Friday, January 3, 2014

Featured Photographer: Meire Todao

"I was born in Santa Mariana, a very small town in the south of Brazil with lots of trees and fields. It’s a very dreamy place. Now I live in Londrina, a big city in the south of Brazil, not far from where I was born.  By contrast; Londrina is big, modern, and sort of tiring."

"I started my study series some years ago and I call it "the endless project" because I am always adding new stuff to it. I have always liked macro photography, but I wanted my macros to have a twist. I like the mundane object I can explore and transform into something more whimsical.  I also like photographing reflexive surfaces, working with one light source and experimenting is the key. I spend a long time alone in my bedroom, studying all the possibilities and then photographing. I guess I spend more time observing than is an observation exercise.  I like breaking the rules of photography and the blur I use has a lot to do with the fact I am a bit short sighted and things do get blurred for me in real life."

"For my study series I use my old Canon 60D with my very old non-professional lens and a set of close-up filters that I hold in front of the camera - because the filters cannot be attached to the lens. I sometimes use mirrors or any other surfaces that reflect the image for me to photograph. I don't really need a prime lens for the kind of photos I produce. The more distortion, noise and blur I get, the happier I feel. I do not care about equipment, really. Great photos can be done either with a matchbox pinhole or a high-end digital camera."

"Lillian Bassman, Sarah Moon, Paolo Roversi and Anton Corbijn are the ones who influence me the most. I have never tried to imitate or copy them, but once you have them as creative "gurus", things happen unconsciously. The blur, all the optical interference I use in my photos come from the admiration I have for these photographers."

"I would say I photograph every single day, even if it's a snapshot with my cel phone. I do not earn a living with photography, so I am free to photograph anytime I feel like doing so. Most things are not planned at all. Sometimes I get home with a bunch of flowers, a twig, some stones and they become my study subject. It has been like this since I started photographing and I guess it will always be this way."

"I work as a teacher of English and I also teach photography at the same language school as an extracurricular subject. I have a Master degree in Photography/ English Literature (and I want to keep studying photography) I came up with this photography/ English project at school.  
I have always wanted to teach once I talked to my boss about the possibility of offering photography classes in English (the students already have theater and choir lessons) and then some months later he got back to me and we both decided to put it in practice (he also loves photography and has a really good knowledge of the subject). He was extremely supportive. I teach students basic notions of photography and their main concern is how to operate the camera they have. Most of them use the auto settings and have no idea on how to deal with the manual applications of the camera. So, I divided the course into 8 lessons of 2 hours each and they happen once a week. The course is offered to the students as well as people from the community...all of them pay a small fee and have lots of fun! Every class focuses on one topic...we have the theoretical part and then the practice.
We have History, How to Operate a Camera, Portraits, Still photography, Architecture, Abstract, Food, Street Photography and Light Painting. In the same class we have students ranging from beginners to advanced - I've learnt to help them with lots of photos and videos to exemplify what they are about to practice. It's really challenging to find a "common language" to make the whole class unite and make everyone understand...but students are usually lovely and they help each other.
At the end of the course we set up an exhibition at school and it was amazing the number of great photographs the students produced in 8 weeks. Such talented people!! ^_^"

1 comment:

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