Excio Journal Volume II Issue 2

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VOLUME II ISSUE 2

MARCH 2022

PHOTOGRAPHERS FOR A BETTER WORLD

SPECIAL EDITION


EXCIO JOURNAL | VOLUME II - ISSUE 2 | MARCH 2022

Our journal is dedicated to talented photographers to showcase and celebrate their passion, creativity and commitment. The world needs more people like you.

Excio Photo Community

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Table of contents 04 05 11 16 24

Editor’s welcome Excio Journal Volume II Issue 2

Gail Orgias Cover Photo Judy Stokes

Judy Stokes Publisher Excio Photo Community

Mary Livingston Website www.excio.io

Rina Sjardin-Thompson Enquiries hello@excio.io Production Paper used for printing this journal comes from forests that are managed to meet the social, economic and ecological needs of present and future generations and is FSC (R) certified. Print copies are available for purchase at

community.excio.io/journal

All rights reserved © 2022 Reproduction of any material appearing in this journal in any form is forbidden without prior consent of the publisher. Disclaimer: Opinions of contributing authors do not necessarily reflect the opinion of the journal.

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Editor’s welcome What a delight it is to have this issue come to life. At Excio we are passionate about all kinds of photography and all photographers, but we have always supported Photography For Women as one of our values. In recent years we’ve seen more and more female photographers bringing their work to life which is what we love to see. We cherish all our members absolutely equally, but whenever we hear there is an injustice or unfairness taking place we can’t just sit on the fence and remain oblivious to what is happening. We started talking about How well are women represented in the photography industry on our Blog and continue our discussion here, in this special issue of our Journal. Ana Lyubich Co-founder, CEO of Excio

Gender diversity in photography is important as everyone is capturing the world from their point of view (literally!) and it doesn’t matter what gear or cameras they use. What matters is how we see things around us - the more perspectives we can bring the better. Believe it or not, women do capture things differently than men. It is just the way our brains work and there is no better or worse side. Research has proven that we collect visual information differently which affects how we take photographs. Within the Excio community (as well as the Excio team) we are proud to have a 50/50 split between male and female and in this special issue you will see ‘the tip of the iceberg’ with four of our female photographers sharing their journeys and work. You can explore more of all our members’ work in Excio albums. The articles on the following pages will most certainly leave you full of fresh new ideas - Mary Livingston is sharing her journey and amazing photographs which she thought she had lost forever. We talk to Rina about her supportive workshops for female photographers and her own work. Gail Orgias takes us along her street photography journey and we also talk to Judy Stokes whose amazing work you can see on the cover of this issue. Before I leave you to peruse the following fabulous pages, maybe today you can help one of your female photographer friends get more confidence in sharing her work? Share it with us by email at hello@excio.io or via social media, we would love to see it! We’d also love to hear which female photographers inspire you. Take care, Ana

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Creating a personal connection that resonates with Gail Orgias

WHAT IS YOUR BACKGROUND IN PHOTOGRAPHY? I had always had an interest in photography but family, study, and work commitments meant it was never a priority until about 10 years ago when I joined a camera club and brought a DSLR, then a mirrorless camera which meant working through some steep learning curves! Joining the

club was a great opportunity to become part of a photography community of like-minded enthusiasts and I subsequently experimented with all genres of photography. A street photography workshop in Melbourne was the catalyst for a change in direction as I loved the documentary/portraiture style which has become a passion and perhaps my main focus.

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EXCIO JOURNAL | VOLUME II - ISSUE 2 | MARCH 2022 HOW WOULD YOU DEFINE YOUR PHOTOGRAPHY STYLE? I’m not really sure I have a definite style as it is continually evolving. My work is intuitive - no tripod or flash, use of natural light, and minimal gear. I am always thinking about how best to show things in a manner (often unconsciously) that is unique to me - decisions about what to leave in and out of the frame usually with a narrative or documentary theme. Perhaps in this way, it is my style.

CAN YOU TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT YOUR LATEST PHOTO COLLECTION ‘AT HOME’ AND THE INSPIRATION BEHIND IT? ‘At Home’ is a project that has been ongoing for some time now. My most satisfying work is projectbased – I love individual photographs but also work towards a narrative that builds from a theme or parts to make a body of work. With the present situation (Covid 19 lockdowns), it has become even more necessary to focus on what is ‘at home’.

