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Eastern Partnership

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Photography Armenia Azerbaijan Belarus Georgia Moldova Ukraine

Special Issue This project is funded by the European Union

Eastern Partnership Photography PROJECT


Eastern Partnership Photography

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Marina BORISOVA: The main result of the project is the promotion of person-to-person contacts between photographers from the EaP countries Authors of the best photo presentations of their countries in the Eastern Partnership revealed Winners of the contest My Country in the Eastern Partnership. Armenia En plein air photo sessions in Armenia make a final contribution to the album My Country in the Eastern Partnership. Natallia Plytkevich Winners of the contest My Country in the Eastern Partnership. Azerbaijan

Vafa Farajova Photography is the keeper of time and history!

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Winners of the contest My Country in the Eastern Partnership. Belarus

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Seven participants in Belarus’ photo plain air: We were not hunting for faults, it was cool!

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Winners of the contest My Country in the Eastern Partnership. Georgia

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Nadezhda DEGTYAREVA: Georgia, the land kissed by God…

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Mariam MARTIASHVILI Experience. SAY CHEESE: How and where you can learn to make photos Winners of the contest My Country in the Eastern Partnership. Moldova

39 Evgenya LAZAREVICH: After Moldova the shortage of sunlight has grown exceptionally acute...

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Tatyana FEDOROVA. Forms of presentation in contemporary photography

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Winners of the contest My Country in the Eastern Partnership. Ukraine

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Vsevolod Ivaschenko, Anna Donets. Contemporary microstock business, or photographer’s everyday job

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Giuseppe Scozzi: If the world is a camera, then please smile!

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Luciano Gloor: Audiences have to be taught to ‘read’ pictures

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Seminars on topic: techniques, trends and methods in contemporary photo art

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Maryna Batsiukova: Photography is not just an object but also a viewpoint

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Eastern Partnership Photography

Marina BORISOVA:

The main result of the project is the promotion of person-to-person contacts between photographers from the EaP countries SAY CHEESE! – a project aimed to foster contacts between professional and amateur photographers from the Eastern Partnership countries – was launched in December 2012. Over the last two years, with support from the European Union, photographers from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine have participated in several photo contests, visited thematic seminars and event took a course at an online photo school. The winners of the photo competition My Country in the Eastern Partnership attended photo plein airs organized in each of the EaP countries. What is the mission and objectives of the massive project, which events have already been held, and which events are in the pipeline, and what is the main result of the SAY CHEESE! project? Marina Borisova, the project’s communications and visibility manager, will answer these questions and share her insights on the project. – Marina, what are the goals and objectives of the SAY CHEESE! project? – Photography in the Eastern Partnership is a potentially lucrative creative industry. However, its development is still hindered by certain financial, historical and political factors. Without opportunities for training and marketing their works and being professionally “isolated,” photographers from the EaP countries cannot convey an image of the Eastern Partnership as a region with a unique culture, nature, and wide investment and tourism opportunities. There are many serious challenges that hamper the development of photography in the region. First, because of their limited capacities, professional associations in the EaP region hardly provide any help for photographers, including amateurs. The second problem is a consequence of the first one: there is a distinct lack of cooperation between the asso-

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ciations and individual photographers within the Eastern Partnership region. Exhibitions and contests in each EaP country hardly ever envisage international cooperation and promotion. Third, there are still no common educational standards in photography in the EaP countries. However, lacking up-todate training and expertise, photographers from that region, especially amateurs from rural areas and small towns, are unable to compete on the European and global photo markets. Finally, photographers from the EaP countries – most of all amateurs – are inexperienced in working with photo stocks and sponsors. The main objective of the SAY CHEESE! project is to improve the development of the so-called thematic Eastern Partnership photography in order to create a positive image of the Eastern Partnership both within the region and beyond it. The following tasks need to be completed. First,

it is important to enhance capacities of the EaP photographers’ associations and to encourage their networking. Second, it is necessary to create new opportunities for professional and amateur photographers, so that they can shoot and sell high quality thematic EaP photos. Third, we need to promote thematic EaP photography within the six EaP countries and at the level of the European Union. – What are the significant results of the project so far? – In April and May 2013, five EaP associations of photographers joined the Federation of European Professional Photographers (FEP). Now, photographers representing these associations can participate in FEP contests and master classes. Two massive photo competitions were mounted in the EaP region: Photoman was held from November 2013 to January 2014 only for amateurs and My Country in the Eastern Partnership ran from May to July 2014


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for both professionals and amateurs. The latter was followed by five national plein airs for the winners. In 2014, the website www.phview.org about EaP photography was created. Pictures by the EaP photographers also appeared on the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development Facebook account. In April–June 2014, a series of professional seminars for over 150 photographers – largely from smaller towns and rural areas – was conducted in all of the Eastern Partnership countries. On October 15, 2014, the online photo school of the Eastern Partnership was launched on www.photo-school.eu. 65 Best photo amateurs, who participated in the contest Photoman, completed a free online pilot coursein March 2015. – Can you provide more details on the photo school? – The online photo school project is truly unique, because students can learn from professors from other countries. Students can benefit from this format, because they used to have no such opportunity. This is especially relevant for photographers from rural

Аlexander Vodolazski (Ukraine) regions, because they have much fewer opportunities there compared with students from the capital cities with their numerous photography courses

and schools. Out of all students of the pilot course of the online photo school, which finished in March 2015, around 25% come from rural regions.

Mzia Lekveishvili (Georgia)

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Ruslan Glushchenko (Belarus) As soon as our project concludes, the photo school will begin working on a commercial basis and will offer photography courses for a fee. Students will be enabled to take lessons in their own language from professionals from their own country – this is especially relevant for photographers from Georgia, where many young people do not speak Russian – or from photographers from other countries. Currently the photography course by Vladimir Blinov enjoys great popularity, with students from all over the six EaP countries signing up for his classes. The professors lecturing at the online school are professionals who are well known in both their own countries and internationally, including the photographers Mzia Lekveishvili from Georgia and Vigen Mnoyan from Armenia, and heads of associations of photographers Anatolie Poiata (Mol-

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dova), Kakha Pkhakadze (Georgia), and Sergey Hakobyan (Armenia). – The project concludes in June 2015. What are the planned activities for the remaining months? – The photographs made by the winners of the contest My Country in the Eastern Partnership and photo plein airs will be featured in the common Eastern Partnership Family Album. The photo album will present the six EaP countries through the eyes of photographers. We never limited their creativity by giving a specific theme, because we are aware that they have various styles and work in various genres. We aimed to encourage the photographers who came to those countries to convey these countries’ diverse and exciting character through the lenses of their cameras. Judging by the pictures that we have already collected the result must be very interesting and presentable. The Eastern

Partnership Family Album will come out in early 2015. The best pictures will also be displayed at the exhibitions that will be organized in the first half of 2015 in each Eastern Partnership country. Further, we are also planning to organize a series of workshops for photographers in all of the EaP countries. This time, the seminars will focus on business technologies, work with photo stocks, and protection of intellectual property rights. It is also planned to hold business forums, where participants will be able to establish contacts with representatives of the business community – their potential customers. News agencies, magazines and catalogue publishers may also be interested in working with photographers. Amateur photographers who wish to become professionals are often faced with the challenge of reaching out to potential customers and offering their services. We hope that the business


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Information:

Vigen Mnoyan (Armenia) forums will help photographers to effectively address these challenges. – Marina, what do you think is the main result of the project? – I believe the most important result of our project is the promotion of person-to-person contacts between photographers from the Eastern Partnership region. It gives me pleasure to watch photographers interact. Importantly, they used to have no networking opportunities. There used to be some sporadic projects organized within the framework of cooperation between photographers from neighboring countries – Ukraine and Belarus or Moldova and Ukraine. However, personto-person contacts between photographers from, say, Belarus and Georgia, Azerbaijan and Moldova, were virtually nonexistent. Currently photographers communicate in social networks; they have also established personal contacts and found common interests. For example, I was very excited to watch a photo flashmob on my Facebook news feed, as the participants in our projects have been “photo challenging” each other to post one black-and-white picture every day and invite new people to participate. Importantly, they tend to invite photographers from other countries, rather than their fellow countrymen. Belarusian photographers challenge Georgians, and Georgians challenge Moldovans… For me this is what our project is all about. The photographers communicate, share ideas and invite

their new friends to come and visit them. When the Armenian winner Edgar Martirosyan came to Belarus, and I asked him about his impressions, he said: “I loved it, but I’ve had too little time to hang out with my friends.” “Do you have friends in Belarus?” I asked him. “Sure thing,” he said and started naming those with whom he communicated as part of the competition. It was a great experience. The winner of the competition My Country in the Eastern Partnership from Azerbaijan Natavan Vahabova participated in the Georgian plein air. During the event she shared a room with the Armenian participant Emilia Manukyan. Given the relationship between Armenia and Azerbaijan, we can say that photography brings people closer and holds them together, making them forget about national spats. One of the postcards published as part of the SAY CHEESE! project features a photograph by the Belarusian winner of the contest Photoman Ruslan Glushchenko. The picture was taken using a self-made panoramic head. Incidentally, Ruslan learned the technique from the Armenian photographer Edgar Martirosyan. The photographers from the two countries have regular contacts, they learn from each other, and exchange experience… This is an impressive and representative example.

The project SAY CHEESE! EASTERN PARTNERSHIP FAMILY ALBUM: Ca­pa­­city Building, Networking and Pro­­mo­tion of Thematic Eastern Partner­ship Photography is imple­ men­­ted as part of the Eastern Partnership Culture Programme financed by the European Union. The period of the project is 30 months; it has a budget of € 622,700, with the EU contribution of €  497,500 (79% of the total), and the rest of the cofinancing provided by the partners. Project partners include the Local Foundation for Promotion of International Dialogue and Cooperation Interakcia ​(initiator and lead partner, Belarus); Belarusian Public Association Photoiskusstvo; Advertising Private Enterprise Riftur (Belarus); Armenian Photographers National Association; Association of Photographers of Georgia; Bestseller LTD (Georgia); Union of Photo Artists of Moldova; National Union of Artist Photographers of Ukraine; and Azerbaijan Photographers Union (associate partner).

Naturally, the project has results that can be measured and accounted for in reports. We can speak about indicators – how many people have been trained, how many shots have been taken… However, we are all aware that these may be cited to observe formalities, whereas we may have real-life results as well. These real-life results are the human contacts between the photographers, who communicate, and whose communication will continue after the project concludes. They have taken interest in each other’s creative work and the culture of the countries, of which they were virtually unaware. I am positive that they will look for new opportunities to work, collaborate, and cultivate their friendship. – Thank you for your insights, and good luck to the project! Interviewed by Lyudmila DRIK

More about the project:: http://eu-belarus.net/en/projects/3 Project on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/ThematicEasternPartnershipPhotography

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Authors of the best photo presentations of their countries in the Eastern Partnership revealed National juries of photo contests, having one common name My Country in the Eastern Partnership, have announced names of 25 best authors. The winners went to en plein air photo sessions in Azerbaijan, Armenia, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine. More than 200 photo amateurs and professionals submitted their works. Breathtaking landscapes, fascinating cultural traditions, non-ordinary people, and amazing architectural sights – all these can be found in the pictures, which were sent to the juries from May 28 until June 30, 2014. The contests were organized simultaneously; therefore, in each country of the Eastern Partnership, except Georgia, 4 winners have been announced. The more generous Georgian jury awarded 5 prizes. Moreover, some of the juries have also allocated additional prizes for those participants who came quite close to the winners. Moldovan and Azerbaijani participants were judged by national juries;

Georgian and Armenian juries helped each other to judge works from their countries, while Belarus and Ukraine decided to switch juries: the Belarusian jury judged Ukrainian participants, while the jury from Ukraine identified the winners in Belarus. Here is the statistics of the contest: Moldova – 42 participants, 365 photos; Armenia – 26 participants, 130 photos; Ukraine – 707 photos from 90 authors; Azerbaijan – 650 photos from 52 photographers; Georgia – 28 participants and 363 photos; Belarus – 46 participants and 515 photos. The photo competition My Country in the Eastern Partnership became possible thanks to the EU-financed project SAY

CHEESE! Eastern Partnership Family Album. The organizers of the initiative hope that it will help neighbors in the region to understand each other better and have a new look at themselves, at their own problems and aspirations. Winners of the contest got a chance to take part in a photo plein air in one of the Eastern Partnership countries. Read further to see their contest works, as well as photos taken during the plein airs.

Info: The project SAY CHEESE! Eastern Partnership Family Album. Capacity Building, Networking and Promotion of Thematic Eastern Partnership Photography is financed by the European Union within the Eastern Partnership Culture Program.

Best works of all winners have been published at he project’s Facebook page: www.facebook.com/ThematicEasternPartnershipPhotography. Other contest works can be found here: http://phview.org/photos?v=26

The full list of winners: Armenia

Vigen Mnoyan, Edgar Martirosyan, Emilia Manukyan, Avetis Sargsyan, Kristine Sarkisyan (additional award)

Azerbaijan

Alizamin Jafarov, Ali Khudiyev, Natavan Vakhabova, Gulnar Salimova

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Belarus

Moldova

Georgia

Ukraine

Nadezhda Degtiariova, Alfred Mikus, Mikhail Kopychko, Evgeniya Lazarevich Mzia Lekveishvili, Tinatin Tsitsvidze, Sophio Amiranashvili, Irakli Shavgulidze, Zurab Tvauri, Paata Vardanashvili (additional award)

Valerie Volontir, Roman Rybaleov, Vitali Bolucevschi, Iurie Foca

Valentyn Aleksandrov, Alexander Vodolazski, Tania Pavlyk, Anton Petrus.


