Tag Archives: kathalijne

Instagram

I’ve been posting a mix of old and new, commissioned or i-phone pics on Instagram for a while now. You can find me at kathalijnedotcom. Would love to see you there as well 🙂

kathalijnedotcom

kathalijnedotcom

Ai, looking at that live shot of Elle Bandita sure makes me want to take her portrait as well. What a cool chick.

Listening to O.V. Wright and Mark Lanegan

Advertisements

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 not so.

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 would look for it and get back to me. That’s cool. I did not hear from him again. So I sent an 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

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 when ever.

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.

Interview with award-winning South African photographer Jodi Bieber

I had the pleasure of interviewing South African photographer Jodi Bieber a while back. The interview was published on A Photo Editor and Visi Magazine.
Jodi Bieber (1966) is a South African photographer mostly known for her highly publicized portrait of Bibi Aisha; the young Afghan woman who had her nose and ears cut off by the Taliban after seeking rescue from her violent husband in her parent’s home. It was this photo that won Bieber the World Press Photo Award in 2011. She has won no less than 8 other World Press Photo Awards, as well numerous other prestigious awards such as first prize for the series “Real Beauty” in Picture of the Year International Competition and Winner of the Prix de l’Union Européene at the Rencontres de Bamako Biennale Africaine de la Photographie in 2009. Bieber is currently rounding off a hectic year of constant traveling, meeting people, being on juries and lots of public speaking. It is on this last leg of the World Press Photo exhibition, in Cape Town, that we find ourselves sitting in the gardens of the Castle of Good Hope. A place with a symbolic name as this is where Bieber is teaching a 3-day masterclass to 17 aspiring photographers organized by World Press Photo in cooperation with Iziko Museums.

How did you get into photography?
Jodi Bieber: I originally studied Marketing because an aptitude test said I would be good at studying Law. I couldn’t picture myself doing 7 years of studying and chose Marketing because it was only 4 years. While I was sitting with a friend during a lunch-break, a piece of paper fell into my lap. The piece of paper advertised photography courses at the Market Workshop in Johannesburg. And that is how I got into photography.

After completing several short courses at the Workshop, I did a three month internship at The Star under Ken Oosterbroek in 1993. My job as an intern was to develop everyone’s film and print their work. I still found time, though, to go out and shoot on my own and scored my first front page publication on the third day. I was invited to be part of a select group of 10 photographers for the World Press Photo Masterclass in Amsterdam in 1996. I’ve always done my own projects such as ‘Between Dogs and Wolves’, ‘Survivors’ and ‘Soweto’ but have also done work for Time Magazine and Médicines Sans Frontières.

Can you tell us something about the way you work? For example, how much directing do you do?
JB: When I go out on a shoot, I am there for hours. I exhaust my subjects. As far as shooting goes, I start with framing the photograph. I will tell the person I am photographing where I want to do it, but I will not tell someone how to pose. And in case there are two or more people being photographed, I will not tell them in which order to stand. I feel you can tell a lot about their relationship from where they chose to stand. Once I have framed the image I will direct, I will maybe ask someone to move a leg or hand.

I was never motivated by the money, I was motivated by photography. I chose my projects because a subject interested me. I came to ‘Real Beauty’ after seeing the Dove billboard which showed normal women as opposed to models and I thought that was amazing. Then I met a model soon after that, who told me a lot of dark secrets about the fashion industry, and that yes, for instance, she does have bags under her eyes but that will be photoshopped out. That made me curious about what real beauty is. When I started that project a lot of women were a little apprehensive at first, but I soon received phone calls from women asking to take part. And I accepted everyone.

You speak a lot about the importance of editing well. What makes a good editor to you?
JB: Editing is absolutely crucial. Everyone is a photographer these days and where you can make a difference is with interpretation. As a good editor you have to be true to yourself but not be too emotionally attached. If you let someone else edit your work, you have to make sure you put your point of view across well and work with someone you trust.

Where do you think a lot of photographers go wrong?
JB: They rush too much. You have to take the time to edit. Don’t add photos because you think you need a certain number of photos, less is definitely more. Create piles while you’re doing it; have a ‘Maybe’ pile, as well as an ‘In’ and ‘Out’ pile. If you have difficulty saying goodbye to your photos, then keep the ‘Out’ pile in your view so you feel like you can always go back to it. And do not do it on the computer.

And when you are building your portfolio it should be like music – made up of highs and lows but not weak.

You often find yourself in quite dangerous situations. How do you cope?
JB: I believe that my openness about what I am doing is my protection. I create relationships quickly, little circles of people around a bigger situation that may be dangerous.

You mentioned during the workshop that photographers bring themselves to the shoot as well. Where do we see you in your work?
JB: I don’t know, I am not the right person to ask. My choice of subject matter will probably tell you a lot. I also think that I am pretty direct and you can see that in my work as well but it is not “what you see is what you get”.

I once heard someone say that a profession is a vehicle for something deeper. Assuming that is true, what is it that you are searching for through your photography?
JB: Photography has been a vehicle to discover things I didn’t know before. When I go out shooting, I am learning something new. I am connecting with other people; and I feel a responsibility towards them.

Speaking of responsibility, there is the age old dilemma and debate, that photographers go into a situation and take something, prey on the weak while the gain nothing. How do you feel about that?
JB: I do feel responsible, and sometimes I do feel it is a bit unfair. You get your shot but the community will never benefit. That is a difficult thing.

I really do believe that it is important to be very clear about what it is you want and what the photo will be used for. If you leave out a detail just so you can get the photograph, that detail will come back to haunt you. And if someone has a problem with what you are trying to do, then simply don’t shoot them. I make sure that the people who do agree to take part in a project get one of the Artist Proof prints (ed: out of two) that I have. It is up to them to either hold on to the print or if they want, sell it. That is my way of giving them something back.

