination deriving from the fascination I have for poetry. When I visit certain places (e.g. the interior of a house or a beach), before taking the photos, my eyes observe and are guided by the verses I have in my mind to build the new project, and the photos come by themselves, without ever looking for the perfect photo. I have never been interested in producing a perfect shot. I've always been looking for one thing only, namely that photography should give me an emotion even in its imperfection. That same imperfection which has always been present in my photographs. TPL: Where do you find your inspiration? EC: In 2015 I had to take a pause for reflection, unable to take pictures anymore, and feeling the need for a change, something giving me new life in taking up the camera again. While preparing my first photographic project, I realized that I needed something giving it some 'consistency' to avoid building up a simple sequence of images as an end in itself, even if well structured. I then recalled a poem by the Italian poet Giuseppe Ungaretti entitled 'Wake' that I had studied at school. I associated my photos with the verses and realized that they fit together perfectly. Since then, in each of my new projects I try (but do not always succeed) to blend poetry and photography together. I think that conceptual photography inspired by a poem, or a free excerpt of some verses, gives more depth to the work itself. This analysis process fascinates me, and I need it to find the answers I am looking for. Photography can also be not merely a matter of photos, but an association of two fields combined to create something new. Poetry has since then become my first inspiration in thinking and preparing photographic projects. Like many others, I have my favourite poets from whom I take inspiration: Alda Merini, Giuseppe Ungaretti, Pier Paolo Pasolini, Pablo Neruda, Gabriele D' Annunzio. For some time I had been trying to find my own way in color, something in which I could recognize myself, and I found it in the dominant yellow that I wanted to always be perceptible in my photos. TPL: Does the equipment you use help you in achieving your vision in your photography? What camera do you use? Do you have a preferred lens/focal length? EC: I have never thought that a camera could give a particular contribution to the vision in photography and I have never chosen an SLR camera just for its brand. On the contrary, I've always had a strong curiosity in photography. It has made me realise that if you don't have photography in your mind first, you will never have it in your eyes. I've never been attracted by special techniques in taking pictures or preference of focal lengths. Depending on the situation I've always set the one I thought was most suitable. I have been photographing for seven years with a mirrorless Olympus E-M1 and always with a single lens mounted, the Olympus Pro 12-40mm f2.8. TPL: When you go out to photograph, do you have a concept in mind of what you want to shoot, or do you let the images just 'come to you', or is it both? EC: The concept that I want to transpose into images since I began to produce photographic projects is already present in my mind when I take a picture. Later on when I am on a site, I let myself be moved by my state of mind in that moment and I interpret the original concept that I had in mind. Only this way I can create a photograph that is as personal and true as I seek it to be. TPL: Have you ever been involved in the creative world before photography? EC: I've always been fascinated by art, visiting exhibitions and museums. Thanks to my passion for photography, this has given me a further opportunity to learn it more thoroughly, relating with many artists during the participation in collective national and international exhibitions representing a fruitful and important cultural exchange. TPL: What are some of your goals as an artist? Where do you see yourself or hope to see yourself in five years? EC: My goal is to have the chance to continue to be moved by photography more and more. TPL: Are there any special projects you are currently working on that you would like to let everyone know about? EC: For some time now I have been studying a French photographer from the past. Two of his books on the city of Paris fascinate me particularly, his name is Eugene Atget. I'm working on two projects inspired by his style, the first is on Paris, I have tried to translate his evocative atmospheres in a modern urban context where presence of man is pretty inexistent, giving a stylishly vintage yet elegant connotation. TPL: When I am not out photographing, I (like to)… EC: I love reading, a way for me to relax my head from worries, I prefer historical novels and books of poetry. Enzo Crispino has sought to commemorate the evolution of the workforce and capture the memories of those who have been affected by it. His photographs provide viewers with an appreciation for the beauty in the history of the industry and a sense of respect for the impact that technology has had on the workforce. With his captivating images, Enzo invites us to discover the world around us with a unique perspective. View more of Enzo's photography to further appreciate the beauty of his work and to reflect upon the changes that continue to shape our society. VIEW ENZO'S PORTFOLIO Enzo's website >>> Instagram >>> read more interviews >>> THE AUTHENTIC GAZE: THE DON'T SMILE PROJECT Delve into the visual anthology of urban youth, a collection of moments where the mundane transcends into the profound, sparked by the click of Amy Horowitz's camera. BLACK AND WHITE WITH A THREAD OF RED Valeria Cunha is fascinated by the street, using it as inspiration to find structure amidst the confusion. Her photography creates intriguing connections and relationships through dynamic compositions that convey emotion. TALES OF A CITY With a passion for exploring the world through his camera lens, Seigar brings a unique perspective to his art, infused with reflections, colors, and icons. 18 >> 20 Elsa Arrais composed a simultaneously artistic, emotional, poetic and imagery portrait of her city in a predetermined period of time. WOMEN WARRIORS OF AZERBAIJAN Fidan Nazimqizi is aware of distinct challenges the women in her community are confronted with on a daily basis. Their struggles have become a focus for her photography. SHOOT NEW YORK CITY Leanne Staples is a passionate and driven street photographer whose honest perspective of city life captures both its simplicity and complexity. TRANSTEMPORAL Russell Cobb is an incredible photographer and storyteller who offers viewers a chance to step into the past and explore the nuances of culture and history. A LOVE SONG TO THE AMERICAN WEST We have the pleasure of seeing and hearing the visual stories created between photographer, Ross Taylor and musician, Russick Smith. As the wind sweeps through the landscapes the notes of a cello fill every void. JESSE'S STORY Jesse’s story becomes a timeless testament of an unconventional and successful fighter. Andrée Thorpe invites us to reflect on the inspiring journey of this brave individual. WALKING BUENOS AIRES We take a deep dive into the journey of Alex Gottfried Bonder - an artist who has spent many years uncovering the soul of Buenos Aires through street photography. UNDER THE COVERS WITH AMERICAN BEDROOM Barbara Peacock, opens the door to her subjects' bedroom, revealing their intimate thoughts and emotions. Discover the confidence and trust shared between the photographer and subject for an authentic and inspiring experience. BEYOND SIGHT Doug Winter is a photographic artist using his unique perspective as a semi-sighted individual to explore the experiences of partial blindness and vision disabilities. ETERNITY Eternity is a pictorial story about Konrad Hellfeuer's own personal journey with religion and how photography has helped him find peace within it. CROSSING THE AVENUE Get ready to be transported by the street photography of Juan Sostre. His mastery of technique and ability to observe the world around him, allows us to experience the street in a whole different light. HUMAN CONTACT By walking through the streets and observing people's behaviours, Jan Ponnet tries to develop a keen eye for the subtle nuances and rhythms of life on the street, and learns to anticipate and capture these moments that might otherwise go unnoticed. FREEDOM TASTES OF REALITY Juan Barte does not choose to document what he sees, but creates a photograph that constricts the flow of information, allowing for the viewer to further investigate and question what they see. HONK KONG TAPESTRY It is the minutiae of everyday life that most defines Giles Isbell's body of work. By exploring the intricate details, Giles Isbell has created a unique tapestry of what it means to to have once called this majestic city home. DOWNTOWN ATLANTA By showcasing the understated beauty of ordinary city spaces, Branden May's photography captures the essence of urban life in a way that is both unconventional and captivating. NEW REALITIES IN VISUAL POETRY Enter Monika Jurga's surreal world, and find out how and ultimately why she creates these fantastical photographic images where her imagination will become your reality. THE RHYTHM OF MY PHOTOGRAPHY Mena Sambiasi is not afraid to try new things, living in the moment, finding a personal connection between her visual translation of the musicians rhythm, as if they were playing just for her.