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Siarhei Plytkevich (Belarus)

Contest

My Country in the Eastern Partnership

Armenia: Vigen Mnoyan Edgar Martirosyan Emilia Manukyan Avetis Sargsyan Kristine Sarkisyan This project is funded by the European Union


Eastern Partnership Photography

Edgar Martirosyan Colors of my childhood Besides big planets, like the Earth, Jupiter, Mars or Venus, there is also The planet of childhood. The photo was shot on May 20th, 2014 with Хanon 550D 17–85 lens, self-made pan/tilt head and tripod.

Children ,s planet

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Kristine Sarkisyan Homeland, strength, unity Carefree childhood, which shows my daughter’s classmates, was not shot for the competition but just for fun. I like this photo very much and each time I look at it, my mind’s eye brings me back to my own childhood. I wish with all my heart peace could prevail all over the world and all children could enjoy a carefree childhood!

The photo was shot on May 15th, 2014 with Nikon d7000. The second picture is entitled Homeland, power and unity. It was taken for the competition My country in the Eastern Partnership.

Carefree childhood

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Eastern Partnership Photography

En plein air photo sessions around Armenia make a final contribution to the album My Country in the Eastern Partnership Natallia PLYTKEVICH (Belarus) Representatives of photo unions of the six countries participating in the project along with the winners in the national creative photography contests travelled around, learned more about the culture and traditions of the Eastern Partnership countries, communicated with one another, shared professional secrets, learned new things, held debates and discussions, did creative things. There was an incomparable air of creativity around all trips and en plein air sessions.

Siarhei Plytkevich (Belarus)

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A creative trip around Armenia finalized the en plein air series in the framework of the SAY CHEESE! international photography project.

Representatives of the host parties did their best working at 200% of their capacity in a bid to make the best possible presentation of their home country. And we must admit they made it! In Armenia the participants visited ancient holy places, made visits to the

monasteries of Etchmiadzin – Armenia’s most ancient settlement, which now goes by the name of Vagharshapat: Saint Hripsimé Church, the Domed Basilica of Saint Gayane and the Church of Shoghakat (dedicated to the memory of holy virgins martyred by Tiridates III of Armenia for


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the proliferation of Christianity) and Etchmiadzin Cathedral, which is the official residence of the Catholicos of All Armenians. As the legend goes, it is the place where Jesus Christ descended from heaven, while the name of the city is the Armenian for “descended the only-begotten son”. The cathedral is a holy place where they store such relics as a fragment of Noah’s Arc, a fragment of the crown of thorns, and the spear that pierced Jesus Christ. The city’s unspoken architectural rule is that all new buildings cannot be higher than the cross on top of Etchmiadzin Cathedral, one of the world’s oldest Christian churches… The tour of the history and culture museum of Zvartnots was quite impressive. The programme provided for visits to the churches of Noravank and Garni, Tegher Monastery and also prominent churches of Geghard and Saint Mesrop Mashtots in the village of Oshakan, whether relics of the enlightener and the inventor of the Armenian alphabet rest in an underground vault. We came across so many picturesque views on our way, which would melt a heart of stone! The steep cliffs of the Garni Gorge and the vast windy expanse of Lake Sevan will always stay in our memory. Of course, we could not avoid trying local beverages –

Siarhei Plytkevich (Belarus) Armenian cognacs at Proshyan Brandy Factory and the amazing Armenian cuisine – everywhere. At the village of Areni, which is known for its winemaking traditions, we happened to visit a real wine festival. What a truly festive event it was! We tried wine made from pomegranates, raspberries and quince, young grape wine and aged wine, apricot brandy, cornel vodka and mulberry vodka. We discovered a lot of curious information about khachkars (Armenian cross-stones) – an exclusively Armenian phenomenon and a major artistic

symbol of the nation. Curious as it may seem, each and every khachkar is different! There is no common algorithm and all cross-stones have their own character. While visiting a carpet factory in Megerian, we learnt that khachkars can also be made of wool and silk. There they create amazing carpets inspired by khachkars. We tried to learn some Armenian, which is a difficult language: we learnt the word “Shnorhakalut’yun”, which means “Thank you!” Thank you, Armenia! Thank you, Sergey Hakobyan, Akop, Ani, two Kristinas and Vigen!

Aleksander Vodolazski (Ukraine)

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Ali Khudiyev (Azerbaijan)

Participants en plain air photo sessions, winners of contest My Country in the Eastern Partnership Participants en plain air photo sessions, winners of contest My Country in the Eastern Partnership, in Armenia: Dumitru Doru (Moldova) Alfred Mikus (Belarus) Giorgi Tvaliashvili (Georgia) Alexander Vodolazski (Ukraine)

Participants en plain air photo sessions, winners of contest My Country in the Eastern Partnership, in Azerbaijan and Georgia: Valentin Aleksandrov (Ukraine) Nadezhda Degtiariova (Belarus) Mzia Lekveishvili (Georgia) Valerie Volontir (Moldova)

Participants en plain air photo sessions, winners of contest My Country in the Eastern Partnership, in Belarus: Vitali Bolucevschi (Moldova) Valery Dyadyura (Ukraine)

Ali Khudiyev (Azerbaijan) Edgar Martirosyan (Armenia) Irakli Shavgulidze (Georgia)

Participants en plain air photo sessions, winners of contest My Country in the Eastern Partnership, in Moldova: Avetis Sargsyan (Armenia) Tinatin Tsitsvidze (Georgia) Evgeniya Lazarevich (Belarus) Tania Pavlyk (Ukraine) Alizamin Jafarov (Azerbaijan) Gulnar Salimova (Azerbaijan)

Participants en plain air photo sessions, winners of contest My Country in the Eastern Partnership, in Ukraine: Vigen Mnoyan (Armenia) Zurab Tvauri (Georgia) Iurie Foca (Moldova) Mikhail Kopychko (Belarus) Gulnar Salimova (Azerbaijan)


Vugar Ibadov (Azerbaijan)

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Contest

My Country in the Eastern Partnership

Azerbaijan: Alizamin Jafarov Ali Khudiyev Natavan Vahabova Gulnar Salimova

The project is financed by the European Union


Eastern Partnership Photography

Alizamin Jafarov Watermelon-mania The beauty of freedom was shot at 3,000 meters above the sea level on 4,243-meter high Mount Shahdagh in Azerbaijan. Watermelon-mania, with a boy taking great delight in eating a watermelon, won in the competition My country in the Eastern Partnership. Shot with Canon 5D Mark II.

The beauty of freedom

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Natavan Vakhabova A more philosophical lesson was grasped by Azerbaijani photographer Natavan Vakhabova. She was astonished to observe an animated conversation between a mullah and an old woman, happening right among the graves. This moment was a life-asserting symbol for Natavan. Portrait Balakhani

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Gulnar Salimova

Smile The pictures were taken at a height of between 2,100 and 2,200 meters above the sea level on a trip to Khinalug, an old village surrounded by mountains Gizil Gaya, Shahdagh, Tufandagh and Khinalug in the Quba district of Azerbaijan. Shot with Nikon D5100 in late June 2014.

Scoolboy

Say cheese

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Photography is the keeper of time and history! Vafa Farajova I am an amateur photographer, but in my job I work both as a journalist and as a photographer, so my knowledge of photography often comes in handy. Quite a few of my friends have gradually turned their photographic hobby into a business that generates a good income. All that it takes is just… wish and work. As the saying goes, no pain, no gain. Unfortunately (it is my subjective opinion), photographers come in several categories. There are those who rush to try everything: their works show few signs of masterhood – just uniform, standard images that give the viewer little inspiration. But there is a different sort of photographers, who put their soul into their works. For them the foremost priority is to create an artistic work and evoke a tornado of emotions. They have a style of their own – every professional has his distinctive touch. For me as an amateur, photography is a state of soul. My images communicate what I feel at every particular moment. Hence, the photographs have a different air around them: merry, positive or sad. There are professionals with a God-given talent, although they never attended any photography courses. Unfortunately, there are not many photographers like that in Azerbaijan. They may not be be commercially successful, because they know the true value of their works, they are perfect masters of their craft, and for them money does not come as the foremost priority, however money is important for art. More often than not, photographers do not have other sources of income, as they live off their art, and to create art they need expensive equipment. Photographers are not on a salary, and their works are the only source of income. This is one of the downsides of the profession, as without professional equipment you will not be able to deliver quality, and no one will

Photography is the keeper of history, without which there is no future, and we cannot be indifferent to the future. Photography is also the keeper of the past, about which we should not forget. Author information: Vafa Farajova is a journalist with 18-year experience. Born in 1976 in Zangilan Region of Azerbaijan, moved to Baku in 1993 and has been residing there till the present moment. Graduated from the State University of Baku, and Moscow State Linguistic University. Worked for different domestic and foreign mass media outlets. Civil society activist. Amateur photographer, author of a short movie called My Friend, My Enemy made in the framework of the project Dialog by Means of Films. Currently works for the CBC news agency.

pay you for low-quality work. It is a vicious circle! Good equipment is a photographer’s best companion, which determines the artist’s success. It all boils down to the following formula: talent + good equipment = success. At the moment in Azerbaijan there are several fields where photographers are in demand: journalism, wedding photography and event photography, photo salons, modelling agencies, different state-run and privately-owned institutions. In all of these sectors, except journalism, photographers have flexible hours and can plan their workflow independently. Probably, you may get an impression that Azerbaijani photographers live in luxury, but I assure you that none of the people I know own luxurious apartments

downtown or a splendid villa in the countryside. Even top-notch professionals do not earn the money they deserve. When asked about the meaning of photography, a friend of mine had this to say: “It is just a job that I get my salary for.” He did not attend any special courses and learnt how to photograph from a friend. His first camera was a Zenit SLR. In turn, another friend of mine is ready to go into debt for the sake of purchasing good equipment: “There is no other way, good equipment is a cornerstone of quality work. If you start looking for compromises, you will hardly create a masterpiece. Regardless of your talent and training, it is impossible for a photographer to produce a good result without a quality camera, lenses and other accesso-

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Eastern Partnership Photography

ries. Good equipment costs good money. I had students, who took photography as a hobby and wanted to learn photography techniques. The hourly pay rate was 50-100 manats (around $60–120). Just imagine how hard it was to tolerate the whims of those who do not understand that photography is art, rather than just carrying the camera around and shooting away”, the master of photography told me in confidence. Sadly, unlike in the former Soviet countries where they have schools of photography and multimedia, to say nothing of other foreign countries (for instance, the NY Photography Institute), we do not have anything like that in our country. Those schools teach the fundamentals of photography, the basics of studio

photography and documentary photography, etc. They get support on the level of the local and regional authorities. School graduates get official certificates and have a world of opportunities to pursue. Alas, all that is left for us to do in Azerbaijan is just dream. The only institution, around which domestic photographers group together, is the Association of Photographers of Azerbaijan, which has financial difficulties and struggles to stay afloat… I would not like to end on a sad note, but this is reality. But still there is hope that the situation will improve, as photography is the keeper of time. It keeps the memory of the moments of our life. In photographs we live forever.

SAY CHEESE, How and where you can learn to make photos

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Paata Vardanashvili (Georgia)

Guranda Habeishvili (Georgia)


Special Issue

Contest

My Country in the Eastern Partnership

Belarus: Nadezhda Degtiariova Alfred Mikus Mikhail Kopychko Evgeniya Lazarevich

This project is funded by the European Union


Eastern Partnership Photography

Nadezhda Degtiariova I began taking these candid photos, which were later brought together in a series called Behind the glass, in 2007 at public transport stops with ultra zoom PANASONIC FZ10.

Behind the Glass

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Brest

Evgeniya Lazarevich The photograph from the series called Village that won in the competition My country in the Eastern Partnership was taken on January 12, 2014 with Canon 550D. It is one of the photographs about the countryside that I have made over the last two years in order to keep the memory of rural dwellers’ everyday life alive.

Village

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Mikhail Kopychko got acquainted with the hero in his picture, Grandpa Kolya (Ded Kolya), 4 years ago. In the past Grandpa Kolya was a commander of a diesel submarine, but after an unfortunate war game in the Mediterranean Sea he lost his exalted position and spent 10 years in jail. There he caught scurvy and consequently lost all his teeth. However, even now Grandpa Kolya struggles for his life. He shares his house with his son, who lost his own home in a fire, and earns a pittance by breeding cows. Certainly, even a very good shot cannot reflect a life path, especially such a tortuous one‌

Mikhail Kopychko

Second birth

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Grandpa Kolya


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Alfred Mikus Anton and Juzefa Krynicki from Pastavy district have been married for sixty years. This is the title of the photograph – Sixty years together, or Love over the years. The photographs sent to the competition were shot in 2013 with CANON 50D.

