martedì 1 novembre 2011


Photo by Joni Sternba
On the fourth floor of a building without elevator in the heart of Manhattan between a Thai restaurant and a Cafe where a cup of tea costs $ 6, the Centre of Alternative Photography is  located. For the evening of November 1 calendar included a free event: the reading of the portfolio of photographer Joni Sternbach.Before I tell you that the fifty people in the room had all the gray or white hair, glasses and unsteady gait, I must clarify that for 'alternative photography' New Yorkers want the photograph made with the film and printed strictly in the darkroom. The advent of digital photography has relegated the analogy to a small circle of enthusiasts and elderly. But this is really a shame. Because the fascination and the body of the pictures I saw are not reproducible by all the pixels of the world combined.Using large format Joni Sternbach, a plump woman of about fifty, she devoted herself to photography for a lifetime. What brought her to portray surfers going up and down the East coast, West coast and circumnavigating Australia? She argues that it was the surfers to come from her. She photographed the ocean and the surrounding countryside for months and hated surfers poking as small spots in her photographs to dirty them. Until one day, suddently, she saw the silhouette of a boy, on the horizon, that embraces the board and she decided to take a picture.
Thus began a journey that lasted 5 years (from 2006 to 2011), in which the artist has discovered how surfers are an integral part of the landscape and the ocean and how they exist in harmonious union with it.
She defined them as creatures halfway between prehistoric and modern, between being natural and rational.
Photo by Joni Sternbach 

The project realization has led the artist, together with his young assistant that in some photographs supports the surfboard hidden behind it, to infiltrate the "society" of surfers, learn their rules, their customs and traditions.
Using the old-fashioned camera and film type, the subjects had to stay immobile for several tens of seconds, even for a few minutes and often the breeze from the shore complicated matters. Looking at these pictures on the screen gives a distant idea of ​​the power of large prints and the mellowness of black and white already yellowed.
I was the only one under fifty years old in the room, but with the latest Nikon in hand,
these little old men were happy as little boys.
Video - trailer of the documentary "The women and the waves" in which J.Sternbach's
photo were used.

Photo by Joni Sternbach 

Camera used by Joni Sternbach 

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