Sylvia Plachy's presentation and portfolio review at METU

On October 2, the world-renowned, Hungarian-born and New York-based Sylvia Plachy visited our university to give a presentation on photography to some of our international and Hungarian photography students, and to evaluate their portfolio specifically designed for this occasion.

"I love the wind, the light, and everything that changes, and that changes us."

It was extraordinarily inspiring and fascinating to meet Sylvia in person. Listen to and watch the work of a beautiful life, dedication, diversity, relationship to the world, to reality, to learn that she temporarily loves to pair and group her photos, giving them another dimension. What it is like to run after time and to live in terribly tricky situations when you can't be of help, you can only offer kindness.

"Photography is a quiet language, and I love being surprised," she says. "You got to catch each picture in their specific time, that’s the wonder of photography. You must step up, step inside… You need strength for this. You need a soul for this. There's a lot of work to do on the pictures to get what you want. It doesn't matter what we are photographing for; after all, the point is to get a real, true image to give back to the World as we see it."



photograph ©Sylvia Plachy

There were questions from the audience about cropping and composing photos, about types of cameras and whether she uses a digital camera. Sylvia found it essential to note that she composes in a camera, and does not crop her finished pictures. According to her, she usually works with at least 5-6 cameras at the same time, each of them different, for example, Panorama, Hasselblad, because you do not know which will be useful in a certain situation.

The artist arrived in Budapest for a solo exhibition of Songs in Black and White at the Műcsarnok, which will be open until November 24.



photograph ©Sylvia Plachy

Sylvia Plachy left the country with her family after 1956, at the age of 13 and she visited Hungary only 8 years later for the first time. For thirty years, she worked as a photographer for the New York-based Village Voice weekly, photographing celebrities such as Tilda Swinton, Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Michelangelo Antonioni and Andy Warhol. She published six books and her photos have been featured regularly in the New York Times, Fortune, Art Forum, Granta, Grand Street, New York and other magazines. Her photos are in private collections, as well as in museums and institutions such as MoMA in New York, the Houston Museum of Fine Arts, the SF Museum and the High Museum. In 2010 she was awarded the Dr. Erich Salomon Award from DGPh, the German Photography Society.

PORTFOLIO REVIEW

Following the presentation, two third-year international students specializing in photojournalism, Ahmed Alaeldin Osman from Sudan,  Debomit Chakraborty from Kolkata, India,  and 4 Hungarian students, Boldizsár Jenei, Viktor Varga, Eszter Lázár and Anita Horváth presented their works to the artist. We asked them what it meant for them to present to Sylvia.

 

 

photograph ©Ahmed Alaeldin Osman

Ahmed Alaeldin Osman from Sudan, a third-year photography student in photojournalism specialization.

„It was a great honour and an amazing experience to meet Sylvia Plachy and have my work reviewed by a photographer this great, it was also very encouraging to get a positive feed back from her on my work.”

Ahmed Alaeldin Osman

 

 

photograph ©Debomit Chakraborty

Debomit Chakraborty from Kolkata, India, is doing photojournalism, and right now, pursuing the 5th semester for the course.

"It was a great experience to get my portfolio reviewed by such a renowned veteran photographer. The humbleness and accurate judging on each of the photographs by Sylvia Plachy has enthralled me and has drawn impetus to do good work professionally.

I think this has been a fantastic initiative by the university to provide us with such an opportunity. Finally, the way she presenting her judgment on My Photographs assisted me a lot to do more good works."

 

 

photograph ©Jenei Boldizsár

"It is a great honor for me to be one of the lucky ones to have Sylvia watch my work. It felt good to see that I was on the correct path, but I wanted to find an even better way for myself. My portfolio was my diploma work, which is about a real shepherd man, László Sáfián, and his family. The aim of my work is to feature an authentic shepherd family living in the 21st century.”  Jenei Boldizsár

Viktor Varga's project focused on the nature of darkness, its impact on humans, and its photographic appearance.

photograph ©Varga Viktor

"It was interesting to get to know another photographic approach through Sylvia Plachy's presentation and to thus look at my own, typically strongly conceptual work as part of the portfolio review."

 

photograph ©Lázár Eszter

"It was very useful to get out of my comfort zone. I am always surprised by how versatile photography is, and I think it's important to understand as many sides as possible. Sylvia helped me achieve that. "Eszter Lázár

 

 

photograph ©Horváth Anita

"Through Sylvia Plachy's presentation, we were introduced to a unique vision. It was uplifting for me to be able to present my ongoing work and talk about my plans." Anita Horváth

Cover photo and illustrations were created using the work of © Sylvia Plachy.

Pictures of the events were taken by Bence Szabolyik, a sophomore photography student.


2019. 10. 07.

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