I am not a professional photographer, I didn’t learn photography in school or any other structured training program, I don’t like gallery openings,I refuse to work as a photographer, and I still feel uncomfortable selling my photographic prints.
(Phew, it feels real good to come clean!)
Everything (or the little) that I did learn is through some observation and mostly as a result of a good deal of practice which truly means lots of trials and countless errors.
However, one of the most important things I found out along the way is that
I DIDN’T HAVE TO study photography and I definitely DIDN’T HAVE TO learn the rules or guidelines of good photography in order to truly enjoy discovering the art of photography and even come up with some nice looking photos every now and then.
Other places you can find me:
- More than Photography blog
- Follow on Twitter
- Nitsa on Flickr
- Skylightweb.com web and book design service
- Some of my books on Issuu
Ok, now let’s get the boring facts part out of the way:
- Photography location: the big cities of America and the countryside of Virginia
- Photography style: non-photography (no rules. street photography)
- Photography education: none (latest information: darkroom printing classes in Santa Monica College)
- Began to photograph: 2000
- Objective: searching for the real America
- Future goal: photographing and documenting life in America.
- Camera: Mostly classic film cameras
Books by Nitsa:
- So much more than Photography (2010)
- No rules. street photography (2007)
- I am not an artist (2008)
- Just another photo book
- The streets are alive
- Streets of Los Angeles
- Streets of New York
- Streets of America
- The real L.A.
- Coloring the streets
- Achievements : Originator of the theory of Non-photography (March 2000, the launch of the non-photography site)
- Real Name: Nitsa
- Age: undetermined.
- Location: Los Angeles
- Place of birth: Israel
- Inspiration: George Washington and William Henry Fox-Talbot.
Since the launch of my non.photography website (www.nonphotography.com) in March 2000, I was always happy to hear from the visitors to the site; in particular I wanted to learn what they think about my theories of non.photography.
And for the most part, the response to non.photography was in fact quite positive.
What a shame! It is a shame because from the very beginning I was fully prepared for a good fight and I made sure to be armed with a few great arguments, but sadly I’ve never really gotten a chance to employ any of them…
So, here are a few opinions of non.photography written by especially esteemed guests. Let me say, I do apologize for the overly favorable review of my work. You might want to take it in small doses.
My initial thoughts on “Non-Photography”, when I first saw Nitsa’s website a few years ago, was that the images were exceptional. They were exceptionally cool shots, but they lacked the rules and sophistication of what real photography was “supposed to be” about.
But I couldn’t get away from the fact that they were better images than I ever made when following the rules. I learned how to work in the darkroom and make pure images, spotting out only the dust. I printed with negative borders and sprockets showing so the viewer knew I showed everything I saw. I was showing a reflection of reality and should remain that way.
But I couldn’t get away from the fact that, in Nitsa’s work, I saw only exceptional images.
I was trying to ignore what I saw and I was only relating to the rules. I was mistaken. I knew it. I wrote to Nitsa and we became friends.
Over the last two years of corresponding and seeing and sharing, I have ventured with Nitsa through Crown Heights, Brooklyn and San Francisco. She has taken me through the subways of New York and through the tides of Venice Beach. She stopped in Texas and she has shown her kids to the world. In these image journeys, she reminded me about important things.
1. Photography is not just for photographers. 2. Show us what you saw.
3. The audience has no rules.
No Rules. It’s about the way you want to show it, the way it looks to the image maker. It’s not always the way it literally looks. Sometimes you can mess around with the image and make it look better. No rules, only images
It’s about first and foremost having a worthy image to start with, having the eye and knowing the decisive moment.
More exactly here, it’s about what Nitsa wants to show you.
What Nitsa does with images is exceptional. Remember that word. Exceptional.
Leo Sadorf, Sonoran Wind publishing sonoranwind.com
Nitsa continues to be bar none the most interesting artist currently blogging. Her work never fails to move me on some undercurrent
emotional level in addition to the visual pleasure she provides at
the conscious level.
Christopher Newton, California ponderingpig.com
Nitsa is not only a natural, but an artist of the highest caliber and quite possibly a genius. Her photographs are an addiction.
Furthermore, what amazes is the way she goes about creating her art: no fuss, no muss. There is nothing resembling extensive planning prior to a shoot, no lugging of complicated cameras and/or cumbersome equipment.
Sounds simple? Maybe so and yet I still don’t get it. How does she capture
(so effortlessly) these mesmerizing slice-of-life images that leave us captivated and in awe–and (always) yearning for more?
