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  • THE GESSLER PERSPECTIVE | IN CONVERSATION WITH JAN GESSLER

    INTERVIEW February 25, 2020 THE GESSLER PERSPECTIVE ​ Photography by Jan Gessler Interview by Melanie Meggs Meet Jan Gessler, the multi-talented photographer, acrobat, juggler, communications scientist, videographer, film director, and father of two. For the past twenty-seven years, Jan has been steadfastly pursuing his passion for photography and videography, developing a unique talent for capturing intriguing perspectives and angles. From a young age, Jan had a knack for the creative arts and a special affinity for the darkroom. At twelve years old, he began working with his mother in the darkroom and since then has never looked back. Nowadays, Jan is able to pay his rent through the commercial video productions he creates with his own company Look-Zoom Film Production in Berlin. But that’s not all — Jan also has a very special hobby which he has been devoted to since the late nineties: street photography. His favorite equipment? Super wide angle lenses. With them, Jan walks the streets of Berlin in search of stories to tell and justice to document. Jan’s works, which are heavily influenced by his love of street photography and wide angle lenses, are both fascinating and inspiring. It’s clear that Jan knows how to find the beauty in life and he is always looking for new perspectives and angles. Come and learn what Jan Gessler has to offer. “In 1993 I was helping my mom in her photo lab. When I moved the enlarger I understood that the impression of the photo changes by the frame. That changed my perspective on cameras. Fortunately I could use my parents' cameras. Five years later I could make my first photo publication in a newspaper. This was a photo of a friend doing 'salto' (motion blur with long exposure).” IN CONVERSATION WITH JAN GESSLER THE PICTORIAL LIST: Jan please tell us where do you find your inspiration? JAN GESSLER: I see street photography itself as an inspiration. Especially the editing process. Looking at an individual frame by frame trained my eyes. I think if you are listening carefully and kindly everybody has a story to tell you. TPL: Has your style of photographing changed since you first started out? JG: I am faster. I got closer to people during the years. Social injustice in modern times is often a topic in my work. But I have tried to look on the more hopeful side of photography for some time. But sometimes I do the same shot I did 20 years ago because it feels good. My pool of possible shots is growing. I started with black and white negative. For a while I liked color slides a lot. Since 2008 I have been using mostly digital cameras and I prefer black and white again. I still have the darkroom but I prefer lightroom. TPL: Do you have a favourite place/s to photograph? JG: Istanbul. Also Berlin, Budapest, Barcelona, Bangkok and New York. TPL: Do you have any favourite artists you would like to share with us? JG: Ara Güler, Orson Welles, Fan Ho, Roger Deakins, René Maltête, Erwitt Elliott and Henri Cartier-Bresson on photography. Michael Ende, Paul Watzlawick, Douglas Adams, Monty Python and Volker Pispers influenced my worldview. Nearly two decades ago I worked for two years as a camera operator with Director of Photography Aturo D. Smith who likes to share his skills. He is known for his music video clips with the Beastie Boys, Marilyn Manson and several commercials and awarded feature films. His courage to find new perspectives and camera gear for each job has inspired me. TPL: Do you think equipment is important in achieving your vision in your photography? What would you say to someone just starting out? JG: Gear is not so important at least when you are starting out. Get a second hand 24mp full frame DSLR Canon or Nikon, a standard lens 50mm and a 28 or 24mm. Prime lenses, not the best quality but no kit zoom. Camera and two lenses are about 800-1200 EUR. If you have less budget go for an apsc or older ff camera and maybe old manual russian photo lenses. I prefer the optical viewfinder in DSLR cameras but a mirrorless camera can do as well. I took some shots with 12MP and smaller cameras and I still love the pictures. I told all my trainees and students to take as many photos as possible instead of learning more theory than they can digest. But for those who look for input I am sure the grammar of film language is helpful to tell a story in still photography as well. Even if you are not planning to become a videographer take a look at “Shot by Shot” by Steven D. Katz or the books by Christopher Kenworthy and try to tell stories just by framing a person. You will be surprised how easily you can precise the impact of your idea with a change of angle, position and focal length rather than buying the latest camera model. ​ ​ I think if you are listening carefully and kindly everybody has a story to tell you. TPL: What characteristics do you think you need to become a better photographer? What would you advise someone starting in street photography? JG: Recipes only work until a certain degree and can help you to find out which style(s) you like. Be kind and respectful! Wear a proper shirt! TPL: Have you ever been involved in the artistic world before photography? JG: I had worked as a juggler for five years and went to acting and acrobatic school. As a VJ, I created art video installation on about 100 big concerts. I work as a director in documentaries, music videos and commercials. I work as a videographer. ​ ​ TPL: Are there any special projects you are currently working on that you would like to let everyone know about? JG: My book WONDERLAND. TPL: "If I wasn’t photographing what would I be doing?... JG: I am a father of two daughters, a four month old and three year old. Besides that I run a small company producing Web and TV commercials." ​ ​ Jan Gessler has established an impressive and unique style of street photography through his creative use of high and low angles. His work is sure to captivate and inspire any viewer. To stay up-to-date with Jan's fascinating images, be sure to follow him on Instagram and connect to see his latest work. VIEW JAN'S PROFILE Jan's website >>> Jan's instagram >>> read more interviews >>> OPPORTUNITIES The Pictorial List partners with International Photography Awards, enhancing resources for photographers worldwide. We interview IPA founder Hossein Farmani, a visionary in photography. MINIMALIST REVERIE Nazanin Davari's minimalist style invites you to an imaginative world where silence and freedom converge, painting unseen beauty with her lens. 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.

