personal work

you can’t go home again

photo of Παναγιώτης καπογιάννης (Panagiotis Kapogianis) by fernand de Beauvoir, Agia Marina, Egina, Greece.

I love that phrase. it’s so applicable to my life experience, and it was much later that I realized that something remains: I still look for bits of “home feelings”, or experiences, when traveling. this happens in Greece, and more so when visiting the Café Marina. Παναγιώτης has that sense to his café that makes me jump back in time to feel like I was home— in the sense of where I grew up and defined my sense of surroundings.

personal work

sad lovers and giants

Sad Lovers and Giants: Athens, March 2019
left to right: Tony McGuinness, Nigel Pollard, Garçe Allard,
Ian Gibson, and William Hicks

in attending a lot of gigs, I have been able to pursue my own ways of photographing groups— since I do not have to publish, I can do what I want. perhaps the most familiar aspect of my approach to rock photography are: 1. look for the Decompressing Moment (like for Daughters or Sad Lovers and Giants) in performers, which is a bit rare; 2. take more of a 50s jazz approach with load of darkness. finally, late last year, I told Exploded View that I would love to photograph them as a group in a “promo” setting. this took a bit of courage, even though it was at the end of the USA tour and it had to wait until the (yet to happen) European tour. still, it was the moment that gave me the idea to also ask Sad Lovers and Giants, and they were super kind to do some while a two-night concerts in Athens. ohdear… my photographing of a single person is already a challenge, and then 5 five people to convey a balance between what I like and what is useful as promotional work was an unimaginable challenge. this photo shown is one that I really liked the most, and was achieved by being spontaneous, and being breaking the mold from what I thought was the typical pose for them.

[ps] the suite of photographs is something that I must still tweak, and later put into, as done previously for them with gig photos [ link ]

personal work

the tunnel

by fernand de Beauvoir

Juan Pablo Castel noticed María Iribarne attentively looking at the corner window of his painting, in Ernesto Sábato‘s El Túnel. here, there’s no loneliness in looking out the window to draw the attention of a María, for it’s just an offering in many contrasts to the principal play of geometries and shadows. there’s a loneliness at the top of the tower at Karluv Most (Charles Bridge), and in that regard, the loneliness driven into Juan Pablo Castel could co-exist here.

personal work

the influencers

by fernand de Beauvoir

being in Prague, and commenting to a friend, there is always a “linear description” to the way I see photographically. it’s something like Josef Sudek+ André Kertész+ Saul Leiter, and I want to include a second Czech Photographer: Jaromír Funke. it feels more comfortable to realize this after some years, than start aping them from the naïve beginning. that is, go about photography in a autodidactic way, then realize what’s happening, and study these photographers. to be able to sense their environments is also a very pleasant surprise, despite the distant era.

personal work

well, you know…

by fernand de Beauvoir.

the thing is, there’s great juxtaposition to be had here in Prague. but, well, you know, there is that thing of actually walking around with a camera and looking photographically. this will happen in the coming days, with a revisit to the Old Cemetery and the Jewish Cemetery, along with portrait work, and hopefully some juxtaposition with light/shadow play. something that will say to me: « yeah, that was Prague ».

personal work

when in Prague

personal work

in a previous post, I commented on the love for the Czech photographers Joseph Sudek and Jaromír Funke [ link ]. especially with Funke, and works from André Kertész, the use of shadows is a significant element of the photograph, more so in the expression of geometries. while visiting this city, it is difficult to forget how much attention I pay to this aspect of a photo when “seeing” a photo. this premise is principal to the work pursued in the Instagram account named Kerteszian. it is then fantastic to be here, and see such many opportunities for this kind of photographs.

personal work, photographers

the way to video

song by: “Katy” by Red House Painters
arm by: Anna
video: copyright fernand de Beauvoir

for its many ills, and there are many (making me to be currently logged-off**, as an alternative to deleting), Instagram by itself and also by users (Anna and Peter) have instigated a call to video. this is not a natural visual for me. the quote:

