EDWARD VAN HERK . PHOTOGRAPHER
September 27, 2013
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György László and his impressive site has become a firm favourite of mine. I think it is so important to understand the motivation behind a photograph and therefore the motivations of a photographer. Of course not all photographers would claim to have ‘motivations’ but they make the dullest pictures. An image is a visual representation of an idea and the more clearly understood the idea the better the photograph. As Ansel Adams said “There is nothing worse than a sharp image of a fuzzy concept.”
György László finds images he likes and then interviews the photographer to understand the concept, the motivation and today we have Edward Van Herk, no I hadn’t heard of him either but I do like his pictures.
EVH: Travel comes with a bag full of expectations and clichés to some extent. When I got an opportunity to stay in Buenos Aires for a few days, I immediately had to think about Tango music. When visiting a new place, I always search for authenticity. Tourist dance performances, Tango dinner shows and so on didn’t interest me. When I found out the porteños (locals) passionate about music and dance came together at Milongas, I knew right then I wanted to get inside and connect. I bought a newspaper to search for locations. This particular picture was made in a traditional Buenos Aires Milonga salon, where passionate Milongueros come together to escape everyday life. Time seemed to freeze there and it felt really exciting.
GL: What are you most ‘sensitised’ to? Light? Motion? Emotions? Stories?
EVH: Mostly emotions. A Milonga night is filled with passion, drama, beauty, grace, tenderness, love, desire, envy, romance, tension, and of course music. This couple immediately drew me in. The age difference between them simply seemed to fade. Generally a photographer’s first choice is what to photograph. David Hurn once said ‘You don’t become a photographer because you are interested in photography’. He meant that photography is only a tool for expressing a passion in something else. A desire to become famous, to get many likes on the Internet or to fall in love with cameras as desirable objects doesn’t improve your photographs. Mostly it requires practice, getting out there and going to work and not letting failed attempts set you back. Therefore is important to do some research and find an accessible subject and start a project or story. When your subjects become most important, your heart opens up and you will respond and discover and develop your own style. It will allow you to enhance your level of perception and get involved in the world around you. I mostly develop a strong desire to connect to people during my projects. The greatest gift I have received through my work is the connection with my subjects.
Read the rest of the interview