  • THEATRE OF LIFE | IN CONVERSATION WITH THOMAS HACKENBERG

    INTERVIEW June 23, 2021 THEATRE OF LIFE ​ Photography by Thomas Hackenberg Interview by Melanie Meggs The bustling streets of urban life can be a chaotic cacophony of sights and sounds. But to German street photographer Thomas Hackenberg, the hustle and bustle of everyday life is a kind of theatre – a captivating story about the human condition that's just waiting to be told. For Thomas, capturing these little snapshots of life is no ordinary task. Instead, it's a creative endeavor that requires a special kind of eye; one that can find the beauty in the mundane and discover unexpected connections between seemingly disparate events. His photographs are carefully composed, thought-provoking and often contain humorous or quirky details that bring an extra layer of intrigue to the viewer. From busy city centres to remote rural landscapes, Thomas offers unique insight into the lives of everyday people. His work is marked by a combination of close observation and an intuitive sense for the extraordinary, creating pictures that "pose questions rather than provide answers," as he puts it. At the same time, Thomas steadfastly remains true to his candid style, capturing life as it's happening without staging or interference from the photographer. He captures those fleeting moments between people and places, weaving together an intimate chronicle of our lives – unscripted and entirely real. Through his photography, Thomas Hackenberg invites us to step into his world and take a journey filled with humour, insight and emotion. “I would characterise myself as a classical flaneur – though sometimes more of a long distance runner – with a camera. The camera held unobtrusively in my hand, I try to blend in with the crowd. Ready to take action in an instant, react to any kind of scene that strikes my fancy and unfolds right in front of my camera. And that’s what I love so much about this subject: you don’t need any clumsy gear, you don’t have to travel anywhere, you're always there! That’s why it is so magical for me, many have said this before: it’s positively an obsession! I try to stay as invisible as possible, try to see things that others might not see, find something special in the ordinary that might only exist for a split second and then it’s gone forever! Creating a document of life.” IN CONVERSATION WITH THOMAS HACKENBERG THE PICTORIAL LIST: Thomas please tell us about yourself. How did you become interested in photography? THOMAS HACKENBERG: I was born in 1963, in the German city of Braunschweig. Some of the readers might be familiar with this city as the home of the once famous German camera brands of Rollei and Voigtlander. I’m married, father to a daughter and a son, in the language business by profession and design, and in street photography with my heart. Originally, I wanted to make photography my profession after school, something that just didn’t materialise for different reasons. And maybe that's a good thing. This way my passion could stay my effortless passion and didn’t have to pay any bills. It was able to stay a matter of the heart rather than a business venture. I got my first serious camera as a present from my parents for my 18th birthday and bought myself a photo compendium entitled “The Joy of Photography”, which was published by Kodak, if my memory serves me correctly. I poured over the pages and there it was – I can still feel my amazement when I first discovered this photograph; it is as if it were yesterday: the magical B&W masterpiece by Henri Cartier-Bresson, a photograph that many of you are sure to be familiar with. The B&W picture of a small boy, carrying home two huge bottles of wine with an indescribable expression of pride and joy on his face, entitled Rue Mouffetard, Paris, 1954. When I saw this picture, I was thunderstruck: How on earth could a photographer be there, see and catch such an intimate, candid moment? What he called The Decisive Moment. With the equipment available at that time! This was THE picture for me, my personal game changer, that's what I wanted to do, too! Take pictures of people in the street! If I had only known how hard this journey was going to be to make one single good picture, I might have stuck with a different genre, but there was no way out: This was going to be what I wanted to do! And then there was Thomas Hoepker, my secret teacher of how to see the world. As a teenager, I had a subscription to the German GEO magazine, which featured, among other things, the pictures taken by the fabulous German photojournalist Thomas Hoepker at regular intervals. These pictures also had a major impact on me. Although they were published in a documentary and journalistic context, they showed life on the streets of the world – street photography in the truest sense of the word – whether in East Germany, the German Democratic Republic at that time, New York, or Beijing. I saw one of his exhibitions in Munich in the mid-1980s entitled Ansichten (a pun in German, meaning “views” and “opinions”), and these were pictures that burned themselves into my brain. I have never forgotten them since; they have provided me with a kind of internally memorised guardrail and a compass to give direction to my own photographic passion. Today, I own one of his prints and some photo books, all signed, they mean a great deal to me. Street photography is the genre I like the most: I’d love to see it evolve more into an art form of its own and find its way into the galleries and museums of the world more and more. TPL: Where do you find inspiration? TH: First and foremost, through the work of other street photographers. My own intrinsic motivation to go out shooting is always there and has never ceased to exist. I simply love to grab my camera and get into the flow. Normally, the first pictures I take are nothing, but as soon as I start and look around, and am in the right, perceptive mood, things start to get going. I find that very rewarding. I have quite a few constant triggers in my head, things and themes I always look at, in 99% of all cases showing pictures of people. The idea of photographic triggers is something I have taken with me from my talks and Skype sessions with German photographer Siegfried Hansen, whom most of you are sure to know. I have also exchanged thoughts (“Is it acceptable to shoot the homeless?”) via email with Melissa O’Shaughnessy, whose work touches my heart. Otherwise, I have no agenda; I love to let myself be surprised. Inspiration and my street DNA come from many other artists and photographers, whose work I look at regular intervals – be it on their websites, in YouTube interviews, magazines, exhibitions or from podcasts, which I love listening to. My biggest source of inspiration comes from photobooks, something I collect. TPL: What do you want to express through your photography? What are some of the elements you always try to include in your photographs? TH: Very generally speaking, I’m a candid shooter and I want to show little stories of mankind. I also love the idea of serendipity that comes your way when you just work long enough on a scene. Recently, I found out that you as a photographer can make a picture happen if you just stay at the scene and don’t leave it too soon. When you see something, when you think “Oh interesting, I could stay on that subject. This or that could happen.” Foreseeing and predicting the future, so to say. And when these things really happen from time to time – this is something that gives me the greatest joy and which is so rewarding. Many pictures I 'take' because I see something that is already there and can react quickly enough. Other pictures I 'make', with an idea in my head of what could happen and which elements I could wait for to happen or materialise in my picture. I also like the idea of "making something out of nothing", a quote which comes from NYC photographer Gus Powell, if my memory serves me correctly. 99% of my pictures have to have people in them, must have some kind of significance and meaning to me. For me, a good picture must have a thought-provoking note, some humorous or quirky details, some kind of storyline. I like pictures that pose questions rather than provide answers. 99% of my photos are taken candidly; 0% is staged or digitally manipulated. The two old grannies I captured in 1991 in San Gimignano, Italy, one with the Hanimex 110 pocket camera: a time document today. As all the millions of smartphones today will be at some point in the future… What is more, I feel very drawn to social photography, photojournalism, documentary. I like taking pictures at demonstrations. TPL: What happens when you go out with your camera? Do people respond positively to you, or do you sometimes get negative reactions? If yes, how do you handle it? TH: Normally, people don’t respond at all, as they don’t really notice me taking pictures. My gear is rather small and unobtrusive, I shoot with a 100% silent shutter, so people don’t notice any click noise, which is important. Otherwise, I try to hide and blend in with the crowd, as I have already mentioned. If someone asks me what I’m doing or if I have taken a picture of her or him, I keep a very open attitude. I think it is really important to feel confident in what you are doing and not as if you were doing something forbidden. Street photography is an art form that is absolutely legal. I like my fellow humans and I just want to picture the world as I see it. I am doing no harm to anyone. So, if someone asks me, I am positive, and I am convinced that this positivity is conveyed to that person, too. I smile at people, often explaining that I love something special about them: a piece of clothing, a tattoo, an ornament in their hair. And this is then often enough to satisfy their curiosity. So far, I have received very few negative reactions. I have also given prints of my work to people as a thank-you gift. Photography has also taught me a lot about myself. What kind of person I am. I used to be more of a silent and introverted guy thirty years ago. Street photography, interaction with the world and the people around me has also helped me to grow as a person. Over the years, I have become more outgoing, communicative and open. In this way, street photography has definitely taught me a lot about myself, so I have shaped my photography, but my photography has also shaped me. TPL: When you take pictures, do you usually 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? TH: As I have mentioned before, I am completely open and see what the day brings to me, what the big theater of life has to offer for me on that specific day. I try to be in the moment and 'be there' with all my senses and photographic skills; I guess that I have trained my eye somewhat from the hundreds and thousands of other photographers’ pictures I have looked at so far. I want to get better at finding a good layering of more complex situations, not just shooting some funny or thought-provoking details, but finding a more sophisticated composition for my pictures. “Make something out of nothing” – that’s my credo, as I have mentioned before. ​ ​ I’m a candid shooter and I want to show little stories of mankind. I also love the idea of serendipity that comes your way when you just work long enough on a scene. TPL: Do you have any favourite artists or photographers you would like to share with us, and the reason for their significance? TH: Oh yes – there are many! I already mentioned Henri Cartier Bresson and Thomas Hoepker. They shaped my street DNA. What is more, I love the work by the photographers who are part of collectives such as UP, Burn My Eye or Through The Lands. My favorite photo book which is in a way defining my personal street photography compass is "All That Life Can Afford" by Matt Stuart. This is exactly what I’m aiming at, what I like to try to do, too. Matt and his style have had the greatest influence on me. Only recently, I found Matt Stuart’s new book "Think Like a Street Photographer" very inspiring. This also holds true for the work of Martin Parr. Two other street photography artists I feel a strong connection to are Melissa O’Shaughnessy from New York and Peter Kool from Belgium. When I look into Melissa’s "Perfect Strangers", I am blown away – this is the kind of street photography and urban storytelling I am drawn to myself! I also love the work of such photographers as Maciej Dakowicz, Paul Kessel, Joel Meyerowitz, Michelle Rick, Nick Turpin or Vineet Vohra, just to name a few. Looking at Germany, I love the work of Heike Frielingsdorf, Siegfried Hansen, David Shokouhbeen, and Martin U Waltz. Outside the world of photography, I also take every opportunity to visit art exhibitions. The German expressionist painters represented in Die Brücke and Der Blaue Reiter are among my favourites and I find them very inspiring. They might be the reason why I shoot color only. And Picasso, of course! Who could not love him? 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? TH: Definitely yes. My vision is 35mm. Which could change to 28mm, should I buy myself the Leica Q or Q2, which I think about every now and then. Years ago, I shot with a Leica X1, which I still have, and I am just blown away by the optical quality of the Elmarit lenses. So I only shoot with that one single 35mm prime lens from ZEISS. I use a mirrorless Sony A7 Mk III camera with a rather small form factor (OK, the A7 gen1 was way smaller…) and a noiseless shutter, to make sure I stay unobtrusive and don’t expose myself too much just owing to the fact that I use a very conspicuous piece of equipment. I never use a flash. Being a self-taught photographer, I started with all the basic stuff, all those analog films, all from Ilford, all B/W, color was far too expensive and complicated for me. I learned how to develop the negatives and make my own prints in my parents’ basement. I experienced digital as a blessing, it made everything so much easier, at least for me. I am not a big fan of tech talk, in fact not at all. All you really need is a good camera with a sizable sensor and a good lens in front of it, but gear is not really all that important. What is important, though, is the eye, the art of perception and openness to all kinds of visual clues. Easier said than done… TPL: Do you have a favourite place to photograph? TH: Any place where I am at a given time, as long as there are other people around. Any possible place, as long as I have a free mind and can be open to visual clues, any place is good. The place is really not so important, what is important, though, is my openness to visual stories around me. My ability to get into the flow and melt with the moment. I find it hard to find the right words to express this. In general, I like all the places where people gather. I love shooting in Berlin, which is only 90 train minutes from Braunschweig, where I live. And New York is high up in my list of favorite places to go! I hope I can go there soon. TPL: What are some of your goals as an artist or photographer? Where do you hope to see yourself in five years? TH: In about five years I will have ended my early retirement scheme in my company and hopefully have more time to dedicate to my street obsession. In general, I simply want to get better in terms of creating more complex layers, I want to just keep on training my eye and my skills. Create more and more good pictures, I’d say. Satisfy more of my own curiosity for people. Stay curious about life. Find another great picture around the next corner. Go left? Go right? I’ll play it by ear. See what comes up, I’ll be excited to find out! Continue connecting with other street photographers around the globe, something I enjoy. That’s one of the good things about Instagram, although IG and its sucking algorithms annoy me more than I like it. At some point, I’d love to have an exhibition of my photographs, see them hung up as prints on a gallery wall, possibly in combination with my first book. During the past months of the pandemic and empty streets, I have given much more thought to precisely what will be the general idea of that book and what I would like to show. I find it very challenging to sequence and combine pictures and master the great art of letting two seemingly disparate pictures on two opposite pages speak to each other and create a new idea and a greater whole that goes beyond the mere content shown by the two individual pictures. That’s great art and I am not sure that I’m already there. I have prepared a first maquette with some sample pages that I will start to send out to publishers soon. But that may still take a while and these plans are still in their infancy. TPL: When I am not out photographing, I (like to)… TH: Listen to music, watch music documentaries, go to concerts, read photobooks 😉, do some gardening. Otherwise, I love just sitting here watching the wheels go round and round, as John Lennon put it. The Beatles and most of all, John Lennon, have had a key influence on my younger years and on the way I grew up. ​ Thank you for giving me the opportunity to present me and my work to your audience! And a big thank you to all readers who are taking the time to read this interview. Thomas Hackenberg's remarkable photography offers a unique perspective on the human condition. By weaving together candid snapshots of everyday life, he creates a vibrant tapestry of our collective experience; one that speaks to the beauty and mystery of the mundane. To explore Thomas' captivating world, all you have to do is take a look at his work and allow yourself to be taken away. VIEW THOMAS' PORTFOLIO Website >>> Instagram >>> read more interviews >>> OPPORTUNITIES The Pictorial List partners with International Photography Awards, enhancing resources for photographers worldwide. We interview IPA founder Hossein Farmani, a visionary in photography. MINIMALIST REVERIE Nazanin Davari's minimalist style invites you to an imaginative world where silence and freedom converge, painting unseen beauty with her lens. 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.

