Interview #396: Jonathan Deltour

French photographer Jonathan Deltour captures everyday situations with a careful eye for composition and colour. “I believe this is often the true meaning of art: to turn the ordinary into the spectacular and noticeable, simply by looking at the world in a manner in which no one else dares to employ.”

q: Give a short introduction about yourself:
a: I was born 30 years ago in the north of France.

Already as a kid, I wanted to be an illustrator. This is why I studied graphic design and during this time I worked in a videoclub to pay my school, but also to watch hundreds of movies. As far as I can remember, I always looked my life as a movie. It helps me with the observation in detail, plans and how to look at things around me. Strongly influenced by American movies such as Steven Spielberg’s: E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial (I impersonate very well) or Jurassic Park (I also impersonate the velociraptor), films seen hundreds of times. But there wasn’t much money at home to buy me licensed toys. I made my toys myself with cardboard, glue, paint, wood and old electronics that I disassembled. A bit like Michel Gondry’s movies. I don’t regret this time because I think it has developed my creativity.

q: Do you feel photography affects the way you see things?
a: Yes, I think as a movie director, still leaving place of improvisation and natural. I think framing, background and light is very very important to me …I’m attached to give a lot of light on my photos, many colors also. Photography allowed me to get out of my house or I will stay all the time behind my computer. it allowed me to meet strangers and overcome my shyness.

q: Photography equipment?
a: Nikon - Film only: with it, I can do one or two pictures of a subject. Opposed to digital where we take fifty photos of the same thing and the choice is very difficult.

a: Any artist or photographers that inspire you right now?
a: There are too many inspiring artists to quote them all here. … Of course photographers, American classics: Alec Soth, William Eggleston, Joel Sternfeld. Do you know Cascade Collective? With my buddies, we recently created a collective where we combine our photographic work. As well as film-makers, sculptors, painters, illustrators, actors, musicians…

q: Any new music to recommend?
a: I consider music as an important part in my life and I listen to it all day. Classical, soundtrack, but also electronic one…Instrumental music in general. The lack of lyrics lets my imagination go in all directions: I start dreaming when I drive, when I’m about to sleep, when I travel. I’m literally dreaming eyes opened so it gets me going.

I will share two local bands living in the same city as me: Rocky and You Man.

his website.

Interview #395: Patricia Voulgaris

Recent SVA graduate Patricia Voulgaris deals with the abstraction of images and memories.

q: Give a short introduction about yourself:
a: I currently live and photograph in New York. I recently graduated from the School of Visual Arts, and I am in the process of completing my first residency at the Camera Club of New York. It has been a great experience so far.

q: In your series “Fragments”, you deal with the issues of memory and abstraction. The images parallel the reductive process of time on our memories and the “contructedness” of our methods of recollection. Likewise, I feel your images in this series are constructed to a point where it is more graphic than photographic. Would you consider yourself more of a designer or photographer (or both)?
a: I consider myself as an artist who uses photography as a means of communication. The level of design in the images creates a tension between the two. I am generally interested in graphic images and its ability to mimic sculpture through their usage of shadow, shape, form, etc.

q: Photography as a medium presents many limitations. How do you feel towards and approach these limitations?
a: I am at a constant battle with photography. Sometimes my pieces feel like instillations and other times they are finished photographs. I always try to push the medium as far as possible within my creative means.

q: Photography equipment?
a: Canon 5d Mark II, Mamiya RZ67, Disposable cameras

q: Any artists or photographers that inspire you right now?
a: I am really inspired by Daniel Gordon, Michele Abeles, Thomas Demand, Walead Beshty, and Eileen Quinlan at the moment

q: Upcoming projects or ideas?
a: I am in the process of starting a new body of work called “Hidden In Plain Sight”. Everything is still in the works, Im hoping to have the series finished by September.

q: Any new music to recommend?
a: Recently I’ve been listening to The National.

her website.

