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Interior happiness

On Photography – Part three

Hello Everyone,

What are you up to this weekend? If you happen to be living in Belgium and interested in photography, I have an idea 😉

This weekend it is exhibition time! At the Academy where I follow photography, at the end of each year, you get the chance to display what you have been working on.

“You don’t make a photograph just with a camera. You bring to the act of photography all the pictures you have seen, the books you have read, the music you have heard, the people you have loved.”

Ansel Adams

I already told you what the assignments for this year were.

They were all a challenge to me. I changed my mind several times on what to do for each subject.

Animals – see picture on top – were tough. It took me some time to find an original point-of-view. I am happy I decided on putting them in a kind of still life.

I already decided quickly on which piece of art I wanted as example: Girl with the Pearl Earring, from Johannes Vermeer. But making the copy was quite a challenge too.


If you want to see my other photos and what the other students made, you are very welcome to visit the exhibition at the Academy,  ABK Mol.

Have a great weekend, Sophie

PS: I will certainly be there on Saturday 16h-20h and Sunday 13h30-17h30



Interior happiness

On photography – part two

Our painter was ill, so no wallpaper so far…

Do you love taking pictures?

I am now in my second year in the photography course, and it continues to be quite challenging. But I love it!

This year we have to work on five subjects:

  1. Choose a known piece of art. Try to copy it in a photo. Make your own interpretation.
  2. Documentary: make a book of all photos you made.
  3. Animals
  4. Landscape
  5. Self-portrait, this comes back each year, unfortunately

Have you got an idea of which piece of art you’d choose?

Well I have struggled. The piece of art I was quite sure from the start — Guess what I chose 😉 — but the copying and interpretation…   I am still working on it.

As a documentary, I chose Amnesty International, because I worked for this beautiful organization. I started at a time when there was hope: the Arab Spring.

Now, it looks like this hope has left us, and the world gets madder each day. But we need to keep on fighting for human rights all over the world.

Animals! Getting our two cats before my lens wouldn’t be too original. So something quite creepier came into my mind: dead animals, in fact the consumption of animals. A still life, not alive anymore… To make a point: consume less. Daughter is already on a veggie menu, but I didn’t get the male part of the family to join so far.

I changed my mind so many times on landscape. I tested out different things: several subjects and playing with the shutter time of the camera. First I thought of industrial landscape, then I changed my mind to “bridges”, here underneath.

I like the symbolic significance of it, building bridges is what we need. Then “Bridges of Madison County” popped up in my mind, I read the book and saw the movie, such a captivating story.

On a freezing cold evening last week, I took the picture above:  a reddish sunset over the water, some trees on the shore of the lake. When moving my camera, I came to something more abstract. The result you can see in the picture on top of this post. Do you recognize the colors of the first photo? I guess I will stick to this one. But I need to take a few more alike. Maybe with more greenish colors this time. Wait till spring! What do you think?

To be continued.
As from now, I will be posting on Saturdays.

PS: Part one





Interior happiness

On Photography – one

What is your favorite hobby?

Since September I have been taking a photography course – I think it lasts six or seven years – at an Academy nearby.  What I find most difficult at this point is the lighting: finding the right balance of the shutter and/or aperture.

As with most forms of art, what you think of as beautiful is personal. Our assignment this year is taking pictures, analog and digital, and adjusting them in Photoshop. We need to work around a list of subjects: depth, light, texture, animals, captivity, freedom, documentary, still-life, decline, portrait.

I worked this way. I just took my camera whenever I could, just when I went for a walk, paid a visit to a city. And while in Puglia, I took my camera with me in the car, wherever I went. Searching for the place to deposit my rubbish, I got lost but ended on the following spot. Catalog it under “decline.”

And of course Dori was again happy to pose before my camera.

I adore the work of Eve Arnold and Man Ray. Man Ray was a very versatile artist, he was a painter and filmmaker too. And of course all Magnum photographers are so talented. I am often in awe of contemporary pictures in newspapers and magazines. How one image make you wonder what tragedy lies behind it?  How can it tell so much with so little information?

Picture on top is Lee Miller photographed by Man Ray



Korda : beauty and revolution

Hi Everyone,

Do you recognize this photo? If not, you are not a creature walking on this globe  😉
Image result for che guevara

It is the iconic photo of Che Guevara. But few people know who made it. Well, the photographers official name is Alberto Diaz Guitiérrez – later he named himself Korda, because it sounded like Kodak – born in Havana in 1928. His international breakthrough was because of this coincidental picture of Guevara.

After traveling to Cuba in the spring, I was so happy to stroll through Cuba’s history again. Last week I had the chance to visit the exhibition on Korda in Ghent, Beauty and Revolution. In the beautiful historical site of the Sint-Pietersabbey you can admire a thorough overview of Korda’s life and a diversified collection of photos.

Alberto struggled through a lot of jobs before he got intrigued by photography. He then started focussing on advertising and fashion photography and soon became a premiere fashion photographer in Cuba. ‘My main aim was to meet women,’ he later confessed.
Related image

Like many other fellow citizens his life dramatically changed because of the revolution in 1959. He was touched by such poverty under Batista’s regime that he favored the revolutionary cause. The picture below was taken of a little girl with a stick in her arms to play with.
Related image

“It was while on an assignment for Revolución in 1960 that Korda took the famous photo of Che, at a protest rally after a Belgian freighter carrying arms to Cuba was blown up by counter-revolutionaries while being unloaded in Havana harbour, killing more than 100 dock workers.

As he later recalled, it was a damp, cold day. Using a 90mm lens, he was panning his Leica across the figures on the dais when Che’s face jumped into the viewfinder. The look in Che’s eyes startled Korda so much that he instinctively lurched backwards, and immediately pressed the button: “There appears to be a mystery in those eyes, but in reality it is just blind rage at the deaths of the day before, and the grief for their families.” The Guardian

Korda followed Fidel Castro and his rebellions for ten years, being the personal photographer and friend of Castro. In later years he still excels in underwater photography, a more scientific approach. He is one of the most versatile photographers of his era, zooming in on esthetical as well as ethical subjects. Here you see a combination in one picture: a rebel with beautiful women.
Image result for korda photo

When asked for technical advice on photography, Korda answered with this quote of Le Petit Prince, to a bunch of photography students:

You can only see through the heart, what is essential is invisible to the naked eye.

Beauty and revolution: what an exceptional but wonderful combination.

The exhibition lasts till August 19th.

Two more tips in Ghent, for lunch: Emmy’s! For shopping: Piet moodshop

Enjoy your day in Ghent.

Ciao, Sophia



“What are we?” Paris – part two

Did you have a good Christmas?

So! After a small Christmas intermezzo, I gladly take you back to Paris…

The second day we slept a bit longer, the 20 kilometers we walked the previous day were manifesting.

We stopped at a café for a cappuccino and croissant first. We passed the little Hotel Esmeralda, where I stayed with Jenny and Debbie about six years ago. We were there in April and had marvelous weather. Debbie organized a bike tour in the gardens of Versailles.  You go there by train from the center of Paris — an adventure by itself. Really fun to do in the Spring or Summer. Continue Reading