As I’m currently not writing as much, this blog is on hiatus for time undetermined.

You can follow me over on Tumblr where I share images and notes on my travels and work.

www.marciachandra.tumblr.com

thanks for following. xx

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Well, its been 2 years since I last blogged, and my last post was about, uh, weddings… So, lots to catch up on. I’ve been working on lots of commissions over the past 2 years for some editorial and commercial clients. I’ve traveled to Mali, Canada, Bangladesh, India and Thailand. I also spent the greater part of the past year on various editing/research projects for the Telegraph magazines, the Majority World Photo Agency, and the International Development Research Centre.  And I curated an exhibition at The Guardian Gallery in July—“Insider, Outsider? Photography that challenges perceptions of the developing world”—featuring 17 of Majority World’s talented photographers from Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East.

So, its been busy, but Im really looking forward to finally having more time to focus on my photography. I’m currently going through all the work I’ve done over the past 2 years as I prepare to (re)launch, and I’ll be using this space as I edit to share the pieces I’ve picked up along the way…

…such as these images taken at the Tottiford Reservoir in the Dartmoors, reflecting my enchantment with Devon and all things Cornwall.

I have a few friends that consider themselves documentary or commercial photographers, and also do a lot of weddings “on the side.” Depending on who the client is (and how much insistence there is on super cheeze), some of their documentary-style wedding work can often be quite subtle and beautiful. Yet, try and find their work online… no one likes to admit that they do them. Well, unless they are shot in another country or a minority culture, at which point they might be referred to as “ethnographic studies in culture” (yes, that is tongue in cheek).

I read an interesting post on A Photo Editor the other day about wedding work. Key notes: do it, there could be value in admitting it, but find ways to market it separately from you other work while incorporating relevant elements in your editorial/commercial portfolio.

By now I have shot a few weddings myself and, to be honest, the experiences have given me a lot that I can take into my documentary work:  making quick decisions about lighting, location, lenses; dealing with clients and what they want while staying true to your own style; standing on your feet for 8 hours shooting; making sure you get all the key shots that they want to see (that ring exchange or cake in the face is only going to happen once); and making something unique and personal out of potential cheeze… There is some work I’ve shot that I really like and hope that similar conditions come up in my documentary photography…

– london, uk, 21 degrees this fine cloudy evening (!), listening to “Lola” by the Kinks

A few weeks ago I went to the 2nd installment of the Carousel Slide Slam hosted by Jon Levy at the Host Gallery. I wasn’t sure what to expect as I’d heard mixed reviews about the first one, but I quite liked it. While the order could have been a little better (difficult to follow a comedy routine with a heavy slideshow on human rights), I really liked the experimental nature of many of the slideshows and the different formats. One of my faves of the evening was a hilarious talk on pinhole photography by Justin Quinnell–makes me want to go do one of his workshops.

Another fave was work shown by Pablo Hare on Peruvian monuments in small town public squares where they have created their own heroes.

Rather than have a Q&A with each of the presenters, there were several breaks during the evening presumably so people could chat about the work shown, or photography, or their amusement over the election results. It would have been nice to have some more room for formal dialogue especially around some projects that were more experimental; for example, I would have wanted to talk a little about the work shown by Kim Thue, or rather, for him to talk a little bit more about it. The black and white images he showed of people in Freetown were mixed with an experimental layered audio, which I also found quite an interesting approach (you can see it on the Zimmer/117 site). The images were extremely beautiful, however, the work showed anonymous and suffering (Freetown) Africans with violent marks of physical pain and apparent disenchantment with their lives. There was no context as to how they received these marks, who they were or the project’s relevance, and it felt too much like the traditional and insensitive (white/western) portrayal of Africa; I left feeling like I knew less than I did before. Perhaps it was not trying to make a statement, perhaps it was an art project combining dramatic image and sound? And, if so, why in Freetown, why these people? As much as I love the photography and the innovative use of sound, I really dont like seeing work like this that lacks context.

[Two interesting articles worth mentioning here: How to Write about Africa, by Binyavanga Wainaina published in Granta 92, Winter 2005; and How To Take Photos Of Africa Or Where Intent And Ideas Collide by Asim Rafiqui on the Spinning Head Blog, March 2010.]

But I digress. It was a nice, diverse event and I hope that there will be more room for dialogue on some of these interesting approaches to storytelling in future slideslams, speaking of which, next one is on June 14.

– london, uk, cool 11 degree evening, listening to “Water No Get Enemy” by Fela Kuti