What has been your biggest challenge so far?
JB: Well, being a photographer is a lonely profession and you sacrifice one thing for another. All I ever did was photography and I am only just learning that there are thing like shoes, make-up (laughs).

After winning the World Press Photo, you must have led a very hectic and different life this year. What has been the biggest lesson?
JB: I have learned that photos speak very loudly. Not all and not all the time but when they do, then can create change. And I have learned that when you have a voice, you have to use it. Photographers can be very powerful.

What is next for you?
JB: I will be starting a new project and I have a big show coming up in Ulms, Germany.

Any last advice?
JB: Just go out and do it. You have to get out there and create the work, put in the hours, develop your own style. And don’t be where the pack is. Do your own thing. And, when you are about to take a picture of what I like to call ‘The Stare’, reconsider it.

Jamal Thomas Band

I was very fortunate to be asked to do a photo shoot with the Jamal Thomas Band a little while ago. Jamal Thomas (1954, U.S.A.) is a drummer who has shared the stage with  Maurice White (Earth, Wind & Fire), The S.O.S band and to this day still tours with Maceo Parker.

In 2009 Jamal met the young talented drummer Alex Bernath and decided to form the Jamal Thomas band.

For more information about the band visit their website http://www.jamalthomas.com

Fox Hill Lane

Seeing how CultureBox blogged about me, I figured I’d blog about someone else in return. And blogging about one of the most talented and quite possibly one of the nicest people in the South African music industry seems like a good idea.

 I first ‘met’ Guy Buttery when the Greenhairmermaid took me to one of Guy’s shows at Monkey Valley in Noordhoek, some time in 2010. I had heard of Guy Buttery but had never heard any of his music. Needless to say, I am glad I went. Guy creates a musical landscape, occasionally looping his music as he plays, with just one guitar to mesmerizing effects. His version of Joanna Newsome’s ‘The Book of Right On’ is seriously awesome. Anyway, I’m crap at describing music so I’ll take a quote from the Mail & Guardian instead:

“… his music has a subtle grace and power all of its own. Though his technical prowess is also bewildering, Buttery immerses himself entirely into the soul of his guitar, coaxing sonic shapes and forms of such startling originality from it that his instrument acts as a kind of lightning conductor for the sound of another realm.”

Impressed with his music, I wrote him pretty soon after the gig asking if he’d be willing to take part in my project ‘Swimming Upstream’. He said yes:)

Originally from the Durban area, Guy made his way to Cape Town in 2009. Having studied jazz and classical guitar at the University of Kwazulu Natal as well as under Nibs van der Spuy, Guy soon found himself opening for Nibs in front of crowds up to 2,000 people. And at only 18 year of age, he was the youngest ever SAMA nominee for his debut album “When I grow Up”.

 We met up a while later at his house. I had asked him about places in or around Cape Town that he finds beautiful and inspiring, and he chose Klein Plaas Dam as the backdrop for our shoot. We made our way up Red Hill in his car; packed with a guitar, camera, some clothes and snacks. In case you’ve never been to Klein Plaas Dam, it’s a very quiet and peaceful reservoir surrounded by these bleached white alien-shaped rocks. The sun was out and I struggled quite a bit with the harsh light reflecting off the rocks but managed by moving into the shade for a while.

When asked what the biggest challenge has been so far, Guy replied:

“The music industry itself. South Africa doesn’t have a very big infrastructure; there are not a lot of venues, promoters or publicists. The shortage of all this has been a challenge. You have to get your name out there. And my music is quite “niche” so that has made it even more difficult.”

Releasing his second album ‘Songs from the Cane Field’  in 2005, it was his album ‘Fox Hill Lane’ that eventually won him A SAMA award last year for best instrumental album. Quite recently his Joanna Newsome cover was included on a covers album called ‘Versions of Joanna’ which was released on Drag City. Guy will be touring with Dan Patlansky later this year (June).It seems to me that guy has made “niche” work for his quite successfully.


It’s time to head home and we make our way down hill in the late afternoon sun. The light has gone from harsh to a soft warm glow. While we stop to take some last photos and Guy plays the guitar, I can’t help thinking I’ve got the best job in the world. Seriously, eh.. to be in splendid company, be outdoors and listen to beautiful music all day long while doing exactly what you love. How cool is that? All I’m thinking is why stop at “all day long”… I think I’ll continue for a while to come yet, at least until I grow up:)

If you like Guy Buttery you may want to check out Cabins in the Forest (even if they don’t exist anymore their album is still ou there), Gary Thomas or Andrew James.

You can find more on Guy Buttery right here: www.guybuttery.co.za

CultureBox

CultureBox is a new blog by South African art magazine ‘A Look Away’ assistent editor, Andrea Vermaak. ColourBox is “a colourful box full of South African arts and culture, from fine artists, graphic designers, sculptors, photographers and illustrators; to writers, poets, musicians and performing artists.”

And, yay, Andrea was kind enough to blog about my project Swimming Upstream.

I think it’s very cool and a perfect start to the weekend:) You can see the full post right here:

http://cultureboxsa.blogspot.com/2011/04/kathalijne-van-zutphen-swimming.html

Please have a look and if you like you can leave a comment as well.

Thank you:)

Mind Bokeh

just a post to tell you I updated the “new” section on my website, www.kathalijne.com. Have a look and tell your friends about it:)

And… I have a plan. A cunning plan. Call me Baldrick:)

Lastly, I wanted to tell you quickly about a few blogs I love: Nowness, Burn Magazine and the British Journal of Photography.

The title for this post comes from the new Bibio album, indeed called Mind Bokeh. Loved the title, hate the cover.

And oh yeah… will need some “thinking help”… so get in touch:)