Jens Olof Lasthein

Documentary in panoramic photography format. Jens Olof Lasthein is a Swedish photographer who grew up in Denmark. He concentrated on reportage (for magazines) he gave a specific personal style from his mix of wide panoramic format and use of wide-angle lenses. Both techniques force the photograph to “enter” into the subject, to confront its intimacy but call for perfect mastering of framing in order not to fall into shapeless mess.

Jens Olof Lasthein

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His web site is very rich and you will certainly spend a lot of time both checking the technique and diving into subjects coming from all corners of the world. His eyes watch it with a wide look, too.

I photographed in Abkhazia in August/September 2009. I’ve traveled a lot photographing in the former Soviet Union during the past years, and like Transnistria, Abkhazia is another one of these small pieces of land that broke themselves loose in the aftermath of the breakdown of the empire. It is very isolated as just a few countries have recognized it, the most important being Russia of course. Very little investments have been made since the civil war with Georgia in 1993, and going there was like returning to Bosnia just after the Dayton Agreement. Destroyed houses and cities all over, and a tense atmosphere because of the hostile situation with Georgia proper. Strange and scary. And still people try to live their ordinary daily life in spite of it all.

Question: What would be the first thing to teach a young new photographers?
Answer from Jens Olof Lasthein: Time is important, but presence is crucial.

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