Photographic Duet #2: Harsh Patel
Experimenting with the photographic duet here is a new take at it. After using only few words last time, now my duet partner Harsh Patel and me wrote a little something about our pictures. We did not let each other see what we wrote, and it’s quite surprising that some very similar events are described:
Harsh: “I took this shot in Istanbul (part of my workshop with Maciej Dakowicz). These kids were jumping into the river from the ledge and then using a rope to pull themselves up to a lower ledge then climbing a narrow set of stairs to get back on the higher ledge. I saw them for a while and decided to go down the stairs to shoot from below. It was quite slippery and narrow especially when they were coming in and out.
I saw them for a while and decided to go down the stairs to shoot from below. It was quite slippery and narrow especially when they were coming in and out.
I used the rope to get some leverage and distance from the wall to shoot up. After hanging around there for at least 10 minutes, the kids and I had some nice interactions with them posing for me and just being playful. One of the kids then asked me to take his picture from the ledge as he was about to take a plunge. This was when the shot was made. Initially, I was to only shoot him, but there were 3 other kids whom I did not see and they all jumped around the same time. I took maybe 5 frames from start to finish and this made the cut. So quite a lucky shot!”
Sven: “Being on a workshop with Maciej Dakowicz was an experience I really loved. He’s a great person and and awesome teacher. He really propelled my photography to the next level. Still a low level, but propelled. I was a little resistant to the “shoot the usual suspect” scenes approach we sometimes faced: street kids, old men playing cards, market scenes and especially young men jumping towards the bosphorus. Can’t tell if it was Maciej’s advise or me being stubborn, but I started to try making pictures of these scenes I never saw before. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. There are three or four pictures I really think are successful in these terms, this is one of them. The week before I met Harsh & his workshop crew and saw his picture. I thought: wow, pretty epic. That spot is done for us now, he destroyed it. Nothing left to get out of it.
Me and my gear were splashed with sea water a little, my workshop partner Rose who is a strong woman basically couldn’t stand the sight of me being down there & I was pushed coincidentally from time to time gently since I was right in peoples’ ways.
The week after, I was forced to go there by a certain photographic mentor and I had my trouble getting a grip of the spot. Being very limited basically walking on a 2,5 meter wide wall in a half abandonded industrial port, I couldn’t find a new angle. Wasted lot of frames, some quite all right, but all the same basically. Then I thought: how can I get lower? I found me balancing down the wet stairs on the side of the wall. Potentially photographed a million times from there too, the boys did their tricks. Me and my gear were splashed with sea water a little, my workshop partner Rose who is a strong woman basically couldn’t stand the sight of me being down there & I was pushed coincidentally from time to time gently since I was right in peoples’ ways. Thanks Maciej for making this possible & taking one excuse for not taking pictures away from me: “This is a clichée scene I won’t even bother about.” just doesn’t count any more.”
Here’s a picture of Harsh on location. I count three photographers and I can name them all. Do you spot and know them too? And what are your thoughts on the photographic duet?