HEY TUMBLR HELP ME OUT!
About two or three years ago I used to take my toy dinosaur when I traveled so I could take fun perspective photos. And now I’ve submitted one to a facebook contest for a chance to win a lomo camera. Top 5 photos with the most likes will get one.
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There’s another good video on Struth’s past work here. He’s not my favorite photographer but he’s a great example of a versatile photographer.
I get all kind of looks when I tell my family I didn’t bring my camera. The scenarios are usually a wedding, a birthday, or a sunday gathering. Cinthya quick, where’s your camera? Why didn’t you bring it? How are you a photographer and not always have a camera? I dressed this good today and now you can’t take picture of me (most likely to show it off in Facebook).
My uncle got married yesterday. I wasn’t asked to do any pictures, but there’s always an expectation of me. You can feel it. To be honest I feel a bit of guilt in that moment, but am I really responsible for that? Truth is I have no interest in that level of everyday life. I photograph a lot without a camera. I’m not trying to be sassy about it, or show how conceptual I am, I just take a lot of time to look at things and process them. I am very, very slow. Most of the time I like going to the place before taking pictures, or at least walk around, think it through, and then start. Sometimes I don’t think I’m conceptual at all. A lot of my friends in school I consider way more conceptual and awake towards their work. Yet me, I see what catches my attention and quickly work towards it if I’m comfortable. I have yet to be more open towards digging more, to avoid staying in the surface. Plus they always say your first ideas are the worsts.
Getting back to the title of the post, I’m still discovering what I want to do as a photographer. My interests are broad, I like photojournalism as I like still-life. They are very different genres. I know that I don’t like to work with people so much, I’m not a people person. I rather incline on objects. I don’t like messy things, which is why I find myself doing a lot of symmetries in my composition. I like to play with shapes and forms and colors. Finding order in disorder. Those are things I’ve learned about myself these two years since I started photography school. I have tried a ton of different themes to realize this. Even my teacher confirmed me on it, that the point of trying different themes is to then come to a conclusion yourself, what do you want? What’s your voice in contemporary photography? It was never about the money. Never about teaching us what sells right now.
It’s okay not knowing where you’re going, that’s part of life. It’s scary for someone like me, who likes things “in order”. Good thing I have close friends who remind me to live in the now and enjoy it. But every once in a while, it’s also good to sit down and think it through. So last night I stood up late watching documentaries of Thomas Struth. I’ve heard his name a few times in class, well known german photographer whose work genres vary. I really recommend this guy if you ever freak out about where to go.
My conclusion is this: my work will change just as people change when they grow up, it’s natural. It’s not your job to belong somewhere or categorize yourself within contemporary photography, let your work do that for you. See what’s your interest now, take matters into your own hands, fall in love with it and hard. And aside from passion, be very patient.
Update: I’m not bashing on wedding photographers. If you like it, be the best wedding photographer ever. I’m simply stating that it is better to focus your time and energy on something you are passionate about. And if it’s about money, be careful, be picky, you’ll find what you’re looking for. Byes.
Nearly the end of my third cycle, I had this idea of working with the oriental influence in Lima. Most of all the visual aspect of them, the neon signs and the golden door knobs were all of great photographic value and capacity to me. It was all going on in my head, mostly questions, like why hasn’t anybody done something big and meaningful about the Chinese phenomenon in Lima. I think it’s a phenomenon because it started way back between the xix and xx century with a group of poor Cantonese immigrants, making a living out of cooking in “ghetto” places. And now they are literally EVERYWHERE, in every single district, everyone has their local chifa. Right where I’m living, there are 2 chifas within my block. That says something, and there’s a ton of background to that. Digging and researching more into the subject, I kept getting even more interested. It’s not only about their pretty neon signs anymore, it’s also about the socioeconomic aspect too.
So this fourth cycle I officially started working on it for Photography IV class, starting with the closer districts. I have other classes that make it impossible to just focus on this project, that would have been great, having in mind that according to Wikipedia, there are over 6,000 chifas in Lima, not counting the rest of the country. Yep, that’s a lot of chifas to photograph. But you gotta start somewhere right?
I’ve divided them into three categories: wariques, casas, and imperios. Those names are temporary, maybe. And I have two other categories in mind that I haven’t photographed yet. The technical part: twin lens medium format camera, 6x6, Fujifilm Neopan Acros-100 film. There’s obviously a whole meaning into why I choose b/w over color for this project, details some other day. This is going to be my thesis project and probably on-going for a good three or even five more years. Eventually I’m turning it into a huge book.
Anyway, I thought I would share some that I’m proud of so far.