Ung Jimmy Lynch

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Ung Jimmy Lynch (b. 1989)
Cape Town

What kinds of things do you most enjoy photographing?

I enjoy the interactions between subjects and myself. I try to capture people and expose their flaws, I like the idea of vulnerability and authenticity. I try to take that idea into whatever I shoot, whether its people or objects and spaces.

Describe your photographic style.

I don’t think I have a set style that I can call my own, its more of a case of shooting whatever my eye thinks is interesting in that particular moment. In a way its just a chaos of photos — simple chaos, if that’s a thing.

Photography is a lot about the journey. How has it influenced your personal life
and the way in which you view the world (around you)?

Photography’s had such a immense impact on my life, I can feel myself always looking at ‘things’ inversely. Walking around and saying “oh that looks nice, let me shoot it”. My view of the world is just this perpetual string of events that keeps shaping my photography. Whenever I think about where I’m going, my mind immediately thinks of what I can shoot when I get there.

Photography is also about capturing a moment in time. What is your approach to a
shot, and your approach to a new body of work?

My approach is very broad and vast, nailing one down would be a hard task. I think there is beauty and attraction to however you approach a certain photograph. A big part of it for me is to capture exactly what I had in my head for that photograph, embracing and learning from my mistakes. I tend to look at light as a big factor these days as it can create defined mood.

Is photography your professional career? Or do you work in another field?

My passion is cinematography, that is what I do for a living. Photography is an obsession for me, it’s another form of imagery — one is still, one is moving. This is where I find happiness.

What gear do you shoot with? Specifically camera arsenal and film stock.

I shoot with a Contax T3, which is rather new. It’s the best camera I’ve ever had the pleasure of shooting with. I shot a lot with an Olympus Trip 35mm which gave me some amazing results. Point and shoot cameras have grown on me and definitely suits my style. I shoot a lot of Portra 160 and 400. Another go to is Ektar 100.

Growth is important for any artistic craft. How do you stay motivated and
enthusiastic about your work?

I’ve had some times where I cant stop with self flagellation. I’m so overly critical of my own work, causing me to become despondent and lack confidence. I have also learned that these times pass, it’s just the ebb and flow of life for me. I try combat this by also having my camera with where ever I go, and just keep shooting regardless of what my head is saying to me.

What are your influences? Please list other photographers you look up to or
things that generally inspire your image-making process.

There are so many great South African photographers. Kent Andreasen is a close friend of mine, his undying love and commitment to his craft is inspirational to me. I’m also very fond of Johno Mellish, he has a very interesting way of seeing things and doesn’t care what people think — I find that admiring. Dave Southwood, Ilyes Griyeb and Roger Ballen are a few others.

What else do you enjoy? (Hobbies, etc – Any other creative exploits or interests?)

I used to write poems (haha), well, I love writing stuff down in a poem-style way. I really enjoy writing. I spend a lot of time near the ocean, I body board, not that good, but being in the water is great. I also skate downhill, pretty much just for the adrenaline rush.

Any tips for aspiring film photographers?

It’s so cliché, but shoot, shoot, shoot! You can only get better the more you shoot, and the more you shoot the more you start to understand. Always shoot for yourself, not for others. Don’t let people dictate what you shoot just because you might get more “LIKES”, be true to your self.

What lies on the horizon (any plans for series, exhibitions, travels etc)? And what do you hope to achieve in the future?

At the moment I’m in talks with a company to D.O.P. some stuff for them, which is really exciting. I have two personal photo series that I’m trying to get into action, stuff that is close to my heart.

Instagram: @ung_jimmy_lynch

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All photos by Andrew Gregory

DEAD TOWN™ | Film-only Photographic Showcase ©2017.

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Karabo Mooki

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Karabo Mooki (b. 1988)
Johannesburg

What kinds of things do you most enjoy photographing?

I wouldn’t describe my inspiration as something that can be annotated or pigeon holed, I allow myself to interact with the world around me. Photography, along with visual arts, are happening constantly, its almost impossible to really turn off when life’s spontaneity is waiting to be captured. I really enjoy the places, people, sounds and tastes that photography has allowed me to journey through. If I was fixated on one core part of the art, I would have missed out on countless amounts of life experiences.

Describe your photographic style.

Unorthodox and unfiltered. I’m always learning and appreciating what others around me are doing, whether it be on an esteemed professional level or appreciating the naïve approach to the world through the eyes of an amateur, for lack of a better word.

I’d like to say forever evolving — there is always something new to try, something new to learn, but staying true to my honest approach is the way I represent and capture the fleeting moments.