  • CAROL DRONSFIELD

    CAROL DRONSFIELD be inspired Gallery // ARTIST'S STATEMENT // I am a Brooklyn based photographer who shoots for advertising agencies, editorial clients and on the streets of New York. I began my career as an art director in New York City with a passion for photography. After taking a workshop at the International Center Of Photography, I took to the streets of New York City to capture everyday life. My work has been exhibited at the International Center Of Photography, the Annual Women Street Photographers exhibit in NYC 2020, Art On The Ave NYC 2020, the Women Street Photographers Inaugural Virtual Exhibition 2021, the 2nd Women Street Photographers Virtual Exhibition 2021. Currently my work is part of the Women Street Photographers Exhibition in Villahermosa, Tabasco, Mexico at the National Museum of Anthropology. I have been recognised by Spectaculum Magazine, Street Photography Hub (Street Finder), The Pictorial-List, and La Calle Es Nuestra. This is an ongoing series of portraits taken on the boardwalk at Coney Island. I love that Coney has come back to life this summer after having been partially shut down due to COVID-19 last year. It brings me such joy to meet and photograph these vibrant characters as I roam the boardwalk. Coney truly is a paradise for portrait photography. It never disappoints. LOCATION New York UNITED STATES CAMERA Leica Q2 CATEGORY street, commercial, portrait WEBSITE https://caroldronsfieldphotography.com/ ​ @CAROLDRONSFIELDPHOTOGRAPHY ​ FEATURES // On the Boardwalk Making a Splash: with the Coney Island Polar Bears Taking the Plunge: with Carol Dronsfield and The Coney Island Polar Bears

