Category Archives: I wish

Stuff it

Seriously, all I want is my stuff back, finish a few projects and go home. Sounds simple, right? Especially the getting my stuff back part. Apparently it’s not.

I stored 4 prints and 10 A2 sized framed images at Museum Gallery in Cape Town at the end of 2010, with the promise to get them back when I was next in town.  I was part of their opening show ‘The New Landscape’ and had a good working relationship with them. I blogged about the show here. When I left CT,  I asked if I could store some of my work at the gallery while I was in Europe. They said yes, no problem. Fast forward 15 months. I am back. And I have been *trying* to get my work back since April 5th and obviously still haven’t got it.

First thing I did was to simply go to the gallery. There was no one there. In fact, half the gallery seems to have been closed. So I wrote an email instead, asking for an appointment to come fetch my prints & frames. I got a swift reply from the owner/manager saying that he was out of town, but that he would look for my prints and get back to me as soon as he returned to town. That’s cool. I did not hear from him again. So I sent another email. And another one and another one. And, in fact, another one. I phoned and left a voicemail message. Finally, an email reply. He was on holiday, but he would get back to me a.s.a.p. “Asap” again, eh? I am sensing a theme here.

coyrightkvz

As to be expected, nothing happens. I phone again, I email again. I went down there again. We speak on the phone, again. I offer to come help look for the prints. “No no, you don’t want to be down there”. He will look for it, and will get back to me tomorrow morning, or this afternoon or whenever.

Anyway, you get the idea. There is always an excuse; he’s out of town, the electricity is out and he can’t see anything, they are taking down one exhibition and building the next, but once that’s done, sure ‘I’ll get to the archive’. Best of all was when he suggested it was my fault because it took me more than a year. What are we, in high school?

You are running a business, I made a deal with you guys that it was ok to store my stuff there, now I want it back. All you have to do is set up an appointment and keep your word. I am not your ex-girlfriend asking for an old t-shirt back. This is my work and frankly, returning it is your work.

Anyway, you get the idea. I am being strung along, given the run around, lied to. But, I still want my work back.
And this sucks.

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Enter The Dragon

Happy new year, everybody! It’s been quite some time since my last blog post which is pretty much due to me not having anything to say. If, professionally speaking, 2011 felt like wading through mud with a heavy backpack on, 2012 looks to be very different. There are some definite changes on the horizon, better still, changes are here. and I am super stoked.
The year started off good with a couple of guest blog post at Lost At E Minor, which is one of Saatchi & Saatchi’s ‘Lovemark’ brands so that’s quite cool. I’ve also been interviewed by South Africa’s Creative Network which you can read here. Things are only getting more exciting from there on. At least for me:) I booked a flight to South Africa and am flying to Cape Town on February 6th. I plan on staying there for about 4 to 6 months depending on how things go.
I posted a little wish-list on Facebook the other day and lo and behold, one of them came true the very next day:) For you see, I have been a huge World Press Photo fan and have wanting to do a masterclass of sorts for a long time. And hooray, I just signed up for a 3-day masterclass by World Press Photo Winner Jodi Bieber. Oh yes. I signed up for two other lectures as well – one by Mike Hutchings whom I actually know already and the other by Sean O’Toole. Mike won 1st prize in the Sports category and Sean is the editor of Art South Africa, amongst other things.
The prospect of learning is just so exciting to me, I can feel my brain itch as it were:)
I totally should have called this post “How Kate Got Her Groove Back”, ’cause Stella ain’t got nothing on me:)
And rather randomly – I watched Cameron Crowe’s PJ 20 – I can’t help it, I haven’t listened to them in years, but I do still love that song. I had just forgotten that I did:)
In case you were wondering about what else is on the wish-list, here it is:
“live in Cape Town, live in Seattle, visit Zim, China, Vietnam and the arctic, study film, find a mentor, work for Rolling Stone, make a documentary, fall in love, speak 10 languages, see the world, meet everyone.”
Sounds like a plan to me:)

Up up updated

I updated my website www.kathalijne.com. There are new photos in all sections, like the one below of Lauren Fowler which is found under the Portrait tab. You can find work made in France together with a few portraits in New, there’s Guy Buttery and DJ Akio in Music and work made in South Africa under the Travel tab.

… have a look if you like:)

Towards the end of summer

How do you know when it is time to push through just a little bit longer or to face facts and say this isn’t working? Where’s the line separating determination, knowing what you want and faith in your own ability from plain stupidity? If you know, let me know cause I sure as hell don’t know anymore.

I have got emails to editors, submissions to magazines, introductions letters, entries to competitions, tweets, likes.. you name it, coming out of my ears. I do get published, and I do have work coming in, but I am still not making a well enough living.
Non of the online magazines I have submitted work to, pay for the content you provide. Yes, it’s cool to be published but I also like to get paid. And yes, it is my choice to enter my work in the first place. The thing is, that I feel that something is wrong in this whole set up. To illustrate my point, consider the following.
I personally believe that in order to create a high quality and healthy online culture business, magazines should pay  journalists and photographers for the work they do, and magazines should be paid via subscriptions and through selling ads.
Yet, I just came across an online photography magazine that charges photographers $35 to submit their work to that magazine. Wait a sec.. you are charging me to provide you with free content for your magazine? That is wrong. Isn’t that kind of like biting the hand that feeds you? OK, fair enough, the one that feeds you are the readers buying your magazines and the money you make from the ads on the site, but you can not charge the one who provides you with content. And you do not pay them in return when you do publish their work. Boo..
To be continued.. I need coffee.

Press Enter

As you probably know, I have been scouring the net for publications, submissions, competitions and whatever -ions one can find. I even entered a competition a few weeks back. Uh-oh:) The deadline only passed yesterday and have  nothing to report just yet.