Photography is a lot about the journey. How has it influenced your personal life
and the way in which you view the world (around you)?

Yeah, like I said, photography has been a tool that has allowed me to appreciate life that is circulating around me, allowing me to engage with different landscapes and different cultures. Photography has allowed me to be fearless, to venture into spaces I never thought would be possible in my life. I still believe my passion through photography will allow me to experience more unfamiliarities.

Photography has given me independence, a voice, patience… this memory maker has allowed me to enter into peoples lives; whether it is an image I have shot of a perfect stranger or a print of mine that will hang as an artwork in someone’s home. It has allowed me to connect with the world.

Photography is also about capturing a moment in time. What is your approach to a
shot, and your approach to a new body of work?

I try to focus on portraying the truth. The truth is something that everyone can connect with emotionally. In this modern world of media, manipulation seems to be a key factor in getting attention. I prefer to allow the viewer to engage and come to his or her own emotional conclusion about my images. Shooting analogue allows for a lot more organic magic to be captured too.

Is photography your professional career? Or do you work in another field?

I am a visual artist. I am passionate about photography, videography, design and digital illustration.

What gear do you shoot with? Specifically camera arsenal and film stock.

Nikon FM10 and a 50mm lens.

Growth is important for any artistic craft. How do you stay motivated and
enthusiastic about your work?

I don’t get too attached, I try to keep it moving. It’s hard for me to be content, there’s a burning desire in me that knows there is more to see and more concepts to develop. I tend to want more out of the journey, I interact with other phenomenal artists that are involved in other mediums of expression and I draw from their enthusiasm and allow myself to be inspired by their artistic voices.

What are your influences? Please list other photographers you look up to or
things that generally inspire your image-making process.

Jerry Hsu, Laura Pannack, Donna Ferrato, Namsa Leuba.

What else do you enjoy? (Hobbies, etc – Any other creative exploits or interests?)

Chess, oil painting, collaging, skateboarding. I’m getting into gardening and vinyl hunting. I’m trying to get back to reading a lot more and reducing the amount of internet indulgence.

Any tips for aspiring film photographers?

Travel. Do it for yourself. It’s not about the “likes”, it’s about the love.

What lies on the horizon (any plans for series, exhibitions, travels etc)? And what do you hope to achieve in the future?

You’ll know when I know, for now I’m just enjoying the moments and working on a few ideas to keep myself growing.

The future is impossible to predict, but I’d like to have more exhibitions, interact with more phenomenal artists in South Africa and around the world. Cultivate my love for art and keep it moving.

Do you have a specific series or body of work that sums up your portfolio best?

All of my works.

The language of art is hard to articulate, it’s really open to interpretation.

Instagram: @mookimooks
Tumblr: http://www.mooksight.tumblr.com/

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All photos by Karabo Mooki “Mooks”

DEAD TOWN™ | Film-only Photographic Showcase ©2017.

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FOURTHWALL BOOKS

At the end of July I attended a talk with Fourthwall Books, a small, independent art book publisher based in Johannesburg. I’ve been following their work for a few years and have been loving what they have been releasing.

I was very excited to finally hear about all their adventures in the realm of local art publishing, especially how they choose and curate the books, what the supply and demand is like, and all the nitty gritty’s involved in a business like this.

Bronwyn Law-Viljoen, director and editor, led the talk, focusing on the aesthetics and logistics of Fourthwall Books. Through a slideshow, and with physical copies present, she went through select releases and gave a run down of each project.

I was fascinated with each book having its own unique journey, and how the publisher is particularly drawn to projects that are significant in their own way – less commercial, and often stemming from a strong narrative aspect or background story.

 

SELECT RELEASES:

 

Footprints

Photographs by Andrew Tshabangu
Edited and with an introduction by Thembinkosi Goniwe
Preface by Mongane Wally Serote
Essays by Michael Godby, Ashraf Jamal, Neelika M. Jayawardane, Bronwyn Law-Viljoen, Hlonipha Mokoena, Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung, Simon Njami
Hard cover, Duotone, 204 pages, 260 x 240 mm
Published in 2017, ISBN: 978-0-9947009-2-6

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Hanging on a Wire

Photographs by Sophia Klaase
Foreword by Zoë Wicomb, with essays by Rick Rohde, Virginia MacKenny, Timm Hoffman, Ben Cousins and Siona O’Connell
Hard cover, Full colour, 180 pages, 250 × 210 mm
Published in 2016, ISBN 978-0-9922404-3-1

