NOLA – The City as a Subject

“Making a portrait of a city is an endless job, wanting to undertake it, is in itself something a little bit pretentious. Although the portrait may reach a certain degree of truth, it will be nothing more than a rumor in the city”.

W. Eugene Smith on “The Pittsburg project”

Making a meaningful, cohesive, and visually interesting story about a place may sound simple, but as Smith reminds us, it’s not. In fact, it makes us face various challenges such as empty spaces, moments in which apparently nothing is happening and then, all of a sudden, at the turn of a corner, BAM! It’s action-packed. We have to constantly be ready for changing situations, be able to adapt to what lies in front of us and have the foresight to understand how it will all come together coherently. And it doesn’t stop there. To have a complete body of work we must be able to edit and sequence the photographs in a way that makes sense and shows our personal vision and skills.

These challenges are what the participants of our workshop in New Orleans were faced with this past October, while creating their individual ‘portraits of the city’.

As you will see in the photos below, during our week in the Big Easy, we not only searched for interesting and dynamic scenes to compose complex photos, in addition to that we went to look for those nuances that often lie outside the cliché image, in order to build a story with the personal approach of each photographer. That “something else”, that “certain degree of truth” that Smith speaks to us about.

As the instructor of this workshop I could not be more proud and excited about the result of the work of Regi Metcalf, Colleen Cavanaugh, Stephen Huen, Denise Pensky and Lisa Winner.