Monday, 14 June 2010

One of my hobbies is photography so when Group 62 invited Paul Shatzberger to come and exhibit his work I decided to go along. He is a quiet man perhaps even shy but still commanded attention with a selection of his photographs which he did using a laptop and projector. Son of Holocaust survivors he practised medicine but eventually left to pursue a full time career as a photographer.

He is not your average family snap fellow his work is much more thoughtful and seeks the art in what isn’t apparent as much as what is. So a lot of his work is about empty spaces, nearly bare rooms and objects without their subjects. He is fascinated by the presence of sunlight as visible in itself rather than illuminating the subject. He has also ventured into the taboo subject of photographing death and its environs. Frankly it was a very different perspective than my own – I’m fond of family people shots, close up into the warmth and personality of the subject - and I asked him why he felt the need to capture these sorts of pictures. His reply was disarming as he made no attempt to justify himself. He simply said that he gets a certain feeling for a photo opportunity but doesn’t always know why and it is only afterwards that he thinks about the content of his picture.

I left Kingfield pondering his work and only as I drove home did it dawn on me that he had achieved precisely what a good photographer should.

He had not sought to provide answers he had just made me think!

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