Tiring road to the fall

Sixty years together, or Love over the years

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Eastern Partnership Photography

Siarhei Plytkevich (Belarus)

Vitali Bolucevschi (Moldova)

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Seven participants in Belarus’ photo plain air:

We were not hunting for faults, it was cool! In the framework of the SAY CHEESE! International Photography Project, Belarus’ Fotoiskusstvo (Photo Art) NGO held en plein air photo sessions in August in Belarus for photographers from Azerbaijan, Armenia, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine. The guests visited Minsk, Viciebsk, Hrodna, Brest and Homiel’ regions of Belarus to learn more about the local architecture, culture and traditions of our country, took part in a fishing competition, with joint efforts molded a clay cup, practiced wildlife photography in the wildlife reserve at the Pripiac’ National Park, took a helicopter ride, gave a try to the Belarusian cuisine and the Belarusian sauna. Cutting a long story short, there was no time to be bored! Here are some of the feedback reports made by our guests following the en plein air sessions. Alexander Chaptsev, Ukraine: I was pleasantly surprised with the atmosphere, the commitment and dedication of members of the Belarusian team,

who took great care to please the guests. It was very comfortable, as they provided for different trivial matters. I appreciate the amount of preparatory work accomplished by the organizers! We have had a lot of positive impres­ sions of the country and its people, the tiny corners of Belarus which we had a chance to visit. I hope the material collected by the photographers en plein air would translate into an unusual photo album. I also hope that after holding en plein air sessions in the other regions there will be an interesting photo exhibition, which will be successfully on display in all countries participating in the photo project. I very much enjoyed Belarusian roads: I have had some experience travelling around Ukraine, so I could see their true

value. Especially in Hrodna region: no matter where you go, everything is perfect even mud roads. Your country is very rich in cultural and historical monuments, which are valuable for our common history, the times of magnates of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, when we lived in one common state. Those cultural monuments, which we had a chance to see, impress with their different forms, and the color range. And Alfred Mikus, who showed them to us, made a correct guess. For me, as a person who prefers shooting architecture, it was very interesting. Rauf Umudov, Azerbaijan:: I liked everything we could see without exception. Honestly, we were coming to Belarus with heavenly thoughts and were not hunting for faults, as the bearer of faults and negative matters is the person himself in the first place. We could appreciate the real Belarusian hospitality. Both us – Azeri people and you, Belarusians, are life lovers! We reverently preserve traditions of our an­

Edgar Martirosyan (Armenia)

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ces­tors, ethnic identity and national charac­ter. By the way, both you and us are people with a distinctive character. We, too, love our land – it is impossible to live without love! This love can be clearly felt on the Belarusian land. Edgar Martirosyan, Armenia: I have been to Belarus for the first time. And here are my first impressions: cleanliness, beautiful nature, and wonderful people, who love their country. I very much liked the wooden village huts, I love this patriarchal style. Elderly ladies riding bicycles… Alas, we do not have things like that in our country, so it was extremely interesting for me to see.

Irakli Shavgulidze (Georgia)

Nino Mgebrishvili, Georgia: Every day there was a new place for us to visit and see. I was so filled with emotion that I even posted about all that on Facebook. It was cool! The brightest moments are about the fishing competition. In my own country I have never tried things like that: fishing is men’s domain in our country. Unforgettable impressions about the trip: we could see a complex of lakes, forests, hay making in progress, and potato harvesting. Also, we could feel how Belarusian people love their country. I really envy you (meaning the good kind of envy): everything is taken proper

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care of, human touch is felt everywhere. Beautiful, clean, well-groomed. And you were eager to open Belarus not only to us, but also to our friends and our countries. Irakli Shavgulidze, Georgia: Hierviaty is one of my brightest impressions. Another bright memory is the Sula Palace and Park Complex and a helicopter ride over it, but even without the flight, Sula in its own right is worthy of attention, as it has its own spirit and history. Also, the emotional and inspiring presentation made by Art Director Alexander was quite charming and endearing. The third milestone place visited during the trip, in my opinion, was the Niasvizh Castle. I had read up on the subject and was looking forward to the meeting with it, but, unfortunately, the weather would not meet our expectations. Good reason to come back, they said! Valery Diadiura, Ukraine: My greatest impression is your lakes. I am into nature photography, and your natural landscapes were a joy for me to see. Although they are not very much different from our landscapes – just in some locations I saw vegetation that we do not have. Both in your country and in my country there is a lot of greenery!

The landscapes around Catholic Churches are quite interesting. It feels like there is human touch everywhere. I like it very much! Sergey Hakobyan, Armenia: I made exceptionally wonderful shots entirely by accident on the way from the Pripiat’ National Park to Niasvizh, when we saw a horse riding competition in the rain straight by the roadside. I even had regrets that we spent little time shooting there. Those shots alone are not enough to show entire Belarus: it is an unencompassable country, and we only covered just one part of it. The places are truly amazing and picturesque. As a photographer, I had a lot of new impressions and new discoveries. Your people are open, sociable, hospitable and – most importantly – deeply in love with their own country! The love for their country also reveals itself in cleanliness. Clean interiors, clean exteriors, clean human relations and clean… Belarusian vodka. I haven’t found any faults anywhere. I very much liked to see the country that moves forward and flourishes!


Irakli Shavgulidze (Georgia). Rainbow in Kazbegi.

Special Issue

Contest

My Country in the Eastern Partnership

Georgia: Mzia Lekveishvili Tinatin Tsitsvidze Sophio Amiranashvili Irakli Shavgulidze Zurab Tvauri Paata Vardanashvili This project is funded by the European Union


Eastern Partnership Photography

Irakli Shavgulidze Irakli Shavgulidze put himself in serious danger. He was shooting Heroes Square in Tbilisi from the very top of a ten-story building, which was under construction at that time. Irakli got to the top flour of the edifice when the sun was high, but he was returning to the firm ground in the dark, carrying 10 kilos of equipment on his back and stepping down the precarious stairs. Thanks to this “adventure” he learned to foresee all the details of a forthcoming shooting session…

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Heroes Square

Tbilisi. Winter view


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Nadezhda DEGTIARIOVA:

Georgia, the land kissed by God… We have interviewed Nadezhda Degtiariova, the Belarusian winner of the contest. – Some photographers only care about becoming the ultimate winner in a contest. Another medal, another award certificate to hang on the wall… These matters have never been of interest to me. You can call me a shrewd person with a calculating mind, but if I decide to take part in a contest, I do it for mercantile reasons. I got my first SLR camera as a prize in the contest Minsk Photos. Townspeople. And then in a bid to upgrade my photo equipment, I chose to take part in a web journalism contest with a solid

money prize for the winner. The terms of the contest My Country in the Eastern Partnership said that the winner of the first prize would be free to choose the country of the creative photo tour. That was a decisive moment for me: I had been dreaming about Georgia. In the end I was lucky to visit two countries: we spent five days in Georgia and three in Azerbaijan. We were made remarkably welcome, everything top notch! To tell you the truth, I would have been happy with less classy hotel accommodation to save the money for extending the duration of the en plein air sessions proper. I would very much want to have the trip extended! The shortage of time grew exceptionally acute in Azerbaijan. We arrived in Baku

late in the evening. Of course, we had a chance to shoot panoramas, but I do not practice this type of photography. My ultimate preference is street photography – I like photographing people. The next day we stayed in Baku only till the noon. So little time earmarked for such a beautiful city! In Georgia we were able to take pictures both in villages and in the houses of the local people, and to touch base with the locals. On trips like that in addition to planned activities I would prefer to have some time reserved for solo photo experience. There are things that a photographer cannot shoot in a crowd. When all photographers stand side by side, they shoot the same things. I agree that one will take a picture of one and the same architectural object, for instance, a church, in a personal way prompted by inspiration, but still! – So what are your impressions of the sights? – Well, the impressions are extremely positive! There was little time left for Azerbaijan, but Baku is just an incredible city! Now they are into landscape

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Nadezhda Degtiariova (Belarus) design. The city is getting refreshed, with construction work going on at a fantastic speed! I cannot draw comparisons, as I had not been to Baku before that trip, but during the sightseeing tour of the city we could hear every now and then: built last year, accomplished this year, even though they have both the perfectly preserved old city, and interesting Soviet architecture.

pictures for my alpine skier friends. So I took a walk around the town and asked a local how far it was to the lifts. They happened to be at a distance of around two kilometers, but I only had half an hour. “Such a pity I won’t make it!” I said. And he replied: “Yes, you will! I’ll give you a ride!” I started asking him not to bother, but he had already start-

Georgia has wonderful natural surroundings! I know I am not the first to say this, but the delight this country gives is beyond words! Georgia is a land kissed by God, a heavenly place on the Earth. Here there is everything: mountains, snow-covered summits, waterfalls, a tropical paradise with palm-trees at the seaside, wonderful lakes and rivers. And Georgia’s people are also wonderful! Everybody has heard about oriental hospitality, and it is no myth. But Georgian hospitality is hospitality squared! Absolute strangers are ready to help you in every possible way. We were passing an alpine ski resort in Bakuriani, and I had a personal interest there: I was eager to have a look at the lifts and take a few

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Valentyn Aleksandrov (Ukraine)

ed the car… And they are all like that. There was an incident: there occurred a slight trouble with the bus (it took 30 minutes to put things right), so we decided not to waste the time and take a walk about the town. We asked permission to walk into one of the patios and take pictures. The home owner made a real fuss about it: he started offering us


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home-made wine, picked almonds from a tree, rushed for a hammer and started cracking the nuts for us… I think any traveler, who visits Georgia, will hardly resist falling in love with this country. As for me, upon return I came to realize what I miss in my home city. In Tbilisi the shops stay open until

2 o’clock in the morning. In Minsk the only public places that stay open at that time are night clubs and restaurants. But if a person is strolling about the city or taking a bicycle ride – I love evening bike rides – why should they go to an expensive café or restaurant? Not everyone can afford or would be willing to go there if

all that you want is a cup of tea with a bun or an ice-cream. In Minsk at eleven everything comes to a standstill, the city is sleeping… but the streets of Tbilisi are full of light! The narrow streets are flooded with dancing people – and it sets you into a cheerful mood! Interviewed by Liudmila DRIK

Bacho Gaprindashvili (Georgia)

Olga Tsiskarishvili (Georgia). Kvareli

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Eastern Partnership Photography

SAY CHEESE: How and where you can learn to make photos

Experience

Гуранда Хабеишвили (Грузия). Попрошайка (Beggar)

Mariam MARTIASHVILI

Modern technologies make the studying process more accessible, convenient and attractive. There is nothing new about founding a photo school for beginners and amateurs. Yet there is a necessity to create a single regional multilanguage platform – an online photo school which would connect teachers and students from various parts of the Eastern Partnership member states. Such school would provide equal learning opportunities for everyone, regardless of their place of residence, and make the learning process interesting, fascinating, convenient and efficient. This opportunity has become real due to SAY CHEESE! project which is sponsored by the European Union within the framework of the Eastern Partnership Culture Programme.

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The science of photography, like any other academic discipline, is a long and arduous process. Photography is an art of conveying your impressions, individuality and inspiration, which requires proficiency, skills and practice. As a rule, photography courses are more readily available in capital cities and big cities, while small towns and rural areas lack photo schools and courses. Consequently, as numerous polls and studies show, beginners and amateur photographers who live in rural areas have no chance to become proficient.

www.photo-school.eu is the first online photo school in the region whose unique characteristics include the international scope, the peculiar methodology and many interesting proposals for students and teachers. In the first group of students, each of the six states of the Eastern Partnership (Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Ukraine) was represented by amateur photographers who got the chance to take a free online pilot course by winning Photoman contest. The 4-month pilot photo course for amateurs started on October 15, 2014, and finished in late March 2015. The course consists of 14 online lessons in the form of video lectures, webinars focusing on the most interesting topics, and homework. Later, to consolidate the skills and

knowledge, each of the Eastern Partnership countries arranged a 2-day practical session. Marina Borisova, SAY CHEESE! Communications and Visibility Manager, Interakcia Foundation: The online photo school is a project primarily for photographers from small towns and rural areas, because capital cities have more education opportunities. I hope that the school will help form new professional networks of photographers within the Eastern Partnership. The cooperation of amateurs and professionals will result in new exhibitions and help implement challenging initiatives. The school itself may serve as an example of successful joint effort, because it is managed by six associations of photographers from the Eastern Partnership member states. So, what exactly does photo-school.eu offer its students? The studying process is conducted in the languages of the Eastern Partnership states. Studying in the native language makes the process comfortable for students. Any other language may be added on the photo school’s website, which will enable the project to attract a multilanguage audience in future. The diverse visual form of lessons makes the topic more understandable. As a result, the learning process is more interesting, easy and attractive.


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In addition to video lessons, there are texts which make the topics even clearer and more understandable. The school’s website also gives an opportunity to see the practical notes of the teacher and download the task several times. The main advantage of the online photo school are webinars which make the studying process interactive, two-sided, live and convenient. As an inseparable part of each lesson, webinars are conducted online in the form of questions and answers. If you missed a webinar at the scheduled time, you can see a recorded version. How do the pilot course students assess the project? Below you will see the opinions of students from Georgia and Moldova. – What is the difference between the online photo school photo-school.eu and other education institutions? Olga Oshepkova, student (Georgia): – First of all I would like to mention that the studying process is conducted in several languages. Every teacher offers his own version of each lecture. The lectures can be viewed in video form. The student can see all versions and choose a teacher. The opportunity of choice exists for all lessons. It means that throughout the whole duration of the course the student has a chance to select teachers. And that’s not all. Each lesson gives students a chance to communicate with their selected teachers with the help of live webinars. If a student misses a webinar for some reason, he or she can listen to it at any other time. Zina Gheata, student (Moldova): – The difference between photoschool.eu and other schools lies in its dynamic interactive program. The participants are highly motivated by deadlines which are set for home tasks which we need to fulfill before passing over to the next lesson. Another advantage of the online photo school is its international faculty. – What are the results of being the student of photo-school.eu? Olga Oshepkova: – As a student of the online photo school, I have a chance to improve my knowledge of photography and polish some skills, to which I previously paid insufficient attention. Another positive effect is a chance to practice. Making creative professional photos is so much different from making photos just for yourself and your family. This cannot be done without knowledge. Learning new things is such an interesting process.

