Monday, August 04, 2008

The Garage

The last workshop which I attended was lead by Antonin Kratochvil. He has taken many memorable images in many conflict areas. His photography is truly engaging. I was warned by people who have taken his course before that he is quite relax on his courses and he does not teach so much. And I suppose this was true. He was very jovial and spent a lot of time saying 'Yeah baby.' and 'I am watching you.' But I think listening him talk about the images he made was worth the price of the workshop. And to me the most important thing was the hope he still has. His father was tortured and he had to sneak out with his family from Czechoslovakia. And then he has gone to many war zones all over the world, and also shot stories of people with aids. And yet after all this, he says that he still has hope in humanity. I think it is good that someone can take such powerful and distressing images and still remain hopeful.

Well, one of the main ideas that Antonin had is to peel away the layers of a person by spending time with him or her. So for the first time, I spent three days in a garage just taking photos. I think I covered the garage as best as I could and hit a wall. On the 4th day, I just took pictures of flowers and personal portraits, some with my 90mm tilt-shift lens. The funny thing is that Antonin only used my shots from the 4th day! Including ones with my 90mm lens. He advocates using a 28mm prime and smelling the armpits of the subject. So many people were expecting garage photos but did not see them. Well, here they are.

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