I still vividly remember how I felt when I was first introduced to impressionist photography. It is a style that seeks to capture a feeling or experience rather than to achieve an accurate representation and, as a traditional photographer, at first I found that a really difficult concept to grasp. I was attending a workshop called The Art of Impressionist Photography where I saw images stripped of all unnecessary detail. The dreamy, painterly effect that was produced fascinated and excited me and I found the images extremely evocative.
Although I was enchanted by those images, I had a very difficult time creating them for myself. After the first day in class, our teacher gave us an assignment, to go and try some of the new techniques we had just learned. I was walking around, frustrated, not really knowing what to do. I couldn't decide what to photograph or how to photograph it. I also couldn't quite believe that I needed only my camera to start making my new "masterpieces". Because I had to present five images for a review in the class by the next morning, I decided to forget all the concepts and rules of traditional photography (at least for that afternoon) and I gave myself permission to experiment.
"It is through the magic of photography that light becomes the subject matter with colours, forms, space, and time relationships that express my deepest feelings and beliefs."-- Wynn Bullock
That was the most liberating experience of my life. Suddenly there were no rules to obey, no mistakes, no failures, only new possibilities and new discoveries. With this newly gained freedom of expression, I enjoyed shooting photographs more than I ever had before, and arrived home excited by the discoveries I had made.
That evening in front of the computer, as I was reviewing my photographs, I realised that I had not only discovered new ways of making photographs, but also for the first time I was able to express myself through photography. This was it. This was what I wanted to be doing.
Who is Eva Polak?
Hello! I'm Eva Polak, photographer, artist, author and teacher. I'm well known for my enthusiasm and passion for impressionist photography.
Through my books, online courses and workshops I help my students release their creative potential and turn their cameras into paintbrushes. I live in Auckland, New Zealand.
Ten Things You Might Not Know About Me
- I studied to be a librarian.
- According to various Facebook tests I'm Swiss, I should live in Italy, I come from a noble royal family, and my soul mate is Leonardo da Vinci!
- I don't celebrate my birthday. Instead, I celebrate my imieniny - my name day.
- I offer tea with lemon and ginger to anyone who comes into my house.
- My idea of a good time is being at home and taking pictures.
- I love to dance.
- My favourite colour is turquoise.
- Lazy people annoy me. I have no patience for it.
- My dream is to learn Chinese.
- I wish I could spend at least one week in Museum D'Orsay.