Interview #394: Jessica Bishopp on her photo book “See What I See”

See What I See is a collection of personal photographic insights into African life through the eyes of 18 Gambian students. The photographs are intimate and candid, bringing a new perspective to images of Africa from the inside.

q: How did the idea for the book “See What I See” come about? What was the working process like?
a: The project came about due to amalgamation of things over a period of 5 years, the definitive starting point was due to the seizing of an opportunity. I’ve been going to The Gambia every November for 5 years on a charity expedition, donating aid. In 2012 (when the photographic workshops took place) I wanted to do something different, other than give aid, I wanted to inspire and empower the young Gambians who I met, whilst sharing the Gambian culture with a wider audience. It was important to me to learn more about the young Gambians who I had met, and share my own skills with them. Photography seemed the best medium, everyone can relate to it and potentially have easy access to it, it doesn’t discriminate or exclude easily.

The working process was full of surprises, dedication and fun, I learnt a lot through my first attempt at self-publishing. None of the people who worked on the project lived in the same country at the time of the conception and creation; the project and photographs are truly global and cross-cultural, which was a surreal but exciting prospect. I collaborated with designer and friend Silvia Weber who is based in Vienna for the book design, a lot of the initial organisation for the workshops in The Gambia was concocted through Facebook messaging between my Gambian friends and I, and the film editing and sound design were done through Skype conversations.

q: With the title “See What I See”, it seemed liked you wanted provide an insider’s perspective of everyday Gambian life. Do you feel photography as a medium can be empowering?
a: Definitely, I believe that the visual can highlight issues and share perspectives with a wider audience in cases where text/words might have failed. Photography can be empowering and potent, but there are a lot of debates surrounding participatory projects and the ethics involved. I did my research beforehand with great advice from the charity PhotoVoice, and I am lucky as I know communities in The Gambia and have good friends there and so I already knew a lot about the community I was involving in the project. I hope that these photographs can show people that The Gambia has a lot of beauty and inspirational talented people.

q: A lot of photography is about perspective and how we look at things, did you feel that the 18 Gambian students involved in the project each had a distinct style or insight that you otherwise would not have had?
a: I believe that students most definitely each have their own distinctive visual/photographic style. I gave the students an open brief and they each interpreted and documented it in a different way. There were a couple of students who I knew wanted to be graphic designers, journalists and artists, and it showed in their photographs; Lamin Manga who wanted to be a graphic designer carefully composed all of his photographs and played with the shapes/angles in the images. Abdolie Ceesay wanted to be a journalist and as a result the majority of his photographs portrayed actions, making a conscious effort to show and document his culture.

q: Upcoming projects or ideas?
a: I’m working with a local community in South London at the moment, creating a project around their memories of the area and how it has dramatically changed in the last 10 years due to gentrification. I think that spaces and communities have collective memory, and that is what I am capturing at the moment. I have been living in South London for the last 4 years and I am discovering so much rich history that I had no idea about, the Second World War obliterated so much of the area, and the changing faces and perceptions of the council estates is surprising. I am trying to create a project that shares stories between generations, encourages people to get involved with their local community and allows people to view the area in which they live in a different light.

The immediate future for See What I See involves distributing the book and sharing the photographs with as many interested people as possible, and getting as many responses to the photographs to relay back to the Gambian students who took part. The future involves organising an exhibition of the photographs in The Gambia this November, I have tried to get the British High Commission involved, but I am still looking for a suitable exhibition space in The Gambia, if anyone has any suggestions they would be greatly appreciated! I hope that See What I See will continue to interest and inspire people for years to come.

q: Any final thoughts?
a: You can show your support for the photographs and the project by visiting the website, liking the Facebook page and following the project on Twitter. If you want to get more involved then you can show your support by purchasing a copy of the photobook, See What I See. It is £20.00 (excluding postage) and all the profits raised go to Gambian charities. You can also order a copy online email:

See What I See is stocked in several London bookshops including:
Claire de Rouen
Foyles, Charing Cross
South London Gallery
The Photographers Gallery, London
Ti Pi Tin

her personal website and the The Gambia Media and Design Project.