I came across two calls for entries that seem really interesting, and they maybe something for you as well:
– The British Journal of Photography’s International Photography Award 2011
One can submit singles and series. The deadline is September 15th, at 9 A.M.

Carmignac Gestion Photojournalism Award – this years theme is Zimbabwe.
The deadline is September 30th. I would love to enter this and collaborate with some one on this. Send me an email if you do too.

Speaking of collaborations, I would love together with some bloggers/writers on a few project when I get back to Cape Town. Perhaps we can do a feature on Cape Town fashion or music send it off to magazines in SA or elsewhere? Sounds like fun to me, anyway. Please, let me know if you’d be keen.

And yes, I did finish writing the Business Plan the other day. Will fine-tune and print it later today. It was the first time ever that I made a SWOT analysis, and must admit that I find it “clarifying” to say the least. There’s something about seeing your strengths and weaknesses listed like that.

And apparently, the gay bears are totally catching on 🙂

Jail La La

Two videos, just because it’s Friday. The first is by the Dum Dum Girls. I remember sitting in my Woodstock kitchen last year, editing pics to this song. That worked well. Somehow, the song and monochrome video make me want to more music shoots. Wandering the streets with some band looking for cool places to shoot is a very, very good way to spend one’s day.

The other is a video by the Foals. I was going to post ‘Olympic Airways’ but ended up with ‘Spanish Sahara’ instead. The first has some really nice grading in some places though… I simply liked the latter song better.

For no specific reason I have ‘Der Himmel über Berlin’ on my mind. No, not that dreadful remake starring Nicholas Cage and Meg Ryan, but the original Wim Wenders movie. That movie where they mix up color and monochrome sequences to indicate a human’s point of view vs that of the angels, featuring Bruno Ganz and The Birthday Party. That movie. The cinematographer was 77 year-old Henri Alekan, who apparently used a very old and fragile silk stocking that had belonged to his grandmother as a filter for the those sequences. I’ve been told that photographer Anton Corbijn used a similar trick in the early days. I tried it a couple of times as well but never quite got the same effect, maybe because I attached the stocking to the enlarger in the dark room, perhaps one is supposed to pull it over the lens. I don’t know.

I think being a cinematographer must be wonderful. Thinking in moving images instead of stills seems interesting and challenging. Making sure all frames are good is very different than shooting singles. It’s also a very different way of telling stories, one that is becoming more and more important for photographers to add to their portfolio. Fortunately for me, opportunities to learn all about film making are shimmering in the distance, like hot tar on a desolate American High Way. Best thing is, that opportunity is real and not fading in said distance as a trip to the South of France which seems to be falling apart at the seems at the moment, but that’s a different story for a different day.

Both bands, btw, are signed to American label Sub Pop. Yes, the label from Seattle. Seattle, the city where I once spent a very happy and hazy week of just hanging out, drinking local beers and watching local bands. It’s time to get back into the swing of shooting bands. I have 6 lined up already. In South Africa. I just need to get there. Can’t be that hard. Have a great weekend all.

A house is not a home

It suddenly dawned on me while we were strolling through Amsterdam – I’ve been  “homeless” for two years solid now. I’ve stayed in nearly 40 places ever since I put most of my belongings in storage in ’09. A suitcase, a laptop and a camera is all take with me. I like traveling relatively light, I like moving and I don’t miss my stuff, however, I am starting to miss feeling at home.

 The reason why we went to Amsterdam was to pay a visit to the Marianne Breslauer exhibition at the Jewish Historical Museum. Marianne Breslauer (1909-2001) was a photographer during the Weimar Republic and only did so for about 10 years. Marianne worked in Paris for a while where she became a pupil of May Ray. She also worked for a German agency, Academia, who told Marianne to work under a pseudonym in order to hide the fact that she was Jewish. She refused and subsequently moved to Amsterdam and to Switzerland later on. Marianne left photography behind her as she became bored with the medium and more interested in her husband’s business as an art dealer.
The exhibition was ok. I wasn’t overly impressed, I must admit. It showed quite a lot of her work, even her graduation project and several publications but the work itself never quite touched me.  To me, the best thing was the historical perspective offered by her work. I really liked seeing how the women dressed in the 30’s, the very short hairdo’s, the masculine way of dressing yet remaining ever so feminine. I would love to look like that. The other thing I really liked about Marianne, was that she just walked away from the world of photography. She explained in an interview that she had done and photographed all she wanted to do, and had simply reached an end. I like that. Knowing when it’s over.
The real reason came later. While Arthur was browsing around one of Amsterdam’s best record stores, Concerto, I found a photo book by Jim Marshall (1936-2010). Just flicking through that book is impossible. One has to stand still and look at every picture carefully. Jim has photographed all of music’s biggest stars; Beatles, Stones, Allman Brothers, Johnny Cash, Blondie, Bob Dylan, Jimi Hendrix, Grateful Dead, Howling Wolf, John Coltrane. The list is endless. Most of his images have become part of our collective visual memory. Who doesn’t know that image of Johnny Cash giving the finger towards the camera, Jimi Hendrik on stage or Little Richard deep in thought before he takes to the stage?
Ohhh, imagine being his assistant for a week. The things you would see, the things I would learn. It would be amazing. To build a portfolio like his is something I can only dream of.
Perhaps that can be home for a while, not a physical place but the determination to build a strong portfolio that will take me places. I think that sounds quite lovely:)
Watch Jim Marshall here:
All photos are copyrighted and belong to the photographers:
Top: Ruth Von Morgen by Marianne Breslauer. Berlin 1934
Middle: Lisa Von Cramm by Marianne Breslauer. Berlin 1934
Bottom: June Carter and Johnny Cash by Jim Marshall
Video: Sean Dana