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Hââbré, The Last Generation

Photographs by Joana Choumali, with an essay by Azu Nwagbogu
Hard cover, cloth bound, Full colour, 128 pages
Published in 2016, ISBN 978-0-9922404-9-3

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Commonplace

by Tamsyn Adams and Sophie Feyder
Hard cover, Full colour, 204 pages, 254 × 216 mm
Published 2016, ISBN 978-0-9922263-8-1

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Sometimes I make money one day of the week

by Lisa King, with an essay by Sean Christie
Hard cover, Full colour, 92 pages
Published 2015, ISBN 978-0-9870429-5-8

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Hotel Yeoville

by Terry Kurgan
Hard cover, Full colour, 256 pages, 250 × 215 mm
Published 2013, ISBN 978-0-9869850-9-6

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Milnerton Market: Die Plek van Verligting

Photographs by David Southwood
With essays by Ivan Vladislavić, Ivor Powell and Michael Godby
Hard cover, Full colour, 120 pages, 254 × 216 mm
Published 2011, ISBN 978-0-9869850-7-2

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Wake Up, This is Joburg (Series)

Photographs by Mark Lewis, Words by Tanya Zack
Soft cover, Full colour, +- 40 pages, 254 × 195 mm
Published from 2014-2017 (8 out of 10 released)

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Fourthwall Books was established in Johannesburg in 2010 by designer Oliver Barstow and writer and editor Bronwyn Law-Viljoen. Back then we had one simple goal in mind: to publish visual books that we ourselves would like to own; books that were out of the ordinary—provocative, experimental, well designed, interesting to read, pleasing to hold and look at. We’re still pursuing that goal, though perhaps with a little more clarity than before and also having learned a few important things about books along the way. In 2015 Oliver moved on to new things in Amsterdam, Carla Saunders came on board as our designer and artist and writer Terry Kurgan joined Fourthwall Books as a co-director and editor.

In these first six years of our existence, we have published 33 books and won five prestigious awards: the 2010 Jane Jacobs Best Urban Book Award (New York) for Writing the City into Being;the 2011 Antalis Book Design Award for Fire Walker; the 2015 Jan Rabie Rapport Prize for Non-Fiction for Nagmusiek; the 2015 Kyknet Rapport Prize for Fiction for Nagmusiek; and most prestigiously of all, the 2016 Eugene Marais prize for Nagmusiek.

 

Purchase books via their website, or from independent bookstores including Clarke’s Bookshop in Cape Town, and Love Books, David Krut Bookstores and Bridge books in Johannesburg. You can also pick up copies from their offices in Parkview and at some Exclusive Books branches. Check out their catalogue for a full list of releases.

Note: Stocks are very limited, and many have since been sold out.
*Not all photographs were shot on 35mm*

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Sydelle Willow Smith

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Sydelle Willow Smith (b. 1987, Johannesburg)
Cape Town

What kinds of things do you most enjoy photographing?

Humans in the world with all their idiosyncrasies.

Describe your photographic style.

Bit of documentary, bit of portraiture, bit of shooting-from-the-hip-get-lucky-sometimes style.

Photography is a lot about the journey. How has it influenced your personal life
and the way in which you view the world (around you)?

I have been into photography since I was 11. I have always needed a camera with me – from point and shoot disposables to film to digital to my iPhone, it has always been with me since then.

It has taken me to some incredible places, some difficult experiences, and taught me basically everything I think I know about human beings. The images I sent you are purposefully older, as in recent years I have not had that much time to just go out and shoot for myself – which is always what I feel free to do when shooting on film, as I am way more considerate with my frames, and shoot much slower than when I am working with my digital.

Photography is also about capturing a moment in time. What is your approach to a
shot, and your approach to a new body of work?

I work as a photographer and then I do my own personal projects using photography, so depending on the context the approach differs hugely – I am very influenced by my academic background in film theory and social anthropology and African Studies in terms of the assignments, projects and bodies of work I focus on. I am doing a long term project about white South Africans conceptions of belonging and identity in relation to land called Un/Settled, and that’s a project that’s going to take me a good long while. I have already been shooting it without realising it for the past ten years, so some of it is on film, some of it is on digital – it’s a mixed masala – a bit like this crazy place!

Is photography your professional career? Or do you work in another field?

Yes, and I work as a videographer and a producer for short documentary advocacy campaigns in partnership with my husband at Makhulu. We also run a solar powered mobile cinema (Sunshine Cinema).

What gear do you shoot with? Specifically camera arsenal and film stock.

For professional commissions; Canon 5d Mark III and a series of Pro L Series Prime Lenses – budgets don’t allow for film use. Personal work; Mamiya 645 and Canon A1. Preferred film for colour – Portra 120, and black and white – T-MAX, TRI-X or Ilford 120.