  • SOHO SHADOWS | IN CONVERSATION WITH DARREN SACKS

    INTERVIEW February 3, 2023 SOHO SHADOWS ​ Photography by Darren Sacks Interview by Melanie Meggs For Darren, photography is far more than just a hobby; it’s a way of life. From his childhood days spent with an old book of photos tucked under his arm to his current work capturing the beauty of the everyday, Darren has been on a lifelong journey in pursuit of capturing moments that will last forever. It all began when he was a young boy, finding a book of photos and marveling at the beauty of what he saw. As he perused through the pages, something stirred in him - a passion for photography. Even then, Darren knew he wanted to freeze time and preserve memories that could be shared and admired for years to come. And so, in an effort to learn more about this art form, he began studying and experimenting, gradually honing his skill until he could finally call himself a photographer. Today, Darren spends his days around central London, seeking out scenes and objects that are often overlooked and helping them to shine in a new light. By combining layers, reflections and creative use of shadow and light, he is able to transform ordinary scenes into striking works of art that draws in viewers. Through his work, Darren is able to share his passion for photography with the world, and continues to strive to find unique ways to capture moments. Join us as we explore Darren’s journey as a photographer. “I enjoy using light and shadows, layers and vibrant colour to create my images and will usually spend time building and layering a scene once I find a composition that I think could be interesting.” IN CONVERSATION WITH DARREN SACKS THE PICTORIAL LIST: Hello Darren…welcome to The List! Let's start by telling us about yourself. What would you say first drew you to photography? DARREN SACKS: Hi there, thanks for having me. I am originally from Johannesburg, South Africa and moved to London six years ago. I am a UX designer in London. I was initially drawn to photography because I liked being able to document moments that would otherwise be missed. I always remember having a camera with me and wanting to document moments while travelling. TPL: How would you describe your photography, and what would you say you are always trying to achieve artistically? DS: I enjoy using light and shadows, layers and vibrant colour to create my images and will usually spend time building and layering a scene once I find a composition that I think could be interesting. When I am taking photos I don't usually include a subjects’ face as the primary focus of a shot. Instead I will look to weave a human element into an abstract scene be that through silhouettes, shadows or some details. I think there is a paradox in my work because I prefer to shoot with longer lenses which quite often would simplify a frame and lead to not having many subjects or objects in one image. Yet, very often I enjoy creating layered, abstract works which have a certain complexity. TPL: Could you tell us what living in London has inspired in your work? What special qualities unique to London influence your street and the way you portray your community? DS: Moving to London really inspired me to start taking photos again. Being a foreigner in London, I still feel like a tourist in my own city. I think street photography really enables me to appreciate the smallest details that would often be overlooked. TPL: When you take pictures, do you usually have a concept in mind of what you want to photograph, or do you let the images just "come to you", or is it both? Please describe your process. DS: The only thing I know when I go photograph is the approximate area I will start for the day. The rest is totally unplanned, and that for me is one of the most enjoyable things - never knowing when or where I’ll get my next shot. I often joke that my directions around London are not great and they really should be as I spend hours and hours walking the streets, but I’m so absorbed in what’s going on around me, I often don’t know where I am. That’s something I really like about street photography, being in the middle of a really busy and noisy place, but being so focused on noticing light or moments that it almost becomes silent. I think there is something really powerful in that. TPL: What is the most rewarding part of being a photographer for you? What are some challenges that you have faced? DS: Photography has taught me patience, sometimes I will revisit a place over time for a shot or stand in one place for a long time to capture that single image. The reward of capturing that moment is a great feeling. Recently, someone I took a photo of, found their image on Instagram and was really happy with it. That was also pretty cool. I have also managed to build a great network through Instagram, and engage with people from all over the world - which I really appreciate. A challenge - sometimes I’ve gone through periods where I’m not getting shots I like or I feel like I’m not growing as a photographer and I suppose it’s about being able to reflect and switch it up to stay motivated and move forward. TPL: Is it impossible for you not to be constantly on the lookout for a moment to be captured? DS: This is a great question - and I am sure all photographers can relate to this. I don’t think it’s possible. I was in Central London the other night without a camera for the first time in a long time and I felt like I could not switch off from being aware of what was going on around me or from looking for a shot. Moving to London really inspired me to start taking photos again. Being a foreigner in London, I still feel like a tourist in my own city. TPL: How do you manage a work/photography balance? DS: I’m fortunate to have a good balance. In the Summer I try to shoot twice a week and in the Winter only once a week. TPL: Do you have any favourite artists or photographers you would like to share with us, and the reason for their significance? DS: My favourite photographer and biggest inspiration is Saul Leiter. I’m fascinated by the way he constructed his images. His use of colour, light and layers is incredible. I also enjoy the work of Ernst Haas, William Eggleston, Alex Webb and Joel Meyerowitz to name a few. TPL: If you could just choose one photographer to photograph alongside for a day...who would you choose? And why? DS: It would have to be Saul Leiter. It would be incredible to be able to observe his process while he captured those legendary images. But also having the opportunity to be able to chat with him about his approach to life and photography would be excellent. Leiter was known for being extremely humble, not being a boastful person and always treating others with kindness and respect. TPL: What was the first camera you ever held in your hand, brought to eye, and released a shutter on? What is the camera you use now and your preferred focal length? Does the equipment you use help you in achieving your vision in your photography? Is there anything on your wishlist? DS: The first camera I held, brought to my eye and released a shutter on was my father’s Yashica FX-7 (I’m not sure there was any film in it - I may have been only 5 at the time but I always wanted to hold that camera and click the shutter). My first camera was a Nikon D90 which I still have. I currently shoot with Fujifilm. I have an X-Pro2 and X-H1 and my everyday lens is the 50mm F2. I do have a 55-200mm which I enjoy using for my layering and reflection work as it provides great flexibility and other options for getting a different perspective for abstract work. I am thinking about upgrading to a newer body for faster autofocus. The Fujifilm X-H2 with the new 56mm F1.2 looks like a great combination. TPL: Are there any special projects that you are currently working on that you would like to let everyone know about? What are some of your photography goals? Where do you hope to see yourself in five years? DS: I am currently working on some project ideas, but nothing formalised as yet. I’ll update my Instagram and website with news on these. My main photography goal is to continue to grow and evolve as a photographer and continue to try to shoot things in my own way. Having an exhibition and printing a photobook are also part of the future plans. In five years I hope to be able to look back to now and be happy with the growth I’ve made in my work. TPL: “When I am not out photographing, I (like to)… DS: Play tennis, play the guitar and sing.” Darren Sacks' inspiring journey shows us his relationship to his city, discovering the streets with his camera and showing us a different side of Soho in London, capturing the moments and transforming them into works of art. We invite you to join us as we explore more of Darren's photography. VIEW DARREN'S PORTFOLIO Website >>> Instagram >>> read more interviews >>> THE AUTHENTIC GAZE: THE DON'T SMILE PROJECT Delve into the visual anthology of urban youth, a collection of moments where the mundane transcends into the profound, sparked by the click of Amy Horowitz's camera. BLACK AND WHITE WITH A THREAD OF RED Valeria Cunha is fascinated by the street, using it as inspiration to find structure amidst the confusion. Her photography creates intriguing connections and relationships through dynamic compositions that convey emotion. TALES OF A CITY With a passion for exploring the world through his camera lens, Seigar brings a unique perspective to his art, infused with reflections, colors, and icons. 