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Cameras focus on Poprad for one week

THERE are subjects you like to shoot and subjects you hate. One of the workshops at the annual Summer Photoschool in Poprad challenged participants to focus on detested themes or implement unpopular photo techniques. What at first seems like mission impossible actually ended with applause, since the activity uncovered hidden abilities and freed former restraints.

PM BOHÚŇ Gallery displays the results.
photo: Jana Liptáková

THERE are subjects you like to shoot and subjects you hate. One of the workshops at the annual Summer Photoschool in Poprad challenged participants to focus on detested themes or implement unpopular photo techniques. What at first seems like mission impossible actually ended with applause, since the activity uncovered hidden abilities and freed former restraints.

The quality of the workshops is one of the main reasons Summer Photoschool keeps generating interest among photography buffs not only at home but also abroad. Every year during mid summer, the numbers of photographers descending on the city in the foothills of the High Tatras increases.

This year Summer Photoschool entered its jubilee 10th anniversary, drawing 92 photographers from 11 countries. They attended 14 workshops led by 16 lecturers from eight countries, according to Lucia Benická from Dom Fotografie Poprad, the Photoschool's organizer.

SIXTEEN lecturers advised the Photoschool students this year.
photo: Jana Liptáková

Beginners as well as advanced amateur photographers had the chance to improve their abilities and learn new techniques themed under seven topics: body/portrait, landscape/architecture, experimental photography/new media, black-and-white technique, digital photography, and documentary and commercial photography.

Students received advice from prominent photographers including Czech Jindřich Štreit, Finns Paivi Eronen and Sanni Seppo, American Ernestine W Ruben, German Hermann Posch, Italian Giancarlo Tovo and British John Darwell. Results from the workshops are on display at the PM Bohúň Gallery in Liptovský Mikuláš until October 23.

TEACHER and student at work.
photo: Dom Fotografie Poprad

"Similar to the previous year, Dom Fotografie introduced new Slovak names in contemporary photography to complement Summer Photoschool week," said Benická. Works of four talented young photographers are on display in an exhibition called Photography as a Painting, which runs until September 18 at Dom Fotografie Poprad.

The 11th year of the Photoschool, which is already in preparation, will focus on a wider cooperation with artistic schools in Slovakia and Europe.

"I would like to 'import' innovative approaches to contemporary documentary photography and new media," says Benická. She anticipates greater cooperation with American photographers next year.

While Summer Photoschool 2006 will keep its current arrangement of themes, the workshops on offer will likely extend to include old photo techniques such as camera obscura.

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