We are very pleased to have Dimitri Beck as a jury of our TEN AND ONE AWARDS. Dimitri Beck is the director of photography for Polka, Art Gallery and Magazine. We asked him questions about his work, photography and some defining moments...
Hello Dimitri! Welcome to the Lomography Magazine. Please introduce yourself to our readers.
I'm in charge of photography for Polka : the magazine, the gallery and for the web and multimedia. I grew up with photojournalism, I've since opened up to new fields and got new influences since I've been at Polka. But photojournalism is part of my DNA.
How would you define photography? What makes it worth pursuing?
Photography is an open widow to life, love and death. It's a mean to capture our desires like our nightmares and put them into images. And a spark of light towards the soul... Maybe. Who knows ?
Photography deserves our full attention and we should teach it even more to understand it better and to perceive not only for its formal context. To learn to read it and to feel it. To raise questions and interrogate it. Photography is of public utility !
What inspires you?
Every photographs. I don't have borders. And indeed, I love photographers who are boundary spanners both literally and figuratively. The ones who make me dream and wonder besides informing me.
Who are your favourite photographers?
Saul Leiter, William Klein, Eugene Smith, James Nachtwey, Stanley Greene, Joakim Eskildsen, Eugene Richards, Margaret Bourke-White and Mary Ellen Mark... Of course, there are other big names and not enough women to do my self-criticism. It tells a lot about the place of men in this job and their influence. Fortunately, a lot of young women are know establishing themself and they are a great source of inspiration to me as Newsha Tavakolian, Carolyn Drake or Tasneem Alsultan.
What's your fondest photographic memory?
I have so many memories of photo reportage, it would be too long to tell them. I'll only share two meetings and souvenirs. The first, goes by the name of John G. Morris. He was the director of photo of Life in London during the World War Two with Robert Capa as reporter and friend, then director at Magnun and after chief of photo at the New York Times. I've met him in 2009. We've seen each other to talk about the work, how it was yesterday and today. He died at the age of 100, on July 28 2017, just after he finished is autobiography. "Mon siècle". The second memory is quite unusual : I assisted William Klein during the royal wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton in London. I had the chance to see how he works, he is very pro and demanding, daring and obsessed by what interested him. A free and rebel spirit.
What makes a good photograph?
As editor of an information magazine, it's a photo able to tell a story on its own, a photo that makes us understand what's going on, even if we need a caption to give us details and context... A good photo, it's also a photo that makes me dream and tingle...
Any advice that you’d like to give aspiring photographers?
Believe in your vision, your glance. Work real hard. To be obsessed by what you tell and what you photograph.