Growth is important for any artistic craft. How do you stay motivated and
enthusiastic about your work?

I travel as much as I can for work, and for pleasure. I read a lot. I watch a lot of movies. I look at other photographers, filmmakers, poets, writers, visual artists work for inspiration. I talk to people.

What are your influences? Please list other photographers you look up to or
things that generally inspire your image-making process.

Alec Soth, Nan Goldin, Jim Goldberg, Zanele Muholi, Dale Yudelman, William Eggleston, Martin Parr, Mary Ellen Mark, Annie Liebowitz, Ernest Cole.

What else do you enjoy? (Hobbies, etc – Any other creative exploits or interests?)

Walking in good light with a camera. Camping under the stars with a tripod. Watching live bands. Visiting new places.

Any tips for aspiring film photographers?

Keep shooting, keep looking and learn how to edit!

What lies on the horizon (any plans for series, exhibitions, travels etc)?

I have plans for an interactive public exhibition of Un/Settled, and I am going to America for a month in October for work, shooting, seeing my sister who lives there. Work wise, the schedule is erratic so not sure where I am going to be next week.

What do you hope to achieve in the future?

A collection of images that will add to an important moment in time in the experience of being from this part of the world. More knowledge, more memories, more sleep, more laughter, less self doubt.

Website: http://www.willowphoto.co.za/
Instagram: @sydellewillowsmith

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All photos by Sydelle Willow Smith

DEAD TOWN™ | Film-only Photographic Showcase ©2017.

Sam Wells

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Sam Wells (b. 1989, England)
Cape Town

What kinds of things do you most enjoy photographing?

Mostly landscapes, but I’m always drawn to anything that’s visually interesting and out of the ordinary.

Describe your photographic style.

I’m not sure if I’ve defined a specific style yet, but I guess it’s more scenery/object based. Light and fun, nothing overly moody.

Photography is a lot about the journey. How has it influenced your personal life
and the way in which you view the world (around you)?

Photography always adds an interesting angle to visiting new places. I’m more aware of everything, always looking out for something visually appealing. Personally, it has awarded me the opportunity to meet new people and travel to some fun places around South Africa.

Photography is also about capturing a moment in time. What is your approach to a
shot, and your approach to a new body of work?

I generally just see something that catches my eye and shoot. I try to not over think a shot. Over the years I think you learn what works and what doesn’t work when bringing a photo to life. So, the process is less planned and more instinct based.

Is photography your professional career? Or do you work in another field?

No, it’s not. I work as an interactive designer. I think with all things creative, and principles of each medium cross over.

What gear do you shoot with? Specifically camera arsenal and film stock.

I predominantly shoot with a Canon 1N and a 50mm lens with Fuji Superior 200 stock. I played around with similar films, but I find that combo works super well. I have a little assortment of point-and-shoot’s that I mess around with in between.

Growth is important for any artistic craft. How do you stay motivated and
enthusiastic about your work?

I find getting away on little trips and finding new environments helps keep things inspired and fresh. We’re lucky that we’ve got such vastly different landscapes in Cape Town, all within a couple hours drive.

What are your influences? Please list other photographers you look up to or things that generally inspire your image-making process.

Lately I’ve been really inspired by in your face street photography. The timing and ability to frame up situations in a moment amazes me. This was all coming off the back of watching a documentary on Vivian Maier. Otherwise I’m inspired locally by other guys shooting film and seeing their take of the place we live in.

What else do you enjoy? (Hobbies, etc – Any other creative exploits or interests?)

Growing up in Cape Town, the sea has always been a big part of life — surfing, swimming and any other ocean activities. Creatively being a designer by trade, illustration and working on the computer also fill a portion of my time.

Any tips for aspiring film photographers?

Find a camera that you can build a relationship with it. Once you know the product you can produce, trust the camera and push what you can create.

What lies on the horizon (any plans for series, exhibitions, travels etc)? And what do you hope to achieve in the future?

I’d love to get some more photo stories published. I think my focus will always be slightly aligned to finding interesting angles and anomalies with places and to create a series of photos around that.

Do you have a specific series or body of work that sums up your portfolio best?

I’m pretty proud of a photo series I published on my observation of my travels from Bali last year. I think that sums up my style of shooting best.

Website: http://www.samwells.co.za/
Instagram: @samwellssamwells
Tumblr: http://samwellssamwells.tumblr.com/

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All photos by Sam Wells

DEAD TOWN™ | Film-only Photographic Showcase ©2017.