Interview #393: Erwin Polanc

With an almost mathematical approach to photography, Austrian photographer Erwin Polanc’s images are precise, calculated and casual at the same time, bringing out the most in the subject with clear and soothing tones.

q: Give a short introduction about yourself:
a: I’m a photographer working and living in Graz, Austria. Parallel to working on my own projects I´m teaching photography at the department of art & design at the Ortweinschule in Graz.

q: What’s been keeping you busy lately?
a: My search for images always keeps me busy – maybe the easiest way to answer this question is to visit my blog.

q: What got you started with photography?
a: I was always fascinated by images of all kind. An injured knee brought me to photography – I quitted sports and applied to a photography education. Retrospectively I´m really happy that I got injured.

q: You’ve worked with clients such as Red Bull and Nike. Any tips for aspiring photographers?
a: It is hard to give universal tips. If a photographer is motivated and interested in the medium it will be no problem to work for clients. A good hint could be to work on own ideas.

q: Is there a difference in your approach between your personal and professional work?
a: Of course, every time you get a briefing you´re influenced. In the best case you can come up with a concept to work on.

q: Photography equipment?
a: Hasselblad H, Mamiya 7, Canon.

q: Any artists or photographers that inspire you right now?
a: I´m interested in brutalist architecture at the time.

q: Any new music to recommend?
a: Radian.

his tumblr and website.

Interview #392: Jillian Freyer

Currently based in Boston, USA.

q: Give a short introduction about yourself:
a: Currently finishing up my BFA at MassArt in Boston, Ma, but that only defines my schedule really! I’m from southeast Connecticut originally, and aside from making photographs, dreaming is my second favorite thing to do.

q: What’s been keeping you busy lately?
a: I’ve been making lots of photographs for my ongoing project, “For You to Sleep on the Tree Tops”, in addition to reading and writing…It’s a never ending cycle of feeding ourselves enthusiasm. My work involves being an active participant in everything I photograph, so I go on at least one adventure every week and strive to learn something new as well, something that I learn through experiencing, something I can’t learn through simply googling, or reading a book…

q: Photography equipment?
a: I use my 4x5 Shen Hao primarily but for certain excursions, or traveling somewhere for the first time I’ll keep my 6x7 with me to take glorified notes. They both offer a different way of seeing and moving within the environment, its usually a last minute decision as to which one will better purpose the event at hand.

q: Any artist or photographers that inspire you right now?
a: I look most to literature and cinema for my influences. However, I must admit that I recently had discovered Gregory Halpburn’s work and I love the sensibility it had within it. I am currently reading Housekeeping by Marilynne Robinson, and I am in love with her poetic state of mind that she creates while portraying a web of relationships. She builds them up slowly, growing and disintegrating in parallel to one another. In addition, I have recently been looking to dutch paintings, for their sensibility of light, and attention to specific gestures has been a large influence lately.

q: What’s your favorite season?
a: Summer used to be my answer, but the past few years have made me appreciate the accumulation to the warm weather, the relief that spring brings to a New England winter is somewhat majestic. There’s a point between March and April where everything begins it’s transformation, it becomes lighter longer…but first, even before this happens, we notice it through the difference in the way the birds sound, after that it can only get better. The snow melts and our feet sink into the ground wherever we walk, smelling of mud, and embracing us in it’s warmth.

q: Upcoming projects or ideas?
a: I’m working on an ongoing project of mine, one that I began this past summer, “For You to Sleep on the Tree Tops”. In addition to that I’m always photographing, you never know when you’ll be able to use a photograph and for what. I also just met a cell biologist and pathologist, whom offered the use of their I’m trying to find a good excuse to make images with some amazing microscopes, and adventure I could have used this winter while it was so frigid!

q: Any new music to recommend?
a: I recently just visited the William Kentridge exhibition at the ICA Boston, where his piece, The Refusal of Time is on exhibit. The music and soundscape by Philip Miller is amazing. I was entranced by the sound, of course in collaboration with Kentridge, it was really wonderful, i’ve been hooked and have been infusing my days with Miller’s work since.

her website.