18 >> 20 Elsa Arrais composed a simultaneously artistic, emotional, poetic and imagery portrait of her city in a predetermined period of time. WOMEN WARRIORS OF AZERBAIJAN Fidan Nazimqizi is aware of distinct challenges the women in her community are confronted with on a daily basis. Their struggles have become a focus for her photography. SHOOT NEW YORK CITY Leanne Staples is a passionate and driven street photographer whose honest perspective of city life captures both its simplicity and complexity. TRANSTEMPORAL Russell Cobb is an incredible photographer and storyteller who offers viewers a chance to step into the past and explore the nuances of culture and history. A LOVE SONG TO THE AMERICAN WEST We have the pleasure of seeing and hearing the visual stories created between photographer, Ross Taylor and musician, Russick Smith. As the wind sweeps through the landscapes the notes of a cello fill every void. JESSE'S STORY Jesse’s story becomes a timeless testament of an unconventional and successful fighter. Andrée Thorpe invites us to reflect on the inspiring journey of this brave individual. WALKING BUENOS AIRES We take a deep dive into the journey of Alex Gottfried Bonder - an artist who has spent many years uncovering the soul of Buenos Aires through street photography. UNDER THE COVERS WITH AMERICAN BEDROOM Barbara Peacock, opens the door to her subjects' bedroom, revealing their intimate thoughts and emotions. Discover the confidence and trust shared between the photographer and subject for an authentic and inspiring experience. BEYOND SIGHT Doug Winter is a photographic artist using his unique perspective as a semi-sighted individual to explore the experiences of partial blindness and vision disabilities. ETERNITY Eternity is a pictorial story about Konrad Hellfeuer's own personal journey with religion and how photography has helped him find peace within it. CROSSING THE AVENUE Get ready to be transported by the street photography of Juan Sostre. His mastery of technique and ability to observe the world around him, allows us to experience the street in a whole different light. HUMAN CONTACT By walking through the streets and observing people's behaviours, Jan Ponnet tries to develop a keen eye for the subtle nuances and rhythms of life on the street, and learns to anticipate and capture these moments that might otherwise go unnoticed. FREEDOM TASTES OF REALITY Juan Barte does not choose to document what he sees, but creates a photograph that constricts the flow of information, allowing for the viewer to further investigate and question what they see. HONK KONG TAPESTRY It is the minutiae of everyday life that most defines Giles Isbell's body of work. By exploring the intricate details, Giles Isbell has created a unique tapestry of what it means to to have once called this majestic city home. DOWNTOWN ATLANTA By showcasing the understated beauty of ordinary city spaces, Branden May's photography captures the essence of urban life in a way that is both unconventional and captivating. NEW REALITIES IN VISUAL POETRY Enter Monika Jurga's surreal world, and find out how and ultimately why she creates these fantastical photographic images where her imagination will become your reality. THE RHYTHM OF MY PHOTOGRAPHY Mena Sambiasi is not afraid to try new things, living in the moment, finding a personal connection between her visual translation of the musicians rhythm, as if they were playing just for her.

  • LIVING IN THE MOMENT | IN CONVERSATION WITH TOMAS CIHAK

    INTERVIEW August 5, 2020 LIVING IN THE MOMENT ​ Photography by Tomas Cihak Interview by Melanie Meggs Tomas Cihak captures the beauty in the ordinary, mundane moments of life. He is a Czech born photographer, now based in Bristol, United Kingdom, whose vision for photography is to evoke emotion and feeling; a sentiment of warmth, happiness, and nostalgia, but also a reminder of sadness and emptiness. His aim is to live in the moment and remember it in his photos. But what really sets Tomas apart from other photographers is his unique approach to his art. He isn't just looking for the perfect shot, he's looking to inspire meaningful reflection in the viewer. This is what makes Tomas Cihak a truly intriguing photographer: a man who wants to make an emotional connection with his audience through the lens of his camera. “I have the desire to capture warm, positive and old-school looking photographs that can evoke and embody feelings and sentiments of happiness, nostalgia and the good old days' vibe.” IN CONVERSATION WITH TOMAS CIHAK THE PICTORIAL LIST: Tomas, when did you start getting interested in photography? TOMAS CIHAK: I started to think about actually trying to take photographs with a proper camera about two years ago. However, it wasn't until about two months ago that I actually started going out and taking photographs. TPL: What is your favourite quote or words that resonates with you the most? TC: One that has stuck with me for years is “It is what it is 'til it ain't” sung by Mac Miller in a song called “What's the use?”. I am not exactly sure why, but I believe it has something to do with the fact that I am mainly emotionally driven, and I don't like big changes in my personal life. I suppose then the line "it is what it is 'till it ain't” reminds me of the fact that nothing in life lasts forever, that it's OK and that I just have to live in the moment and appreciate what I have while it lasts. TPL: Where do you find your inspiration to photograph? TC: I suppose my inspiration comes from the fact that certain types of images can evoke in me feelings and emotions of nostalgia, happiness and/or sadness. I find that absolutely mesmerizing and I want to be able to take such photographs as well. TPL: Do you have any favourite artists or photographers you would like to share with us, and the reason for their significance? TC: I wouldn't say that I have a particular favourite photographer that has influenced my style but rather the ability of certain photographs to evoke variety of feelings and to communicate emotions. TPL: Since you have only just begun your photography journey, how would you describe your style and what else would you like to explore in the future? TC: I believe the core of my photography will remain the same even in the long run...the desire to capture warm, positive and old-school looking photographs that can evoke and embody feelings and sentiments of happiness, nostalgia and the good old days' vibe. However, there are some other styles and types of photography that I also want to explore in the future, such as a bit more intimate form of photography or shooting in a studio and working with fashion models etc. ​ ​ The line “it is what it is 'till it ain't” reminds me of the fact that nothing in life lasts forever, that it's OK and that I just have to live in the moment and appreciate what I have while it lasts. TPL: Where is your favourite place(s) to photograph? TC: So far, I have only been photographing on the streets of Bristol, but I would love to go and take photographs in places such as Prague, Manchester, Lisbon, Edinburgh and Berlin. TPL: Do you think equipment is important in achieving your vision in your photography? What would you say to someone else just starting out? TC: I suppose it might become more important in the future depending on what kind of photographs I will want to take and how, and of what quality. Having said that, I don't think I need any special or expensive equipment to do what I do right now. I believe one doesn't need to have a super fancy camera to be able to just go out, explore, have a good time and take decent photographs. To someone who is just starting out or thinking about starting, I'd say, your equipment doesn't really matter. I myself shoot with an older inexpensive compact camera, and I couldn't be happier. Just go out and take photos on anything you have that shoots. If you fall deeper for photography and would want to take it to a higher level, then start thinking a bit more about getting a better camera. ​ ​ TPL: Are there any special projects you are currently working on? TC: I am currently working on a platform called "Laid Back Visuals" which I hope one day will become a sort of feature magazine for like-minded photographers with a similar style to mine on Instagram. I find it somewhat frustrating to see that the majority of street photography platforms out there tend to mainly focus on abstract, high contrast and fancy looking street photographs. There are so many talented people out there who understand and portray street