Benjamin Clementine (2)


“Please don’t you ever forget to
Treat others the way, you want to be treated.”

“Life ain’t a bitch
Nemesis is, nemesis is, nemesis is, nemesis is,
Is the mother of karma. Remember.”


Verses: A – B – C – A – B – C – C progression – D climax ending


Benjamin Clementine

Winston Churchill’s Boy 

“We all make a living by what we get,
But we make life by what what we give…”

“Maybe he’s gone wondering
Looking for his kind of star
But even stars
If we think about it, even beautiful stars
They tend to shoot through the night
And you never find them again!”

Verses: A – B – B (progression) – B (climax) – C (ending)

Masao Yamamoto

There is a Haiku poem Ryokan (1758-1831), a Zen monk, wrote.  It goes like this:

A Japanese maple leaf
It turns to show its back
It turns to show its front
Before it is time to fall

Life is an accumulation of moments. There are moments when leaves show the sunny front, and there are moments when they show the dark backside.  But at the end, all leaves fall and decayed.

“Active passiveness,” a teaching of Zen, influenced me, too.  It is necessary to acquire the sense of active passiveness to reach a steady mind and body.  When you achieve a calm feeling by finding yourself integrated into nature, you will develop a respect and humbleness towards the whole universe.  You will be enveloped in a deep sensibility of the universe, and the earth you are placed on.

In Tao Te Ching , an ancient Chinese philosopher Lao-tzu wrote , “A great presence is hard to see. A great sound is hard to hear. A great figure has no form.”
What he means is that the world is full of noises that we humans are not capable of hearing. For example, we cannot hear the noises created by the movement of the universe. Although these sounds exist, we ignore them altogether and act as if only what we can hear exists. Lao-tzu teaches us to humbly accept that we only play a small part in the grand scheme of the universe.
I feel connected to his words. I have always sensed that there is something precious in nature. I have an impression that something very vague and large might exist beyond the small things I can feel.


“To get closer is not just about being physically near, it is also about mental and emotional proximity. It is to feel profoundly what you are seeing, what your heart feels together with others, fully absorbed in that which you have decided to live and transmit, recounting the truth without fears.” – Cristina Garcia Rodero

“I am just trying to be myself and to be honest. What is important to me is that I feel the communication is going both ways. I don’t enjoy being a voyeur, but I also know that I can not completely avoid this as a photographer. I don’t enjoy photographing people from the other side of the street, I try to walk there beside them. For me this is the interesting thing – that I am visible and take part in the scene, but it doesn’t mean that I have to put on an act, I just have to be myself. This is a relief, and also the reason why I feel so strongly connected with my work. The pictures are me. They show how I felt that day.

It doesn’t mean that my images are not about the people I photograph. I believe that the more you give of yourself, the more you show your presence and the more you share – the more these images will show the subjects personality as well.

Instead of pointing at what is different from me, what is distant and foreign, I try to focus on the things we have in common, and try to strip everything else away. The anxiety, the hope, the trust. I always look for that connection.”

-Jacob Aue Sobol

Ernesto Bazan

  • I felt home the moment I got to Cuba. Cuba is home to me. 
  • I wanted to spend my time there, not only as a photographer but also as a human being. 
  • My work method is simple, when I find a place that resonate with me, I began to work there for a very long time. 
  • My visual language develops at its own pace, with no set agenda. I simply get to a place and my sensibility slowly adapt and respond to the stimuli my internal eye receives and respond to. 
  • I need to get under the skin and capture the essence of a place or people. 
  • Robert Frank was not only just photographing, his work is also a protocol of his inner view.
  • I normally just go out and get lost in the place  I want to take photos of. 
  • I believe that the key to meaningful existence is to be able to be patient and wait. 
  • The editing of your own work is each photographer’s Achilles’ heel, in the sense that we are too close to be able to do a tough edit, because we are too emotionally attached to our images. 
  • Once I’ve got the foundation of a book, I begin sequencing the images on a magnetic board. It took me 2 years to come up with the sequence. I compare it to composing a music score in which different tempos play a role in the making of the whole piece. 

Piotr Zbierski (1)


My photographs are not connected to the place and time, which are usually left in conjecture, but on the level of emotions. I imagine my work as stories about balance between inconsistent states and feelings. Photography is my way of communication, my language telling about me indirectly. I create the stories somewhere in between fantasy, imagination and reality. I present the images of life which is transformed by emotions and nostalgia.

For last years I have travelled a lot taking photographs of people whom I met on my way and who inspired me. In this way to some extent, my pictures have became a kind of diary. I mainly intended to create a work with which the receiver can identify, can feel pictures as present memories; rather feel them than vote as good or bad ones.

I am trying to look at the person I meet as someone new, half-stranger. Accidental meetings without simple definition and knowledge of them is my way to contact. I much more prefer to meet people by chance, with no pre-visualisation – simply to listen. That let me live and speak through my pictures, because the feeling of direct experiencing is necessary for me in my work. It happens intuitively, because everyone has their own stories. Usually, when I am too absorbed in myself pictures are failed. When I am afraid of intimacy pretending to be someone else, my photographs are not good. The same is when I start to feel guilty because of taking them. Of cause sometimes I do not listen or I do not understand. Sometimes I do not want to talk or I do not know how. It works into both directions: if someone becomes more and more open with me, I demand the same from myself; exchange. When I am not afraid, my photographs are better and what is more, I feel much better with them, although it wasn’t like that since the beginning.