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EXCIO JOURNAL | VOLUME II - ISSUE 2 | MARCH 2022 NZ photographer, Robin Morrison, was perhaps an inspiration/influence on this project as I greatly admire his work from the 70’s and 80’s that captured images of places & faces ‘from the ordinary run of life’ as he travelled around Aotearoa/New Zealand. WHAT INSPIRES YOU TO TAKE PHOTOGRAPHS? Photography is a creative process – I love the way in which you can express this with the camera. When I take photos it’s a personal connection, but then I hope that it will also resonate with others. There’s always a challenge and something new to learn. Art, music, books, travel, and people all inform my work and inspire me to take photos.

DO YOU HAVE A FAVOURITE PHOTOGRAPHER? There are many. Amongst women photographers - Ans Westra, Marti Friedlander, Fiona Pardington, Sarah McIntyre, Marketa Luskacova, Megan Lewis, and Vivian Maier to name a few. WHAT ARE YOUR PLANS, HOPES, AND DREAMS FOR THE FUTURE? I hope to continue to take photographs and tell stories that are relevant and meaningful, particularly when it is social commentary. I would like to see more women in street photography so hope to continue to mentor and pass on any skills learned. But ultimately, I want to continue to enjoy the journey and not take it too seriously.

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WHAT WOULD YOUR ADVICE BE FOR BEGINNER FEMALE PHOTOGRAPHERS WHO WANT TO GET INTO PHOTOGRAPHY?

5. Ask respective professionals for advice and don’t give up on your dreams. It’s an exciting time to be a female photographer.

Start with the camera you have, learn everything about its capabilities, and take photos of anything that inspires you. 1. Share with others and build up a portfolio. 2. Find a genre you love and invest time into developing this. 3. Invest in experiences and books rather than expensive camera gear which, although good to have, will not necessarily make you a better photographer.

WHAT ELSE SHOULD WE KNOW ABOUT YOU AND YOUR PHOTOGRAPHY? When I have a camera I am the worst person (unless you are a photographer) to go out walking with – there’s always a photo opportunity to stop for! Also, know that I am not perfect, I have been known to take my camera out - minus the battery!

4. Don’t compare yourself with others – learn to have confidence in your own uniqueness, ‘Comparison is the thief of joy’.

excio.gallery/gail gailorgiasphotography.com

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Spontaneous creativity and the fragility of each moment with Judy Stokes

WHAT’S YOUR BACKGROUND IN PHOTOGRAPHY? I started photography 10 years ago when I was given a camera. I’d loved having a career as a musician and mother but the children were now about to leave the nest and I was burnt out as a musician and needed something new yet still creative in my life. HOW WOULD YOU DEFINE YOUR PHOTOGRAPHIC STYLE? In the past I have jokingly said that my style as a photographer is, “messy and imperfect – just like me.” and in some respect this is true. I like photography to be free of rules and totally spontaneous. The style I am most comfortable with

is ICM (Intentional Camera Movement) where I move the camera freely as I take my images. CAN YOU TELL US A BIT ABOUT YOUR MINI-SERIES TITLED “FRAGILITY”? I have always loved skeleton leaves, they illustrate to me, so beautifully, the passing of time and the different phases of life cycles. I wanted to explore them photographically and take the time to catch their delicate and poignant reminder of the fragility of our existence, and the fragility of each moment – something we often seem to forget as we rush around in the busyness of life. Each image in this series is a composite image. I’d collected the leaves

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and kept them hanging around my kitchen until the right moment struck to pop them against a white piece of paper next to the window and photograph them with their shadows. Some of the images were taken holding my camera still and some moving my camera. Later in post-production, I let the thoughts in my head work themselves out into the images as I put different ones together. I like to allude to these personal stories with the titles of the images, but then leave viewers to have their own interpretation and stories too.

and South, I was struck by just what a wonderfully diverse country we have – diverse in terms of land variety, as well as diversity and beauty of the people and cultures within the land. Uppermost in my head at the moment is the desire for everyone to accept, to pull together as one, to embrace our differences, and celebrate our diversities. Not being a photographer of people, facets of nature take on human characteristics as I work through the stories in my head.