photography in a similar fashion as I do but it feels as if there aren't enough platforms to showcase such work. So, I would like to change that. TPL: “If I wasn't photographing what would I be doing? TC: If I wasn't photographing in my spare time, I'd most likely just watch movies all the time...I love movies.” ​ ​ Tomas Cihak is a unique and captivating photographer whose work has the power to evoke emotion and feeling in the viewer. His combination of artistic ability and real life experiences, as well as his drive to connect with others through his photos, make him stand out from the crowd. If you're looking to explore the beauty of the ordinary, Tomas Cihak is the photographer you need to follow. Connect with him through Instagram to keep up to date with his work and get inspired by his unique perspective on the world. VIEW TOMAS' PORTFOLIO Tomas' instagram >>> read more interviews >>> THE AUTHENTIC GAZE: THE DON'T SMILE PROJECT Delve into the visual anthology of urban youth, a collection of moments where the mundane transcends into the profound, sparked by the click of Amy Horowitz's camera. BLACK AND WHITE WITH A THREAD OF RED Valeria Cunha is fascinated by the street, using it as inspiration to find structure amidst the confusion. Her photography creates intriguing connections and relationships through dynamic compositions that convey emotion. TALES OF A CITY With a passion for exploring the world through his camera lens, Seigar brings a unique perspective to his art, infused with reflections, colors, and icons. 18 >> 20 Elsa Arrais composed a simultaneously artistic, emotional, poetic and imagery portrait of her city in a predetermined period of time. WOMEN WARRIORS OF AZERBAIJAN Fidan Nazimqizi is aware of distinct challenges the women in her community are confronted with on a daily basis. Their struggles have become a focus for her photography. SHOOT NEW YORK CITY Leanne Staples is a passionate and driven street photographer whose honest perspective of city life captures both its simplicity and complexity. TRANSTEMPORAL Russell Cobb is an incredible photographer and storyteller who offers viewers a chance to step into the past and explore the nuances of culture and history. A LOVE SONG TO THE AMERICAN WEST We have the pleasure of seeing and hearing the visual stories created between photographer, Ross Taylor and musician, Russick Smith. As the wind sweeps through the landscapes the notes of a cello fill every void. JESSE'S STORY Jesse’s story becomes a timeless testament of an unconventional and successful fighter. Andrée Thorpe invites us to reflect on the inspiring journey of this brave individual. WALKING BUENOS AIRES We take a deep dive into the journey of Alex Gottfried Bonder - an artist who has spent many years uncovering the soul of Buenos Aires through street photography. UNDER THE COVERS WITH AMERICAN BEDROOM Barbara Peacock, opens the door to her subjects' bedroom, revealing their intimate thoughts and emotions. Discover the confidence and trust shared between the photographer and subject for an authentic and inspiring experience. BEYOND SIGHT Doug Winter is a photographic artist using his unique perspective as a semi-sighted individual to explore the experiences of partial blindness and vision disabilities. ETERNITY Eternity is a pictorial story about Konrad Hellfeuer's own personal journey with religion and how photography has helped him find peace within it. CROSSING THE AVENUE Get ready to be transported by the street photography of Juan Sostre. His mastery of technique and ability to observe the world around him, allows us to experience the street in a whole different light. HUMAN CONTACT By walking through the streets and observing people's behaviours, Jan Ponnet tries to develop a keen eye for the subtle nuances and rhythms of life on the street, and learns to anticipate and capture these moments that might otherwise go unnoticed. FREEDOM TASTES OF REALITY Juan Barte does not choose to document what he sees, but creates a photograph that constricts the flow of information, allowing for the viewer to further investigate and question what they see. HONK KONG TAPESTRY It is the minutiae of everyday life that most defines Giles Isbell's body of work. By exploring the intricate details, Giles Isbell has created a unique tapestry of what it means to to have once called this majestic city home. DOWNTOWN ATLANTA By showcasing the understated beauty of ordinary city spaces, Branden May's photography captures the essence of urban life in a way that is both unconventional and captivating. NEW REALITIES IN VISUAL POETRY Enter Monika Jurga's surreal world, and find out how and ultimately why she creates these fantastical photographic images where her imagination will become your reality. THE RHYTHM OF MY PHOTOGRAPHY Mena Sambiasi is not afraid to try new things, living in the moment, finding a personal connection between her visual translation of the musicians rhythm, as if they were playing just for her.

  • A SENSE OF TIME AND PLACE | IN CONVERSATION WITH PETER BARTLETT

    INTERVIEW October 30, 2020 A SENSE OF TIME AND PLACE ​ Photography by Peter Bartlett Interview by Karin Svadlenak Gomez West Yorkshire photographer Peter Bartlett has a long standing interest in documentary photography dating back to the 1970s. This has evolved into a portfolio that documents everyday life against a backdrop of the ordinary urban landscapes of northern England over the last fifty years. Since his retirement in 2006, Peter has immersed himself in photography, undertaking many different projects, exhibiting his work internationally, gaining several hundred acceptances and receiving numerous awards. In 2010 he was awarded a Licentiate of the Royal Photographic Society (LRPS). A long term project photographing Manchester’s Northern Quarter included a body of work that gained Peter an Associateship of the Royal Photographic Society (ARPS) in 2018. Peter has self-published several books of his work including the titles ‘Shards of West Yorkshire’ volumes one & two, ‘The Northern Quarter’, ‘Various Covered Vehicles’ and ‘Empty Premises’. October 2020 saw the publication of Peter’s 2019 project ‘A Day at the Races’ through ADM Publications. “I was born in Stockport in Greater Manchester and have lived in different parts of the North of England all my life. I now live near Huddersfield in West Yorkshire. My first experience of photography dates back to the age of around ten when I was given a Halina 35x for Christmas. With this camera I learned about exposure and how to process and print black and white films with the help of my father who was a keen amateur photographer.” IN CONVERSATION WITH PETER BARTLETT THE PICTORIAL LIST: Peter, you told us that your interest in documentary photography dates back to the 1970s. Could you tell us more about that? PETER BARTLETT: As a hobby photographer, most of my images were ‘one-offs’ as opposed to parts of themed sets, but throughout the 70s and 80s I was always fascinated by the work of leading photojournalists and looking back at old prints and images I can see the influence these photographers had on my work. After a break from photography in the 90s I bought my first DSLR in 2003 - initially my images were fairly eclectic but I was drawn to street photography, making a conscious commitment to that genre around 2010. In recent years this has evolved into themed projects, many of which have become self-published books on the Blurb platform. TPL: Where do you find your inspiration to photograph? PB: I'm an inveterate people watcher, so wherever I go, whether I have a camera with me or not I watch, observe and see potential images - not only people but also the urban landscape around them. I guess my inspiration is everyday life. TPL: You did not grow up in an Internet-based age. (None of our team did either.) How do you feel about the various social media photo platforms that have made sharing photography with a large audience so easy? What advantages and disadvantages do you see in this? PB: I have used Flickr for many years and more recently Facebook and Instagram. Each platform provides a means of sharing my images and perhaps more importantly viewing the work of others. Sadly Flickr is a shadow of what it was and I have never really been comfortable with Facebook. When I signed up to Instagram just over two years ago, I was sceptical, but the platform won me over quickly and opened up a number of wider opportunities including contribution to an online exhibition during lockdown, the publication of ‘A Day at the Races’ and of course, this feature. So, mainly positive although I do have concerns about some of my images being lifted and used by others without permission. But, I guess that’s one of the risks of online life. TPL: In general, what do you want to express through your photography? And what are some of the elements you always try to include in your photographs? PB: Now, most of my photography is project based, each image is part of a larger piece of work. Depending on the