Travel and photography
Can you have a job and do what you like at the same time?
“Love travel and photography?
Why not make a living from both.”
The first edition of Guest Thursdays was held with this theme in mind, organized by Ad Astra Group and hosted by Art Labyrinth. The event welcomed Petr Silhanek, a freelance photographer from Prague, Czech Republic, who presented his work and talked about his love for black and white photography.
Unlike most people who separate their work and hobby, Petr does both in one, he combines his work with another passion – traveling.
Though he never expected that he would become a photographer, one moment in his life changed all that. In 2001 after the war in Afganistan, Peter was sent to help transport 8 tons of medical and social aid from his country. This experience got him on to the path of raising awareness of different problems faced by people all around the world. Peter helps others through the art of photography.
Over the course of his career, Peter worked with many NGOs by taking pictures of people that live in difficulty. He traveled and photographed social injustice and natural disasters in many countries, including Sri Lanka, Indonezia, Afganistan, Plaiul Fagului, Georgia, Ukraine, and others.
The best part of his work - is to show people something new, a part of the world that is not very accessible, the worst part of it - is being unable to directly help the people he photographs, to save them from the misery and poverty in which they live.
Black and white photography is his passion, he never goes for color unless he is shooting his children. And he loves the good old-fashioned film developing, the process that takes hours in a dark room with lots of paper and careful work. At first he started shooting with Zenit then transitioning to more modern cameras such as Leika, he’s still devoted to old ways, which means, when possible, no digital photography.
Recently, together with friends he opened an art gallery in Prague, a place for young photographers, or artists to expose their work and interact with other people that share similar interests.
Petr Silhanek advises young people to look for a job they would love, because its very boring to do something you don’t like, to explore and discover different options. Peter himself never takes on work that he doesn’t believe in and he always ensures that his vision aligns with the people he works with.
At the end of the speech the intrigued audience asked Peter a few questions:
1. What is a good photograph?
“A good photograph must contain the perfect balance between sadness and excitement.”
2. What is the future of photography?
“I hope that black and white photography returns, but to the fact that film development is very pricy nowadays, and takes a long time, today more people prefer digital photography.”
3. Did you ever think about doing a workshop for young people?
“ I want to open a photography school for youngsters of 10-15 years old.”
One of the most active attendee, Cristian (19 years old) shared his positive impressions with us and said that: “at the event I met another part of the world to love”.