Another aspect to be mentioned is live communication with teachers and students and exchange of experience. Teachers’ comments on our photos are such a valuable basis for self-education. It is a unique opportunity to learn from your own mistakes and the mistakes of others. Zina Gyatsa: – I regard photography as a hobby. Presently I’m at the beginning of my

– Is there anything what you like in particular, or what you would like to change? Olga Oshepkova: – In this connection I want to mention the opportunity to listen to lectures in video form. This form is very convenient for me, since I suffer from a chronical lack of time. This helps a lot. For example, I can do some simple household duties while

Anatol Poiata (Moldova) way. I like the fact that the school gives me access to information about making and processing photos. I found new friends from Moldova and other countries and we can share our experience. Despite the fact that we are away from each other, we have become real colleagues. – Do you like the studying process and teaching methods (video and text materials, webinars, tasks, the choice of languages and teachers, etc.)? Why do you like or dislike them? Olga Oshepkova: – Yes, I like everything. The process is very flexible. Zina Gheata: – Yes, I like the studying process. In the beginning I couldn’t understand the teaching methods, they seemed strange to me. Later, however, I realized that they were simple and original. I have to both work and study, and your methods help me save time for studying and exploring the new materials of the school. I appreciate the fact that you give us a chance to independently choose teachers for each course.

listening to a lecture, and thus save time because I don’t need to read the material. In addition, we have a chance to listen to and read the materials in languages other than Russian. I am pleased to listen to lessons in Georgian, for me it is a perfect opportunity to enrich my Georgian photo vocabulary. In addition, I’m getting interesting additional information on the topic of each lesson. The video lectures have a perfect structure – their layout and the excellent video presentation make it easy to learn the lesson. Personally, I would like to have a chance to see all works of the course, so as to get a better understanding of the peculiar methods of each teacher. Also, I would like to have an opportunity to participate in all webinars, not just those conducted by my selected teacher. Besides, I think it would be useful to set up a student forum as a venue for efficient communication. Zina Gheata: – I like everything, and I would like to stress that we have an opportunity to view the lessons of each teacher, both the webinars and the lectures. Each teacher has his or her own methods of lecturing

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Eastern Partnership Photography

and explaining. If we have questions, we can ask them online and immediately get the answer. What needs to be added is an opportunity of getting teachers’ comments on our works, regardless of the fact, whether they were accepted or not. Other students assess the school in a very similar way. Armine Balasanyan, a student from Armenia, speaks about the opportunity to get the opinions and consultations of various teachers, while Xanim Aliyeva from Azerbaijan particularly likes the online form of studies: “You can visit the school’s website any moment, watch the video or read the task again, or download a photo”. Since the online photo school was founded within the framework of the Eastern Partnership, the teachers come from the member states. Teachers from Moldova, Ukraine, Belarus, Georgia, Azerbaijan and Armenia are all experienced lecturers and photographers. Nino Mghebrishvili, Association of Photographers of Georgia: – Practice shows that students do not necessarily choose teachers from their country of residence. For example, certain lessons of the teacher from Ukraine were chosen by Belarusian, Georgian and Armenian students, and the Belarusian teacher was at some point selected by students from Georgia, Azerbaijan, Ukraine, etc. According to Nino Mgebrishvili, such a peculiar choice is certainly an additional advantage for students, since each country has its own traditions of photography, which is reflected in different approaches and teaching methods of different teachers. For most teachers of photo-school.eu online teaching is new and challenging. However, both for students and teachers online studies are a flexible and interesting form of education. Vladimir Blinov is a teacher from Belarus, who has never conducted an online course before. Although he has been looking into the idea of online teaching, this is his first experience of the kind: – How is the education process at the online school different from that in other education institutions? – The major differences are connected with the distant character of education. It has certain advantages, such as a wider territorial scope and a flexible schedule. But there are disadvantages too, namely, weaker feedback, complicated student assessment system and fewer chances to react promptly to a changing situation. We have to take these factors into account.

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– How would you assess the studying process at the online photo school (video lessons, webinars, tasks, an opportunity to choose teachers)? – It’s too early to speak about the results, because the process has just begun. The structure is quite logical, and when it is fully completed, the studying process should be quite comfortable. At this moment most drawbacks are connected with webinars. In my opinion, this is the weakest spot of the school which needs considerable improvements. – Are you planning to further cooperate with photo-school.eu as a teacher? – It may sound trivial, but yes, if my salary corresponds to the time which I dedicate to the process. The work is interesting, but I need to feed my family. – What you would like to mention in particular, what do you like about the school and what would you want to change? – It is interesting to meet students from different countries, the process of distance teaching is interesting and unusual. As for my critical remarks, I have a lot of them, from global to small. I communicate all the ideas that I have by Skype, and hope that the school will be able to implement at least some of them sooner or later. *** After the end of the pilot course, in 2015 the online photo school of the Eastern Partnership will become a commercial project. The six associations of photographers of the Eastern Partnership member states will become its founders. The school will employ new teachers from different countries, and students will have at their disposal for-fee courses in various fields of photography and various levels of complexity. In addition, the school’s website will feature specialised courses and master classes of famous photographers. The pilot and for-fee courses will be conducted by well-known professionals. Students will be able to select teachers from various countries or simultaneously have several teachers. Lessons will be available in the national languages of the Eastern Partnership states. – Why is the online photo school important for your country, its professional and amateur photographers? Sergey Hakobyan, Armenian Photographers National Association: – I regard the online photo school within the framework of the SAY CHEESE! project, which is sponsored by the European Union, as a vital step forward for our or-

ganization. The school has an up-to-date form and it serves as a timely response to the needs of the beginners. It will give many beginners a chance to learn how to make interesting high-quality photos, develop their skills and creative abilities in the field of artistic photography and get a certificate wich is recognized in all states of the Eastern Partnership. Mirnaib Hasanoglu, Azerbaijan Photographers Union: – Until this moment we had no online photo school in Azerbaijan. Online photo courses are convenient. Many amateur photographers live in small towns and rural areas, they cannot get education in Baku. They will find it much more convenient to study at home. – Do you think that the school will contribute to the development of professional education in your country? Sergey Hakobyan: – The very fact of opening of such a photo school is an important event in the life of the Armenian photography. However, it is just the beginning of hard preliminary work which is necessary to make the project really come true. The result will fully depend on our work, it will determine whether the school will have an impact on the development of professional education in the sphere of photography in Armenia. Mirnaib Hasanoglu: – The online school will bring positive results, because here we will conduct courses in the Azerbaijani language. Some Azerbaijani photographers do not speak Russian or English. Of course, they will be happy to have a chance to get education in their native language. – Are you planninng to employ famous photographers for master classes? Sergey Hakobyan: – The modern level of digital photography will not let us do without employing experts who will help both enhance the image of our school and improve the knowledge and skills of students. Mirnaib Hasanoglu: – We are hoping to attract renowned photographers to master classes at our school. I think their experience in various fields of photography will be interesting and useful. Finally, another positive fact about photo-school.eu is that its students will get an international certificate which is recognized throughout the Eastern Partnership and confirmed by the associations of photographers of the member states.


Roman Rybaleov (Moldova). Color

Special Issue

Contest

My Country in the Eastern Partnership

Moldova: Valerie Volontir Roman Rybaleov Vitali Bolucevschi Iurie Foca

This project is funded by the European Union

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Eastern Partnership Photography

Arrival

Valerie Volontir

Expectation

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The importance of inadvertent, “nonstaged” moments is also evidenced by the experience of Valerie Volontir’s, an author from Moldova. It might seem that his photograph of a girl standing on the platform is an artful attempt to recreate the atmosphere of painful anticipation. However, the actual story behind the photo, according to Valerie himself,

is the following: “This happened at the station of a small town of Străşeni. I accidentally spotted a girl who was wearing in a white dress and had a black purse. She was impatiently waiting and looking for something... Then I got to know that the girl was waiting for her sister, who was supposed to get married on that day...”


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Evgenia LAZAREVICH:

After Moldova the shortage of sunlight has grown exceptionally acute... The prize winners in the contest My Country in the Eastern Partnership could choose to take part in a creative photo tour of one of the states of the Eastern Partnership. Probably the major outcome of the international contest will be not only the Eastern Family Album, but something much more significant: friendly ties between photographers from different countries, shared experience and fresh ideas brought along from the trips. While on a journey, a person is taken out of their usual context, and their eye, which lost freshness of vision in a permanent setting, becomes observant and watchful again. For a photographer recapturing freshness of vision is especially important, reckons Yevgenia Lazarevich, who took part in the August en plein air photo sessions in Moldova. – I really appreciate the choice of awards – the idea of organizers to send prize winners on creative photo tours. Visiting a new country is also a unique opportunity to communicate with like-minded

photographers and share experience. I am at the very beginning of my journey into photography and this opportunity is very important for me. The group included a lot of accomplished masters and photog-

raphers with a big name – one could learn a thing or two from both. Another benefit of going on a creative photo tour is to get to know what is going on in the field of photography in the neighboring countries and their photographic culture. When you live and work in Belarus, you are stewing in your own juice and often have no idea about photographic life abroad. It is always useful to walk outside the limits of the usual setting and break the mould. – What impressions of the ein plein air photo sessions did you get? – The program was incredibly busy: every morning we would take a minibus ride around the country and every eve-

Evgeniya Lazarevich (Belarus)

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Eastern Partnership Photography

ning we would come back to our hotel on our last legs, but very happy about what we could see, about the images taken and about communicating with one another. We visited the most remote corners of the country and Transdniestria. Everything was well-planned, the hosts were welcoming and cordial, so we felt very comfortable. To tell you the truth, we could wander around Chisinau only on the last day, which happened to be the National Day of the Moldovan Language with a lot of celebrations and entertainment activities. So we had an opportunity to take a plunge into the festive atmosphere and make a photo report… Every photographer could find a theme to their liking. I would like to praise the choice of the sights we visited during the trip. Those were wonderful, absolutely unique architectural monuments. Ancient monasteries and temples were especially impressive. One of most memorable places was the Church of the Assumption of the Mother of God in Căuşeni built in the early 17th century under Turkish rule. It is set deeply below the ground level. As the legend goes, the Tatars gave consent to building the church on condition that its height did not surpass a warrior on horseback. The ancient church is famous for preserved Byzantine-style medieval frescos on its walls. When we arrived, the church happened to be closed for tourists, but they made an exception for our group. The old massive door opened and we went inside into the mysterious cold semi-darkness… Of course, the organizers deserve credit for this! Besides, the program included visits to viniculture centers located in Moldova’s most picturesque places. – So what are your impressions of the sights? – It was my first time in Moldova, but the country was not utterly foreign to me. My husband was born in Moldova and spent his childhood there. He would tell me about houses wrapped in grapevines, and plenty of fruit and sunshine… So I felt some anticipation and yearning for something wonderful and beautiful. I could feel the charm of the country on the way there, when from the train window I saw all that beauty – the hills, the houses in the light of the rising sun. We were exceptionally lucky to be there in August – the best time for travelling. Indeed, there was plenty of fruit! Every time we went sightseeing, the organizers would take along grapes. Moldova is a wine country. Of course, it is impossible to

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Vyacheslav Broome forget visits to viniculture centers, where we could eyewitness the winemaking process. Odd as it may seem, I do not drink any alcohol, but the process of winemaking is so special, so interesting and spellbinding, such a sight for sore eyes. Upon return home I came to realize that the short trip to Moldova had just given an edge to my appetite. It is a country one can return to many a time. During the trip I made notches in my memory: here’s the place I would want to visit again… Moldova is quite unique, and its natural features – hilly landscapes and wind-

ing rivers – come as a magnet for active travelers: amateurs of trekking and rafting. Lively Moldovan songs have sunk deeply into my heart: when you hear them, you cannot stay indifferent – you would want to sing along or dance, or both! And plenty of sunshine! After the trip to Moldova it feels like the shortage of sunlight has become especially acute… Interviewed by Liudmila DRIK (Belarus)


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Forms of presentation in contemporary photography Tatyana FEDOROVA

When implementing a project any photographer or artist will eventually have to decide on its presentation form. The concept of the “project” appeared in contemporary art and photography in the former Soviet Union relatively recently – just about 15 years ago – and stands for the incorporation of a certain idea into a carefully preselected artistic form that is capable of presenting this idea in the most effective, suitable and relevant way. When it comes to the forms of presentation in contemporary photography, there are three basic ones: the exhibition, book, and multimedia. These three forms differ by the degree of control of the recipient. Prior to implementing a project, its author should identify the general track for the development of the artistic idea, because it is on this framework that the success and result of the project depend. It is important to decide well in advance who the intended core audience of the project is and what will happen to

the photographs after the project concludes, determine the order of display and need for audio or video support for the declaration of your artistic idea. It is necessary that the author make up his or her mind whether photographs will be printed and, if yes, identify the best dimensions for the most effective presentation, or whether it remains in its digital form as part of a multimedia online project, or remains as a contribution to a social network as a communicator, a nonverbal information medium.

Tatyana Fedorova is a media artist, curator, director of the Art Platforma NGO. One of the objectives of her organization is to promote and develop photography in Moldova. She was born and works in Chisinau. Her works include performances, photo and video installations, and documentary projects addressing social, political, esthetic issues, as well as present-day world problems.