project, I guess my principal objective is to capture a sense of time and place. TPL: Do you have any favourite artists or photographers you would like to share with us, and the reason for their significance? PB: My serious interest in photography evolved during the 1970s and I recall enjoying the early work of Martin Parr along with Chris Killip, Chris Steele-Perkins, Tony Ray-Jones and Homer Sykes. In the late 1970s I was hugely impressed by a major Cartier Bresson exhibition at the V&A Museum in London. Shortly after that I bought a copy of Ian Berry’s book ‘The English’, which I browse now. I’m sure much of this will have stayed with me. ​ ​ I'm an inveterate people watcher, so wherever I go, whether I have a camera with me or not I watch, observe and see potential images - not only people but also the urban landscape around them. TPL: Does the equipment you use help you in achieving your vision in your photography? What camera do you use? Do you have a preferred lens/focal length? PB: Initially I used a DSLR for street photography, usually with a prime lens. Ten years ago, I moved to the micro four thirds system. I’ve had several Olympus bodies and currently use a Pen F with small prime lenses (usually 28mm, 34mm, and 50mm full frame equivalent). I do have other lenses including zooms but use these much less. I also use the Ricoh GR range (currently a GRiii) with its fixed 28mm equivalent focal length. The move to a more compact kit enabled me to capture images that would have been impossible with a larger camera. TPL: Your photos show people in your home country, the UK. Do you have a favourite place to photograph in? PB: As a student I studied the Industrial Revolution and have always been fascinated by the remnants of those times in the Northern post-industrial communities, where I have lived all my life. So, I love to make images against the backdrop of post-industrial landscapes in the communities across the North of England. TPL: When you go out on the streets, do you have a concept in mind of what you want to shoot, or do you let the images just "come to you", or is it both? PB: Yes and no. I usually work on several projects at a time. Typically, I’ll have a specific project in mind when I go out to photograph, but I’m constantly on the lookout for images that will fit within other projects, as well as subjects that may be the inspiration for a new project. TPL: What are some of your goals as an artist? Where do you see yourself or hope to see yourself in five years? PB: When I moved to a project based approach I hoped that I might create a body of work that captures something of the lives, times and activities of ordinary people in the part of the UK where I live. It will, perhaps, be for others to decide whether I achieve that objective. Five years seems a long time! The impact of Covid-19 has been significant for me. I’m over 70 years of age and during the spring lockdown I took stock and recognised that the world has changed and things are not likely to return to the way they were. I have no desire to shoot images of people in masks, nor do I think that at my age it will be wise to spend time in busy places shooting street images with a wide angle lens. So I anticipate that my work will focus on urban and post-industrial landscape along with images of quirky subjects that catch my eye. That said, I’m sure that a fair number of images will continue to include people! TPL: Are there any special projects you are currently working on that you would like to let everyone know about? PB: The images that illustrate this interview are from my project 'Shards of West Yorkshire'. In 2016 I embarked upon this long term street photography project hoping to capture something of the essence of the post-industrial communities of West Yorkshire. My plan had been to continue shooting until the end of 2020 and self-publish five books, each of around 65 images. The intervention of Covid-19 in March brought an early conclusion to the planned shoots. Two books have been published (Vol.1 & Vol.2). I am currently working on Vol.3 and expect to publish this in the New Year. I do have sufficient images for a fourth book, whether there is enough material for a fifth book is something I’ll consider after Vol.4 is published in late 2021. TPL: "When I am not out photographing, I (like to)… PB: Listen to music (jazz and classical) and spend time with my family." Peter Bartlett's long-standing interest in documentary photography has resulted in a unique and interesting portfolio which documents everyday life against a backdrop of the ordinary urban landscapes of northern England. Peter's most recent projects have further enriched his portfolio, allowing us to delve deeper into his creative and thought-provoking work. To view more of his projects and learn more about his work, use the links below. VIEW PETER'S PORTFOLIO Read A DAY AT THE RACES by Peter Peter's website >>> Instagram >>> read more interviews >>> THE AUTHENTIC GAZE: THE DON'T SMILE PROJECT Delve into the visual anthology of urban youth, a collection of moments where the mundane transcends into the profound, sparked by the click of Amy Horowitz's camera. BLACK AND WHITE WITH A THREAD OF RED Valeria Cunha is fascinated by the street, using it as inspiration to find structure amidst the confusion. Her photography creates intriguing connections and relationships through dynamic compositions that convey emotion. TALES OF A CITY With a passion for exploring the world through his camera lens, Seigar brings a unique perspective to his art, infused with reflections, colors, and icons. 18 >> 20 Elsa Arrais composed a simultaneously artistic, emotional, poetic and imagery portrait of her city in a predetermined period of time. WOMEN WARRIORS OF AZERBAIJAN Fidan Nazimqizi is aware of distinct challenges the women in her community are confronted with on a daily basis. Their struggles have become a focus for her photography. SHOOT NEW YORK CITY Leanne Staples is a passionate and driven street photographer whose honest perspective of city life captures both its simplicity and complexity. TRANSTEMPORAL Russell Cobb is an incredible photographer and storyteller who offers viewers a chance to step into the past and explore the nuances of culture and history. A LOVE SONG TO THE AMERICAN WEST We have the pleasure of seeing and hearing the visual stories created between photographer, Ross Taylor and musician, Russick Smith. As the wind sweeps through the landscapes the notes of a cello fill every void. JESSE'S STORY Jesse’s story becomes a timeless testament of an unconventional and successful fighter. Andrée Thorpe invites us to reflect on the inspiring journey of this brave individual. WALKING BUENOS AIRES We take a deep dive into the journey of Alex Gottfried Bonder - an artist who has spent many years uncovering the soul of Buenos Aires through street photography. UNDER THE COVERS WITH AMERICAN BEDROOM Barbara Peacock, opens the door to her subjects' bedroom, revealing their intimate thoughts and emotions. Discover the confidence and trust shared between the photographer and subject for an authentic and inspiring experience. BEYOND SIGHT Doug Winter is a photographic artist using his unique perspective as a semi-sighted individual to explore the experiences of partial blindness and vision disabilities. ETERNITY Eternity is a pictorial story about Konrad Hellfeuer's own personal journey with religion and how photography has helped him find peace within it. CROSSING THE AVENUE Get ready to be transported by the street photography of Juan Sostre. His mastery of technique and ability to observe the world around him, allows us to experience the street in a whole different light. HUMAN CONTACT By walking through the streets and observing people's behaviours, Jan Ponnet tries to develop a keen eye for the subtle nuances and rhythms of life on the street, and learns to anticipate and capture these moments that might otherwise go unnoticed. FREEDOM TASTES OF REALITY Juan Barte does not choose to document what he sees, but creates a photograph that constricts the flow of information, allowing for the viewer to further investigate and question what they see. HONK KONG TAPESTRY It is the minutiae of everyday life that most defines Giles Isbell's body of work. By exploring the intricate details, Giles Isbell has created a unique tapestry of what it means to to have once called this majestic city home. DOWNTOWN ATLANTA By showcasing the understated beauty of ordinary city spaces, Branden May's photography captures the essence of urban life in a way that is both unconventional and captivating. NEW REALITIES IN VISUAL POETRY Enter Monika Jurga's surreal world, and find out how and ultimately why she creates these fantastical photographic images where her imagination will become your reality. THE RHYTHM OF MY PHOTOGRAPHY Mena Sambiasi is not afraid to try new things, living in the moment, finding a personal connection between her visual translation of the musicians rhythm, as if they were playing just for her.

