Thoughts on Life, Art, Photography, Technology, Teaching and Travel…..
What I really enjoy about being in Bratislava for the European Month of Photography is meeting so many passionate and creative people connected in some way to photography. I met a Slovakian gentleman at one of the many photography receptions who just turned around to me and said, “Photography is a mirror of reality – that is why so many people love photography. To capture a little piece of reality and hold onto it.” He is so right! Photography enables us to hold on to (rediscover) the past in a small, but very significant way.
The diverse and visually unique photographs that hang on the walls of these many galleries and museums in Bratislava are certainly like mirrors into the cultural, spiritual and social sensibilities of the people, places and things that captured the photographers attention and/or are the results of the creative vision of a particular photographer.
I’m enjoying an experience of a lifetime traveling to different European countries and participating in the European Month of Photography. I’ve gotten to see a great deal of photography over the past 2 weeks. Most of it has been very good, and as to be expected some exhibitions didn’t suit my taste – but that is what makes art and photography so unique. There is something for everyone. I’ve seen so many diverse and disparate photographs this past week my head is swimming.
I was particularly excited about seeing the epic photographs of Lewis Hine and Robert Capa. What an incredible “once in a lifetime” opportunity for someone who teaches the History of Photography – to see these monumental photographs up close and personal was a real treat !
There is no doubt that photography is nurtured and supported in Eastern Europe. I would say more than in the states based on what I have seen and observed this past month. Its good to see that people take photography very seriously here, starting with opening exhibition receptions honoring the many photographers to the gala events and activities that surround the openings and are part of the month of photography.
It was absolutely invigorating and challenging doing 2 days of portfolio reviews during my visit to Bratislava and participating in the European Month of Photography. It was a great honor and a privilege for me to sit besides photographic professionals from all over Europe critiquing other photographers work. I was pleasantly surprised, inspired, amazed and even a little perplexed at times by the diversity and visual uniqueness of the photographs I reviewed over a 2 day period.
Thinking back to the 25 + portfolio reviews I conducted while I was in Bratislava, it struck me how everyone has his/her own personal vision. The portfolio reviews remind me that we are ALL at a different place on the technological and conceptual learning curve (continuum) of photography and the challenge for all of is is to continue to develop, grow and mature as artists and image makers. Its important to keep an “open mind” as to where our direction in photography is taking us and ask ourselves how we are evolving as photographers. We can’t be afraid to take risks and follow our intuition as we explore new subjects, concepts and ideas photographically.
That is what makes photography such a great art form. It’s a powerful vehicle for personal expression.It was a pleasure to meet so many serious and dedicated photographers.
I hope I was able to give each person I reviewed something useful to take with them. For all of you who were critiqued just remember… at the end of the day YOU must follow your personal vision and intuition and incorporate what the reviewers shared with you only to the point where it reinforces your stylistic direction and makes your images stronger.
I have included a photograph of every photographer I had the pleasure to critique in the following slide show. I also want to personally thank the incredible and dedicated staff at the European House of Photography who made me feel so welcome during my stay in Bratislava. You all did an amazing job coordinating this fantastic event!
Read more about my thoughts about the European Month of Photography on Transmedia – Click Here!
This is the slide Show of the Work from the participants from this years portfolio review.