The exhibition format offers the most freedom in the relationship between the author and his or her audience. The author elaborates a plan for the story that he or she wishes to tell to unfold successively within the exposition area and marks spots to highlight key points and thus guide the audience. However, regardless of the author’s plan, viewers might walk around the exposition area in a chaotic manner while independently choosing the trajectory for viewing the works. Unlike the exhibition format, the book enables the author to introduce a more rigid framework and give the viewer clear markers to walk the path from beginning to end. However, even here viewers may fail to follow the guidelines and keep to the set rhythm by browsing the works from the end of the book or opening it on a random page. A multimedia project further enhances the author’s control of the audience. This form enables him or her to set the speed and succession of works for the audience to view by

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Eastern Partnership Photography

adding sound tracks, videos, and text to the visual narrative. Therefore, the author should identify the form of presentation well in advance in order to have time to prepare for the implementation of the project. For a multimedia project, it is important to decide on the best time to make interviews, texts, and videos that will later be incorporated into the final product. In the former Soviet Union, photographers often have to organize solo and joint exhibitions on their own, because the institution of curators is virtually nonexistent in the realm of photography. The lack or insufficient presence of curators can be attributed to the underdeveloped contemporary structure for the operation of art. An author is often left to his or her own devices and needs to possess expertise and skills in many areas in order to be able to organize exhibitions and promote his or her creative works. As an artist and photographer, I often refer to my colleagues as one-man bands. They need to be able to play several instruments professionally in order to have a successful project. Most importantly, a modern photographer must speak English in order to successfully communicate with the world. A famous work by the Croatian artist Mladen Stilinović addresses the

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language of art. It presents a slogan with the phrase An Artist Who Cannot Speak English Is No Artist. This is especially relevant in the age of globalized art, now that basic information on trends in contemporary art is taken from western sources, media, and academic publications. Naturally, this inference is not an axiom, because there is lots of information in German or French. However, one can be certain that being able to speak foreign languages is relevant and necessary, especially for the former Soviet Union, which is still lacking in effective structures for the operation of the entire system of modern art, where a photographer needs to be his or her own PR manager and director. In the western world, where the system and infrastructure of contemporary art is finely tuned and running, an artist is better protected and integrated into the system, and a well-developed system of grants and subsidies for the support of artists is available to creative professionals—something that we do not have domestically. Therefore, in order to prepare and organize an exhibition in an environment where a curator is unavailable, the following steps must be taken. First, an author needs to identify the ideological foundation for an exhibition or a display, its objective and the

core audience, elaborate an explanatory plan and the layout of works – for which it is imperative that the author be able to have a clear picture of the size of the exhibition area. It would be helpful to receive a plan of the premises with their precise dimensions or visit the exhibition space to measure it. A photographer often finds a suitable area at the very last moment, and works are mounted on the run. As a result, the project looks haphazard and ill-conceived, and the area may be either congested or have too much “air,” i.e. free unoccupied space. The size and number of works to be published at a later phase also depend on the dimensions of the exhibition area. Sometimes it happens that the works to be displayed at an exhibition are ready for mounting, but the author still needs to decide which pictures will make the final exposition. You should also select the most appropriate mounting type for your works. There are three basic mounting types. The first one is called the picture gallery and was used until the 19th century, when works of art were placed above each other. This mounting type is very rarely used today. The second mounting type is the linear model, when pictures are placed in a single line at regular in-


Special Issue

tervals. This spacing model was very popular at the start and in the middle of the 20th century. It is sometimes used in contemporary photographic installations. The third mounting method – thematic blocks – has become increasingly popular in recent years. The exhibition area and walls are divided into thematic units to better convey the concept of the display. When mounting works it is important to highlight the key points of the display. In order to share your vision of the collection you need to guide viewers throughout the exhibition area while presenting a thought-out consistent visual story from its outset to the climax and towards the ending, which is especially significant for photographic essays. There is one more method for organizing exhibitions, based on the presentation of numerous isolated items and images selected from a database of a museum or individual author. A recap: it is very important to have a clear picture of what exactly the exhibition will look like – a display with a definite storyline or a database collection – and which mounting method it will use – the gallery, linear, or thematic. It is crucial that the author should develop a practical solution to guide the audience throughout the premises, think of a spatial context, analyze the way works will be interpreted in the exhibition space, divide the area into segments, arrange the lighting, and provide electrical interactive devices for the presentation of multimedia projects. You will thus build and analyze you exhibition organization strategy. In addition to structuring your exhibition you should also consider working on the general visual identity of the event, the format of labels and captions, design of posters, catalogs, or any other printed items. It is also essential that you should be ready with ideas for the promotion of your project, make a press release and PR materials for the professional community and the general public. Managing the preparatory process, raising finance, applying for grants and budget setting are critical elements of a successful exhibition. When holding an exhibition and in the follow-up you should document all events, make

archives of reviews and comments for reports to grant donors or as project documentation. You will require these records when applying for new grants with your new projects, when you are requested to produce publications, photo reports, and other materials. It will also help if you plan thematic lectures or other meetings within the framework of the exhibition with a view to generating additional visitor traffic. It appears that to organize an exhibition is a challenging time- and effort-consuming undertaking. This is what cultural institutions, managers, and curators are normally responsible for. We mentioned the role of the curator in the organization and holding of exhibitions at the start of this article. It is very important to comprehend what role the curator plays in contemporary art. This person is not so much a manager and administrator of a project as an ideologist. This job is all about expression and the author’s vision. The curator is the connector between the artist and their audience that uncovers and manifests the relationships between art, discourses, topics, and personalities. It is the curator that searches within interpretations of subjects and themes integrated in works of art, and creates new interpretations. Furthermore, the curator is also the ideologist of the external appearance of each and every exhibition, who manages and guides architects and graphic designers responsible for the visual materialization of the idea

and concept of an exhibition. When large-scale exhibitions are formed and prepared, the curator works in a team, because it is impossible for a single person to administer and manage an entire exhibition. It is also necessary to understand that when a curator invites an artist or a photographer to participate in a project, he or she acts as a coauthor, i.e. the curator is a participant in the artistic process, alongside the artist. This type of work by a curator is referred to as performative curatorship, where a curator becomes the demiurge of an exhibition, suggests his or her personal vision of contemporary art and turns into a key figure of the artistic process. Performative curatorship should be distinguished from institutional curatorship, where the focus is shifted towards the administration of an exhibition from the creation of new interpretations, discussions, and themes. That being said, it should be understood that the curator plays a major and very important role in contemporary art; it is the curator that finds new talents and presents their names to the general public. Another presentation form for photography is the book. Selfpublishing – books published and financed by photographers themselves – is growing increasingly popular. The market for photo books is rapidly changing. Previously, photo books used to be published by large publishing houses in numerous copies, whereas currently photographers

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Eastern Partnership Photography

prefer publishing limited editions of their works. There is a good reason for this. Publishing houses seek to reduce their risks and avoid providing complete financing for fear of going bankrupt, which is why they invite photographers to pay for their book either partially or fully. Furthermore, such cooperation schemes will not be available to all authors. Previously, publishing their own books used to be an unattainable goal for all beginner photographers. In the end, photographers began publishing books independently – the old scheme proved inefficient and too costly, whereas the new mechanism, which any photographer can afford, enables authors to personalize their publications. These books should be distinguished from printed exhibition catalogs. This is a sort of photographic self-published material (referred to as samizdat in Russian) that is not a publication for a specific display, but self-sufficient space for an artistic or photographic statement. A book, just as an exhibition with a storyline, is capable of helping the author build and visualize his or her story – subjectively, originally, and sincerely – unlike books published by major publishing houses in a big number of copies. Furthermore, photographers sho­uld also acquire various skills and gain experience in graphic design, typography, and binding books by hand. Authors can also work in teams and cooperate with designers or commission an agency to produce such books, where they will only supervise the book creation

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process at the early project stages. When having their books published, a photographer should focus on the selection and succession of pictures in the book; a photo editor can facilitate this process. However, the trade of a photo editor has virtually disappeared in the former Soviet Union. In Moldova, no photo books have been published over the past two decades; anyway, they used to be quite rare even back in the Soviet times. Photography mostly served as propaganda of the Soviet lifestyle and political system, rather than the promotion and analysis of this art along with the fine arts. But let us get back to the creation of books. Normally, smaller size photographs are printed and then placed on a table or any other smooth and even surface. I preferred working on the floor, because it is easier for me to manipulate the pictures this way. Once the order, succession, and dimensions of photographs have been determined, it is helpful to make a dummy book. Think of the best design and size of the future book, its title, cover, and some other elements. A dummy can be produced as a collage, by gluing photographs and texts onto paper sheets of the right size. Then you need to bind or sew them to see what the book will look like. This will help you detect the mistakes and things that you missed when preparing the book, and make adjustments. You need to understand that the form and materials are as important as the photographs themselves, and pay close attention to them when designing your book. There is another

option for making a dummy – to use InDesign software to design the book instead of making a collage. Then it is time to print a limited number of copies of your book. Limited editions are normally between 50 and 500 copies. These books are sold at book fairs and festivals; some European stores specialize in self-published books. Such books are mostly acquired by photographic communities: collectors, curators, photographers, gallery owners, and those who love and praise this sort of self-expression in photography. To develop, print and bind a book is a special skill that takes quite long to master. In Europe they organize various workshop sessions to provide training in self-publishing. I was privileged to win a grant in May 2014 and take such a course at the International Summer School of Photography (ISSP) in Riga. In the former Soviet Union, you can take a distance course at St. Petersburg-based PhotoDepartment school. Alternatively, you can always find information on how to make books online. There are many dummy competitions and festivals, such as the famed Unseen Dummy Award, where winners are given a chance to have their books published, which is very prestigious. There are also festivals and fairs of self-published books, which bring together photographers, curators, critics, collectors, gallerists, and photo book enthusiasts. Some examples include Recontres d’Arles in Paris, Unseen Book Market in Amsterdam and Photobook Week Aarhus in Denmark. The third, multimedia format of presenting photographs will require knowledge and experience in working with video software. Furthermore, you will have to be not only a photographer, but also a journalist to document various stories. Interactive documentary stories are developing now as a separate artistic venture – they only exist online and look like interactive computer games based on photographic documents. A wellknown project by Samuel Bollendorff and Abel Ségrétin Journey To the End of Coal tells a story of coal mines in China and environmental pollution. Contemporary photography is undergoing changes; new work formats appear, and photography as an art is changing as well – and changing us.


Lubov Kotlyar (Ukraine).

Special Issue

Contest

My Country in the Eastern Partnership

Ukraine: Valentyn Aleksandrov Alexander Vodolazski Tania Pavlyk Anton Petrus

This project is funded by the European Union


Eastern Partnership Photography

Valentyn Aleksandrov from Luhansk, now a refugee in Starobilsk

The man pictured by Valentyn Alexandrov from Ukraine – a monk wearing sneakers and holding a plastic bag with the US dollar sign on it – is no highly unconventional. Surprisingly, the outstanding character was matched by ambiguous behavior, and dollars in the monk’s hands (to be exact, the plastic bag with the picture of the one-dollar bill on it) have some preternatural meaning. This is how Valentyn himself recollects the moment of taking the picture: “… when I was photographing, a thief came to my back and swiped money from a pocket in my pants. The monk saw this, but for some reason he remained speechless. His look reveals the tumult, the struggle between the good and evil.”

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Special Issue

I took the pictures together with my friends at the spoil banks when the temperature was -21째C. The photos were shot with Canon 5D, which I am immensely fond of. It never fails, even in the toughest conditions. It is as reliable as combat boots, particularly during manual shooting. Suffice it to say that it has 24-70 mm lens, which played a decisive role in a low light.

Alexander Vodolazski From Horlivka, now a refugee in Kryvyi Rih

Alexander Vodolazski (Ukraine). My land

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Eastern Partnership Photography

Anton Petrus

Sparkling ice

Playing mantis

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My favorite place for shooting is only five minutes’ walk from home. It is a beautiful little bridge called Praying Mantis. When the sky is overcast in spring, I rush out of the house and flash to the bridge. That night I was lucky to be in the right place at the right time to catch the thunderstorm. Long exposure enabled me to get several flashes of lightning in one frame.


Special Issue

Contemporary microstock business or photographer’s everyday job Vsevolod Ivaschenko, Anna Donets

Today amid increasing globalization, microstocks are becoming one of the major money-making instruments. They provide for equal competition in the international media environment, both for a professional photographer and for a rookie. Microstocks give an opportunity to become world famous and, in addition, earn serious money. It is a chance to present one’s works to the most prominent while also most demanding editors of the world’s media and advertising.

Vsevolod Ivaschenko, larastock.com

Anna Donets, Journalist

So what is the contemporary microstock and why does it play such an important role? A microstock is nothing, but an evolutionary form of a classic photo bank, and namely an online library of royalty-free digital media content, which offers images for commercial and editorial use. It makes it possible to sell a licence that limits the use of an image by customers. The major dilemma is making a choice between much and cheap on microstocks, or little but expensive on classic photo banks. I can say with complete certainty that both models work well, but microstocks yield a bigger financial income and, most importantly, that income is stable. Today the consumer market provides for equal opportunities to earn both on expensive exclusive products and on cheap mass products. It is a natter of marketing and each company independently makes a choice whether they should release their product in a limited series or start mass production. By the same token, each photographer is free to deal with microstocks or photo banks. As known from practice, one should not give microstocks a miss.

