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borut peterlin, slovenia, ambrotype, Portrait photography, Wet Plate Collodion, Analog Film photography

Archive for the ‘Photojournalism’ Category

Homage to Paul Graham

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Paul Graham at the workshop in Fabrica in year 2000

Last week I was on a vacation and I’ve read a book review of newest project by Paul Graham at Aphotoeditor by Robert Haggart. I’ve first encountered Paul Graham’s work at an exhibition at Month of Photography in Bratislava, year 1994. It was an exhibition of New British Documentary Photography. When I was in Fabrica, Benetton’s communication research centre, year 2000, he had a two days workshop there. Until then I didn’t fancy his aesthetic, but I understood his topics and I loved his early works especially Beyond Caring and Troubled Land. His work you don’t understand on a first glance, it took me a while of reading and contemplation to get familiar with the idea that war photography can be done with medium format camera from far and it’s OK, that your pictures aren’t good enough because you’re not close enough.

While we had a workshop together he asked from us to go out and make pictures, that we wouldn’t otherwise, we were asked to make mistakes, rigorous technical and compositional mistakes. We went out and each of us shot a roll of film and I took it as a joke, throwing camera in the air and taking pictures with a timer on and of course nobody took an effort to look trough a viewfinder. And accordingly that’s how our pictures look like, a one big mess! Paul came along and start shuffling pictures and out of this mess of unsharp, blurry, over&under exposed pictures made a series that actually looked really cool! Then he was talking about possible connotations that this kind of aesthetic could be applied to. I was astonished! What a good workshop!

So when I read the book review that I’ve mentioned before I clicked through the book and as always it’s not on a first ball as we say it, but as all Graham’s projects it takes some time to get familiar with his new “invention” in photography. To be honest my belief was that diptychs, triptychs and other typtichs are for photographers who can not make a good picture, then they do some distracting maneuvers with juxtaposing several images together. In 99% it’s like that, if you ask me, or even more if the theme of the series is dealing with identity of a photographer (grow up!).

But, I’m also great fan of Duane Michals and his way of transcending an image with a sequence and Graham’s diptychs are sharing a some sort of rhythm that I like. Furthermore this is actually a street photography, a contemporary modern version street photography, that I adore. Robert Haagart wrote:

“But, inch by inch, I realized that the book’s locale is strictly allegorical. It could have been London, or Barcelona, or San Francisco, or almost any city on Earth. The title of the book is not “NYC,” it’s “The Present.” Mr. Graham is asking us to take him at his word, and look beyond the obvious.”

At the moment I was reading this I was at a vacation at the sea site in Nerezine, Croatia, so I wondered if it could have been NY, London, Barcelona, why not Nerezine as well? I took my camera and the very next day I’ve made a jackpot of an image that I’m publishing bellow. I’m continuing with the mining the concept…


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A creative portrait of Matic Zorman, a photojournalist

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matic-zorman-foto-borutpeterlin.com

Matic Zorman is a young photojournalist whose work was noted many times. In this issue of Mladina weekly, we are publishing his profile with my portrait of him. We had a such a laugh while working on this image. It’s done in Wet Plate Collodion technique, format 4×5″. We did it during Fotopub festival and Miša Keskenović and Matej Povš were helping me a lot. THX!

Govor veleposlanika ZDA Joseph Mussomeli, Križanke, Ljubljana, 3.7.2012,

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Joseph A. Mussomeli, US Ambassador to Slovenia.

Few hours ago I was photographing a news event, U.S. Independence Day Celebration in Ljubljana, where U.S. Ambassador to Slovenia Joseph Mussomeli gave a speech that should echo widely. Slovenia is ruled by politicians that are obsessed with ideological differences. They are very successful in their intention to divide Slovenian nation on those who are “with us” and those who are “against us”. That is why this speech of ambassador Mussomeli touched me deeply as a voice of reason, so I’m passing it on.

HERE is a link to the scan of the speech, so you can read it.

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Pred nekaj urami sem fotografiral dogodek praznovanja obletnice ameriške neodvisnosti, kjer je imel veleposlanik ZDA, Joseph Mussomeli, govor, ki mora odmevati. V teh časih, ko Sloveniji vladajo politične elite, ki so obsedene z ideološkim pravdanjem in so zelo uspešne v razdvajanju ljudi na ta bele in ta rdeče, je prav, da si lahko v miru preberemo to sporočilo in se zamislimo. Ta govor sem dojel kot glas razuma, ki se me je dotaknil, tako ga posredujem naprej.