« The way I think of filmmaking – it’s such a seductive thing. It encompasses every human discipline you can imagine – composition, art, technology, music, movement and choreography. It encompasses all life. » — George Miller

composition is still a fundamental transfer from stills, which offers the bridge into video, but “music, movement, and choreography” are quite the challenge. photography always begins by aping something one sees, explicitly or implicitly, and quickly I can tell that I am aping Japanese and Hong Kong cinema, where In The Mood For Love‘s cinematographer (Christopher Doyle) words are up front and center. in contrasting Western versus Eastern Cinema, he notes that Western is the slap-in-the-face “look, at this, you are so stupid, you don’t know what we are trying to tell you”, while the Eastern approach is to present something and say “hey discover this”. this was the additional aspect of how I can start. yet, this all remains very difficult to pre-visualize and connect one image with another. a further, more appealing approach to incorporate more of the still-camera, as can be said to have been pioneered by Yasujirō Ozu.

**it had become too many adverts, fed by a flagrant use of keyword spying on Whatsapp, and just too much repetition, but more importantly, it had distorted my approach to photography: instead of camera ~> computer ~> to this “personal” Instagram ~> to Instagram (after some thought), it was just camera ~> mass storage ~> jpg to phone ~> Instagram, which eliminates any critical evaluation of what is going on with the photo-taking, and how to integrate what is happening.


the way to lost


“Helena” by Jose Ángel González Balsa
( @jagonzalezbalsa on Twitter, and oriaciones sucias on Tumblr )

in the most modern of clichés, I got lazy because of photo-social media. it was not quicksand, but perhaps the fabled grey-goo of “creativity” in these networks. thus, it is that the best way to get back to the ways** of photography within me, rather than sharing, is to log-off Instagram. while the reason to be on Instagram is solely friends, and share some quick snaps/stories there, the fact is that, unlike the flickr days, I cannot be bothered to search for a variety of photographers. yes, this also gets into an aspect of my online photography that is within me: curate photographers. nothing is a greater reminder of this than seeing Jose Ángel González Balsa be posting again to Tumblr. there is much to discover, for this self-professed “can’t get what Street Photography is” person that I am, in his photographs, because of the treatment (as in vision, and execution, not processing) that he gives to his photographs. I have lived with the photographs of Helena since the Flickr days, and they never feel less impactful with time, but quite the contrary: a good photograph is one that breathes with time, and thus keeps the brain alive on what it sees. then, it is time to look through the photos taken in the last 5+ years and give them the inner consumption that they promised. one good thing about this hiatus (not residence!) via Instagram is the further appreciation of video, and that is going to require some work too… something on that on the next post.


** the ways should be: use camera, put photos on computer, look at them carefully, select/kill, process. then, post here (what I call my personal Instagram, where few people see it, and I can let it simmer)… and then post to Instagram to share with friends. after a long while, then there is the collection of photographs onto liminal eye.

[1] Grey-goo, as explained in PressPausePlay on Vimeo (it may be better to start listening at @25m23s).

personal work, photography

beyond cultural appropriation

it has to happen: the appreciation for an object of art transcends the cultural appropriation that has come before the object is first seen. in this case, a tomb’s artwork for the Famiglia Appiani at Staglieno (in Genova) has become famous through the use of a photograph by French photographer Bernard Pierre Wolff in Joy Division‘s second album Closer. like the point of view expressed in The Vanity of Grief, this particular work, at first glance, has to overcome the Vanity of Grief context, and that of the history for a beloved album. yet, the power of this artwork is that it quickly makes those two contexts vanish: there is so much immersion into this work’s layers, that preconceptions were vanished ever so quickly. apparent on the first visit (in May), and fully obvious on a recent second visit, is the many ways that, despite its testament to a Christian presentation, the work catapults away from this context and works from any point of view. for example, it is simple to ignore the two auras, and consider the four women as the same person in stages of grief: disbelief, acceptance, sorrow, and sufferance— for example. personally, the appreciation of an artwork has to transcend the artist’s (or customer’s) intent, and in this case, beyond the cultural appropriation and/or the modern view of elaborate tombstones. this one, personally, is the magnum opus of such work.



via Instagram: A.Touching.Display


B.P. Wolff’s obituary [ NYTimes ]
Vanity of Grief account on Instagram [ A Touching Display ]