Portfolios: Sturla Strand
Sturla Strand #1
"I am 38 years old, and I live and work in my home town Son in Norway. I have a degree from the University of Oslo - french, sociology and history. Since the age of twelve I have been taking pictures, first as an avid amateur, but the last four years I have been doing it professionally. Currently I am working both digitally and with medium- and 35mm cameras. Six years ago I had my first experience with Photoshop, and since than I have developed my skills further. Working with black and white images this way gives a much greater control than you have in the traditional darkroom - especially when it comes to controlling the shadow areas. This summer I bought a printer that can handle black and white images much better than the one I used before. The prints are now almost without any metamerism. I scan medium format film, make the necessary adjustments in Photoshop and then print digitally. In addition I take some of my photographs with a digital camera, convert them to black and white in Photoshop and print them on my printer. However, the majority of my pictures are still printed in the traditional darkroom, in wet chemistry.
Last summer I had my first solo exibition in Son where I live, and I sold almost half of the twenty photographs. This winter I have also participated in two other exhibitions together with other photographers from Son. My father and I run a local Internet magazine, lokalmagasinet.no where I regulary contribute with my pictures. I am taking commercial assignments and I am also involed in stock photography, fotofil.no.
Taking black and white photographs is for me the most natural way to express myself artistically. I try to envision the subjects I am shooting without color, which I often find a distracting element. This way I can concentrate on lines, shapes, forms and shadows - the little details that people for the most part overlook. When it comes to the subjects I choose to photograph, I have found that certain places have a special kind of attraction to me. These places I visit over and over again under different lightning conditions, trying to capture them the way I want. Some of my best black and white photographs are taken only a few hundred meters from where I live. This proves the point that you do not have to travel to exotic places to find good motives. I often feel that the motives come to me, rather than the opposite. I am constantly trying to improve my photographic skills in terms of expression and motives.
The photographs I take are maybe my perspective on the world around me. Perhaps I am trying to capture the world the way it should have been, rather than the way it is. I often wonder if people perceive my art the same way as I do myself, since this is a very personal thing.
I do not like to explain my photographs. It is up to the individual observer to find out what my photographs mean to them, which feelings they evoke."