Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Joerg Colberg

Today I had the pleasure of meeting Joerg Colberg. Joerg has been described as "one of the webs' most insightful photo-blog personalities, photographer, writer, and critic" (quoted from Assistant Professor at HCC Frank Ward.) Joerg Colberg is the author of Conscientious a fine-art photography blog. Frank gave me an advanced notice that Joerg was going to be speaking at HCC. I was very eager to meet him and hear his thoughts on photography. I sat in on an interactive lecture by Colberg and Ward today. Frank had explained to me that Colberg was living localy and that he was a very prominent figure in the blog o' sphere. I did not recognize his name, however, I did recognize his photographs and the series titled: "No Place Like The Cape" a body of work that he did at Cape Cod. I also recognized his other body of work, titled: "Higher Education". I listened intently as Colberg explained his body of work. "It is a comentary", reaction to what he has seen. As he says it, "it is a comentary as how we as a society are not treating ourselves well." He went on to explain that the conditions in which our people work, refering to the academic institutions and the conditions of the buildings. His photographs, as he put them, are geometric masterpieces. Images comprised of shapes that are equally composed into the photographs.

His photography aside, Colberg gave some very serious advice to the students that sat in to listen to him speak. I sat dilligently, lingering on his words, as he spoke softly with his german accent. It was within the first few minutes that I realized Joerg is a very brilliant individual. I jotted down roughly two (small note book sized) pages of words that he spoke to the students. What I came up with was a few great quotes that some people could find inspiring.

" At the end of the day what really matters is the photograph. It doesn't matter how you made the photograph or what camera you used."
Colberg went on to express that he is not completely partial to digital photography. He explained that it is to easy to make to many photographs, where as shooting with film gives you a more controled perspective on making a photograph. A way of being more centered and more thorough in your photography. Do not just shoot as much as you can, is the point being conveyed. Be more conscious of your image making.

"You can stifle your own work if you are to conceptual."
I found this quote to be rather intersting. His explanation was merely simple, your own ideas can get in the way of how people see your photographs. It maybe clear to you as to why your photographs exist, but how people read them, see them, and interpret them maybe entirely different.

"Whatever you want to do, do it, but be prepared to defend it."
This is a real no brainer. Basically, be able to explain your work, your thoughts, and interpretations of what the photographs mean and why they exist.

I had very high expectations previous to meeting Colberg. Expectations which had been shattered by his brillance and the way he addressed the students. Colberg was very interested in hearing why the students pursued photography and what compelled them to make photographs. Joerg took a look at some of the students photographs and gave them a professional critique. I was impressed that such a professional in the industry was able to take a few moments of his time and give his opinions and share his thoughts with a room full of students. Defined as being insightful, I find Colberg to be both infulential and inspiring.

I would like to thank Frank Ward for having invited me to meet Joerg Colberg.

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