CAN YOU TELL US THE INSPIRATION BEHIND YOUR LATEST COLLECTION “OUR LAND” AND THE PROCESS BEHIND ACHIEVING THESE STUNNING PHOTOS?

The beauty of the natural world we live in inspires me, and the desire to have solitude in it. For me, photography is almost a form of meditation. With photography, I can disappear from the humdrum of life into my own world. It helps me see things differently, it helps clear my head. It is also something that makes my heart sing. I come back from an hour or two behind the camera, with an empty camera battery but a very full human battery – it gives me energy and refreshes my soul!

The images in “Our Land” are all ICM images - mostly taken from the passenger seat of our Unimog camper as we traveled around New Zealand. Tired of living in the city, we sold up and went in search of our next spot of heaven to stop and set ourselves up. Traveling around New Zealand, North

WHAT INSPIRES YOU TO TAKE PHOTOGRAPHS?

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DO YOU HAVE A FAVORITE PHOTOGRAPHER? I think Nick Brandt is amazing. I have loved every project he has worked on and find him truly inspiring as a photographer and human being. Please, if you don’t know him – look him up! WHAT ARE YOUR PLANS, HOPES, AND DREAMS FOR THE FUTURE? We have recently bought a stunning piece of wild land, above a west coast beach in Northland. We are slowly re-wilding the paddocks back to native forest and I am also in the process of building a studio and accommodation pods where I hope to enable other photographers to come and have a photographic retreat finding themselves refueled by nature.

WHAT WOULD BE YOUR ADVICE FOR FEMALE BEGINNERS WHO WANT TO GET INTO PHOTOGRAPHY? Pick up a camera – any camera – and start playing. Photograph things you love and just have fun! WHAT ELSE SHOULD WE KNOW ABOUT YOU AND YOUR PHOTOGRAPHY? I love the fact that photography has so many genres - I know if ever I tire of one there will be another I haven’t tried yet! I hope to be behind this magic black box (my camera) for the rest of my life simply having fun!

Also in the pipeline is to set off further afield in our 4x4 camper exploring other countries - camera at the ready!

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excio.gallery/judy instagram.com/judystokesphotography judystokesphotography.com/our-land judystokesphotography.com/fragility


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A marinated tale; journey to Antarctica by Mary Livingston

Back in 2006, as part of my job, I was lucky enough to go down to the Antarctic from New Zealand on a research vessel for 8 weeks. We were tasked with mapping the seabed and photographing the animals in the deep to determine biodiversity distribution in the Ross Sea and at the Balleny Islands. This was some years prior to my current

photographic journey and I only had a small point and shoot camera in my kit. At the time, I suffered massive lens and tech envy as everyone else sported impressive equipment and I assumed my shots would be hopeless. But then, after we returned, the computer I had stored my modest set of images on was stolen. I was gutted.

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15 years later, as I was looking through some boxes, I discovered to my absolute joy that I had put some of my images onto a cd and so finally, I get to tell my story. Through the roaring 40s and 50s, we soon left New Zealand behind. Downing a stunning array of seasick tablets, we immediately got stuck into Underway Plankton work and preparation for the long days ahead. Our first iceberg was not at all how I expected it and my image did not reflect the excitement I felt. This pudding of old ice was invisible in the fog, but we knew it was there from the spinning radar. Suddenly the fog parted like curtains to reveal the berg. It was almost too close

for comfort and we could see rivulets of supercooled fog running down it like icing on a plum pudding. The waves which were really quite modest reached higher up than expected on the frictionless ice. In a flash, the curtain fell again and we were left with a few mediocre images and a memory. I dug deep and turned my hand to poetry because for me it was such a magical moment and I really wanted to celebrate it. I loved the light in Antarctica, it was almost monochromatic with the blue and turquoise tones dominating. We saw lots of old bergs well eroded by the sea on their journey around the various ocean gyres. Initially, this shows as stunning arches in the

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EXCIO JOURNAL | VOLUME II - ISSUE 2 | MARCH 2022 icebergs, and then at the end of their time they get gnarly and tip over as they melt. Some of the old bergs we saw could have been upwards of 10 million years old. We had to traverse an extensive ice bridge in the eastern Ross Sea and saw lots of penguins and seals that honked and called as we glided on by at a very slow pace, nudging the floes aside. Looking over the bow as we eased through the floes the ship looked as if it was bleeding from ice grazes and lost paint.

