Shooting from the hip. Letteralmente “sparare dal fianco”. Il contesto è la Street Photography dove serve velocità, immediatezza, reattività. Reattività al momento di bellezza che improvvisamente ti si dischiude, desiderio di fermare l’attimo in cui si manifesta. Ne parlo con Jill Dobkin, fotografa di origini statunitensi, australiana di adozione, temporaneamente residente a Pavia. Jill esporrà i suoi scatti nel mio spazio espositivo, FORMAPRIMA, a partire dal 25 novembre.

L’intervista è in inglese.

 

Pavia, 15 novembre 2017

 

GMM

“Shooting from the hip” means taking pictures very rapidly, without studying the composition of the image. You recognize yourself in this expression, which belongs to the photography jargon, eventhough you told me you’ve just discovered it…

 

JD

Yes, I didn’t know it was a photography expression until today! In a wider sense to shoot from the hip means literally to act instintively, to act from intuition, to not give too much thought, just to be quick. But it perfectly suits photography. When you walk along the street life doesn’t just stop for you to take a photo and, as my passion is street photography, if I want to be anonimous and not to be noticed I have to shoot from the hip, otherwise the moment is gone. Sometimes my photos are blurry, sometimes they have a funny angle. And it’s a metaphor for me in terms not only how I shoot but also how I behave…

 

GMM

Can you explain this?

 

JD

It means that in life, like in photography, I try to be in the moment. When I see something that seems right to me – someone else might not notice what I see – I just click, fast! It’s funny that I discovered it today!

 

GMM

This is expression reflects even an attitude you have towards life?

 

JD

Yes. Being in the moment: this is my strenght. School was difficult for me because I have dyslexia, evethough I managed to have my masters. So that’s my weakness… But I think there’s a part of me which is very strong and has to do with the way I feel things deeply, as my profession is the masseuse. I connect with people in the moment, I am with people in the moment. It is something intuitive for me…

I am not a professional photographer, I’ve been doing photography for one year and a half and tecnique is a struggle for me, but I follow intuition and stay open to people, I bump into situations I meet in the street.

 

GMM

I always meet you with your camera…

 

JD

You know, when I have my camera it’s almost like I am going in another world. Almost in a dream. Just having my camera is like I am looking at things so differently. It opens my eyes. When I don’t have it I choose not to see.

 

GMM

Seems that having the camera amplifies your capability of seeing: I guess you feel it’s worth to better open your eyes because you have an instrument to capture the beauty around you…

 

JD

Exactly! It’s interesting because what you’re saying reminds me my dad. My father was an entomologist studying insects. He loved to take me out for walks in the nature; each saturday we walked in the wood and before going he used to say: “Do you have your nature eyes on?” Obviously I had my eyes, but it was like an invisible thing which helped me to find the right attitude to really see things… under the log, in the tree, the light filtering through the branches…

So my father really taught me how to look, to observe in a quiet way.

 

GMM

Staying with eyes and heart open to the world, the attitude of going towards the others in order to receive what people have to give…

 

JD

I think you have to be open when you shoot. Especially when you shoot people. My interest in trying to capture the split second that normally people just walk by.

I feel like I can be a witness of a moment of beauty, or a moment of sorrow, of tenderness, of laughter or a funny moment: you get to see it while other people miss it because life is going so fast. I guess that’s what I love of street photography.

 

GMM

“Open” means to accept whatever it comes, to go towards people, to be curious, taking all the aspects of life, even the worse: I think this is a central point of your photography.

 

JD

Yes, I think so too: to be open and without any judgement. When you’re travelling, especially in countries that are less fortunate, where there is a lot of poverty I try not to go in where I have more than them. It’s a sense of sharing, they actually have more than me, because they’re sharing their culture, their food, their lives: everything around can be a work of art…

 

GMM

Which can be the connection between the massage and photography? The fact of being in touch with people?

 

JD

Yes but, more precisely being in touch with the unseen things: emotions, the hidden qualities, the feelings you get when you see something, why you are attracted to that. I guess I am a curious person. I am attracted to something that is under the surface. To go below the surface, even in the massage, to reach the unseen. Dislexia can be a weakness: I can’t be analitical, the tecnique is a challenge for me and with photography I make a lot of mistakes, but I shoot instinctively, intuitively. In a way dyslexia becomes my strenght, because when you don’t have a part of yourself another part gets more developed. And it’s the same with the massage. I can really go deeply, reaching a zone, which I like, a happy place for me, almost like a dream.