The whole doggone thing is a mystery to me. I can’t seem to get enough.
Kirk Alex, author of Blood, Sweat and Chump Change and Nonentity
One doesn’t just stop and look at Nitsa’s images. Rather, they pull you in and demand your attention. At first glance, the simplicity stands out.
However, as you look closer, you begin to notice the true depth of
Her images have a way of speaking to you and telling their stories as if they have a life of their own.
All great painters have their canvas and Nitsa’s canvas is her film. Likewise, as with the great painters before her, her work is unmistakable. When you see it, you know it’s Nitsa’s art.
Mike Flynn, MojoGoon www.mojogoon.com
“Her photo-energy and obvious dedication to the art (craft?, non-craft?, non-art?…) is IMPRESSIVE”
Gary Mark Smith www.streetphoto.com
I am an alumnus of many workshops and forums, and I have been many times around the photographic world from my desktop. …yet now, as I arrive at this site, I have to stop. I can hardly breathe. True, there are no rules and no boundaries, but instead, there is living art.
I would like to live here, if only for awhile. There are crashing waves on this shore; I would like to stay.
Tom Overton, Point Pelee, Canada
I have been a “student” of photography for longer than I care to admit. The “rules” were drummed into my head mercilessly, ultimately becoming a major obstruction to creativity. How many moments were lost while my mind was running through f-stop-vs- DOF- vs Shutter speed-vs- motion blur considerations, instead of just firing the damn shutter!
….Mind you, The Tao of photography is very insightful and a fantastic companion to this book. It comes from the more intellectual perspective and is almost as much about living as it is about photography. Nitsa also alludes to the applicability of her philosophy to the art of living too. I have read her book at least 4-5 times and find myself getting a little bit closer to being free of the shackles, but it is still a struggle, just so hard to let go…
E. Alojzi Szolis, Amazon reviewer
A look at Non-Photography
By now you may have at least heard of Nitsa, photographer and author of numerous books centering on her “non-politically correct” photographic style. She’s been at it for a while, longer then the current Lomo craze anyway. I think her unorthodox approach was ahead of its time. In many ways she makes the people pimping the current ”Lomo” movement sound a lot like a parrot; a parrot that has cheaply manufactured goods with insane mark-ups to sell you. The refreshing aspect is that Nitsa doesn’t make a big deal out of what camera she’s using. She makes it a point emphasizing that it doesn’t matter what camera you use as long as it’s a working one.
A quick glance through Nitsa’s website www.nonphotography.com gives advice on breaking some of the dogmatic chains of orthodox photography, there’s also an extensive gallery of her work.
Non-Photography isn’t for everyone. I love cameras of all kinds and take my fair share of pictures with crappy plastic cameras. My approach is much more anal retentive. I’ve read all 3 on Ansel Adam’s holy-trinity ofphotography books The Camera, The Negative, and The Print. I have a fair grasp of the zone system, I sometimes use a gray card and I normally have a light meter or am doing my best to evaluate lighting when I don’t have one with me. I actually do enjoy the more scientific side to filmphotography , the manipulation of light and color through exposure and filters. I like having control over my artistic medium of choice; However I have found that my most inspired work tends to come from happy accidents, quick snapshots or just when I give the least amount of thought to what I’m doing and shoot more naturally. Maybe I could learn to be anon -photographer after all. I’ve decided I’m going to challenge myself. I’m going to go to a place I’ve never photographed before with my compact rangefinder and ”set it & forget it”. I’ll shoot a roll of film of anything that strikes me. See, I even plan on being spontaneous, which proves that I’ve probably already missed the point completely!
February 16, 2010
If Nitsa’s photography were literature, her work would be a combination of Lewis Carroll, H.G. Wells, and Gabriel Garcia Marquez. In much the same way that these authors liberate their words through fantasy, science fiction, and mysticism, Nitsa’s photographs transcend time and space. In fact, a whole new reality came into existence when Nitsa picked up a camera and gave birth to her non-photography, no-rules brand of picture making.
An effective and captivating photograph must show the photographer’s unique perspective and point of view; it allows us to see into the thoughts, feelings, and philosophical (perhaps even spiritual) state of the person behind the camera. Nitsa’s photographs embody this plateau of higher senses and we, the viewers, are transported to a time and place that only exists in Nitsa’s imagination. Her ability to translate her vision to film and share it is truly a gift to all of us.
Matt, Editor Photoblogs Magazine www.photoblogsmagazine.org