Sunday 12 June
After collecting the things I needed for my talk from the hotel, I went to the Belskie Centrum Kultury only to find I had just missed a talk by Antanas Sutkus, the great Lithuanian photographer. You should have been here, they said, because he really had a go at digital. Well I was rather pleased I missed that; both it and my response would have been rather boring.
Obie Oberholzer was next on, talking about his travel and advertising pictures of Africa. He showed us how he created a number of his images, often with 'before' and 'after' pictures showing how he had transformed the scene. The only problem I had was that often I preferred the before image. However it was an interesting talk.
Then we moved downstairs to the main hall for the presentation by Ami Vitale. The main hall was large and dark, hard to photograph in and difficult to connect with the audience. Ami is one of my favourite photographers, a superb photojournalist who gets the results she does because she really thinks about and cares about the people she is photographing. Her black and white work from the African village where she lived for six months, sharing the life of the village, was stunning. The work from India was powerful too, although as she said, it was easy to find colourful scenes. But as she got further into the stories you could feel her involvement - and sometimes share her pain at what was happening.
I'm sorry that my pictures of her are rather ordinary. All I could do in the near darkness. I couldn't relax and listen as well as I would like because I was beginning to get very nervous about having to get up and show my work next.
By this time were were running late and everyone was starving. I was persuaded that we should take a break before my lecture, abducted by aliens and taken to Alcatraz.
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