#flow40: Interview with Andreas Valentin
Meet: Andreas Valentin, PhD
First, who are you? And how did you find photography?
My name is Andreas Valentin. I am a Brazilian of German descent and currently live in Rio de Janeiro. I have been photographing for over 50 years. I have lived in many different cities, such as Bangkok, Philadelphia, Berlin, and Manaus in the Amazon. Photography always opened doors to better understand these places, know their culture and communicate with their people. Likewise, photography as a form of artistic expression has opened up my mind and worldview.
I have been teaching photography at various levels: to high school teenagers, graduate and postgraduate university students as well as in private workshops and study groups. I am now looking forward to this first online teaching experience!
2) What fascinates you about photography?
We live today in an ever more visual world. Images overwhelm us on our television, computer and smartphones screens. And all of us are image-makers as well as image-consumers. What interests me today in teaching photography and reaching out to people, is to better understand how we should interact in this intensely visual world.
How do we – and our images – survive and stand out in that whirlpool of photos and videos?
Well, maybe we should begin thinking about making, instead of just taking pictures. About images that might last and be remembered instead of ephemeral ones that are forgotten almost as fast as they are taken. Maybe we should slow our photography down.
3) How can photography be used for personal development?
Learning how to do good photography adds to our overall development. We get to see the world in a different way: instead of a superficial gaze, we look for details, for that rectangle cut out from the visible world which might turn into a good picture. And, thus, be more perceptive, more conscious of ourselves and what surrounds us.
In order to that, however, we must practice a lot. Instead of just taking pictures in the fast, automatic mode, we must try to make photos, in a more contemplative, thoughtful way. We have to use our brain as well as our eyes. And, using our brain is always a nice thing to do!
4) As the social framework conditions are currently changing so fast: what contribution can photography make to this process?
Most people who photograph nowadays are not professionals but, nonetheless, love to photograph. And are doing this more and more. As a hobby; to relax; for fun; as a marketing tool; to build up social networks; to be seen, viewed, liked and followed. For whichever reason, these so-called amateur photographers are contributing to raising photography to a status it had never had before: it is today the world’s most practiced contemporary activity.
The trillions of photographs that are taken, uploaded, sent and shared, are connecting people in many different ways.
5) One-Hour-Micro-Courses: What do you personally like about this format?
A micro-course is modern education which suits me perfectly as a modern person because I need compact, short and concise content, which I can use online regardless of time and place.
60 minutes are ideal for me to quickly get a taste of a new topic. To see whether a topic is relevant to me and my personal development.
60 minutes is also ideal for me because they are predictable and promising and help me to finish the course without interrupting. Because I can do the course well after work, if I only invest 1 hour of my free time or if I spend a week training daily for 10 minutes or if I use the lunch break in the office.
Click here for Andreas‘ staff profile on the FlowCampus.