I think that most of my photographs comes from my inner tension and attempt to break down the fear. For me photography is an intimate medium. It helps expressing yourself but after all, it allows you to be closer to life and people, to look straight into their eyes. It is very important to be close enough for two reasons: first, not to be scared and second, to really experience something, even if the relationship is impossible.

In my opinion on photography is not about being original. What interests me is taking pictures in agreement with myself. A lot of photographers work in different aesthetics and styles; sometimes it makes an impres- sion of repeatability. However, I think that what really matters is the reason why people are taking pictures. To clearly know or only feel why.

For me photography is like interior projected to exterior. Taking pictures itself is an emotional experience; a way to forget and remember. A lot of events and experiences exist in us at the same time. They remain after a time and is it not clearly known why they come back at moments when we do not expect them; sometimes in our new experiences we can discover something that happened in the past. It is not easy to describe. Photography is a state which rather occurs in an undone way; it is more about looking for an answer than a ready-made one. In a certain sense, I take pictures of myself through portraits of other people, through bor- rowed states of things. I create works that base on emotions but not fully in autobiographical way. Once I heard a quote: “It is nothing special to say >night<, it is essential to make an impression of night not using that word.” That is what matters. My pictures are based on reality but not necessarily on mine.

I think that sometimes it is a good to allow yourself to photograph with no excessive care about the picture, to forget about it for a while letting it “create itself” in a way, though it can discover something that might be in ourselves but about which we might not want to know and to talk. To forget about all that technical things, forget about ourselves and just exist. What I mean is that the spirit comes out (title of Philip Roth book), that at a certain moment it is necessary to get rid of dependences and distractions which take different shapes of eg. excessive egoism. Everybody has something special inside, it is not necessary to think too much about it, because there is nothing to be afraid, it will not disappear. If you decide to create, all those special things want to get into your picture but sometimes we have to hide behind new techniques, machines, and new fears. It is very easy to lose and miss something important when you want to or try to impress too much. It is very easy to try to catch up with yourself like in paradox by Zeno of Elea about Achilles and a tortoise. Actually, speculating on whom one should be makes sense only then when, in this way, it destroys egoism. And it is here where identity and liberty are. There will be no other stable value. Prove can changed into composure. I want the camera to be clearance from my egoism. Because it distracts.

Identity? Coming to studies some years ago, I knew pictures by Diane Arbus and by some other most im- portant authors but the most interesting thing was kind of try to understand transformations in those artists. How their lives and work gradually united becoming inseparable. Not in a biographical sense but because photography is rather carrying personal feelings and energy transmitted into meetings. In fact, they are scat- tered mental pictures and visits that exist much longer before and after the moment of taking pictures. With or without you. Generally the contact has two phases: this one which we experience in real and this after. In a larger perspective, it is not easy to associate with people in contact sheets every day, in fact with that what the contact with them becomes after time.

I think that it is necessary to break up information and show as much as it is necessary and essential. To focus attention on parts, faces, gestures; to limit. I often conceal information in pictures, rather set it in order than reveal. I leave it in conjecture. I use cameras that destroy the picture but while working I try not to destroy it totally. I need such a kind of balance. I think that if we were permanently happy and everything was unchangeable, photography would not be needed. In fact, I believe that it is so much important because it is a kind of language for telling stories about your and others’ ends. About changeability. Every change is in a certain sense a tragedy because it leads into newness but also because first you have to part with what is (present “is”)

Being appreciated causes satisfaction however responsibility is a burden. There are lots of illusions that cause fear. I feel that the Leica prize, that I was awarded some months ago, has changed nothing in my work itself but I was able to pay some bills and visit some places. Lately I often had a problem as I imagined that expectations of my work were much bigger and that I had to work much better, and harder. The phrase “have to” perhaps explains everything: it misleads and thinking this way it is easy to get lost. In a certain way I found myself in a world which I did not know and which – besides the photographs – consisted of dinners, parties, and good-looking people. Everything is fine, only it is not what I needed. Taking photographs I take responsibility for people and their emotions and there are not often the easy emotions; drinking at such parties makes me feel uneasy. Some trout and vodka do not go with that and causes an inner conflict in me.

I had to retreat in thoughts for some time and go back to that moment when I knew what I did it for. The process itself gives me a lot of satisfaction and fulfilment, not successes and a kind of insidious need of rivalry that unfortunately has always been in human nature. Self-expression – it is easier for a vocalist because it is a pure expression as they use their bodies, not tools. Although it is sometimes impossible not to spy on, it is better to remain a human instead of a machine that takes pictures, what Anders Petersen brilliantly notes in one of the interviews. That reminds me of the text of Sigur Rós’ song Ný batteri, with change of lyrics on the end of the song, “self” instead of “alone”)

And absolutely I don’t mean to stay aside or take pictures to shelve them. I rather mean to remember, to forget, and to recall again and again that while making photographs somebody entrusts us. It is essential to remember what this process is for and accept it. And not to try to change nobody, to stay humble.

Of course I am pleased that maybe my voice in the photography has been noticed and I really want to believe that the photography truly stands only about love and being honest. I still feel and need to feel as if I had just started, touched people, problems and emotions which I wanted to talk about. Once a friend of mine Michael Ackerman said to me that photographer is somebody that is able to get lost, while Frederico Azevedo keep saying: you are the nice guy but listen to people more.