TUKAJ je povezava na slovenski prevod govora.

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Written by Borut Peterlin

3 July, 2012 at 23:12

Anže Kopitar / LA Kings, back in Slovenia

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A bouquet of white roses with Anže Kopitar and fans. Ljubljana Airport, Slovenia.

To keep my promise to post pics more regulary, here is a picture that I’ve shot few hours ago. It’s taken when Anže Kopitar famous hockey player that won with LA Kings the Stanly Cup. Picture belongs to my Flower Power series, where I document flowers on news events in a way that I don’t celebrate politician or a famous person, but I focus on a flower and the famous person on the picture is degraded to a disturbing background. If you don’t see the concept in this picture, please take a look on my site where Flower power project contains flowers with Putin, Bush, DalaiLama, Mubarak, Merkel, Powel, Jnaša, Drnovšek, Turk,…

PS: Actually the picture above is straight from the camera. Here is a bit fine tuned version.

My finest interview portrait – Jože Mencinger

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I’m commissioned by Mladina weekly to do many portraits and that’s either creative far out portraits of artists or portraits that illustrate interviews. This Monday I’ve made a portrait of Jože Mencinger, a former Slovenian minister of economic development and acknowledged economist. I’ve made few portraits with digital camera and then one more with Linhof Technika, a large format camera. I asked him to make a portrait outside although it was rainy, in fact since it was discussion about recession I wanted to make a portrait of him with umbrella. It turned out to be one of my best interview portraits. Usually Mladina’s magazine layout demands a square format of a portraits for interviews, but in this case creative director Robert Botteri made a custom design so the image was not cropped and it shines in full specter. THX!!!

On Wednesday I’ve returned the Linhof camera to the owner and it felt like breaking with a girlfriend so now I’m compulsively buying another Linhof Master Tehnika. I’ve published my intention on FB and Twitter and two friends offered me their camera to buy / borrow, so on Monday I’m back on saddle again.

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Za Mladino običajno delam portete bodisi umetnikov na kreativen način ali pa portrete, ki ilustrirajo intervjuje. Minuli ponedeljek sem portretiral Jožeta Mencingerja, znanega ekonomista in bivšega ministra za gospodarstvo. Sprva sem naredil par običajnih digitalnih portretov, potem pa sem ga prosil, da narediva portret še z analogno kamero Linhof Master Tehnika, formata 9x12cm. Prosil sem, da narediva portret zunaj, na dežju z dežnikom. Pač v intervjuju je govor o recesiji in vladnih ukrepih, tako je bilo kislo vreme kar ustrezna kulisa. Portret je izjemno dobro izpadel, še posebej, ker se je še posebej potrudil kreativni urednik Botteri in prikrojil grafični design fotografiji. Namreč običajno se od nas zahteva portret kvadratnega formata, a tako postavljena, neizrezana fotografija zares zasije v vsem svojem sijaju. THX!

V sredo sem moral vrniti Linhofco lastniku in počutil sem se kot srednješolec, ki ga je zapustilo dekle, zato trenutno kompulzivno kupujem drugo Linhofco. Objavil sem zapis na FB in Twitterju in dva prijatelja sta se ponudila, da mi posodita / prodata svojo, tako sem v ponedeljek spet v sedlu!

Concert of Siddharta in Anton Podbevšek Teater

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Anton Podbevšek Teater is one of my favorite clients and photographing theater performances is a real challenge. Last Friday in the theater there was a rock concert with one of best Slovenian rock bands Siddharta. Concert lasted for more then 2,5 hours without stopping. Really cool! Concert photography is not my main kind of photography, but if I’m taking pictures, then I want to do them really good. I’m really pleased with this set of images that I’ve done. Few of them are shot by my wife Alenka Peterlin. I’ll teach about postprocess in Lightroom on my workshop in Ribnica organized by Foto Inkubator on 17.3.2012.

