05 August 2008

Face to face (174)

It's got a Back beat... you can't lose it

Stockholm today, 13.0 C, rainy

Photo: Viktor Gårdsäter

About: The F Blog

Photo: Fredrik Skott, author of The F Blog

The Swedish Photo Magazine Kamera & Bild has published an article about The F Blog. It is already on the magazine´s site on the web and the paper edition of the magazin will soon be out. We decided to make a version in English based on our answers from the interview given to the magazine.

About the basic idea of The F Blog
Love of photography is the essential ingredient. The photographic image is powerful - an equally important link for communication between people as the written word or language.
We want to present and promote good photography by offering a platform for photographers to show their work.

In Coa Valley, Portugal, archaeologists found stone carvings dated 25,000 BC. They exist in the open - an early exhibition of images. Pictures - the first children's drawings, Starry Night by Van Gogh, giant pictures on advertising boards, graffiti - we are surrounded every day by thousands of images.

The F Blog is about the photographic image, once explored by the ancient Greek philosophers. Aristotle wrote about the pinhole, the enigmatic dark room, and the camera obscura - the light's ability to reflect and rebuild the surrounding world in images. The magic lives on to this day, even if the technology is refined.The F Blog draws its energy from this source, fascination before the photographic image, and dedication to its performers and its ability to communicate.

Photo: Markus Andersson, author of the F blog

About why it was started
From the beginning it was supposed to act as glue between us, who were in the Gruppo F. A spot on the web where we could present our photos and tell about good photography on the net, but within a week it had evolved into something so much more… in such a large group, there was a lot of ambition and it just exploded- in a positive way!

About the name “The F Blog”
We were twelve photographers who exhibited at Gallery Korn during late winter of 2006 and the exhibition was called F12. When we started the group, we knew that twelve was an elusive number and Group F, or rather Gruppo F was more appropriate. In connection with our website, we created the blog in which only the “F” remained: The F blog.

Then there are a lot of good words (some bad too) that begin with F. As fotografi, form, färg, facts and fantasi! Not to mention förälskad, fördomsfri, folk, fresco and färdkost. A fanfare!

(fotografi=photography, färg=colour, fantasi=fantasy, förälskad=in love, fördomsfri=unprejudiced, folk=people, färdkost= lunch pack)

Photo: Anders Blomqvist, author of The F Blog

About the authors
We are 21 photographers/authors who publish on The F Blog. Two-thirds (14) of us are from Sweden, four are from the United States and three are from Poland.
We are between 23 and 57 years old - nine are women. It is good that we are a diverse and large group. It gives the blog pulse, energy and variety. In addition to us who publish there are many photographers who send images or texts.

About changes of the content
The F Blog is changing all the time; developing without any specific direction, or in many different directions. We, who run the blog are far from being of the same taste when it comes to photography. The diversity is our strength.

The changes are also naturally due to that new members have joined and new formations have emerged, both within and outside the blog. Some of the blog-members have taken a timeout and then they come back with new fresh ideas. Even the communication with readers and their contribution has affected us in new directions.

Photo: Raúl Ortega, invited photographer

About invited photographers
First and foremost we think of the pictures we have seen of the photographer, what they give us as viewers. Sometimes we want to present a series of photos from his or her work. But in most cases, we ask the photographer to choose from among his or her images. It feels right. We are not "curators" and it will be a direct communication from photographer to photographer/author.

Photo: Joakim Eskildsen, invited photographer

About Graciela Iturbide winner of the Hasselblad award 2008

It was great that Graciela herself chose a few photos and that she gave us an interview. She is an example of a photographer who is not exposed on the Internet in any significant degree. It is great to be able to present such photographers for our readers-but they need not necessarily be famous.

Photo: Graciela Iturbide, invited photographer

About what we want to give our visitors
If we in any way can contribute to bring an interest in photography as art form,then we have succeeded with the blog. The meetings between unknown and famous photographers is very stimulating and inspiring. It is developing on a personal level.

The word inspiration is a good summary. We also want to develop our reader’s ability to "think with their eyes" borrowing a few words from Kurt Bergengren.

About the reactions
Many people have written, and praised The F Blog, which makes us happy and gives extra energy to continue this project.

About our plans for The F Blog in the future
To make a book would be fun. We talk a lot about it and we are about to establish contacts. We really hope to be able to realize the idea of a book and also strengthen the ties between our virtual blog and the physical, "real" world.

There are many ideas for exhibitions based on The F Blog. In the blog's archives there are more than 6,000 photos… The blog as such, we would like to reflect what is going on in the world, how we think in pictures, and what it means. It does not mean that we only show documentary photography. On the contrary - what we might call the “state of the world” is sometimes a glance in a portrait, a mood, and a photographer’s way to see…

We would also like to tell more about photography as an art form and its history. We do that already to some extent, but it would be great to be able to present original articles by different authors. The language of the blog is English, which opens up great opportunities. More than one billion people can read the F Blog.

About the strategy
We do not have a clue what will appear on the blog tomorrow. None of us has a direct information about what the other authors are up to, so it is just as exciting for us check out the blog every day. You never know what to expect. All are not involved even in the biggest interviews. So, there is no strategy.

We have a motto, which means that the blog should be "unpredictable, unpretentious and unmatched." We strive to be self-confident and humble at the same time. To not know what comes next is a part of the blog's charm.

Quite often a series of blog posts arises in response to images or texts that someone posted. It becomes a spontaneous chain of inspiration / associations - a creative chaos.

About our visitors
Our visitors come from all five continents. Still, about half of our visitors are from Sweden, but we are glad to see that we get more international visitors day by day. Most visitors in addition to Sweden are from the United States, Poland, Italy, Canada and Denmark. But it varies, depending on what happens on the blog. Quite a few are from Mexico, Taiwan, Hungary and France.

I believe that imagination is stronger than knowledge That myth is more potent than history That dreams are more powerful than facts That hope always triumphs over experience That laughter is the only cure for grief And I believe that love is stronger than death." Erich Fromm

quotes of the professor (1)

The great photographer Christer Strömholm has said: "Imagination is more important than reality". The professor agrees and adds: "Reality is more important than fiction".