  • HONG KONG TAPESTRY | IN CONVERSATION WITH GILES ISBELL

    INTERVIEW May 19, 2023 HONG KONG TAPESTRY ​ Photography by Giles Isbell Interview by Melanie Meggs The bustling streets of Hong Kong have seen some of the most tumultuous and trying years in the city's history. But through it all, it has remained a place of beauty and mystery, one that English photographer Giles Isbell has embraced and explored through his lens. Giles has sought to capture the underlying emotion of the city, with his high contrast shadows, reflection and abstract composition in his series on Hong Kong. Drawing from the political and social reality of this unique metropolis, Giles hopes to create something beautiful and half-revealed in his work, using masks as a metaphor for the stories that remain hidden and unspoken. In his photographs, he attempts to show the many faces and emotions of Hong Kong, from the joys of everyday life to the struggles of its past. By exploring the intricate details, Giles Isbell has hoped to create a unique tapestry of what it means to to have once called this majestic city home. “English born and raised, but I always had an eye for adventure that has led me to live in all sorts of places - Sydney, Tokyo, and Dubai where I met my inspirational Milanese wife and started a family and, for the last few fascinating years, an irreversibly fast-changing Hong Kong. I teach history and I am lucky enough to work in the international school system which allows me to get paid to explore places I could only dream about as a child growing up in England. That’s why I’m in Hong Kong and soon to take up a post in Chiang Mai Thailand which I’m very excited about. I’ll be sad to leave here but I’m excited about a new adventure with my camera.” IN CONVERSATION WITH GILES ISBELL THE PICTORIAL LIST: Hello Giles…welcome to The List! What would you say first drew you to photography? What is it about this medium that you still have a passion for today? How did you find street photography? GILES ISBELL: Hello Pictorial List thanks for having me. I grew up on the edge of Hull in East Yorkshire in the north of England. I was far too energetic, too unfocused, to sit still at school and this got me into all sorts of trouble; so academically I wasn’t a great success. If only someone had stuck a camera in my hand. But back in the 70's and early 80’s, English teachers were often an indifferent bunch. This was a time when it was ok to hit children, or at best turn a blind eye to the random neglect that was common place in the comprehensive schools of the day. On weekends I used to head out with a very heavy book of birds and my dad’s binoculars for hours on end. I explored the woods and hedgerows seeing what I could find. I think what I enjoyed most was being alone with my thoughts and coming home with mud on my boots. I can’t remember seeing many particularly exotic birds, I remember lots of noisy acrobatic crows but I enjoyed the ritual, sense of adventure and lack of regimentation of open space. Perhaps this explained why I was drawn to photography because it was something I could do alone, like birdwatching; just me and a camera; without the judgement or sense of rejection I’d experienced in the school system. Going out alone with my thoughts inspires me still. It keeps me out of trouble. I think the streets I photograph are an extension of the woodland I explored as a child. I’m self-taught and this always feels like a great big ‘fuck you’ to those who had no faith or belief in me as a child. I found street photography when I saved up enough to buy a Panasonic G1 that I had read about with a 20mm pancake lens and a ticket to India; I flew into Delhi and circumnavigated the country with only that camera and had a blast! That was twenty years ago and the start of my love affair with the streets. TPL: Could you tell us what living in Hong Kong has inspired in your work? What special qualities unique to this city influence your street and the way you portray your community? GI: Like all the world’s great cities Hong Kong is an insane mix of traditional and modern, orderly, and seemingly chaotic, but always very distinctly Hong Kong. This is what makes it so special. Hong Kong is somehow Chinese and at the same time it is not. It’s very specifically and fiercely Hong Kong. Hong Kongers have a way of carrying themselves, a way of acknowledging your presence politely but carrying on with their day as if you weren’t there. I mentioned to a colleague when I first got here about what I’d noticed in Hong Kongers eyes, and I think she thought I was barmy. I see something in their look, a resilience, a resignation perhaps but definitely something reserved and gentle that I find appealing. Perhaps this is because since I’ve been here everyone has been masked-up drawing more attention to the eyes. But if eyes are the window to the soul do they somehow reflect the deepest emotions, and fears of political and cultural change. I’m trying to capture something of this in my photography. I’m also trying to communicate some of the changes that’s happening here. Hong Kong has shifted while I’ve lived here in ways it’s hard to fathom without speaking the language. It’s a very guarded society. What I am sure of is that my photographs are redolent of a time that’s unique in Hong Kong's long and turbulent history. Hong Kong reveals itself but never fully to me. TPL: Where do you find your inspiration to create? GI: This I don’t know the answer to. I think it was Helen Levitt who said she expressed herself with images as she was too inarticulate. I’m not schooled in the language of photography but it’s something I feel intensely though; I visualise better than I can describe. I guess my inspiration is somehow rooted in my childhood. And I have a really strong desire to be recognised at least by myself for something creative. I think that’s what keeps me pounding the streets. TPL: There are two techniques that are colloquially referred to as ‘hunting’ and ‘fishing’ in street photography. When you are out on the street taking pictures, are you a ‘hunter’ or a ‘fisher’, or is it a combination of the both? Please describe your process. GI: My photography is mostly spontaneous, and I think that makes me a hunter through and through although trying to slow down. I see the benefits of shooting with intention but usually find myself being led by the mood I find myself in on any given day which usually dictates that I hunt. I’m impatient too which makes fishing almost intolerable most of the time. Like a moth I tend to be directed by the light and I’m forever dashing around looking for a source of illumination. This is the challenge I’m inspired by. TPL: What is the most rewarding part of being a street photographer for you? What are some of the challenges that you have faced? GI: I’m incessantly searching for that almost biblical moment when the cloud’s part, bathing my stationary subject in light, which rarely, if ever happens. The most rewarding part of being a street photographer for me are those moments that I alone experience. Hong Kong in the dead of night is alive in ways I would never have experienced if it hadn’t been for photography. Those moments quietly standing in a darkened doorway watching the city flow past. The biggest challenge for me here is using a 50mm lens in some of the narrow streets realising my back is against the wall, literally, and I haven’t got the width to capture the scene in front of me. It’s also constantly challenging trying to translate the image I can visualise into an image I can capture in reality. It’s the uncertainty and uncontrollable elements that need to somehow converge that make street photography so unpredictable and exciting. The reward is as much in the process as it is the result. TPL: Is it impossible for you not to be constantly on the lookout for a moment to be captured? GI: Yes, totally impossible. I’m obsessed. A glint in the eye or light falling in a certain way sets me off composing in my head. I’m doing it now as I write. Angles, shadows, reflections are everywhere. I want to be taking photographs all the time and I think it drives my long suffering wife mad. I’m self-taught and this always feels like a great big ‘fuck you’ to those who had no faith or belief in me as a child. TPL: How do you manage a work/photography balance? GI: With great difficulty. As a father of two everything all the time alone I have is precious. What I’ve learned to do is maximise the time I’m allocated and that makes the photographs I capture all the more meaningful. TPL: Do you have any favourite artists or photographers you would like to share with us, and the reason for their significance? GI: I’m inspired by Don McCullin; his work stands apart. My parents read the Sunday Times back in the day and I remember being mesmerised by his Sunday Supplement Magazine covers that used to be discarded around the house. I have strong memories of staring intently at these complex images, usually of war torn countries and trying to understand the world they came from but having no idea about the