Category: My news
As a full-time editorial and corporate photographer, it can be challenging for me to make the space to develop my own photography practise. At last, one project I’ve been working on for years, intermittently, has come to completion. ‘Photo Synthesis’, a reflection on green plants’ ability to transform light into matter, is being shown at the beautiful Galerie Huit Arles this summer, during the photography festival ‘Les Rencontres d’Arles’. From its beginnings in mud and tangled vegetation, to this solo exhibition held in a refined Louis XIV-style salon, Photo Synthesis has been quite a journey…albeit a peaceful one.
It is an invitation that I will treasure for a long time. Proposed not as a photographer, but as a jurist, I had been welcomed to attend the prestigious biennial Provence Cheesemaking Contest to judge the quality of the very best cheeses in the South of France. It was no small honor to be part of the judging process. Cheese is one of the pillars of French gastronomic culture and this event would select and bestow recognition on the region’s very finest cheese-makers.
Today is the opening day of the photography event Fotofestival Nüernberg. I’m delighted to be one of the photographers invited to show work there and, though travel from the South of France to be there in person is not possible at this time, the event is bravely ahead despite Covid. In response to the festival’s theme, ‘Facing Reality’, I made a series of environmental portraits of inhabitants of a small town in Provence – with a twist. Viewing the world as seen by the subject within their portrait, and incorporating reflections seen in sheets of glass they hold, my work illustrates how our internal narratives colour our perceptions of our surroundings.
I recently travelled to the Red Sea, far from the South of France, to give a set of workshops to a group of budding photographers in the resort town of El Gouna. Smartphone photography, people photography, street, travel & action were covered, and there was a wide range of equipment, age and experience among participants. Yet everyone was joined in a single quest: to improve their photography. The most important asset in photography is your eye, and how you translate what you see into a picture, regardless of the camera. I am delighted to present some of the participants’ work.
Every summer, I head to Les Rencontres d’Arles. Arguably the world’s most prestigious photography festival, Arles is a great chance for me to see a range of new, contemporary photography and catch up with friends and clients. Many travel much further than I, from the French Riviera, to come to this event in the South of France – photographers and photo editors alike. This year was special: not only was it the event’s 50th birthday, but I was among the photographers with work on show.
The phone call came out of the blue one evening. “Is this Rebecca Marshall, South of France photographer? I would like to invite you to Russia”. The 2016 edition of Uglich Photo Parade, one of Russia’s most prominent annual photo festivals, was being planned. With ‘France’ as one of its themes, organiser Yuliya was looking for a France-based photographer to give a workshop. So it was that I set off on an unexpected adventure that was to involve food and travel photography, street portraits, a fierce bull, elk ticks and space cheese.
A month ago, Dr Charles Ghenassia, with the aid of a laser and a very steady hand, cut open the corneas of my eyes and successfully removed the cause of my severe short-sightedness and astigmatism with his forceps (yes, literally). This man, giving me the gift of 20:20 vision, has consequently earned his place as one of the Most Important Men in my Life. So to thank Dr Ghenassia, and to mark this momentous happening as a photographer, I took my large format film camera to Nice and made a single portrait of him.