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by Allan Kliger<br />

50 http://lensmagazine.net


by Allan Kliger<br />

50 http://lensmagazine.net

http://lensmagazine.net<br />

Copyright to Allan Kliger © All Rights Reserved<br />


Emotion - We all know what<br />

emotion is, don't we? Or rather,<br />

we know what it looks like when<br />

we see it in someone else, and<br />

we know what it is when feeling it<br />

ourselves. There it is. That word.<br />

Feeling. It's inextricably tied to emotion, to the<br />

emotive state.<br />

Are they the same? Most dictionaries define<br />

emotion as a psychological state that arises<br />

spontaneously rather than through conscious<br />

effort, often accompanied by physiological<br />

changes. An instinctive state derived from one's<br />

circumstance or relationship with others. In<br />

photography, it's often what separates a great<br />

image from one that's not. One that makes us<br />

stop, to study, to connect, to identify, to smile<br />

or feel pain, but in the end to feel something.<br />

To feel connected to the world around us. We<br />

are social creatures.<br />

Seeing an emotional expression in another<br />

makes us feel. It brings us into that vignette,<br />

into that experience. Sometimes unwillingly,<br />

often by choice. It's what I look for when I<br />

shoot. I want to feel alive, to feel alerted and<br />

aware of the world and it's people around me<br />

and so when I see an expression of emotion<br />

I am driven to capture it. To freeze it forever.<br />

Perhaps to later relive being there, perhaps<br />

to kick start, like a jolt of current or caffeine,<br />

just for that moment, what it feels like to be<br />

alive. Sort of like when we're healthy we can<br />

take it for granted because we don't really feel<br />

anything, but when we're feeling sick, only<br />

then do we know how good it feels to not be<br />

sick. To feel, to be in the space of another's<br />

emotion, makes me feel, makes me appreciate,<br />

that I'm not simply a bag of bones but a<br />

sentient, spiritual being.<br />

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Copyright to Allan Kliger © All Rights Reserved<br />


54<br />

Copyright to Allan Kliger © All Rights Reserved

Copyright to Allan Kliger © All Rights Reserved<br />

http://lensmagazine.net<br />


Copyright to Allan Kliger © All Rights Reserved<br />

And so I look for emotive moments, for<br />

people in the throes of something emotional<br />

to them. Laughing, crying, fighting, playing,<br />

dancing, loving. Just not merely existing. But<br />

living. And when I see that, when I'm near<br />

to that, I throw myself into the moment to<br />

capture it. No boundary, no space. Right<br />

there, part of that moment. Feeling that<br />

moment and shooting by touch, by feeling<br />

and instinct, the joy or pain, while at the same<br />

time being dispassionate as I'm composing,<br />

lighting, dancing for the best angle. Being<br />

drawn in by the moment but separate from it,<br />

too. And, at the end, feeling that I was witness<br />

to something ineffable, that I, too, was alive.<br />

With my best regards,<br />

Allan Kliger photography<br />

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People, Portrait, Places.<br />