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Exhibition Flower Power

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Flower Power exhibition. Photo: Alenka Peterlin


Flower Power exhibition. Photo: Alenka Peterlin

Flower Power exhibition. Photo: Alenka Peterlin


Last two weeks there was a lot of stuff happening with such intensity that I didn’t had time to blog about it. So, Flower Power exhibition in Sokolski dom, Škofja Loka was a success, exhibition looks great. I exhibited 35 images and it works really well if they are many images together. If it would be just a single or just few images, it would be a gag, but all together works really well, raising issues of news making, objectivity, spin public relation,…
The exhibition is open until 7th of March 2012. Here is a video about the project if you haven’t see it yet.

Flower Power – photo exhibition

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I’m inviting you to the opening of my show on Friday 3rd of February 2012 in Sokolski dom in Škofja Loka, Slovenia.
About the project:
As a photojournalist for the weekly Mladina I have been daily photographing press conferences, politicians’ handshakes, and other “flash for cash” photo opportunities. At a certain point I became frustrated with these news-safaris, where the press officer in charge determines my and other photographers’ view angle, the timing and the expression of the politician(s). Searching for an approach that would motivate me personally, I decided to document the flower arrangements accompanying such public functions. At every event I thus also take a personal picture in addition to the usual news images, a picture that is out of the pre-set context. Instead of glorifying some important politician, it sets flowers in focus, thus degrading the politician to unsharp background that distracts the composition. The cure works perfectly and now I look forward to every press conference, no matter how trivial it is. 
I have been working on this project for over six years now. With my Flower Power bouquets I have captured also world leaders, such as George Bush, Ban Ki-moon, Romano Prodi, Angela Merkel, DalajLama, Vladimir Putin and others. Let me quote Marcel Štefančič who commented the series: “A hundred years from now no one will know who these politicians were, what their names were, but everyone will still know what these flowers are called. That’s it – Flower Power.”
Portfolio on my site www.borutpeterlin.com

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Vabim Vas na otvoritev razstave Flower Power v Sokolskem domu v Škofji Loki, v petek 3.2.2012, ob 19. uri. Več na moji strani www.borutpeterlin.com
Kot fotoreporter tednika Mladina dnevno fotografiram tiskovne konference politikov in nešteta rokovanja, kjer nas osebe za stike z mediji pripeljejo na točno določeno mesto, nam odmerijo tako zorni kot, čas fotografiranja, kot tudi nasmeh politika. Ta novinarski fotosafari me je spravljal ob živce do točke, ko sem se prepričal, da ob vsem tem medijskem pompu, mora biti nekaj, kar nihče ne fotografira ali snema in s časom ugotovil, da so to cvetlični aranžmaji.
Od takrat poleg običajnih novinarskih fotografij še dokumentiram cvetlični aranžma in tako politične veljake degradiram v neostrini moteče ozadje. Zdravilo deluje in bolj butasta novinarska konferenca je, z večjim veseljem jo fotografiram.

5am project at #occupywallstreet / Ljubljana

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This morning I got up before 4am and drove to Ljubljana to photograph protestors infront of Ljubljana stock exchange as a part #occupywallstreet movement. For eleven years I’m working on a 5am project where I take pictures around 5am in different places of Europe and hopefully once it’ll be a book. Actually in this years I’ve made almost a dozen versions of book dummies, but new images are keep on appearing and I can’t finish it. Here is a multi-vision version from year 2009. And HERE is a post with 5am images from Poland, Lithuania and Czech Republic.

Kewdr underground club

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Joko Ono, marathon of Radio Student in club Kewdr, Dolenjske Toplice, Slovenia.

Yesterday I visited the Kewdr club where Štef, the president of Punk Kura is the man. That night was scheduled an event Club’s Marathon of Radio Student where they pick six best young bands in Slovenia and then they tour in different clubs. It happened that this was the best Hardcore / Punk / Rock gig ever! Bends THE HOAX PROGRAM and Joko Ono were playing on full and public went bizerk and I couldn’t stop taking pictures! I think the picture above is the best concert image I’ve ever done! It reminds me on a famous picture of Garry Winogrand / Austin, Texas, 1974 (LINK), where he caught the chaos on the field and every player is in the frame.

For photographers: If you like the color cast of the images, I’ve made a preset for it and you can peek in my receipt and download it HERE. I guess you will use it more often then I will since I rarely photograph concerts and even if I do I mix a new preset based on the general light and mood. Leave a feedback, though.

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