complexities of the places they represented. They were distant and far away. I think more than anything they made me realise that England was too small for me and I wanted to go out and explore. I don’t come from anything like the same working class background as him but I lived in North London for a few years close to where he grew up. My father and grandfather were both born in North London as well, and although we are a generation apart, I’ve always felt slightly ashamed of my education. He has written about his shame too and this resonates with me. He’s an outsider. He talks about darkness in his work that comes not so much from his experiences of war but his background growing up in poverty on North London streets. He’s significant as he made me look outwards. I’m inspired by his harnessing of talent despite the background he came from. TPL: If you could just choose one photographer to shoot alongside for a day...who would you choose? And why? GI: Apart from Don McCullin, if I could, I’d share the early morning golden hour with Alex Webb as he goes about planning his offbeat multi-layered compositions as the sunrise slowly reveals shadows, colour and silhouettes out of the darkness. About an hour before sunset, I’d be hanging out with Saul Leiter in a quiet bar with a table by a window overlooking a crowded street alive with the flotsam and jetsam of city life passing by. I’d watch, and listen, intently as he explains to me the process he goes through to make those photographs that stop me in my tracks whenever I see them. The ones with beautiful colour combinations that somehow capture a suggestion of movement often obscured or partially glimpsed. His photographs are so wildly evocative. I love his unhurried way of capturing a multi-layered New York using reflection and rain. It’s the story part-told I find so intriguing with both of them. More realistically I’d love to spend a day with Stuart Paton (which I could as he runs workshops in Milan); I’m still figuring out his stunning use of light and shade and seemingly impossible reflective compositions; I love what he’s doing. TPL: What was the first camera you ever held in your hand, brought to eye, and released a shutter on? What is the camera you use now and your preferred focal length? Is there anything on your wishlist? GI: My dad had an old Pentax; left dusty and unused in a wardrobe since he left Cyprus where my family had lived for a few years in the 60’s; my older sister Sarah was born there. He took some wonderful B&W family pictures with it that are of a family centred time and place long lost. He was a navigator in the Royal Air Force based in RAF Akrotiri. My parents lived in a Turkish district somewhere in Limassol, and he used to tell me of evenings spent listening to sporadic gun battles in the neighbourhood and once having to slam his Hillman Minx into reverse after being shot at on his way to the airfield; he was told to carry his service pistol with him at all times. Thankfully he never had to use it. It was only years later I realised McCullin’s first overseas Observer assignment was to cover the Cypriot Civil War in Limassol when my parents were still living there. I think the British personnel stationed there were left alone as at the time this was strictly a Turkish/Greek quarrel. Years later I found that camera. I was 7 or 8 years old and I’d open-up the leather case with a click and marvel at the chrome and glass and feel its weight in my hands. There was never any film in it. I shoot on a Canon R5 with a 50mm f1.2 lens which is a bit of a monster, but I love its low light ability. I want a Leica of some sort or another and I’m not sure what model yet but do know I want something light, small and unnoticeable. I’m attracted to Leica’s history and somebody gave me an uppercut in Milan last year and made me think I need a less obtrusive lens for my street work especially in Europe. TPL: Are there any special projects that you are currently working on that you would like to let everyone know about? What are some of your photography goals for the next 3-5 years? GI: I’m trying to put together a series that builds on my current series. My goals in the next 5 years are becoming happier with what I do, more confident to display my work. I want to truly master street photography (if that’s ever possible). I know I’m on a journey and what I hope is that I can put together a body of work that means something someday to someone somewhere. TPL: “When I am not out photographing, I (like to)... GI: Take cover.” Giles Isbell has created stunning images of Hong Kong and is now taking his talents to Thailand. His work captures the beauty of the cities he visits in his own unique way. We wish Giles the best of luck in this exciting new chapter of his life and are looking forward to seeing his work from Thailand. To watch Giles' journey, connect with him on Instagram. VIEW GILES PORTFOLIO Instagram >>> read more interviews >>> THE AUTHENTIC GAZE: THE DON'T SMILE PROJECT Delve into the visual anthology of urban youth, a collection of moments where the mundane transcends into the profound, sparked by the click of Amy Horowitz's camera. BLACK AND WHITE WITH A THREAD OF RED Valeria Cunha is fascinated by the street, using it as inspiration to find structure amidst the confusion. Her photography creates intriguing connections and relationships through dynamic compositions that convey emotion. TALES OF A CITY With a passion for exploring the world through his camera lens, Seigar brings a unique perspective to his art, infused with reflections, colors, and icons. 18 >> 20 Elsa Arrais composed a simultaneously artistic, emotional, poetic and imagery portrait of her city in a predetermined period of time. WOMEN WARRIORS OF AZERBAIJAN Fidan Nazimqizi is aware of distinct challenges the women in her community are confronted with on a daily basis. Their struggles have become a focus for her photography. SHOOT NEW YORK CITY Leanne Staples is a passionate and driven street photographer whose honest perspective of city life captures both its simplicity and complexity. TRANSTEMPORAL Russell Cobb is an incredible photographer and storyteller who offers viewers a chance to step into the past and explore the nuances of culture and history. A LOVE SONG TO THE AMERICAN WEST We have the pleasure of seeing and hearing the visual stories created between photographer, Ross Taylor and musician, Russick Smith. As the wind sweeps through the landscapes the notes of a cello fill every void. JESSE'S STORY Jesse’s story becomes a timeless testament of an unconventional and successful fighter. Andrée Thorpe invites us to reflect on the inspiring journey of this brave individual. WALKING BUENOS AIRES We take a deep dive into the journey of Alex Gottfried Bonder - an artist who has spent many years uncovering the soul of Buenos Aires through street photography. UNDER THE COVERS WITH AMERICAN BEDROOM Barbara Peacock, opens the door to her subjects' bedroom, revealing their intimate thoughts and emotions. Discover the confidence and trust shared between the photographer and subject for an authentic and inspiring experience. BEYOND SIGHT Doug Winter is a photographic artist using his unique perspective as a semi-sighted individual to explore the experiences of partial blindness and vision disabilities. ETERNITY Eternity is a pictorial story about Konrad Hellfeuer's own personal journey with religion and how photography has helped him find peace within it. CROSSING THE AVENUE Get ready to be transported by the street photography of Juan Sostre. His mastery of technique and ability to observe the world around him, allows us to experience the street in a whole different light. HUMAN CONTACT By walking through the streets and observing people's behaviours, Jan Ponnet tries to develop a keen eye for the subtle nuances and rhythms of life on the street, and learns to anticipate and capture these moments that might otherwise go unnoticed. FREEDOM TASTES OF REALITY Juan Barte does not choose to document what he sees, but creates a photograph that constricts the flow of information, allowing for the viewer to further investigate and question what they see. HONK KONG TAPESTRY It is the minutiae of everyday life that most defines Giles Isbell's body of work. By exploring the intricate details, Giles Isbell has created a unique tapestry of what it means to to have once called this majestic city home. DOWNTOWN ATLANTA By showcasing the understated beauty of ordinary city spaces, Branden May's photography captures the essence of urban life in a way that is both unconventional and captivating. NEW REALITIES IN VISUAL POETRY Enter Monika Jurga's surreal world, and find out how and ultimately why she creates these fantastical photographic images where her imagination will become your reality. THE RHYTHM OF MY PHOTOGRAPHY Mena Sambiasi is not afraid to try new things, living in the moment, finding a personal connection between her visual translation of the musicians rhythm, as if they were playing just for her.

  • THE STREET FILES | IN CONVERSATION WITH JOHN ST.