contributor<br />

That’s about the<br />

order of things for<br />

me. I’m drawn to<br />

people, to emotions<br />

and to experience, to<br />

connection and to the<br />

capturing of the world<br />

and of its people.<br />

I think it’s the people<br />

thing that draws<br />

me the most. Every<br />

photographer, every<br />

artist, finds their<br />

soul feeling most<br />

alive, most alert,<br />

when it connects,<br />

intersects, with that<br />

which somehow speaks to it. For some it’s their way<br />

of looking back at their life, for others their way of<br />

looking forward. I think my inspiration comes from<br />

both. The looking back part clearly comes from my<br />

Father. For as long as I can remember my father took<br />

pictures. For him, it was a way to connect with friends<br />

and family. Cameras with bellows, fancy sounding Zeiss<br />

lenses, bulb flashes that had the coolest sound when<br />

they popped, light meters and film, my first Brownie<br />

Hawkeye camera. My father was the one at family<br />

events who was always taking the pictures. He was<br />

always handing out copies of prints that he’d made<br />

for his friends and colleagues. I saw first-hand the love<br />

he had for capturing moments, of how his camera<br />

enabled him to connect with friends and strangers, and<br />

to share those moments with those he cared about. So<br />

I guess that love of connecting with people, of sharing<br />

moments with others has come naturally to me and…<br />

And inspired me to do more. To continue the tradition<br />

and to chart my own path forward.<br />

What do I shoot? How Do I shoot? What makes my<br />

images different? Well, I shoot what I love. I don’t shoot<br />

because I have to; I shoot because I want to. I try to<br />

capture the drama of life around us, the emotions of<br />

everyday living and to do that, I look for the light. I look<br />

for the drama in the light, the hard contrast and the<br />

soft edges, the sculpting and dimension of light that<br />

wraps, that molds, that shouts and that is subtle and<br />

mysterious. And to do this it seems that I mostly shoot<br />

in black & white. Don’t get me wrong, I do love color<br />

and, I often shoot in color. Our world’s in color. I love<br />

the explosion of color, the depth and intensity of color.<br />

But, there’s something special about black & white<br />

that that speaks to me. That helps me “see”, to feel.<br />

My friends joke about this, how I would go to India, a<br />

land that almost screams color, and end up shooting so<br />

much in black & white. It’s become a standing joke but<br />

in the end, the moments, the images, somehow seem<br />

more timeless, more magical and dramatic, leading<br />

the eye where you, as the photographer want, free of<br />

distraction. The image that I feel without even knowing<br />

what it actually may be at the time.<br />

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Most who know me would say that I’m a people<br />

person. That probably explains why I love to shoot<br />

people. Portraits. More often than not in some far away<br />

place where I don’t speak the language. I don’t need<br />

to speak the language. We all connect at some level,<br />

we know what fight or flight means. It’s primeval. And<br />

so is knowing when it’s ok. When it’s safe. We see it<br />

someone’s eyes, in their gesture. I hope people see it in<br />

my eyes as I approach them. I prefer shooting outside, in<br />

a natural environmental. I explore, wander - that’s part<br />

of the adventure. Looking for the light, for something<br />

elusive, something perhaps around the corner, an<br />

open doorway, and some motion that catches my eye,<br />

beauty, frailty, something real. A moment, something<br />

that makes me want to make time stop. Perhaps it’s<br />

something I can identify with, even if I don’t know it. A<br />

feeling.<br />

I don’t shoot with a long telephoto – I shoot up close<br />

and personal. I want that connection. I’m the guy in<br />

someone’s face. It’s personal and the subject knows it.<br />

I dance around, like a boxer or a Judoka in the judo<br />

ring. I’m observing the light, the face, the comfort and<br />

nature of the subject’s demeanor and pose, waiting for<br />

the moment when it all comes together. Specular light,<br />

rembrandt light, light & shadow, depth and dimension.<br />

I need the shadow, the blackness, the mystery and hint<br />

of light and then the hard, dramatic contrast of light.<br />

And then, in between the shots, I find it. The connection.<br />

When the subject finally feels relaxed enough to let me<br />

see them, to immortalize their soul in the light that I’ve<br />

found.<br />

When I’m in the studio, I try and do the same thing. While<br />

most photographers today like the techno wizardry of<br />

strobes, beauty dishes and softboxes, I lean towards<br />

something much more traditional, more old school –<br />

Tungsten Fresnel Lights. Feathered light, dramatic light,<br />

specular light, Hollywood light, cinematic light, and<br />

contoured light. “What you see is what you get” light.<br />

It works for me. And it seems to work for my subjects –<br />

making them stand out from the crowd. After all, isn’t<br />

that why they wanted to have their picture taken in the<br />

first place?<br />

And when I shoot a story, a documentary, I shoot the<br />

same. I look for the people, the places, the edges, the<br />

light that makes the story something more, something<br />

to remember, to go back to time and time again.<br />

Thanks for reading. Hope to connect soon/Allan<br />


Web: allan kliger photography<br />

Instagram: allankligerphotography<br />

FB: Allan Kliger Fine Art Photography<br />

Contact: photography@allankliger.com<br />

Tel: (416) - 669-0647 Toronto, Canada<br />



Copyrights to ©Allan Kliger. All rights reserved.<br />

The International Magazine For<br />

Contemporary Fine Art Photography<br />

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Fine Art Photography Magazine<br />

JULY 2017 #34<br />

ARLES<br />

2017<br />

Exclusive<br />

Interview With<br />

JOEL<br />


<strong>Emotional</strong> <strong>Moments</strong>

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