  • QUARANTINE CHRONICLE by HERSLEY VEN CASERO

    PICTORIAL STORY August 21, 2020 QUARANTINE CHRONICLE DOCUMENTING DUMAGUETE CITY DURING THE PANDEMIC Photography by Hersley Ven Casero Story by Danielle T. Ureta Spontak A photographer. A painter. An artist. All of these personas encompass Hersley Ven Casero. But in the midst of this year’s pandemic, a new identity sprang forth from the corners of this creative’s mind: a documentarist. In the Philippines, drastic measures were taken to keep its citizens as safe as possible during the Covid-19 pandemic. In Hersley’s hometown, Dumaguete City, people were restricted to their residences, with only one provider allowed out to retrieve supplies twice a week. Masks were enforced everywhere. Medical professionals bravely rose to meet the crisis head on, some in vibrant green suits and others in silver – all were and continue to be fiercely heroic. Garbage trucks were transformed into rice delivery trucks for the poor, zipping along the national highway equipped with huge “Do Not Delay” signs on the front. Flights, boats, even the iconic Filipino “pedicabs” (a motorcycle with an attached sidecar), were forbidden in fear of spreading COVID-19. Countless friends and families were either cut off from loved ones on adjacent islands or stuck in Dumaguete themselves. The juxtaposition of a tropical paradise and self-isolation became painfully sharp. And Hersley, plagued by anxiety and an acute sense of sensitivity, discovered a strange barrier against producing painted or drawn artwork. For this artist, it is crucial to be in the right state of mind to create, because authenticity is his destination and the journey there is one he deeply appreciates. So Hersley took to his photos. “Right now, I’m a documentarist. I’m a recorder of moments. I’m interested in documenting the effect of the pandemic on my city through photography. I volunteered,” Hersley says. Hersley was granted permission by the city’s task force, and his images flooded out like a dam unleashed when he had his camera in hand. Click. Click. Click. Each snapshot a drop added to the ocean of a quarantine chronicle. In every captured picture, depictions of how life had changed overnight in a city famous for its gentleness scratched at the soul. Hersley observed immediately how uneasy, bewildered, and frustrated people were when they briefly stepped out into the streets. Otherwise, it was quiet – too quiet. Too disturbing. Evinced in several pictures of this documentary, one can witness how everything has been sheathed in cold plastic. Smooth, safe, and yet, it has inflicted such disconnection amongst the people it has been trying to protect. No more handshakes. No more hugs. Despite mandatory social distancing, the artist managed to reach people through photos and reach out to people on the roads. Plastic may prevent human touch, but it also offers a different perspective to gaze through. It draws attention to what is vividly colourful, to what is overflowing with life despite the circumstances. And while there were no more smiles to be seen, hidden grins still reached the eyes of people from time to time, sometimes in the form of a mask with printed lips. “I’m an invisible ninja no one notices,” Hersley said with a chuckle, noting how he had switched to using his camera on his hip with a flap. He felt like he was on an empty movie set without any actors, describing one particular expedition, “I went downtown when it was dark. There were no pedicabs! I had to walk several kilometers to get home but I actually enjoyed it. No air pollution, no people, only dogs – I was able to enjoy the walk. And I was surprised I could make friends in an instant. I met locals, foreigners, and tourists. I met many people.” © Hersley Ven Casero © Hersley Ven Casero © Hersley Ven Casero © Hersley Ven Casero © Hersley Ven Casero © Hersley Ven Casero © Harsley Ven Casero © Hersley Ven Casero © Hersley Ven Casero © Hersley Ven Casero © Herlsey Ven Casero © Hersley Ven Casero © Hersley Ven Casero © Hersley Ven Casero © Hersley Ven Casero © Hersley Ven Casero Hersley Ven Casero’s series of quarantine photos reveals humanity’s comradery, persistence, and ever changing view of the world. view Hersley's portfolio Read an interview with Hersley >>> Read an interview with Hersley >>> Website >>> Website >>> Instagram >>> Instagram >>> ​ ​ ​ The views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in the text belong solely to the author, and are not necessarily shared by The Pictorial List and the team. read more stories >>> MUD Dedipya Basak's documentary project explores an 800-year-old lake's struggle against global warming, highlighting its relevance and urgency in modern times. A WORLD WITHIN REACH In his Cuba project, Pedro Vidal celebrates human resilience and warmth through captivating imagery, revealing photography's profound ability to encapsulate emotions and memories. UNVEILING VULNERABILITY In a world where masculinity is often synonymous with stoicism and strength, Francesca Tiboni challenges us to reevaluate our perceptions of masculinity, inviting us to embrace the complexity of the male emotional experience. TRANSCENDENTS: SPIRIT MEDIUMS IN BURMA AND THAILAND Mariette Pathy Allen's visual narrative celebrates authenticity, spotlighting Spirit Mediums' enigmatic presence in both possession and daily life. She portrays them as essential to cultures steeped in Animism, reflecting the enduring essence of human authenticity. COALESCENCE Visual diptychs intricately depicting the intimate exchange between a mother and daughter, transcending personal narratives to explore universal themes of transition, acceptance, and the beauty of change. IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF ANSEL ADAMS In following the footsteps of the masterful Ansel Adams, Karin Svadlenak Gomez not only paid homage to his timeless work but also embarked on a transformative journey. PARALELL REALITIES 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. A TALE OF NATURE AND HERITAGE With her words and photographs, Ana-Maria Alb invites readers to join her on a journey through the breathtaking Carpathians. ON THE TRAIL OF LOVE LOST Through Sasha’s photo essay, 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. SAHIB: 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. THEY HAVE GONE Lorenzo Vitali felt compelled to explore the landscapes of Eastern Veneto, to understand its emotional affective relationship and document it through his photography. I AM WATER Paola Ferrarotti explores her deep connection with the water and how it has transformed her understanding of life and herself. THE STRANDED PAKISTANIS Anwar Ehtesham captures the beauty of human emotion in all its rawest forms 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. CRACKS TO MEND Through her powerful photographs, Ida Di Pasquale shares the story of her birth house in Italy - a village that was left in ruins after two fatal earthquakes. THE WHIRLING DERVISHES OF KONYA Follow Rpnunyez's journey as he captures the beauty and strength of the Whirling Dervishes as they perform their ritual dance. SAHARA: THE SHAPE AND THE SHADOW Lorenzo Vitali's Sahara is a captivating exploration of the intangible power of nature. His photos show the changing shapes of the sand, but also highlights the complexity of the interplay between light and dark. WIDOWS' HOLI Celebratory colors of Holi fill the ancient city of Vrindavan! Street and documentary photographer Abhay Patel captures the unique Widow's Holi in his lens, bringing to life the joyous emotions of the festival. RIPPLED REALITIES The panorama has been redefined in the work of photographer, Susan Bowen. Her fearless journey created new thinking patterns that motivated and inspired a profound body of work. INDIA'S LOST CHILDREN OF POSTMODERNISM Growing up in the ancient city of Varanasi has given Jayesh Kumar Sharma an unique and authentic perspective. The social and cultural changes taking place in the society became the concept of his story. TAKING THE PLUNGE Witness the amazing individuals who brave the coldest days of winter to take part in the Polar Bear Club’s iconic Sunday morning plunge. Carol Dronsfield has documented the spirit and enthusiasm of these brave souls. MULTIPLICITY Amy Newton McConnel invites us for an intimate view of her daughter’s world, illuminating and capturing the expressive ambiance her daughter embodies with ADHD.