    INTERVIEW February 27, 2020 THE STREET FILES ​ Photography by John St. Interview by Melanie Meggs Meet John, an incredibly talented photographer from South Australia who fell in love with the art of capturing moments through his lens. John was born in South Shields, a town in the north-east of England. He migrated with his family to Australia and now resides with his wife in Adelaide, the capital city of South Australia. He considers himself fortunate to live in such a wonderful country. John's passion for photography started with his love for good coffee, which he would capture with his mobile phone. This passion quickly grew, and John found himself exploring the beauty of architecture in and around Adelaide before discovering his true passion for street photography. John's work has been exhibited in a solo exhibition and several group shows, and he has been recognized for his talent with multiple photography awards. His dedication to street photography has opened up new doors and opportunities that he never thought possible. Living in such a wonderful country, John considers himself fortunate to be able to capture and share the beauty of Australia through his lens. "I’ve finally figured out what’s wrong with photography. It’s a one-eyed man looking through a little ‘ole. Now, how much reality can there be in that?" – David Hockney IN CONVERSATION WITH JOHN ST. THE PICTORIAL LIST: Hello John, when did you first become interested in photography? JOHN ST.: I’ve always been interested in taking pictures but it was only whenever we went on holiday or for that 'special occasion'. But June 2018 is when the interest became a passion. TPL: Where do you find your inspiration? JS: My inspiration comes from a number of sources. Mainly from the beauty of everyday things, light and shadow, other famous photographers and many not so famous photographers that I follow on Instagram and Facebook. TPL: Do you have any favourite artists or photographers you would like to share with us, and the reason for their significance? JS: Fan Ho, Garry Winogrand, Saul Leiter, Trent Parke, Elliott Erwitt, and Sean Tucker Some because of how I see the world and others because of their immense ability to see it differently. TPL: Has your style of photographing changed since you first started? JS: Yes, I started by taking pictures of coffee with my phone and images of buildings with no human elements in the frame! So I would certainly say that my style has changed and developed since I first started. TPL: Where is your favourite place to shoot? JS: Anywhere and everywhere and at any given time of the day or night. If I have my camera with me then that’s the time to shoot. So pretty much all of the time as I have my camera with me a lot! ​ ​ Photography has taken me down a road that I never knew was there, and for that I’m truly grateful. TPL: What characteristics do you think you need to become a better photographer? What’s your tips ? JS: Passion/Patience/Tenacity/Eye/Creativity/Belief in yourself...but most of all have your camera with you all of the time. All the technical skills will come from taking shots or be learned…YouTube is your friend! TPL: Have you ever been involved in the artistic world before photography? JS: No. If you were to ask me 20 months ago if I was artistic or creative then I would have said No Way Jose! It’s not that I didn’t want to be but more to do with not knowing where to look. Thankfully photography has taken me down a road that I never knew was there and for that I’m truly grateful. TPL: Do you think equipment is important in achieving your vision in your photography? What would you say to someone just starting out? JS: They say the best camera to use is the one you have on you! That might even be the one on your phone. Mark Fearnley is a street photographer from London. He’s taken some amazing images on the streets of Japan. I just watched a recent interview where he said some of his best shots that he’s ever taken were using his phone as that was all he had on him at the time. I had no idea that the shots he was referring to were taken using a phone! I bought a cheapish Nikon D3400 when I decided to take the plunge June 2018 and buy my first ever DSLR camera. I had no idea how to use it so I just twiddled the knobs until I got a half decent image and watched a lot of YouTube for hints and tips. I then bought a 35mm prime lens which was difficult to master at first as I was forced to learn how to frame my shots instead of just zooming in with my 18-55 kit lens. The quality was far better too but that’s because I was forced to get closer to my subjects. No matter the camera the principles are the same. If you can master those principles first before shopping for a more expensive camera then you’re onto a winner. In saying that I did end up buying an Fujifilm XT3 which I just love! Love! Love! But I don’t use it too anywhere near it’s full capabilities! But I do love the feel of it, the manner in which the exposure triangle (SS/ISO/A) are set out etc. The Fuji colour science is also stunning in my honest opinion too. TPL: Are there any special projects you are currently working on that you would like to let everyone know about? JS: 1. I was honoured to have been asked to become a member of the Pictorial List 2. I’ve just been accepted to be the South Australian Rep for Fuji X Aus + Admin for their FB page 3. I’m currently one of the Admin’s for the Henri Cartier Bresson FB group 4. I started a small group for Adelaide creatives to come together to initially give street photography a go but this has now grown so that other photographers can share their skills with participating members within the group should they wish to learn. 5. Was just asked to become a member of the Street Avengers Collective 6. Co-founder of Streetlife Podcast TPL: "When I am not out photographing, I (like to)… JS: Drink coffee and write reviews 😉" ​ ​ The passion John has for street photography has enabled him to explore a side of himself he never expected to explore. John is a valuable member of the team at The Pictorial List, and we are delighted to have him in our fold. Follow his incredible journey and connect with John on Instagram. VIEW JOHN'S PORTFOLIO John's instagram >>> Listen to Street Life Podcast >>> read more interviews >>> THE AUTHENTIC GAZE: THE DON'T SMILE PROJECT Delve into the visual anthology of urban youth, a collection of moments where the mundane transcends into the profound, sparked by the click of Amy Horowitz's camera. BLACK AND WHITE WITH A THREAD OF RED Valeria Cunha is fascinated by the street, using it as inspiration to find structure amidst the confusion. Her photography creates intriguing connections and relationships through dynamic compositions that convey emotion. TALES OF A CITY With a passion for exploring the world through his camera lens, Seigar brings a unique perspective to his art, infused with reflections, colors, and icons. 18 >> 20 Elsa Arrais composed a simultaneously artistic, emotional, poetic and imagery portrait of her city in a predetermined period of time. WOMEN WARRIORS OF AZERBAIJAN Fidan Nazimqizi is aware of distinct challenges the women in her community are confronted with on a daily basis. Their struggles have become a focus for her photography. SHOOT NEW YORK CITY Leanne Staples is a passionate and driven street photographer whose honest perspective of city life captures both its simplicity and complexity. TRANSTEMPORAL Russell Cobb is an incredible photographer and storyteller who offers viewers a chance to step into the past and explore the nuances of culture and history. A LOVE SONG TO THE AMERICAN WEST We have the pleasure of seeing and hearing the visual stories created between photographer, Ross Taylor and musician, Russick Smith. As the wind sweeps through the landscapes the notes of a cello fill every void. JESSE'S STORY Jesse’s story becomes a timeless testament of an unconventional and successful fighter. Andrée Thorpe invites us to reflect on the inspiring journey of this brave individual. WALKING BUENOS AIRES We take a deep dive into the journey of Alex Gottfried Bonder - an artist who has spent many years uncovering the soul of Buenos Aires through street photography. UNDER THE COVERS WITH AMERICAN BEDROOM Barbara Peacock, opens the door to her subjects' bedroom, revealing their intimate thoughts and emotions. Discover the confidence and trust shared between the photographer and subject for an authentic and inspiring experience. BEYOND SIGHT Doug Winter is a photographic artist using his unique perspective as a semi-sighted individual to explore the experiences of partial blindness and vision disabilities. ETERNITY Eternity is a pictorial story about Konrad Hellfeuer's own personal journey with religion and how photography has helped him find peace within it. CROSSING THE AVENUE Get ready to be transported by the street photography of Juan Sostre. His mastery of technique and ability to observe the world around him, allows us to experience the street in a whole different light. HUMAN CONTACT By walking through the streets and observing people's behaviours, Jan Ponnet tries to develop a keen eye for the subtle nuances and rhythms of life on the street, and learns to anticipate and capture these moments that might otherwise go unnoticed. FREEDOM TASTES OF REALITY Juan Barte does not choose to document what he sees, but creates a photograph that constricts the flow of information, allowing for the viewer to further investigate and question what they see. HONK KONG TAPESTRY It is the minutiae of everyday life that most defines Giles Isbell's body of work. By exploring the intricate details, Giles Isbell has created a unique tapestry of what it means to to have once called this majestic city home. DOWNTOWN ATLANTA By showcasing the understated beauty of ordinary city spaces, Branden May's photography captures the essence of urban life in a way that is both unconventional and captivating. NEW REALITIES IN VISUAL POETRY Enter Monika Jurga's surreal world, and find out how and ultimately why she creates these fantastical photographic images where her imagination will become your reality. THE RHYTHM OF MY PHOTOGRAPHY Mena Sambiasi is not afraid to try new things, living in the moment, finding a personal connection between her visual translation of the musicians rhythm, as if they were playing just for her.

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