Benjamin Goss on Portraits in urban environment
The streets, the rudeness of life, the mystical look of a stranger. Black and white granulous portraits of people in their urban environment. Benjamin Goss goes around portraiyng those who we never really see. It’s dark, it’s poetic, it’s real life, real people with no artificials. It’s street portrait photography at it’s best. One that don’t need a lot of explanation. One that catch your eyes and mind.
Can you shortly introduce yourself?
I am a 31 year old photographer and film maker living in Karlstad Sweden.
When and how did you started photography?
I have always been fascinated with images and how the communicate. When I was in my early twenties I began working as a camera-man in New York. At this time I also purchased my first still camera. It became natural to me with having a profession that involves moving images. I currently work with both mediums today.
How would you describe your work and how to you choose the subject you work on?
I would describe my documentary work, as uninhibited, revealing, and a bit dramatic. People in urban environments are my focus. More importantly life in general. Why we are who we are, and all the exciting differences between us.
Can you tell us more about your project ‘Intuition’?
“Intuition” is an life long project that embodies decisive moment images with urban environmental portraits. All of the images represented should convey a feeling of spontaneity.
What are you trying to capture through photography?
I guess my ultimate goal is to come closer to my self through the images that I have collected. They reflected back to me when laid together as a whole.
To the viewer of your work what feeling or impression would you like leave?
I want my images to be open for interpretation by the viewer. I don’t want to dictate and be resolute. If the viewer is engaged, and there is some sort of personal connection, then the image succeeds.
How do you approach your subject and how do you get people to be at ease in front of the camera?
My approach is always direct, but never intimidating or aggressive. I am good at relating to many different types of people. For the most part they accept me, because I show them I am taking them seriously. I “see” them. People like to be seen.
What material do you use?
As of right now I am using a Hasselblad and a fill flash. My B&W films of choice are Kodak PX 125, and Tri-x 320. I develop all of my film rolls, and print my own work. It is then scanned of course to viewed online. As far as lenses are concerned, I prefer “prime”, or fixed lens. I use a 80mm, or a 45mm in small format. A wide angle shows to much, and a telephoto is for spying. I like to be close to my subjects.
Right now are you working on a specific subject? If yes can you tell us more about?
I am mainly working with environmental portraits of strangers in urban environments.
What are your main inspirations?
The people I meet when photographing inspire me.
What do you look for in other photographers work?
I look for a personal connection between the photographer and their own work. Everyone sees the world with different eyes based on our environments and experiences. I want to see and feel that person through their work.
If you could invite 3 photographers or artist at a dinner who would it be and why?
Diane Arbus, Nobuyoshi Araki, Peter Beard. Diane, to ask her why she chose the subjects she did. Araki to get inspired about life by just being around him, Im sure he has lots of energy and stories to tell. And last Beard, because I heard hes fun to be around at party’s. All three of them have a joie de vivre that I am drawn to.
Any young photographers or Flickr member which work you really like and that you would like us to discover?’
_isa.mar, Isa Marcelli. …alias, Alisa Resnik. gary isaacs’ photos. All three are amazing and poetic storytellers, each with their own world for you to wander in.
Thank you Benjamin
Interview by Frankie