  • SHARON EILON

    SHARON EILON be inspired Gallery // ARTIST'S STATEMENT // I am an Israeli based photographer and an electrical engineer by profession. Following a health crisis, I found myself seeking treatment in India and went through a life-changing journey. After returning home healthy I decided to realise my dream and learn photography. I am fascinated by the world of photography ever since, and I am especially keen about people photography of any kind, whether it is portraiture, street photography or culture photography – anything reflecting the humanity that we all share. For me, the act of photography has a meditative quality, feeling unified with the world around me at the present moment. LOCATION Tel Aviv ISRAEL CAMERA Sony Alpha 7iii CATEGORY street, documentary, culture WEBSITE https://1x.com/SharonEilon ​ @SHARON.EILON.PHOTOGRAPHY @SHARON.EILON.1 FEATURES // Pursuing the Dream In the Spirit of History House of Mirrors

  • CATHERINE NAYLOR-LEYLAND

    CATHERINE NAYLOR-LEYLAND be inspired Gallery // ARTIST STATEMENT // These are a collection of images which I have put together from my last trip before lockdown. I was in India for the festival of Holi. I chose them because they reflect the feel of something magical that the people and places of India inwardly possess. It makes me feel joy. My photography is my escape just unfortunately not my career. I have studied it both practically and academically. I have worked for photographers and others that use imagery to compliment their work, but I have a family so my photography is my companion that just bubbles away beside it all. These images come from a workshop I attended with my mentors. They are my friends fundamentally and two brothers who are phenomenal Indian street photographers - Vineet and Rohit Vohra. My approach has always been towards portraits and documentary and so I am enjoying the details which ‘street’ illustrates and I'm now applying it to my train of thought and process. LOCATION UNITED KINGDOM CAMERA Canon EOS 2D mark ii CATEGORY documentary, street WEBSITE http://www.indicacamera.com @INDICACAMERA ​ ​ FEATURES // Joy and That Something Magical in India

  • JAN PONNET

    JAN PONNET be inspired Gallery // ARTIST'S STATEMENT // My passion in photography lies in the street. Street photography for me is the exciting form of photography where I can capture the spontaneous moments of everyday life on the street. It is challenging because it often involves observing and looking for something interesting in an ordinary place. LOCATION Antwerp BELGIUM CAMERA Leica M10 Monochrom CATEGORY street WEBSITE https://japocladek.myportfolio.com/ @JAPO.CLADEK ​ ​ FEATURES // Human Contact

