Thursday, 22 July 2010


During the 15, 16 and July 17 Barcelona was placed again on the map of world photography thanks to International Photo Meeting organized by La Fábrica. That meeting was a big success. Let’s hope that initiative to become a classic and to be repeated year after year. I won’t write an exhaustive chronicle.

The portfolio review was conducted by many well known locals as Silvia Omedes, Jessica Murray, Rafa Badía or Fernando Peracho.


Among those who came from abroad I would highlight Christian Caujolle, Vu agency founder and one of the most important theorists of photography in the world, and Robert Pledge, to whom I took the opportunity to say hello. Bob, for his friends, is a photographic legend alive. In the golden age of photojournalism, he founded Contact, the photo agency in 1976. An agency that distributes the work of photographers like Annie Leivobitz, and who employed mythical photographers as David Burnett, Frank Fournier or Alon Reininger, all World Press Photo winners and with photos included in the list of the 100 photos of the century. I worked closely with Frank and Alon in Madrid in 1982, covering the Spanish general elections won by Felipe Gonzalez. There, Alon Reininger gave me my first lesson about how to use portable flashes. Those interested will find here the story.


I attended to the Susan Meiselas’ and Oliviero Toscani’s conferences. I was particularly interested in the so-called “conversations with”. For half an hour, a dozen people could have a conversation with photographers as emblematic as Susan Meiselas and Alex Majoli of Magnum. We had to book in advance and I was lucky. I attended with David Monfil. Both are preparing a project with Nacho Rodriguez and the talks were very useful. Both Susan and Alex gave faith of the unstoppable interest in documentary photography, but recognized that the golden age of magazines were over. Both are experiencing with multimedia media images, in which they mix photos, video and sound. As already explained Pepe Baeza, the future of photography lays there.

I didn’t know well the work of Alex Majoli, an Italian who is one of the promising young Magnum photographers, but much better Susan Meiselas’, especially the photos she took in the Sandinista revolution in Nicaragua. La Fábrica had just released her book, but I already had bought it in London in 1981. I asked Susan, how no, to dedicate it to me. She saw the book and said. “Oh! It’s the old one!


Alex said something very important. He said you must take into account what the market needs. You can do a thorough job on your wife and then complain that you don’t get it published with all kinds of excuses, he said. Everybody wants to go to photograph Afghanistan to, but the media can only publish a couple of stories, not eighty. Instead the media is searching stories on the economy, on the crisis on Wall Street, etc. In short, if we want to get published we need to know what is being sought, not only photograph what interest us.


Finally, although the lectures were the most interesting, we photographers always get distracted by small details that attract our attention.

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