Workshop Day 2
The Belgrade Raw group does not give individual artistic credit. Once photos are submitted to the project, they become Belgrade Raw photos. Self-curation is the general rule and keeps the quality and the voice in line with what Belgrade Raw wants to achieve.
After checking out their prints and looking through their postcards, we migrated back to the table where our work from the day before waited. The Belgrade Raw group asked us to reexamine our choices and see if we wanted to make any changes.
A few artists wanted to add more photos that represented Munich and laid photos on top of other photos without taking the step to discard someone else’s choice hidden below. I thought that was funny. The new photos chosen were interesting but still did not add a stronger Munich context to the book. After yesterday’s selection process, I was over the idea of having this book represent Munich in a concrete way. I decided that this book represented the weekend process of creation and collaboration among artists in Munich and the melding of 12 people into three booklets. This decision freed me up to just have lots of fun playing with photographs.
After we signalled that we were done messing with the layout, the Belgrade Raw team took a look and did their jazzy thing creating the composition below.
Can you see the difference? In our initial layout, we have a variety of compositions but they are not talking to each other or interacting in any definitive way with each poster. The Belgrade Raw team took our photos and moved them around so they lead the viewer through the space and shared a story. Not a linear story but a surrealist or DaDa story focusing on stirring feelings and viewpoints. I like this technique. It feels like this:
The Belgrade Raw team, like musicians have learned how to work together. They know each others strengths and how each member thinks. The politeness of strangers is not present or hindering their work, and they are able to nod at each other, point at a photo and swish it off the page making for stronger and more interesting compositions without an extensive discussion or worrying that they are hurting the other member’s feelings.
After the Belgrade Raw team moved photos around, we questioned the changes and then approved the final three posters.
Phase III – Booklet Layouts
The Belgrade raw team grabbed all the photos again and distributed them over three tables.
The artists were assigned a table and asked to choose up to 8 photos for the pages of one booklet.
My table went through the photos and removed any photos used in the posters. From the remaining photos, we picked our favourites and put them together in the book.
After we chose our initial photos, Mane, came over to our table and said we should play some more.(In more blunt terms, our book was boring.) Our table thought about this. What could we do to make our book more interesting using the photos we liked?
Using Mane’s feedback, we looked back at the photos and removed any photo that repeated the same message.
We chose to split a photo in half and use it as the front and back. A photo that could easily represent the beginning and the end. We altered the sizes and locations of photos and ended up with something interesting that our group believed represented Munich, the raw photo style and reflected a little bit of our group.
The three groups finished their books and then came back together to decide what order to show the booklets.
One issue we faced was that each booklets started out with a very stark image of Munich, there was no other choice but to start out with a very strong visual /gritty image of the city. Looking to the end was a bit easier and focused on design decisions more than photographs. Book 2 ended up in the middle because it ended with a blank page and the group did not want to end the book with a blank page. Our book contained the halfphoto which was better than no photo and so the order was decided. The blank page would be a pause between the second book and our booklet.
After a few comments about production challenges and ideas for the cover, the final order for the book and posters was decided and documented. After seeing the final selection, I wondered if we mixed the books from other cities together with our books, would people be able to find Munich through this raw and opaque lens? The books do feel German and European but are they Munich?
Come visit us on Sunday and let us know what you think about this raw photography style. Our books will be presented at a Talk/Lecture on Sunday at 1400 @ Lothringerstr. 13, 81667 München – In the bookstore.
Please check out the documentary photography in town this week. Your interaction is important to keep art festivals happening in Munich, Germany. A few suggestions:
- The opening vernissage and exhibition of “Past is Now” is at the Muenchner Stadtmuseum starting at 1830 on Tuesday October 13th.
- Wed – Exhibition at Lothringerstr.13, I really like the photographs on horizantal LED boards on display in a metal box frame. Very inspiring.
- Thursday October 15th @1830 Panel Discussion about the pleasure of digging in archives. Maximilians Forum
- Saturday Long Night of the Museum. Buy a ticket for 15 Euro and visit me at Goethestrasse 53 and then the Munich City Museum exhibition and then every other museum in Munich. (I never make it to more than three.)
- Sunday Presentation of “Munich Raw” and “Der Greif” workshops.
If you want to know more about documentary photography before visiting the Photodok exhibitions, here are a few links to visit so you are up to speed.
- The Belgrade Raw Website.
- Early Documentary Photography
- New Tradition in Documentary Photography
- Making sense of documentary photography
- Social Documentary photography
If you are inspired by my posts about this form of photography and want to get started on creating documentary photography,here are a few tips (until you can sign up for a BelgradeRaw Workshop)
- Six tips for creating a legacy.
- Street Photography
- Skillshare- Documentary photography (I’m a member, you may have to pay for this.)
Are you curious why I refer to jazz music when referring to Belgrade Raw? Here is a jazz musician talking about how he does improvisational jazz. See if you can see why it resonates with Raw photography.
NOTE: The workshop was worth taking and now I need to create a photo library that holds both my main shots and those filler shots I toss into my reference and inspiration file.