  • COLOUR BRICKS | IN CONVERSATION WITH TRIS

    INTERVIEW September 25, 2020 COLOUR BRICKS ​ Photography by Tris Interview by Karin Svadlenak Gomez Tris is a London-based photographer who likes to go by his artist name @colourbricks. Having worked for many years in war-torn places, he now enjoys the lively streets of London, where he developed a passion for documentary and street photography. He is drawn to the colours, vibrancy and the story of life at home. Social media paints a world of perfection, beauty and unbridled consumerism, but Tris wants to take pictures on the better days: images that reflect the stoics, the optimists and those who don’t want to conform. His photographs show a London that is colourful, vibrant, extraordinary and ordinary. “I’m an old man but young at heart. Throughout the majority of my adult life I have worked in places full of chaos, confusion and sometimes terror. I have seen the resilience of people during the civil war in the Balkans, watched families torn apart in Belfast and Baghdad and been a front row witness to war in the Helmand and Mogadishu. The life I led then has now fortunately passed. After 30 years of being drawn like a moth to the flames of conflict, I am now drawn to the colours, vibrancy and the story of life at home.” IN CONVERSATION WITH TRIS THE PICTORIAL LIST: Tris, how long have you been a photographer? How did you get your start? TRIS: I have always enjoyed being witness to an unfolding story. When the time came to kick off my dusty boots three years ago I wondered how or what I would do next. Walking around London made me realise that there were equally exciting, colourful and dramatic stories unfolding in front of my eyes. Mercifully the stories were about people in a ‘peaceful’ city, but the sense of an unfolding, dynamic and time sensitive drama was like a magnet! I love the passion of street photographers, the requirement to be patient, discrete and humble one moment, confident and courageous the next. I realised that I had been making mental images throughout my life, but now I could make real ones. My family encouraged me to purchase my first camera in 2017, and from that point I haven’t stopped. Thousands of hours and miles wandering the U.K’s capital! TPL: Tell us a bit more about your documentary photography. How did you get involved with that? T: London is so vibrant, dynamic and busy that there is always something happening - and whether a protest, demonstration or parade, people don’t hold back in coming forward! My first Pride parade was incredible! So much colour and happiness, a genuine celebration of life and love. The LGBTQ+ parade was just so special. I didn’t stop taking photographs and realised that I had found my new 'fix'. Documentary photography was one of the ways I could still get that adrenaline rush - never knowing how an event may unfold, but being quick enough to react and catch that moment whenever possible. Regardless of the politics of Brexit, I went to all the parades both for and against, just to catch the story and witness how people felt and acted. I now try to attend everything, from employment strikes, Falun Gong and pro-choice demos, to Extinction Rebellion (XR) and Black Lives Matter. TPL: In your photographic approach, what are your favourite or most memorable moments? T: How I raise my hat to those who are bold enough to take nothing but candid shots! I endeavour to do so, I honestly do, but after a life of conflict I now shy away from it if at all avoidable. I mostly raise my eyebrows or lift my camera when approaching someone, and if they look friendly (or at least look like they won’t assault me!), I try to get some non-verbal indication that they are comfortable with my approach. My favourite relationship is with a shirt seller - he was very hostile and aggressive when I tried this with him on my first two or three protest demonstrations, but now whenever our paths cross in various corners of London we greet each other like long lost friends! TPL: Generally, where do you find your inspiration? T: My first photography book that I read was called Requiem, which was a collection of images taken by the famous Vietnam War photographers. I realised that if I wanted to address my PTSD, I would be better to focus on images I wasn’t so familiar with, so then dived into the work of Vivian Maier, Fred Herzog and Elliott Erwitt. If I am totally honest the two people who have influenced me the most are Sean Tucker, whose mature, reasoned, and generous Youtube videos are a godsend and @Kudo_Bass, whose every photograph and caption posted on Instagram are like stand alone photography lessons. I was lucky enough to recently bump into Sean Tucker in a London camera shop and embarrassed myself by acting like a 14 year old groupie as opposed to 54 year old veteran! TPL: Is there anything special you want to express through your photography? T: Life can be grey and miserable at times. We all have tough days. Social media paints a world of perfection, beauty and unbridled consumerism. Life isn’t like that, some days are good and some days are bad, but my aim is to try to take photographs on the better days - not saccharine, but images that reflect the stoics, the optimists and those who don’t want to conform. ​ ​ I try to reflect London’s colourful, vibrancy and the extraordinary. TPL: Do you prefer to photograph alone or with friends? T: I’m a loner and what friends I have left would say I was anti-social! My evenings and weekends are now selfishly guarded. Offers of collaboration (whilst genuinely appreciated) are not likely to occur anytime soon. TPL: Do you have any favourite artists or photographers you would like to share with us, and the reason for their significance? T: Billie Charity was one of the first accounts I followed on IG, shortly followed by Ibi Gowon. Sadly I haven’t had the opportunity of meeting either of them, but their online support and encouragement were incredibly important in the first few months. There were times when I nearly gave up, and were it not for their infectious enthusiasm and kindness, I wouldn't have continued. I don’t think I have a style yet, I do my own thing and just take photographs of people and scenes that I find curious or interesting. TPL: What is the one quote that has had the most impact on you? “It’s way more important to know how to take a picture than to use a camera.” - Olivia Bee As a beginner I still have so much to learn, but my early anxieties about shutter speed and ISO settings dissolved when I read Olivia Bee’s quote. I started to relax and enjoy the process. TPL: Does the equipment you use help you in achieving your vision in your photography? If so, how? Do you have a preferred camera/lens/focal length? T: The Canon 5D EOS Mk IV is just a wonderful upgrade from my earlier camera. It felt like a huge self-indulgence, but I don’t smoke, drive a fancy car or motorbike and no longer drink to excess. While I love my camera, the truism that ‘the best camera is the one you have on you’ still amazes me, as some of my personal favourites have been taken with my iPhone. TPL: What are some of your goals as a photographer? Where do you see yourself or hope to see yourself in five years? T: In an ideal world I would have enough financial security to leave London and become a war photographer. I would like to capture the human stories. That seems slightly crazy given my desire to put those tragic times behind, but being involved in the unfolding story was like a drug. TPL: “When I am not out photographing, I (like to)… T: Walk my wonderful dogs. Two beautiful, gentle Tibetan Terriers who always seem ready to provide unconditional love and affection!” Tris' work is a powerful reminder of the beauty and vibrancy that London has to offer. His photography captures the most ordinary moments and turns them into extraordinary stories. In a world where social media paints a picture of perfection, Tris offers a different viewpoint, one of optimism and unbridled joy. He shows us that beauty and contentment can be found in the most unexpected of places. If you too want to be inspired by Tris' work, be sure to connect with him on Instagram at @colourbricks. VIEW TRIS'S PORTFOLIO Tris' instagram >>> read more interviews >>> OPPORTUNITIES The Pictorial List partners with International Photography Awards, enhancing resources for photographers worldwide. We interview IPA founder Hossein Farmani, a visionary in photography. MINIMALIST REVERIE Nazanin Davari's minimalist style invites you to an imaginative world where silence and freedom converge, painting unseen beauty with her lens. 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.

  • 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: Hello. Thank you for including me on “The List.” I’m honored and very grateful to be amongst such talented photographers. I was born in Brooklyn, New York, near Coney Island and 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, are 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 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 >>> OPPORTUNITIES The Pictorial List partners with International Photography Awards, enhancing resources for photographers worldwide. We interview IPA founder Hossein Farmani, a visionary in photography. MINIMALIST REVERIE Nazanin Davari's minimalist style invites you to an imaginative world where silence and freedom converge, painting unseen beauty with her lens. 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.

  • AMY NEWTON McCONNEL

    AMY NEWTON McCONNEL be inspired Gallery // ARTIST'S STATEMENT // I am an art photographer in Phoenix, Arizona. I have been highly creative since childhood, making art in various mediums. I have always had a camera and an interest in photography. In Camera Movement (ICM) photography, which utilizes techniques where the camera is intentionally moved during the exposure to create painterly and abstract artistic effects, allows me to create abstract art with my camera. I am inspired by lines and textures, colors and shapes and create art that inspires emotional response. ICM photography inspires me to see, feel and think differently and interpret my surroundings in a new and unexpected way. LOCATION Arizona UNITED STATES CAMERA Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark III CATEGORY Intentional Camera Movement (ICM) WEBSITE http://www.anmcconnel.com @ANMCCONNELPHOTOGRAPHY @ANMCCONNELPHOTOGRAPHY ​ FEATURES // Multiplicity

  • IVAN DOMARATSKIY

    IVAN DOMARATSKIY be inspired Gallery // ARTIST STATEMENT // I am a physicist, an amateur film photographer and a mixed media artist. LOCATION RUSSIA CAMERA Pentax SF7, Pentax ME, Mamiya RB67, Agat 18K CATEGORY landscape, pictorialism, portrait ​ @IVAN.DOMARATSKIY ​ ​ FEATURES // Pictorialistic Reality