Judge for yourselves as to how many exclusive photographs you can make in a single photo session: out of a thousand images only two or three can qualify for the world’s leading photo banks, such as Getty Images and Image Source. But not a single expert can tell you how soon they will get sold, as it is entirely a matter of chance. On the other hand, you can start earning guaranteed incomes from the same images through microstocks! Practically all quality photographs can earn profits comparable to an exclusive sale – about a hundred images from a single photo session earning several hundred dollars a month. Today thousands of people earn hundreds of dollars a day on stock images, so why not turn your creative work into a profitable business?! I mean business, because leading photographers on microstocks have developed a certain business model, which turns a hobby into a well-modeled enterprise that can deliver a product and secure consistent sales, while the instrument is already at your disposal. They set up teams, hire assistants, establish schools – and all this is a new photo industry. In fact, microstocks are becoming leaders of the photo trade, selling more than a million licences for the use of photo images on a daily basis, forming a market with the annual turnover of more than $6 billion. I will give you examples of image sales by the stars of the microstock industry. Licences for their photo images get sold thousands of times a day, earning thousands of dollars. Microstocks are already competing to become exclusive holders of these photographs and lure contributors with unique terms of service. These people have weight and are the backbone of the market. Although some microstocks do not find it important to have particular photographers among their contributors and believe that any person can be replaced, this is not true as these individuals can take away a certain share of the market (along with the profits) even from microstocks. Once you have established your name in this business, it will stay with you forever and will automatically become a selling brand (first you work for your name, and then your name works for you). Of course, you have to realize that, for instance, Yuri Arcurs may earn as much as $300,000 a month, but he shares this money with his 100-strong team, which is an integral part of

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Eastern Partnership Photography

Yuri Arcurs Portfolio: over 100 000 Total number of downloads: over 12 000 000

Image with over 13000 downloads

Image never purchased

Christine Balderas Portfolio: over 12 000 Total number of downloads: over 1 000 000

Image with over 4200 downloads

Image never purchased

Amanda Rodhe Portfolio: over 21 000 Total number of downloads: over 1 000 000

Image with over 9200 downloads

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Image never purchased


Special Issue

Yuri’s everyday work. In fact, there are some 1,000 photo images uploaded under the name of Yuri Arcurs and it takes a team to cope with this amount of work, and there is a certain business plan for every working day of this team to live up to. The most important thing with microstocks is to make a start. They are designed in such a way that anyone quickly becomes part of the community and starts receiving dividends, to say nothing of the euphoria from having sold your first photographs! This is a reliable business for you. The result, your revenues, will be stable and in direct proportion to your work. Everything is fair and honest. After learning how to work with microstocks, you can create your own team of specialists, become wellknown in the world like Yuri Arcurs and dictate your rules on the photo market. So which microstock should you choose? I would recommend using only top-rated ones with millions of regular customers. The first large microstock was iStockphoto established by the founders of one of the largest macrostocks Getty Images in 2000. Started as a free photo library, iStockphoto later turned into a business comparable to the macro business of its founders. Founded in 2013, Shutterstock became the most favourite for all photographers. It offers the most convenient interface, the most stable incomes, but also the toughest photo selection criteria. Shutterstock reviewers are the most demanding, but also the promptest to review submitted images. Shutterstock

316 sales worth $187

388 sales worth $241

1 sale worth $97

is the present-day leader of the market with capitalization exceeding $1.8 billion. Shutterstock boasts much better statistics of photo sales than all its existing competitors. Fotolia. Another easy-to-use photo bank, recommended for all newcomers. Fotolia is one of the top five microstocks. Established in 2004, Fotolia initially could not boast high sales statistics, however thanks to intelligent marketing efforts and a series of partner agreements the microstock has significantly increased sales. Dreamstime. One of the first microstocks created in 2000, with an easy registration procedure and non-discriminatory image quality requirements. Stable sales, pleasant to use. BigStockPhoto and 123RF are humble-revenue photo banks, whose major advantage is a convenient image search engine and simple image quality requirements. A quite high image acceptance ratio, but good sales start only if the photographer’s image portfolio is big enough. BigStockPhoto is currently owned by Shutterstock. DepositPhotos was founded in 2009 by a Ukrainian startup of Dmitry Sergeev, who entered the market with an aggressive policy aimed at luring photographers with non-discriminatory image reviews, a convenient interface and instant payments for image downloads. Today DepositPhotos has accumulated an image base of 30 million photos, which is comparable to those of the market leaders. One should start by looking through the base of images available on microstocks, check with reference to your selected criteria and keywords whether you have images similar or better and more interesting than those that are available in the base. Also check out image quality and post-processing acceptable for the microstock, analyze consumer demand. Making a good image is not enough. One should develop a concept that will sell. The new one-Larastok. For a start, you need to make three simple steps: 1. Prepare you photograph (do the post-processing, remove dust spots, adjust colours and contrast). 2. Upload the photo to the macrostock base with the help of convenient uploaders. 3. Add description, keywords and choose image category (if a photograph contains images of people, a model release is necessary). Some microstocks arrange for registration tests, which are not quite hard to pass, if you have basic photographic skills. Shutterstock offers the toughest test with a requirement to upload the first 10 test images for sale. If they accept 7 of them, you will get full access to the full functionality of Shutterstock. Otherwise you will have to wait a month to have another try. Therefore, you should make serious preparations for the test. It is also important to make a correct selection of keywords and provide a description of your photographs, as this is the only way for customers to find your particular image among 40 million photographs. Today there are software solutions to assist the contributor in post-processing images and simultaneously uploading them to all the most popular microstocks at once (Prostockmaster, Octopusmicrostock, Stockuploader). Unfortunately, the majority of such program are commercial software, but they are worth the money spent, as they are remarkable time-saving instruments.

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Eastern Partnership Photography

The major grounds for having a photograph rejected: • High level of noise at 100%; • The absence of clear focus on the major objects in the composition; • The wrong choice of the focal distance (chromatic aberration); • Images with logos, brands, trademarks on; • Clearly recognizable faces in photographs (if you do not provide a model release agreement). To let contributors withdraw their earnings, microstocks have different financial intermediaries such as PayPal or Skrill (preliminary registration required, each operator works in different countries on different terms. When you start earning incomes, you have to keep in mind that microstocks set minimum withdrawal amounts, which means that you can make a withdrawal only after the minimum amount is accumulated).

Here are the links you can choose to follow to get registered at the world’s top-rated microstocks: http://submit.shutterstock.com/?ref=266875 http://ru.fotolia.com/partner/200906544 http://www.dreamstime.com/register#res1095160 http://depositphotos.com?ref=1021801 http://www.larastock.com Here is a diagram to illustrate the average photographer’s sales on microstocks. The diagram shows the ratio of image sales of the top 7 microstocks during one year. Compiled with average data of photographers contributing to photobanks.

IMPORTANT – do not forget to submit the W8-BEN annual tax form (used by microstocks to deduct taxes from you incomes; deductions vary depending on the country of residence). Follow the link below to check out the tax deduction terms: https://submit.shutterstock.com/legal/taxes/treaty_countries.mhtml We wish every reader of this article to start a new business on microstocks, earn regular profits and become well-known. Let your name become a new star of the photography business and make it into the history of the photo industry. Let me take the opportunity to present my best photographs:

January 2014

April 2014

July 2014

October 2014

Average number of image sales per month Data received from companies, their representatives or reports

Microstock

Foundation year

2013 revenues (millions of USD)

Customer base (millions of people)

Number of registered photographers (thousands of people)

Number of images (million)

SHUTTERSTOCK

2003

235

0,94

55

44,5

FOTOLIA

2004

100

4,90

200

33,27

DREAMSTIME

2000

n/a

6

165

27

DEPOSITPHOTOS

2009

15

1,1

40

23,33

ISTOCKPHOTO

2000

300

7

125

20

123RF

2005

n/a

n/a

100

33,4

BIGSTOCKPHOTO

2004

n/a

n/a

120

21

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Special Issue

Giuseppe Scozzi:

If the world is a camera, then please smile! In April-May 2013, as part of the SAY CHEESE project, national associations of photographers from Eastern Partnership countries joined the European Federation of Professional Photographers (FEP). At the moment, four Ukrainian and five Georgian photographers have already received a prestigious EP (European Photographer) qualification from the FEP. Also, national teams from Georgia and Ukraine took part in a professional photo contest World Photographic Cup 2014, co-organized by the FEP.

The Secretary of the Italian Photographers Association (SIAF-CNA) in 1989, the person who got a degree in the arts and literature and fluently speaks four languages (Italian, French, Spanish and English). He is Giuseppe Scozzi, the Chief Executive Officer of the Federation of European Professional Photographers, who promptly and with care tried to answer all the questions we warned about. The Federation of European Profess­io­­nal Photographers or Federation of Euro­pean Photographers (FEP) is a non­­ profit organization that organizes  national professional photographers associations in the geographic area represented by the Council of Europe.1 The mission of FEP is to represent interests and voices of more than 50.000 registered skilled photographers in Europe. A connected mission is to boost the standard of professional photographers and let their abilities emerge. The network consists of 33 national associations form 29 countries. FEP is run by a Board of Directors, chaired by a President and comprised of 12 members, elected by the General Assembly of the member associations. The Board members are all volunteers, maybe accountable of a committee, or a project, and are serving for a term of 2 years. The management and day by day work of FEP is run by Giuseppe Scozzi, within position of CEO, assisted by an event manager, a financial officer, and a CEO-assistant accountable of the secretariat and clerical jobs. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Federation_of_ European_Professional_Photographers

1

The one of key point of FEP is a system of qualifications which are recognized and accepted throughout Europe; a set of 6 specific awards, together with the established EP-QEP-MQEP skilled route, the qualifications for Videographers, which FEP will launch in 2015 (EV and QEV), and the FEP Emerging Talents Award (FETA) reserved to the last year students or assistants under 30 years. More in particular, EP, the European Photographer is a basic qualification aiming to recognize competence and a professional standard. It is accomplishable online and it has been launched by FEP in 2013. QEP, The Qualified European Photographer (QEP) qualification aims to acknowledge and reward excellence in European Professional Photographers. The QEP standard is extremely high. “Earning an EP , or a QEP Award (in a chosen discipline, such as Wedding, Portrait, Commercial, Landscape, Reportage, Illustration, Fine art etc.) will win you a certificate, a useful personal profile on our Online “find a photographer” pages as well as access to special offers, services and to an information list, as Mr. Scozzi mentioned. The Federation of European Professional

Who is Giuseppe Scozzi? A man with a big heart and a responsibility for everything he undertakes to do. A person in correspondence with whom you can feel emotions and desire to help and understand the interlocutor. Thanks for the virtual conversation and positive mood, which I took, and I’m sure the same did our readers. FEP is in reliable hands!

Photographers in 2005 inaugurated the title of MQEP, Master Qualified European Photographer. If EP implies that you have the competence, and QEP that you are an excellent professional, MQEP is the most distinguished award for outstanding photographers. The MQEP Certificate is reserved for the best QEP holders. QEP and MQEP qualifications are given through a physical judging of panels of prints, held by a panel of 5 international judges for the QEP and 7 for the MQEP. The judges are nominated by the FEP member associations and they need to be already QEP and MQEP qualified. “Yes, you need quite an investment to submit your panel (150 Euros for the QEP, plus the costs for printing and shipping the pictures), but in both cases there is a pay-back: if you get the award, you en-

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Eastern Partnership Photography

ter a pan-European network of more than 500 certified experts who share a passion and talent for professional photography and all the related prestige and recognition. If you do not achieve this aim, this will be a spur to improve and to get useful comments and suggestions from the judges, a kind of an alarm bell that will help you better target your professionalism and to submit better works next time,” – says Mr. Scozzi. FEP encourages member associations to host QEP assessment sessions. The latest events took place in Belgium, Denmark, Slovakia, and Latvia. The next one will be held in Rome, Italy, and then in UK and Spain in 2015, followed by Poland and the Netherlands in 2016. “Why not host one in your country, then?” We asked Mr. Scozzi to tell us about the main principle of FEP, which is the protection of the rights of professional photographers. Copyright – that’s what worries many of us. Sure, has a copyright

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cell, formed by 4 experts working in some member association, which they consult and activate in case there is something concerning the profession going on. FEP acts as a lobby, sharing information within members and pushing the relevant authorities, whenever possible. Something FEP always encourages and advises photographers to do, is not to give up their rights for free.

Feel like a baby who needs to learn from everything around you, and no matter how good you are, feel as if you are always missing something someone else can provide…

– Any national association concerns with the questions: what can FEP give to each union and photographers individually? What are the advantages in FEP and disadvantages outside the FEP? It is essential that the “product” that the Union buys for not a small amount should have a higher value than “goods” in which the money could be invested. – May I reverse the question? What a national association can bring to the European family and network? Showing

new talents or styles inspiring the colleagues of different countries? A template for repeating successful events, competitions, awards, or syndical campaigns? The support of some good judges able to make smart comments and good suggestions, so that to raise the professional standards of each and all photographers? The consultation with some experts? The hosting of some events and the organizational support of some local volunteers, able to maintain the costs of


Special Issue

FEP functioning at a very low rate? Yes, associations have to pay an annual fee , which is more or less on the base of 1 up to 5 euros per member, and this is possible only thanks to and though the active contribution of all the members of the family. If all associations were inactive, how could FEP survive with a total annual budget from fees which is less than 20.000 euros per year? The non-member associations are like orphans: orphans too can reach the highest success, with their skill, practice and passion, but would it be less or more expensive and difficult, if they had a family? – The countries of Eastern Partnership became members of FEP not so long ago. The initial stage is the most difficult, you need to survive and move on to a new level. If you do not take the contributions into account, which can be a major obstacle to maintain a position in the FEP, are there other difficulties that need to be overcome? – I think the most difficult stage is to realize that being a member of a new family means that everybody needs to learn what they can give and what they can get from it. It is essential, in this regard that the new members choose a contact person, or a small committee, to relate with FEP and other sister organizations, to be able to read our information and answer, attend the meetings

and events not just occasionally, help the local members to enter European competitions and assessments, etc. New digital tools such as e-mails, Skype, social media and digital clouds are able to do this kind of job at very limited costs or not at all. Our secretariat, President, Board members, the Chair persons of the competitions and qualifications are always available to share knowledge, suggestions, etc. with the colleagues. New members just need to learn how to take advantage of this possibility. Everybody has a position in FEP and shares a passion to do it. To “maintain a position” you just have to present yourselves to the rest of the family… and don’t be shy! – What kind of effect FEP has on the development of photography in Europe? The same question applies to new members of FEP (Belarus, Georgia, Ukraine, Armenia and Azerbaijan). How, in your opinion, the entry into FEP can affect the development of photography in these countries? And what positive changes await them? – The up or down trend of the photography in Europe is subjected to a lot of inputs, both from the economy and the technology. FEP can only help make a photographer aware, while governing these processes is far beyond our possibilities. Nevertheless and more specifi-

cally, I can testify that each and every time an association is able to gather their members so that they can share a project, an event, or a passion, this sets in motion a virtuous cycle able to help a positive development. The same is true on the international scale. To watch, copy and improve what others do is not only an economic strategy, it’s a philosophy, which is called “inspiration”. – Photographers from Georgia and Armenia had the honor to present their works as a cover of Facebook account of FEP. This is a very good result for the newly minted members. How is the selection of covers for FEP carried out? And who stands behind this choice? – Social media are another terrific means to share knowledge and passion, especially for youngsters. Every month, we publish as a cover picture on FEP Facebook account the image which received the highest number of “likes”. It’s simple as that, so congratulations to the winners! By the way, let’s invite you to enter our further competitions, starting from FEP European Professional Photographer of the year Awards, also called Golden Camera awards, seeking out the finest professional images in Europe, and – why not – the new amazing Olympics styled team competition, the World Photographic Cup!

