Love photography? The 13th Angkor Photo Festival from December 3 to 12 offers something for both amateurs and professionals, enthusiasts and visitors
Although applications and slots for the workshops are closed, the organizers this year’s Angkor Photo Festival & Workshops are still confident that you will learn more than a trick or two about taking stunning images. Or at the very least you’ll leave the event impressed by what you just saw, and inspired to create memorable photos of your own.
That’s because the 13th edition, which will be held from December 3 to 12, 2017 in Siem Reap, Cambodia, will focus on education.
“After 12 years, this format reflects the incredible development and growth of our workshop alumni, as well as of the photography community, around our annual event,” explains Francoise Callier, program coordinator. “We are the only free photo festival that delivers free education through the workshops, led by photographers of international renown.”
Want a “free” lesson yourself? Here are some tips to improve your photography skills while you’re there:
Learn by example
Instead of exhibitions, there will be evening projections from December 8 to 12 at different venues. These will showcase the work of the workshop alumni and participants – and hopefully give you ideas for your next photos.
“You can learn a great deal from the presentations and visual screenings,” says Katrin Koenning, a workshop tutor. Based in Australia, the German photographer has published a photography book, and is also a photography lecturer and former magazine editor.
“I’m sure much of the work will address some of the pressing issues of our times,” she continues. “To engage with these in any way will not only be important, but foster critical thought.” Alumni Evening Projection at The Village Cafe, December 8, 8pm; Guest Curators Evening Projection at Bambu Stage, December 9, 7:30pm and December 11, 8pm; Children’s Day Evening Projection at The Republic Bar & Kitchen, December 10, 7pm; Professional Workshop Projection at The Republic Bar & Kitchen, December 12, 8pm. All free entry.
Enjoy the process
“Photography is about life, not photography per se,” stresses Sim Chi Yin, a workshop tutor, Singaporean photographer, artist and filmmaker based in China. So she encourages you to “go to the projections, have a drink, and chat about life”.
“Visitors will learn the art of visual story-telling, and the range of work that is being done around the world,” she points out. It’s an effect of the participants moving in new and different directions. “We try to get each student to work in a way they had not before. So if the student is a staunch photojournalist, for instance, we try to get them to do something more conceptual and vice versa.” You can experiment with this method too.
Take your time
In a workshop or when you’re angling for a nice shot, there’s a time frame. But according to workshop tutor Kosuke Okahara, an award-winning Japanese documentary photographer based in Paris and Leipzig, you don’t have to feel stifled by that.
“I want the participants to think rather than find a quick solution. The important thing is to not just produce good work, but to make them experience the process of creation,” he states. “Sometimes we talk about who they are, why they do this, and what’s the connection – simple questions that make them dig deeper into themselves.” Try asking yourself the same things, and use the knowledge to compose the images you want.
Kosuke recommends bringing samples and your portfolio. You may be able to have them reviewed by volunteers for free.
“There are also many photographers hanging out, and they would be happy to look at someone’s work,” he observes. “It’s not like they can teach you, but they would be happy to talk and discuss photography.”