  • LES FRANÇAIS | IN CONVERSATION WITH GARETH WATKINS

    INTERVIEW July 16, 2021 LES FRANÇAIS ​ Photography by Gareth Watkins Interview by Melanie Meggs French-British photographer Gareth Watkins started photographing back in the early eighties after reading French literature at University. In his early days, he mostly tried to capture street type pictures, in London, where he was living at the time. Gareth quickly realised if he was to work in photography, he would have to move into more general photojournalism. Thus, from the mid 1980’s, Gareth started working for a number of newspapers and agencies in London, before joining Reuters News Agency as a staff photographer in Paris in 1987. Here he covered many local and international stories for over 15 years. Since leaving Reuters, Gareth has started to shoot his own long term projects, documenting the region in France where he lives. He shares his collection of pictures from his adoptive home country, observing France and its people and their history. “Since leaving the world of press photography, I have for the first time had way more opportunity to concentrate on my own pictures, as well as returning to my favoured medium of black and white photography. Nowadays setting myself projects, I can shoot what I want, when I want; look for good light, interesting subjects without the pressure of a client or a deadline. It is extremely liberating.” IN CONVERSATION WITH GARETH WATKINS THE PICTORIAL LIST: Gareth please tell us about yourself. What was that moment that sparked your interest to pursue photography as a profession? GARETH WATKINS: I was born in the UK, but have lived the majority of my life in France, first in Paris, then in north-eastern France where I live today. I have both British and French nationalities. I currently run my own business offering fishing holidays. I first got interested in photography when I was still at university and my father bought me a Minolta SLR camera. The college had a Photo Club with its own dark room, so I jointed and learned the basics of processing and printing my own black and white pictures. After my time at university, both in the UK and France, and graduating with a degree in French literature I got more and more interested in photography and decided that I wanted to make a career of it. My first efforts to break into the profession, were to cover local sporting events in South London, where my parents lived and I tried to sell pictures to the local newspapers. After a while, a couple of papers started to use some shots and offered me my first assignments. I managed from there to get a staff job on another local South London paper. London was a great place to work when I started out, as it allowed us to cover the same stories as the national press; for example, the Royal family and major sports events like First Division Football and Wimbledon. I was thus able to put together a portfolio of shots and get some freelance shifts on the UK daily papers and PA new agency. After a year or two trying to get steady work on Fleet Street, I came across an advert for a job at Reuters in the UK Press Gazette. Not really expecting to even get an interview, I applied and to my great surprise, was hired as a Photographer/Picture Editor. After a year or so, a position opened up at the Paris bureau. As a French speaker I decided to apply and again I was successful. And so, I moved back to France. I remained in Paris until I left Reuters at the beginning of the 2000's. TPL: As your time as a photojournalist, can you tell us about any significant moments that you had over your career? GW: During the more than 25 years I worked as a photojournalist it is very hard to pick any one assignment. My favourite assignments to cover were the big sporting events, as I always felt it was me and the athletes, and no other outside influence. If they were good and I was good, the pictures could be exceptional. I covered eight or nine French Tennis Opens, several World Athletics Championships, and Olympics, as well as the Tour de France and major football and rugby competitions. Outside of sport I was able to cover the Paris Fashion weeks for many years. One assignment the marked me was the Kurdish refugees story following the first gulf war, where I travelled to Iran and the border with Iraq. This was a memorable trip in a fascinating part of the world. We also covered French politics on a regular basis, travelling with the French President, initially François Mitterrand and then Jacques Chirac, visiting countries as far afield as the Caribbean, West Africa, and Asia. I think the most significant aspect of the period was the huge change in technology from my beginnings to when I left. We started with b&w prints, travelling with a portable lab and transmitter, developing, and making prints in hotel bathrooms. Securing a reliable phone line to wire the pictures was an important part of the job. We then moved to colour negative and were early adopters of digital technology. The early cameras were dreadful quality, slow, cumbersome, and ridiculously expensive, but allowed us to shoot and transmit images in a fraction of the time it took to develop and wire a negative. Our production switched 100% digital after the 1998 Football World Cup in France. We were all issued two Canon EOS1 DSC520 cameras and a Macbook. This meant with a GSM mobile phone, we could literally send pictures from anywhere in the world in minutes. TPL: Retiring from your job as a photojournalist, how has this had an effect on your personal photography projects? GW: Working as a photojournalist in the wire service, one has virtually no time for personal projects. We were shooting often 2 or 3 assignments a day or travelling to cover an event or breaking news story. During my leisure time I didn’t generally take any pictures, even if I always had a camera with me just in case. After leaving Paris I initially did some commercial assignments for the local tourist board as well as moving into video, shooting corporate promotional clips in France for a couple of UK based holiday firms. Since leaving the world of press photography, I have for the first time had way more opportunity to concentrate on my own pictures, as well as returning to my favoured medium of black and white photography. Working for the press or commercial clients you have to shoot what they want, and there are few possibilities. Nowadays setting myself projects, I can shoot what I want, when I want; look for good light, interesting subjects without the pressure of a client or a deadline. It is extremely liberating. I saw an interview with a Magnum photographer recently, and he said he couldn’t bear working for editorial clients, and I can totally see what he means. Pictures are digital these days, I can’t see me returning to film. Not having the pressures of deadlines and time constraints, has freed me to look for local subjects to document; the Covid crisis being a notable case in point. TPL: Can you tell us about your current project documenting where you live? What would you like to communicate to the viewer? And why did you want to do the project in black and white? GW: My current location in France is near the famous WW1 battles grounds of the ‘Chemin des Dames’. Having moved here in the early 2000’s I have become fascinated in this history steeped area. It was largely obliterated during the Great War, with over 300 villages raised to the ground. Some were rebuilt and some were abandoned, and nature was left to take back it’s right. Having a decent collection of photography books, by some of the photographers I mentioned earlier, I realised that they were for the most part, not assigned the subject matter they chose to shoot, but made personal projects documenting an area. I felt drawn to this part of France, French history and the people and places around me. So, I started to research for myself the various places of interest and to visit them one by one. This included interesting landscapes, but also the people. Black and white was just a natural choice. Firstly, I had always enjoyed the gritty aspect of monochrome, but also, I felt by the very nature of the subjects, it made for stronger images. In many instances the colour takes over the picture and becomes the main focal point. One can’t do anything about what colours are present, unless the choice is made to shoot in b&w. I then made the choice to self-publish the pictures in Zines and Photobooks. The internet now has a fantastic choice and offers multiple companies that will produce one-off publications. It is a simple matter to download a ‘drag & drop’ programme and to create a picture book. I feel it is still important today to see pictures in print. All too many images are simply posted on the internet or stored on phones or hard drives and probably at some point deleted. I unfortunately, lost a large percentage of my press pictures during the early digital days, simply because, we didn’t have the drive space to stock the pictures. Hard drives stopped working and the hugely expensive media was reformatted after the story was filed and any unfiled picture deleted. In those early naïve days of digital we didn’t realise just how fragile this chain of production was, and also didn’t appreciate the value of our work. Once it was transmitted to the subscribers and published, it was forgotten, and we moved onto the next assignment. So today I find it far more satisfying to see a collection of my pictures of a certain subject printed in book form. Over the last couple of years, I have done projects on the local canal, a collection of the local people where I live seen through my eyes and lens, as well as a