The streets I see

Charlene journal 12 Comments

Belgrade, Serbia “What genre of photography do you specialize in?” was the first question. I hmmed and hawwed on the keyboard: typed, tried words out for fit, deleted and started over. My relationship with this thing I do has been doubt-ridden from the beginning. I call myself a street photographer because its mode – harvesting unscripted pictures from whatever/wherever the situation – describes how i work. But my work itself isn’t razor sharp like those whose images define the genre. I am an ardent admirer of street photography’s many gods, among them Alex Webb, Natelle Autio, Trent Parke, Matt Stuart,Helen Levitt, Jesse Marlow, Elliot Erwitt, and recently, the women whom I haven’t read about in its scrolls: Sabine Weiss, Xyza Bacani, Elena Maiorova, and any/all of these amazing photographers, whose work …

Wet Collodion (Belgrade Day 5)

Charlene journal, vagabonding 21 Comments

I got into photography from sheer stubbornness. When I first picked up a camera, people told me, among other things, that I was wasting my time, that I was ridiculous to think I could do it, that photography wasn’t for someone like me. So of course, it became the one thing I had to do. But my entire photographic life has been digital: equipment, education, process, community, and dissemination. I read about how much I’m missing out on by skipping the film process all the time, but only had the opportunity to enter a darkroom once. Until now. Darko Ilic: On day 3 in Belgrade, Flemming and I met photographer and art historian Marija Konjikušić, a friend of my old friend and fellow transient, Carmen. Two days later we found ourselves on a bus to …

2015 in Pictures

Charlene journal 8 Comments

Some time ago I was challenged by fellow Nordic X-Photographer Palle Schultz to post my 10 best pictures of the year on Facebook, which you can see here if you have an account. I’ve never done a year-end recap before this, but finding those pictures brought back some key moments from my year that I would like to share. This comes to you by location, because my perception of time is tied to where I am. Perth, Western Australia I loathe gardening, so making pictures of plants wasn’t something I ever saw myself doing. I’d returned to Perth in February 2015, with the intention of going back to corporate life, convinced that my sabbatical experiment of living on the road was over: I was dead broke, so there was clearly no way to sustain such …

How to Become a Photographer

Charlene journal Leave a Comment

“…Let your feet guide you, slowly, as if you were cured by the pleasure of looking, humming, and what you will see you will start photographing more carefully, and you will learn about composition and framing, you will do it with your camera, and your net will be filled with fish when you arrive home. Learn about focus, aperture, close-ups, saturation, shutter speed. Learn how to play with your camera and its possibilities. Collect poetry (yours and that of others), keep everything good you can find, even that done by others. Make a collection of good things: like a small museum in a folder. Photograph the way you like it. Don’t believe in anything but your taste, you are life and it’s life that chooses… …

Ukendt Kunstner

Charlene gear, journal 11 Comments

I first heard Ukendt Kunster’s Neonlys album (free – yes really – download here) this past April, somewhere in the sweeping wilds of New Mexico. Hooked off the bat. Ukendt Kunstner – Danish for “Unknown Artist” – are Hans Philip (rapper) and Jens Ole McCoy (producer). All their lyrics are Danish. I don’t speak Danish. But the melodies, the beats, and something about the cadence of the rapping, I find spellbinding despite the linguistic barrier. I’ve listened to Neonlys (“Neonlight”) so many times that I can often be caught singing along in my best approximation of words I don’t understand and can’t pronounce.    

Wonderful Copenhagen: On Impossible Things

Charlene journal, vagabonding 12 Comments

“Wonderful wonderful Copenhagen!” was the refrain that greeted me over the phone line, every time my Dad was reminded it was where I was heading in July for another, extended Mad and Magic Raving reunion. It turns out that centuries ago, Dad had a pen pal from Copenhagen, and it’s been a European city that has lingered in his consciousness since then, though he’s never been. 

Whirlwind Canada

Charlene journal 7 Comments

At the end of June, obliged as I was to get out of the USA, i headed north to Canada. Canada was quick. I was in and out of the country in 2 weeks, which meant everything flew by in a blur. It is one of those vast spaces in the world I often think of as needing months, if not years, to be properly introduced to. I take things in very slowly, so this screaming in and out of places business is something i dislike very much. I don’t have a lot to say about my time there as a result, as i only figured out how to engage with the country – considering how different it is from the USA, which I spent 3 …