I consider traveling for my work both as a curse and a blessing; damned be the hours spent away from my family and cozy little home but such a blessing to see the world and meet so many friends, new and old, during my travels. Often my trips have been a source of inspiration for my work, bringing to me visual images, techniques and traditions of a different world.
Do you pay attention which side is your model facing in photos? And do you think this is important for the message? According to a recent study, it is. Simone Schnall, Director of the Cambridge Embodied Cognition and Emotion Laboratory, says in her report that the subject should be facing right. If we want to portray a person as dynamic, progressive, positive and forward-thinking, we ought to portray them looking right. But why is this so, and how can we apply it?
[note from the editor: being inspired is often an illusive process, I mean, it was all said and done and all we do now is remix, right? This is especially true in the realm creative arts. What differentiate “heavily inspired” from “blatantly copied”? How much of an image is the idea, and how much of it is the execution? Mitchell Kanashkevich is a travel photographer who has a regular section on his website where he takes the reader behind the scenes of some of his photographs. There is a crazy story connected to the last photo he posted. I asked if I could share it here.]
An image of a warrior native with a bow and arrow is not a new idea. I was inspired by a photo of a Papuan man atop a hill (right) made by a well-known photographer of disappearing cultures Chris Rainier. I’ve probably seen similar images elsewhere too, but, this is the specific photograph that I stuck in my memory. I took an element from his photo – the warrior ready to fire away and appropriated it to my situation with my model Bob from Rah Island in Vanuatu.
One of the best aspects of travelling overseas is encountering new cultures, with traditional tribes being popular choices. If this is your cup of tea, you will love the fact that once a year a bunch of them get together and a unique opportunity presents itself.
Fabien Astre travelled to Papua New Guinea to attend the annual Goroka show, the largest tribal gathering and display of tribal rituals.
The weekend long event consists of over one hundred tribes of the Papua New Guinea highlands showing off their music, dancing and culture and has been going on since 1957.