After a good week or so of flat calm weather, a front moved in with a massive deepening low behind it. The sky darkened and we were engulfed by swirling snow squalls with a dim yellowish light. We then felt the blast of the storm and the ship quickly iced up. It was bitter with subzero temperatures and our freshwater tanks froze solid. After 2 days the skies cleared and we headed over to Terra Nova Bay in the western Ross Sea. The edge of the land looked like clean snapped coconut and the Transantarctic

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mountains soared into the clouds behind. The wind was fresh and carried ancient stories from the frozen continent of Gondwana (another poetry moment). Later we headed north through the swishing pancake ice to the Balleny Islands. These outcrops were so desolate and inhospitable with high-speed katabatic winds rushing over them whilst trying to press the ship into the water. Black volcanic rock covered in ice sheets and small glaciers were inaccessible, yet home to Adelie and Chinstrap Penguin colonies. In contrast, the undersea life was

beautifully colourful, rich with krill and silverfish. Night conditions returned as we moved north but there was still a fair bit of ice around so special lights were rigged up for ice watch in the dark. Particles caught in the light beam were described to me as spindrift... those very fine snow particles that are there in polar regions all the time but are invisible in daylight. The wind was absolutely screaming and beneath the high-pitched sounds was a low thrumming hum I had never heard before on the ship.

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The last image I ever took with the little camera as we headed north was of surging seas and an albatross. The ship lurched against a big swell and I fell, scrunching the camera into the heaving deck! It was possibly the riskiest moment of the whole trip as I could have been flung straight off the back and no one would have noticed. But I made it and will never forget the experience of being part of such a life-changing experience, a serious highlight of my career as a scientist, that led me into poetry, songwriting, and eventually photography.

Mary works as a full-time marine scientist based in Wellington. In recent years photography has become her passion and she is often to be found on the rugged south coast where the wind blows and the seas sing. She is on Facebook as Mary Livingston and on Instagram as @erddigg.

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excio.gallery/mary instagram.com/erddigg


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Staying true to herself and empowering other women with Rina Sjardin-Thompson

WHAT’S YOUR BACKGROUND IN PHOTOGRAPHY? I picked up the camera aged 45 when I moved from Surfers Paradise to the West Coast of the South Island. It’s one of the most underrated areas for photography, but I fell in love with its moods, mist, mountains, and its slow pace... I was living on a farm with 1000yr old kahikatea trees, Hereford cattle, horses, mountains, and rivers all in the back yard... how could you not pick up a camera?! I went full time at 50 am now 58, and have no intention of giving up! Turning to photography

full-time was a gradual process over 5 years then I took a leap of faith, helped by spending $20,000.00 (everything I had) in setting up my kit so it then had to pay for itself.... scary but great motivation! Before photography, all of my jobs were in predominantly male areas. I was a bricklayer for 15 years so being around men didn’t bother me at all and nor does it bother me being surrounded by men in the photography industry - I have tunnel vision when it comes to my work and don’t worry about what others are doing or what they think of me and my work.

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I am inspired by everything around me. I was once berated by a couple of people who could not believe that I didn’t frequent or visit galleries… They asked me how and who inspired me if I don’t visit. My reply was that I am inspired by the things I connect with, the places I live and travel to, and the people I meet…. Inspiration is literally everywhere around me and I love that! I don’t want to copy or be influenced by others so I purposefully have tunnel vision about my work - I don’t worry about what anyone else is doing, I travel in my own lane, run my own race. Being asked to describe my work is something I find very difficult. I can tell you that my style is simple so the bones of the image have to already be there in the scene I want to capture. Some people “make” photos, I “take” them. I don’t have Photoshop so all my editing is done in LightRoom. When I asked people on my FB page to help me describe my images, the three most common replies were:

1. Epic. 2. Real. 3. Soulful. I was really chuffed by those responses as I’d like to think the same but couldn’t have found the words myself! Photography is what is in my head when I wake every morning. It’s a hobby, an obsession, stress relief, a non-verbal expression, mental health survival strategy, and of course, it’s my job but I also do photography as a hobby during my downtime, I simply cannot switch off from it! WHAT’S THE BEST THING ABOUT BEING A WOMAN IN THE PHOTOGRAPHY INDUSTRY? I think we tend to “see” differently and we “feel” our images more than deal with the technical aspect only… of course, we need to do both but women seem to be far less concerned about the techie part of this hobby/career.