personal collection of the recent Covid pandemic, seen through our experience, being locked down in a small village in rural France. These projects printed in small runs for myself gave a focus to my ongoing project of documenting daily life, the people and the places around me. TPL: Do you have any favourite artists or photographers you would like to share with us, and the reason for their significance? GW: In my formative years I collected books by photographers such as W. Eugene Smith, Don McCullin, Henri Cartier-Bresson etc. I think they inspired many aspiring photographers at the time, and still do. I was fortunate to have worked with some of the most talented photojournalists in the world over the years. Many of the wire service guys were exceptional photographers, and I learned a lot very fast with a hugely steep learning curve. Currently I follow closely a number of photographers, as social media has opened up access to a wide number of artists one would probably not see outside publications in magazines and newspapers. The last book I bought was the hugely impressive work by Peter Turnley covering the start of the Covid pandemic in New York and Paris. His black and white pictures were not only beautiful and eloquent but terrifying at the same time. ​ ​ Since leaving the world of press photography, I have for the first time had way more opportunity to concentrate on my own pictures, as well as returning to my favoured medium of black and white photography. TPL: Do you have any other favourite places outside where you live that you enjoy photographing? GW: One of my favourite places is Le Touquet on the northern coast of France. We rent a holiday house there every summer. It is one of the majestic turn-of-the-century French ‘Station balnéaire’, like Cabourg and Deauville. Except is has a family atmosphere and a lot of charm. I find it a wonderful reservoir for picture opportunities. I have always loved the seaside, with its wonderful light and often grandiose landscapes. Added to this the quirky nature of beachgoers and it is the perfect setting for ‘street’ type photography. It takes me back to the days when I used to wander around East London looking for pictures, but instead of the rather sinister aspect the city had back then I have a more festive holiday backdrop in which to seek out interesting pictures. TPL: When you take pictures, do you usually 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? GW: I would probably say a bit of both. I will often try to come up with a local subject, be it an event or just and interesting place to shoot. I will usually check it out on Google Street View, which I have found an invaluable tool, in looking for angles and details that one can easily miss when actually on location. While I like to have people in my pictures, to add context and as a document of our places and times, I still often like to make a landscape shot too, especially if the sky is dramatic, and here in Eastern France, with wide sweeping landscape vistas, we get some awesome skies, that are prefect for black and white. Other times I will simply grab my camera and wander, this can produce multiple nice shots or nothing at all. But after years as a wire service ‘snapper’ where we regularly had to go out at any time and make a decent illustration of a newsworthy subject, that was at first sight rather dull, one gets good at finding a picture. One gets adept at summing up the surroundings and seeing or anticipating quickly if there is an interesting picture to be made, and where to place oneself to get it. I think if I had one piece of advice for anyone starting out today it would be that you need to anticipate. You need to see pictures; composition has to be second nature. Once you see where a potential image might happen, you need to be in place to frame it and snap it. Sometimes it works sometimes it doesn’t. But the more you do it the luckier you get… Cartier Bresson spoke of a ‘decisive moment’, but you don’t just get lucky and ‘bang’ you have a perfectly timed shot...No, you have to see where the scene will break down, where the elements will come together and what your picture could be. If he was a master of these perfectly timed shots, there was no luck in it. He knew and had the vision to see the picture. One needs to always be looking for pictures, always framing in your head, even when you don’t have a camera in your hand. Shooting sports before autofocus trained us to anticipate. It was virtually impossible to follow a soccer or rugby player running flat out or a 100m sprinter. One had to look at the game, know the sport and guess where a piece of action would take place. Focus on the spot and get your timing spot on. It was hard and need concentration, but it was a good school. Nowadays, follow focus on a modern camera makes all this far easier, but the basic premise still rings true, and no amount of technical wizardry can take away the need to anticipate. 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? GW: Equipment is not hugely important; all modern cameras give excellent results. I did however, make the choice three or four years ago to move away from big DSLRs and Zooms. I had a bag with Canon 5D iii bodies, and 16-35mm, 24-105mm and 70-200mm zooms. It weighed a ton...I think many photographers who lugged around bags of heavy gear for years, ended up with back issues, and I was no exception. So, my equipment requirements these days are based on size and weight as much as anything else. A friend offered to sell me a Fuji X-Pro1 and a couple of lenses. I bought this and was hooked. It was small light, and the quality of both the images and fixed focal lenses was superb. I have since widened my collection of lenses and updated to the X-Pro2 bodies. The X-Pro2 is a very fast camera to use, has excellent autofocus and is a joy to use. It’s retro style takes me back to my first serious camera the Nikon FE, with it’s dials and aperture ring. I currently use the 23mm F2 and the 50mm F2 as my main focal lengths. These give me a full frame equivalent of 35mm and 75mm. These are attached permanently to my camera bodies. I do have the 18mm and 35mm (28mm and 50mm equivalents) but only rarely use them. These two cameras go everywhere with me now, in a small Billingham bag, and mean I can grab a picture at any moment. I often see a subject while out in my car and can stop, jump out and make the picture. This would never have been possible with the Canon gear, as I simply wouldn’t have had it with me at all times. TPL: What are some of your goals as an artist/photographer? Where do you hope to see yourself in five years? GW: I’ll be 60 next year, so while I am still fit and healthy, I don’t really have any massive ambitions as a photographer. The world of photojournalism has moved on and now a new generation of young people often armed with just a phone has emerged and replaced the generation I came from. In France, the printed press is in crisis and press groups are firing more staff photographers than they are hiring. Pictures are now sold for very little money and surviving as a freelance these days is a very hard task. As I said above the advances in camera technology have meant that it is now far quicker and easier to make pictures and produce nice images than it used to be. While the soul of photography has perhaps been ripped out, the digital era has opened up image making to many more people and democratised the whole process. What used to be a skilled trade, shooting, developing, and printing pictures and wiring them on time to hit deadlines, has disappeared. Now what would have taken several hours to do can be done literally in seconds. Publications can now change up their content literally on a minute by minute basis...pictures have become far too ephemeral. This is why I like to print my collections, so in 10 or 15 years and beyond we will have a record of what life was like, hopefully pictures that only have marginal value now, will take on a historical document function and show future generations what our times were like. We have seen larger strides made in image making in the last 15 years than were made since the inception of photography. In five years' time, assuming I’m still as fit as I am today, I will continue to set my own projects and print my pictures…and who knows, I might even do some colour work...but as someone once said to me "Don’t forget to smell the flowers along the way!" TPL: "When I am not out photographing, I (like to)… CW: As we live in the countryside, we like to walk usually with our two Tervuren dogs. We try to get out and do some cycling as often as possible to keep active. Also I am a lifelong fisherman, so when time allows, I like to get out and fish the local rivers in my region. I have my own lakes for my fishing business too and I will often do some fishing there, if I don’t have any customers." ​ ​ Since leaving photojournalism, Gareth now photographs his own long term projects documenting the region in France where he lives, fascinated by the history and the people. Too see more of Gareth's long term project please visit his website and Instagram. VIEW GARETH'S PORTFOLIO Website >>> Instagram >>> read more interviews >>> OPPORTUNITIES The Pictorial List partners with International Photography Awards, enhancing resources for photographers worldwide. We interview IPA founder Hossein Farmani, a visionary in photography. MINIMALIST REVERIE Nazanin Davari's minimalist style invites you to an imaginative world where silence and freedom converge, painting unseen beauty with her lens. 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.

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