How was my photography year? (2017)

So, how was my photography year? This post is not written scientifically, but as thoughts comes to my mind.

At the end of 2016 I wrote a blog post with title How was my photography year? Today, when I read my words, I must admit there was many things similar, but there were things where I moved. Progressed?

First of all I spent whole year with my camera in my hands. Photography is very important part of my everyday life. It was filling my thoughts, my spare time.  It is nothing else, but feeding that hunger to shoot., to record, to document and create.

Same as 2016, it wasn’t a straight line this year. It was uneven route with couple of curves. With routes going throughout the foggy and dark woods. But, during the journey, I realized a couple of things. A couple of things about myself. A couple of things about my photography.

Again, at one point I struggled with my style. I doubted about my monochrome photography. At the end, I realized that it is a very simple. I stay with monochrome, because I love it and always did. It is as simple.

I sold Olympus OMD E-M10 mark I. Bought Ricoh GR II and sold it after a month. Than I bought Olymus OMD E-M10 mark II. This step is against the logic. I admit. Now I am all set with my OMD. Only, I wish I still had my Lumix 14 mm lens, which was much faster compared to Olympus Zuiko 17 mm, which I have now. It takes a moment to focus.

Also, same as in a previous year, I didn’t avoid moving blog from one platform to another. From WP to Blogpost and back. There is no ideal platform.

Good thing that happened was my solo exhibition The Peripeheries of Ostrava with my documentary photos from Ostrava in March/April 2017. In addition I must mention a joint exhibition No Constructive Conclusions , which appeared in Wroclaw (1/2017) , Katowice (4/2017) and Frydek-Mistek (6/2017). Ian even assembled a booklet with photos from this show.

Thanks to photography (and Internet/Social media networking) I met new people from Poland (Wojtek Mszyca, Piotr Kaczmarek and Adrian Wozniak), Austria (Martin Frey and Philipp Graf ), Germany (Markus Lehr), UK (Ian NuttTerry Barlow) and the Czech Republic (Pavel R.). I am glad for that. Online “friendships” turned to a real life encounters.

What I am proud of the most? When I look at my photos I feel I progressed in interaction with people. I fear less of people. I understood that people, no matter how they look, are humans. That I don’t need to fear them so much. That there is no need to be ashamed of anything. Of course, this is a long road and I feel I need to improve here.

 

Ostrava, 2017

© Pavel P.

 

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Cheerless thoughts about Frydek and Mistek

Just a short report from one November walk in Frydek-Mistek city. I admit, that these images doesn’t look very optimistic. Well, it reflects the mood of this middle sized town in winter. City messed up by socialistic urban planners. Well, urban planning is an overstatement. Communists were building with no concept. Unfortunately, no good development happened in decades after a Velvet revolution. Huge supermarkets and hobby-markets built on every empty spot. Quick money for the city. For politicians. Not only Communists. Oh, well.

I wish ring road around the city will be build finally . Constructions has been delayed for decades. Problems with ecology activists. Problems with purchase of private property. Meanwhile people in the city and drivers suffer.

Anyway, I was born here. My kids were born here. So I won’t complain.

Frydek-Mistek. 2017

© Pavel P.

Blur, but not hopeless.

Got flu. But when I was out shooting in the snowfall yesterday I completely forgot about it. These days I live, besides shooting, by monitoring presidential campaigns. Voting will be at the beginning of next year. I am afraid that rudeness, fear and provincial  thinking of my fellow citizens will win. I hope in better, but I am making room in my head for the option that things will not develop the way I would wish. To prevent shock form potential cold shower after the elections.

And again, social media bubbles has same impact in the politics as they have in photography world. On social media, things looks different than they appear in real world. People are connected, but they also make many closed “opinion communities”.  Thus, trying to make a conclusion from social media happening would be silly.

Ostrava, 2017

© Pavel P.

Arty look

Many people try to achieve a specific look of their photos. I call it arty look. Some say “arty farty”. How to say it. I also did this many times. On purpose. To make photo look interesting. Arty. Just use a technique or effect (don’t mean filters) to achieve a certain look. I wont’t thwor ash on my head. This is one of the traps on the way. It is easy to get trapped in this phonomenon. I see many arty photos on the internet galleries. I mostly like their look. I like them until I realize what’s hidden behind. And it is often just pure calculation. A concept. Trying to make a photo look a certain way. Trying to achieve a certain aesthetics. This is misleading and untrue.

Happens. Need to be aware of it. Need to avoid it, when one realizes.

Photos below doesn’t relate to the text. They are from Ostrava – Vitkovice. One November evening.

 

Ostrava – Vitkovice, 2017

© Pavel P.

Critique of kitsch

Been thinking about kitsch. When beauty is captured in a beautiful way. It often. Too often ends up as a kitsch. The more beauty the better. The more perfection the better. The sweeter the better. It is also about a taste of people. Of course. Kitsch is likely to be admired by many. But very often remains vacuous. Empty.

Below photos from one Sunday afternoon in Kojetin city. In November.

Kojetin, 2017

© Pavel P.