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Eastern Partnership Photography

Valentyn Aleksandrov (Ukraine) – This year is the anniversary of FEP, 15 years. My congratulations to all of us! What event and achievement during 15 years is the most important to you? – FEP was actually founded in 1997, on the base of a pre-existing organization, and was formally registered in Belgium in 1999. We had 7 members at that time, and now we are speaking of over 30! This shows a growing and continuous interest, and to have taken part in the whole process makes me very proud. However, I think the most significant success is the fact that we share a unique pan-European qualification system, approved and shared by all members, which has lasted for actually 15 years now. In such an era of disputes and national egoisms, this is a little miracle! – What is your idea of a perfect photographer? What are the professional and human qualities that he should possess? – Mastering techniques is not a talent, making market plans is not a talent, to have a strategy is not a talent, to have a vision is not a talent, to ask “what if” is not a talent either.

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They all need a lifelong training attitude and practice. Simplicity, creativity and a sense of humor are talents... – In the world where everything can be bought and sold, photographers must not only be able to take good pictures, but also to sell themselves as a brand. To read books about branding and marketing is not the inheritance of every creative person. The competition is increasing day by day. And the number of photographers is also increasing. The probability that some cool magazine will notice your work is reduced to zero. What do you think of it? I would like to hear some comforting advice. – Reading books, branding, marketing, mastering the business and its costs must be the inheritance of all professionals, and photographers who want to be professionals. As I said, creativity is a talent, and the dividing line between those who shoot for fun and those who earn a living from selling pictures is clear and simple. Yes, everybody is a “shooter”, and the pros are very few, and will become fewer in the future. Anyway, there are many motivations to be a pro-

fessional photographer today. We are living in the imaging era, and despite the crisis there is an increasing demand for images all over the world. Every single second, 2 billions of people are watching on a screen. So you have 2 billion of potential customers. Everybody owns a camera, but everybody need images… If the world is a camera, then, please smile! – Overall access to technology and editing programs for society made ​​difficult to distinguish between a photo made ​​by a professional and an amateur photographer. Photos became temporary and disposable because of the Internet and social networks. They have ceased to have any artistic value. People are no longer interested in author’s photo, because during the day they are browsing dozens of them. To surprise theme is becoming increasingly difficult. Do you have a fear that over time photography will stop having a high monetary and artistic value? And how can we deal with that? – For example, if not for the sign over the top, nobody can distinguish a normal car driver from a taxi driver! This does not mean because everybody owns


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Siarhei Plytkevich (Belarus) and drives a car you don’t need a taxi cab or that taxi drivers do not or will not exist… What matters is that, if you need to reach a destination and you do not have a car available, you need to hire a professional taxi driver. You may drive the car even better than him (or her!), but he’s got a license and knows the way. If you think that you are a professional and can make better images, or more artistic, and try to convince a client about that, either you are a Formula One pilot, or you will not get too far. It is better to convince that your ability is worthy, organized and able to give the client at a good fair price exactly what the client wants. Artistic value comes from talent (and by the way it is still appreciated, there is a growing demand for good fine art images), a monetary value comes from your technique, organization and seriousness. – Do you have a platform where photographers who joined FEP could communicate with each other and share experience? – Yes, we have a kind of monthly newsletter, the FEP website, and an interactive account and an open group

on Facebook. We also organize directly or in cooperation with the member association’s events like “Inspirational camps”, apart from our QEP sessions, and biannual FEP International Photo days. Please visit our website or go to our Facebook account to discover what’s going on. – One can often hear people saying: In practice a graduate’s diploma is just an outer cover and does not bear anything inside. Do you think that it is a waste of time for photographers? And is it just enough to choose the right books and communicate with the right people? – Education is a lifelong process, and a multiform route which depends on many aspects and factors. In general, to attend a (good) school and to get a diploma gives you incomparable advantages in all professions, including ours. But I also know very good work-in master who had in the beginning an amateur approach. In both cases, to communicate with ALL the people is essential. There are not right or wrong people to communicate with. We are social animals, and everybody can give us something.

What ever your age is, please feel like a baby who needs to learn from everything around you, and no matter how good you are, feel as if you are always missing something someone else can provide. If you have this mindset, you are ready for the survival game! – What would you like to wish our readers (photo unions and all photographers)? – The photographers are wanted to capture the dreams of the clients. For once, let’s wish you to realize a personal dream by the end of the year, or in the years to come… Don’t be too demanding, but don’t be too modest, either. And, of course, don’t miss the opportunity to enter our qualifications, competitions and projects. We’re waiting for your images! Interviewed by Kristina Arutunova, Аrmenia

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Luciano Gloor:

Audiences have to be taught to ‘read’ pictures Luciano Gloor, Team Leader of the Regional Monitoring & Capacity Building Unit (RMCBU) of the Eastern Partnership Culture Programme, shares his thoughts on the role of photography and prospects of transnational photography projects in the Eastern Partnership and beyond.

– Among other areas of culture in Eastern Partnership countries, where would you place photography? What would you say is the role of photography in shaping the cultural development in the Eastern Partnership countries? – To begin with, let me say some words on the role that images play and in general the role of what we see for our perception of reality. Mankind is by nature a very visual species. What we see influences us more than what we hear. In human interpersonal communication, only 30% of the exchanged information results from the spoken words, while we draw 70% of the information from the non-verbal communication that, whether we want it or not, is exchanged between communicating people. This must be so, because human communication is older than language and verbal communication. Meaning, whether we believe, what we hear, whether we will remember what we hear, whether we find relevant what we hear, and so on, depends by 30% on the words that we hear, but by 70% on how they are communicated to us. I can’t give you a percentage, but there is for sure one auditive component in this non-verbal communication, which is the voice that speaks, and how we emotionally perceive it. But the big chunk of this 70% non-verbal communication consists of what we see. The non-verbal

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exchange of interpersonal communication goes through body language, face mimics and the overall visual perception of the speaker by the listener as well as of the contextual set-up, the situation in which the communication is happening. Thus, almost 70% of the information is created by the effect of what we see. What does this has to do with photography, you will ask. Well, a lot. The world started already decades ago to become a world dominated by images. In the era of the Internet this effect has increased exponentially: written text and spoken words are less and less, still and moving pictures are more and more flooding our senses and our perception, in all media, offline and online, printed and digital, in the news, in advertisements and publicity, in films and on television, in social media and more and more even in direct interpersonal exchange among individuals, where “selfies” and photo shots are replacing written text. What was the beginning and forms the basis of nowadays universe of images? It is photography! Even moving pictures are nothing but photographic stills that are shown at a speed that make our eyes, our brain, believe that they see movement and animated pictures. In other words, photography has become the dominating medium for our society.

As a result, the role of pictures in shaping our perception of culture, in shaping our perception of the world, in shaping our image of who we think we are and where we belong to and who we are not and do not belong to, thus also in shaping our values and attitudes, has become enormous. This is especially true of the role that photographic pictures play. Why? Photography is a technology and a craft that claimed since its invention to replace all other forms of human visualisation because of being superior to them in depicturing the world: it climed to be able to duplicate, to mirror reality. A painter depict his own personal vision of what he sees, and thus a painting is by its nature always a subjective reflection of what is depicted. Now, a photographer uses a technical device, the camera, that in a more or less “objective” mechanical-optical process records what is depicted and thus it can clime to be the closest to reality, in any case much closer than a subjective painting. For better or for worse, this became the predominant perception of photography, the medium that allows us to record and preserve the reality of our life, of events, of our society. We had to go through the terrible aberrations of authoritarian and inhuman propaganda regimes in the 20th


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century that abused of the naive belief of the large masses of population in the “truth” that seemed to be inherent in pictures before we got more sensible and learned to understand that even photography cannot claim to be true in principle. Moreover, there is simple cheating by using a photograph from another situation, another place, even from another time and claiming that it shows what happened here and now in this specific place. Thus, the availability of an undoubtable and unquestionable source of a photo is the absolute minimum requirement for its credibility. Much more complex is the notion of the frame, of the choice that the photographer or the cameraman makes, when taking the picture. Even the documentary cameraman who pans and zooms through a scene can only show a specific moment of a specific situation at a time and we cannot know what happens right after the camera moved on. And the camera has an optical frame that can only show that much of a threedimensional 360 degree of reality and not more. Thus we had to learn to be critical with what seemed to deliver to us a notion of reality and to understand that most probably there is no absolute “truth”, to understand that “truth” is always a subjective limitation of the overall reality, as perceived by the person reporting to us on the reality, and that thus we always have to ask back who made the pictures, with what intentions in mind and what kind of values they represent. So, as you can see, photography plays a huge role in shaping human and cultural development with no difference between the rest of the world and the Eastern Partnership countries. That is why a project like SAY CHEESE! can have a vast spectrum of activities and can reach beyond promoting the mere craft of photographers. A project on photography can involve very large audiences, for instance by building their awareness of the role that photography and images play in our society and in shaping their senses to identify the intention that either the photographer had, when he made the picture, or that the publisher has, by using this specific picture. Audiences have to be taught to “read” pictures. By understanding the frame that has been chosen, by understanding the angle of the camera that

Low angle

High angle

Normal angle

has been chosen, by understanding the context in which photos are presented, and so on, and so forth, we can get indications regarding the photos that we see like: are they honest, are they true in a sense that they transparently show their intention(s)? Or are they false, do they hide their intentions? Are they manipulative and aimed to divert our attention away from something? Are they propagandistic because they adopt

a very selective point of view, hiding relevant parts of reality? I could continue this exercise: education of audiences in “reading” pictures nowadays includes many, very many sectors of our daily life: is the better world or the better kind of life that an advertisement shows us really so much better that we should strive for it, or are we shown an ideal that once analysed closely is not that much worth spending

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our money on, or orienting our life towards? Pictures and images often stand for values and attitudes, and we have to learn to identify them and to understand whether we want to share them or not. I believe that this type of education on “reading” images is an important element of building civil society. A selfconscious and strong civil society will more and more ask the questions I am talking about here above and will be able to read the real messages of photographed pictures and distinguish coherent and genuine attempts to be true from falseness, and honest and transparent intentions from propaganda. Last but not least, education on reading images also includes education on the esthetics and artistic assessment of photographed images, and is thus per se part of cultural education. – Within the SAY CHEESE! project, cross-country exchange activities, such en plein air photo and training sessions, master classes and exhibitions, proved to be particularly successful. Amateur and professional photographers in Armenia, Belarus, Moldova, Azerbaijan, Moldova and

Ukraine are eager to get to know their colleagues from other countries, analyse their works, learn from them and draw inspiration from their culture, way of thinking, experience and techniques. What would you say is the best way to foster cooperation between Eastern Partnership photographers and what needs to be done to encourage such cooperation? I believe this is up to the photographers themselves to identify what helps them most. I am also glad to hear that in your project the cross-border cooperation has been a success. I very much believe in this international approach. It has been an essential part of my own learning curve: get out of your “daily routine” have a chance to meet new people and the more diverse the places they come from are, the more diverse their own cultural background and experience are, the more enlightening these encounters are. You learn much better and faster to distinguish between very specific problems of a specific place or sector and common and joint problems that are shared by everybody and to figure out which joint solutions and approaches lead to better

and more sustainable results, compared to believing that one is so special that nobody else can help. Meeting people is and has always been the best way of exchanging experience. Unfortunately it is a pretty expensive approach that not many and not often can afford. Fortunately, with the Internet we have gained a medium that allows for long-distance communication and exchange of experience that will never replace the one-to-one communication, but that comes very close to its efficiency. I am certain, that exchanging collections of photos and organising for instance thematic international exhibitions in the various countries, not only in the capitals, could have a double effect, both, by contributing to education of large audiences and fostering cooperation among photographers. I might not be very original in these suggestions, I am sure that creative photographers or curators will come up with much more innovative formats of how cooperation can be fostered and improved. Interviewed by Marina BORISOVA (Interakcia Foundation, Belarus).

Some links to some illustrations of the above: http://nofilmschool.com/2014/11/masterclass-aes­the­tics-learn-how-speak-cinematic-language-more-fluently http://www.elementsofcinema.com/cinematography/camera-an­gles-and-composition/ http://www.mediaknowall.com/camangles.html http://www.dslrvideocollege.com/different-types-of-shots-to-influence-audience-emotions http://www.digitalcameraworld.com/2012/04/12/10-rules-of-photo-composition-and-why-they-work/ http://digital-photography-school.com/framing-your-shots-photography-composition-technique/ http://photographyblogger.net/framing/

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Seminars on

Techniques, trends and methods in contemporary photo art Telavi (Georgia)

26–27 April 2014 Information about the event and press releases were distributed among the target audience, in social media as well as through a news agency. They were also sent to the professional and amateur photographers registered in the database of the organization’s web-portal. The Association of Photographers of Georgia (AFG) received more than 70 applications from various regions of the country. The main motivation of the applicants to participate was to improve the professional skills and learn the latest techniques as well as take part in practical photographing. Fifteen participants have been selected representing nearly all the regions of the country, including the cities of Kutaisi, Zugdidi, Rustavi, Gori, Batumi, Sachkhere and some smaller towns. Among the participants, there was a resident of Saingilo, a citizen of Azerbaijan. This town was historically a Georgian settlement; presently it is under Azerbaijan jurisdiction but some Georgians speaking their native language still reside there. The seminar opened with a presentation of SAY CHEESE! Project. Armenian photo artists held lectures and master-classes. Artashes Martirosyan spoke in detail about the

issues of studio lighting, the specifics of work with models and held practical shooting sessions with the audience. He also demonstrated the instruments of image processing using of special software. The presentation by Vigen Mnoyan The composition of Picture and Portraits was also of great interest. The President of the National Association of Photographers of Armenia (NAPA)

Sergey Hakopyan shared his business experience in the area of photography. The second day of the seminar was devoted to pictorial photography and HDR technologies. Georgian photo artist Mzia Lekveishvili presented an overview of monocle as a new trend in photography while Tengiz Phakadze did a practical demonstration of how to produce a monocle and held practical shooting sessions.

