PHOTOGRAPHY: Exhibit comes to an end.

 

By Ismail Lagardien

This is an old pic, taken two years ago by Gaia Manco. I am placing it online for two reasons; because the exhibit – Between States of Emergency which ‘honours photographers who risked their lives and freedom to expose the brutality of apartheid in the late 1980s’, has come to an end after traveling the country for two years. I am honoured that some of my work was part of this exhibition by the Nelson Mandela Foundation. The other reasons is, well, not for public discussion, suffice to say that nothing can take away or detract from the sacrifices that we made during those desperately dark days.

Archbishop Desmond Tutu generously described our work in the following screen grab from the exhibit’s brochure.

When the exhibition came to Port Elizabeth, I gave a talk at its official opening. Follow THIS LINK for an edited version of my talk.

 

PHOTOGRAPHY: On the phone

By Ismail Lagardien

It never ceases to amaze me what one can do with a cellular phone. I found these three frames in an ‘old’ file – old is relative in the digital photography age – and was reminded of how easy, how simple, and how terribly nostalgic I am for my D/SLR sometimes. The pictures, below, were made with a Samsung phone in 2013. I should search for better quality pics on one of my storage drives.

 

This was taken in a cinema before the film screening started. The quality is poor in this frame, but I suspect there is a better quality frame somewhere on one of my drives.
This was a random shot I made in one of the corridors of my office.
This was taken after the end of the film screening I referred to in the first picture. While the credits were rolling, I stood to stretch my legs and back, looked back, saw this and made the shot.

PHOTOGRAPHY: Seeing Simple Scenes Differently

Cafeteria Seating at Schipol – ilagardien©engagé

By Ismail Lagardien

There are times when the simplest, the most every-day scene, stands out, and presents itself – intact. There were any number of these arrangements (above) at a cafeteria at Schipol Airport.

What makes photography special is that the most ordinary, the most banal scenes almost create themselves, and present themselves intact in the photographer’s mind. This, surely, is the power that lies where the creative impulse and the gesture of photography intersect, and when the photographer captures something that everyone looks at every day, but sees it differently and does something more than.

Brutalist architecture of the University of Johannesburg. ilagardien©engagé

On the beachfront, were I live in Port Elizabeth, there are everyday scenes that, when isolated from its surroundings, photography thrives, as much as it does, on decontexualisation. This is one of the reasons why photographs often need a good caption. Below is an everyday scene on the beachfront in Port Elizabeth.