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WHAT ARE THE BIGGEST CHALLENGES YOU FACE IN GETTING THE PHOTOS YOU WANT? Time, opportunity, sometimes money, and almost always the weather as almost all my work is done outdoors. I have a million ideas in my head but I have learned to park them up and remain very patient so that when the elements align I can pull the idea out and go about the business of capturing that image! CAN YOU TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT “PICTURE THIS PHOTOGRAPHY WEEKENDS: LADIES ONLY“ AND THE INSPIRATION BEHIND CREATING THESE? I started being asked to teach photography so I put together some workshops in the traditional meaning of the word together with my friend and business partner Neil Protheroe 18 months ago. This is when I noticed that the questions from women - generalising of course - were slightly different from the questions men had. What was important to them was slightly different. How women learned and understood was slightly different. I began asking some questions of women around learning alongside men…. And was astonished that their words, comments, and feelings included “impatient”, “technical jargon”, “hard to understand”

“gear oriented” “arrogant” “condescending” “judgemental” “know it all”, “intimidating”. Now I have to say, I have met some female photographers who fall into these categories too! But overall, these words were a surprise to me considering they were the words and feelings of MANY women. So, I decided to put together the occasional ladies-only Picture This Photography Weekend and I have been running a small ladiesonly group on Facebook called Women In Focus. I only started the FB group and weekend trips away to fill a gap where women can thrive and be free to express themselves both verbally, artistically, photographically, and philosophically….. There seems to be a really lovely level of support within the group and a healthy exchange of ideas and participation…. The “photography weekends” are less intense than a traditional workshop (in fact, ‘workshop’ is a word we don’t like to use anymore), as our weekends are somewhat more social in nature and you are free to do as little or as much photography as you’d like….. It’s a great way for all levels of ability to come along

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EXCIO JOURNAL | VOLUME II - ISSUE 2 | MARCH 2022 and enjoy our weekend. For beginners, there is tuition available whilst those photographers with more experience usually head off on their own to do their own thing whilst having some like-minded company. It’s a great recipe for a weekend of photography in amazing places around New Zealand and I’m happy to say we have a lot of repeat business with clients venturing with us for up to 6 trips! Now, 95% of our clients are women and we love that! Seeing women grow in confidence to produce great work, try new things, post their work, and develop into something more than they thought they could is VERY satisfying.

8. Don’t compete, compare, or complain. 9. Don’t be afraid of your camera or to play. 10. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes - expect to. 11. Don’t think so much of yourself that it turns people away from you i.e keep your ego in check. 12. Connections: create them, develop them, value them, and nurture them as this is by far the more important feature of your career - without this skill your business will not and cannot flourish. 13. Never wear white to a photo session involving water!

WHAT WOULD BE YOUR ADVICE TO FEMALE BEGINNERS WHO WANT TO GET INTO PHOTOGRAPHY?

excio.gallery/rina

4. Run your own race.

instagram.com/rinasjardinthompson

5. Try everything

picturethis.kiwi

6. Practice practice practice. 7. If you don’t believe in yourself and what you are producing, no one else will.

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facebook.com/rina.sjardin.thompson. photography/


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ABOUT US Started in New Zealand in 2017, Excio has grown into a global community of passionate photographers who are committed to making a positive change in the world. We help our members display, publish, showcase, share and sell their work based on our “FairShare Photography” concept. This year Excio launched its large-scale, photographer-driven image library to deliver fresh, high-quality photographs with the assurance that every photographer is fairly paid, and every customer can access affordable, authentic photography for commercial use. This unique offering is made possible by Excio’s innovative technology and payment model: Excio PhotoTokens. Our innovation motivates photographers to take and upload an abundance of images, and buyers to pay a fair price for their creative work. At Excio we strongly advocate for responsible photography principles . We are official partners of the Nature First organisation and Sustainability Business Network. We are committed to the Tiaki Promise and supporting important local initiatives and charities.

CONTACT US

BACK COVER

hello@excio.io community.excio.io

Shelly Linehan excio.gallery/shelly

@excionz