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Yerevan (Armenia) 5–7 May 2014 The leading criteria to select the participants were the fact of applicants’ residence in the region and their motivation. Sixteen participants were selected representing various regions of Armenia (including the cities of Echmiadzin, Vanadzor, Abovyan, Byureghavan, Armavir, Spitak and Gyumri). The President of the NAPA Sergey Hakopyan presented SAY CHEESE! Project. Georgian Photo Artist Mzia Lekveishvili gave a lecture Monocle as an expressive mean in contemporary photography. Extremely popular was the lecture by Armenian photo artist and expert Hakop Berberyan Contemporary means and basics of sport photography. Kakha Phakadze, the President of the Association of Photographers of Georgia gave lecture HDR Technology in photography. The second day of the seminar included master-classes by Armenian photographers Vigen Mnoyan Portrait photography, composition and lighting and by Artashes Martirosyan Lighting in directed photography and work with models. Lighting schemes, peculiarities of space in studio and field shooting, approaches to working with various models. The participants had a unique opportunity to attend the lecture by Martin Shabkhazyan Similarities and differences between contemporary and Soviet digital reportage photography, talk to the legendary photographer and cameraman of the Soviet period Levon Atoyants as well as listen to the lecture by Mzia Lekveishvili about street photography.

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Ivano-Frankivsk (Ukraine) 4–5 June 2014 Participants from various regions of Ukraine attended the seminar: from Vinnytsia, Krivyi Rog (Dnipropetrovsk Region), L’viv, Oleksandriya (Kirovohrad Region), Chernivtsi, Zaporizhia and Kyiv. Totally, there were more than 70 participants. The lecturers invited were Taras Perun from Chernivtsi (master-class on Bichromated gum print), Viktor Suglob (master-class on Shooting technique with use of light brush), Siarhei Plytkevich from Minsk (lecture Secrets of nature and landscape photography), Yarema Protsyv (master-class on Post processing of pictures), Maryana Glinskaya from Ivano-Frankivsk (lecture presentation Production and theatricality in photo art), Gleb Vysheslavsky (lecture Interaction of photo equipment and perception) and Mykola Ivashchenko from Kyiv (lecture Smartphone as an assistant of photographer). While evaluating the organization of the seminar, the participants noted: – high quality equipment does not make a good photographer; – communication with colleagues is of high importance; – they’d like to have such an event in their own city; – it’s time to become more familiar with smartphones in their profession; – they liked a lot Ivano-Frankivsk and the Carpathian mountains; – the seminar gave an opportunity to meet artistic people; – it’s never late to learn new things; – they would be glad to visit another event of this kind.

Chisinau (Moldova) 21–22 June 2014 The participants were some 40 photographers from all around Moldova. The seminar started with lecture by curator and media artist Tatyana Fedorova on the types of presentation of a photo project. An active discussion about the contemporary photography followed the lecture. Belarusian photographer, the Curator and the Director of the Minsk Center of Photography Alexei Shinkarenko told the participants about the main principles of making a portfolio, selection of pictures and presentation. Konstantin Grozdev from Odessa introduced his lecture Woman’s image in photo art. The basics of ethics in journalism, communication problems and objective view of events were touched upon in the lecture Contemporary photojournalism by a trainer and expert in extreme photojournalism Nikolay Pozhoga. Egor Tetiushev held a master-class on use of light brush. The seminar ended with a lecture on photo communities and online photo reports by the President of the Photo Artists of Moldova Anatol Poiata. To learn more about the seminar in Minsk please read the article by Maryna Batsiukova. In all the five countries, the participants evaluated the seminars very highly.


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Maryna Batsiukova:

Photography is not just an object but also a viewpoint Maryna Batsiukova is a photographer and curator, as well as the Vice Chairperson of the Belarusian Nonprofit Association Photoiskusstvo (PhotoArt), which is an association of Belarusian photographers. Born in Minsk, Belarus, she has always worked there. The key subjects of her photographic research are the individual’s inner state, people’s relationship with the environment and human behavior in society.

“Before we go travelling, we often imagine what is awaiting us, what we are going to do and shoot. Yet, when we actually feel the road under our feet, we say good-bye to these flights of imagination. We have to be quick off the mark and open to all new experiences we go through, so that they leave their imprint on us instead of vanishing without a trace. Trips give lavish gifts, including visual ones, so we learn to pick them out. However, things that hook us and catch our eye always tend to be fragments of ourselves that reflect our inner world – this is what makes them so close and dear to us. We may look for new images and forms, but we invariably fill them with what we have, in other words, with ourselves. Even though our flights of imagination stay behind, we interpret the reality in terms of what we are open and inclined to and what we can see, grasp and imagine.” (For an exhibition of Belarusian photographers Andrej Dubinin and Andrej Karachun A Man on the Road). In April 2014 Minsk hosted a workshop on Technologies, trends and methods in modern photography. It was held within the framework of the EU-funded SAY CHEESE! Eastern Partnership Family Album: Capacity Building, Networking and Promotion of Thematic Eastern Partnership Photography project and the Second Minsk Photography Festival. Its program had lectures and master classes by Belarusian, Ukrainian and

Moldovan photographers and media artists, as well as exhibitions of works by young Moldovan, Ukrainian, Armenian and Belarusian photographers. Oleksandr Lyapin, the photographer, curator and teacher from Ukraine, shared his experience and methods of producing creative photo projects with the trainees, focusing on breaking away from pigeonholing in expressing your ideas both visually and verbally. Ihor Belskyi, the professional photographer from Ukraine, held a master class in pinhole photography, where the learners had an opportunity to make a camera, take pictures with it and see the end product after they developed the photos right during the master class. Tatyana Fedorova from Moldova spoke about the ways of presenting photo projects.

Workshops on cyanotype method by Viktar Žuraŭkoŭ and using light pen by Viktor Suglob attracted a lot of attention. (Both of them come from Belarus.) The exhibitions of emerging photographers from four Eastern Partnership countries made an unforgettable impression owing to their unique vision of the world around us and their photographic means of expression. The Ukrainian Photo Art Studio L∞K (Valeria Barvinskaya, Dmitro Bariv, Ihor Belskyi, Lana Yankovskaya, Liya Dostleva, Mykola Kozhemyako, Olha Kasyanyuk, Olha Tkachenko, Svetlana Morozova, Yury Lisovskyi, Yuliya Polunina-But led by the well-known art figure Oleksandr Lyapin, who inspires and encourages them) defined the theme of the exhibition called Our Common Individual Features as the relationship between the individual and collective elements both in the mind of each individual and society’s collective unconscious in general. “There is no such thing as anything individual and there can never be,” said the L∞K photographers. “Individual traits are always dissolved in what is common so that they lose their own individuality. It is separate body parts that gain their individuality in a sculp-

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lives. We came in touch with everyday stories and dramas placed in the political and economic context of rethinking the past of Moldova and Transnistria. It is important to point out that photography is not just an object but also a viewpoint. As a rule, photographers try to be objective, but it is a blessing that many of them still choose to work in the genre of photo essay.

ture and in relation to it as a whole. More specific individual traits are absent from anything individual. We yearn for a kind of social order that would appear to be an irreversibly unified and coherent whole. Freedom of the individual is nothing but wishful thinking. There is no such thing as private property and there can never be. Day after day individual features will leave their traces in common chronology. Mass archives of visual, audio, tactile and other data are created to save and replay these artefacts. Every individual and human trait is invariably sacrificed to what is common. In society the illusion of balance between common and individual elements is consumed by the totality of what is common.” The exhibition by Belarusian photographers Andrej Dubinin and Andrej Karachun entitled A Man on the Road (curator Vadzim Kachan) explored the philosophy of traveling. It dealt with movement inside oneself and acceptance of changes rather than spatial motion. It revealed how inner feelings are manifested outwardly. What put together the exhibited photos that had been taken in different parts of the world was not their geography but the authors’ attitude towards the world around us. “We are constantly on the move, in space and time as well as in our minds and development,” said the photographers. “We move from point A to point B, from ‘today’ to ‘tomorrow’, which over and over again turns into ‘today’.

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Humans are dynamic creatures, so our photographs are about movement, both inside and outside. Spatial motion, however, is but a cause for change and our journey is the philosophy of accepting change. A Man on the Road shows images that we come across as we move, fleeting glimpses or scenes that arrest our attention for a long while; the author, who uses his camera to record his emotions, is also present here. What makes us get back to these memories? Perhaps it is just our sentimentalism or perhaps time has come to have a break and think over what we have seen. There is no plot here, nor references to places, events or dates. These are just moments when the world was spacious, the roads were open and the feeling of unity was overwhelming.” The exhibition of young Moldovan photographers called Care for Small Things дbore evidence of the importance of documentary photography today. Its authors Anton Polyakov, Dorin Goian, Ramin Mazur, Natalia Chobanu and Tatyana Fedorova did not travel to Africa or some other exotic place to take pictures of wildlife or historic events. Instead, they showed real life around them. They focused on what matters to them. The curators of the exhibition were Agnieszka Reiss and Tatyana Fedorova. Empty flats, depopulation and unemployment are something we may know about but rarely see in photographs. Here the photographers’ lenses gave us access to real people and their

The Armenian photo artist and Vice President of the Armenian National Photo Association Vigen Mnoyan brought his photo exhibition to mark twenty five years since the catastrophic earthquake in Spitak. The disaster zone still has not recovered from its aftermath. The exhibition was dedicated to all its victims and sufferers, as well as to all its survivors, who went on surviving. On 7 December 1988 a powerful earthquake struck the northern west of Armenia. In about thirty seconds nearly all of Armenia’s north with a population of about a million was left in ruins. In Spitak, located at its epicentre, the magnitude measured 11.2 on a scale of one to twelve. The earthquake destroyed about 40% of Armenian industry. According to official data, 19,000 people became disabled, at least 25,000 were killed and 514,000 were left homeless. All in all, the earthquake covered about 40% of Armenian territory. Now that over twenty five years have passed, more than 4,500 families still remain homeless, dwelling in makeshift shelters and huts. Most of them live below the poverty threshold. Introduced into the work of different photographers through the exhibitions, the participants in the workshop were then engaged in a livelier debate during the lectures, meetings and master classes. Some classes were held right in the exhibition halls. Moreover, the Eastern Partnership project enabled emerging creative photographers from remote places of Belarus, such as Mazyr or Polack, to learn the art of photography first hand rather than online and to meet well-established photographers and exhibition curators. The young photographers were able to make contacts with colleagues and like-minded people, which would be helpful in exploring their subjects in depth and creating their own distinctive projects.


Special Issue

The special issue of Photography in the Eastern Partnership was created by joint efforts of the EaP countries’ associations of photographers, namely the Belarusian public association Photoiskusstvo (PhotoArt), the Association of Photographers of Georgia, the Armenian Photographers National Association, the National Union of Artist Photographers of Ukraine, the Union of Photo Artists of Moldova and the Azerbaijan Photographers Union, as well as Riftour private enterprise (Belarus), Bestseller Ltd (Georgia) and Local Foundation for International Dialogue and Cooperation Interakcia (Belarus). Editor-in-chief: Maryna Zahorskaja. Editor in charge of the publication: Natallia Plytkevich. Editor: Violetta Astreiko. Dezign by Inna Kuzmenkova. Contributions by Ludmila Drik (Belarus), Maryna Batsiukova (Belarus), Marina Borisova (Belarus), Natallia Plytkevich (Belarus), Vafa Farajova (Azerbaijan), Mariam Martiashvili (Georgia), Tatyana Fedorova (Moldova), Vsevolod Ivashchenko and Anna Donets (Ukraine) and Kristina Arutiunova (Armenia). The issue includes photographs by Vigen Mnoyan, Siarhei Plytkevich, Mzia Lekveishvili, Ruslan Glushchenko, Vugar Ibadov, Michail Kopychko, Alfred Mikus, Edgar Martirosyan, Irakli Shavgulidze, Nadezhda Degtiariova, Mykola Ivashchenko, Evgeniya Lazarevich, Natavan Vahabova, Alizamin Jafarov, Gulnar Salimova, Kristina Sarkisyan, Valerie Volontir, Valentyn Aleksandrov, Anton Petrus, Aleksandr Vodolazski, Lubov Kotlyar, Vyacheslav Bruma, Ali Khudiyev, Guranda Khabeishvili, Olga Tsiskarishvili et al. The editorial team would like to express their thanks for their contribution to the issue to Sergey Hakobyan, Mirnaib Hasanoglu, Mykola Ivashchenko, Nicolai Miniuc, Maryna Batsiukova, Marina Borisova, Anatol Poiata, Stas Gorelik, Giuseppe Scozzi, Luciano Gloor, Nino Mghebrishvili, Kakha Pkhakadze, Victor Suglob. The special issue of Photography in the Eastern Partnership is part of the SAY CHEESE! Eastern Partnership Family Album: Capacity Building, Networking and Promotion of Thematic Eastern Partnership Photography. The project is funded by the European Union within the framework of the Eastern Partnership Culture Programme. The European Union is made up of 28 Member States who have decided to gradually link together their know-how, resources and destines. Together, during a period of enlargement of 50 years, they have built a zone of stability, democracy and sustainable development whilst maintaining cultural diversity, tolerance and individual freedoms. The European Union is committed to sharing its achievements and its values with countries and peoples beyond its borders. This publication has been produced with the assistance of the European Union. The contents of this publication are the sole responsibility of the Local Foundation for International Dialogue and Cooperation ‘Interakcia’ and can in no way be taken to reflect the views of the European Union.

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