Award-winning artist Nadia Attura, who says about herself that she’s a ‘photographer who loves the rain’, mixes fine art and photojournalism in her very unique and unmistakable style. In our series ‘Calvendo self-publishers in conversation’ she tells us why for a photographer it’s all about the light and what kind of Calvendo calendar ideas she’s got for the next season.
1. Nadia, your work mixes fine art with photojournalism. Can you talk a bit about how you developed your style and what characterises your pictures?
I work as a travel photojournalist and the images are not manipulated. They have no post production work. I also work as a portrait photographer and shoot ten weddings a year, and for this type of photography I continue working in post production by using filters and layers to make the images appear to be retro, taken with a vintage camera. About a year ago, I decided to implement these techniques in my new landscape work and loved the results. I later mixed darkroom techniques with various collected textures, sketch book drawings and paint, combining all these elements into one print. I find this way of working deeply satisfying, and I am able to bring together the two disciplines I studied, fine art and photojournalism.
2. Looking at your portfolio, travelling and travel photography certainly play an important part in your life. Any favourite destinations and images you brought back from there? And is there a special place on your agenda for this year?
I have just come back from Mexico and will spend the next few weeks editing the new work. We are expecting a baby next month and so have decided to make a trip around Europe for several months in a camper van, visiting as many places between Italy to Norway as we can. It will be a blueprint journey for a larger road tip we want to make in the USA.
My favourite country so far has been Peru, I was blown away by how beautiful and diverse it is, I could sit for hours just gawping at the landscape, utterly inspiring. But all journeys have their special moments, Peru just seemed to have so many. The Sahara, Morocco, the dunes, the vastness, the silence is simply magical, the backwaters of India sublime – tropical tranquil, 50 shades of green, a real soul cleanser.
3. Let’s talk tools: What kind of camera do you use and why?
I use a Canon Mk2 35mm digital and a medium format Bronica ETRS film camera using out of date roll film, which has never let me down. When I am on the street, I prefer a light camera like a Lubitel medium format. I use both mediums for landscapes but primarily the medium format for portraits. I prefer continuing to engage with the sitter rather than shield my face with a camera. I find it interrupting. I have gotten used to shooting from the hip and from a tripod.
4. What makes a great photo for you?
Light, pure and simple light. The photographer Alex Webb does this perfectly, he is a master of composition, too.
5. You trained in art and photography and your prints are, among others, sold on Saatchi Art and Artfinder. What prompted you to give Calvendo and self-publishing calendars a go?
The work I sell on Saatchi and Artfinder are limited edition, and I also wanted to create a selection of work that is open edition and available to everyone.
6. Can you talk a bit about your experience when creating your calendar with Calvendo? Any tips or tricks for first timers, things to avoid and consider?
Don’t give up on the template, it may take a while for you to get your image in the template correctly, but keep going! I think the setting up is very well guided and self explanatory.
Yes, I will be creating a London one and a travel calendar this year, ready for the autumn.
8. Last but not least, what are your general comments on Calvendo as a self-publishing platform: Anything you particularly like? And most importantly, things that need improving?
I had problems making the jpeg image fit correctly into the template calendar. It took several weeks to get this right, even when my jpeg images were the correct size. I was going to give up trying. It would make things easier if the template automatically dropped the jpeg image into place. I think the Calvendo concept is great for artists wanting to create calendars without all the admin and distribution work you would have to do. Instead you get to do what you are best at
(Please note: The problems Nadia describes that she encountered when creating her square format calendar were related to a bug that plagued us a bit in the early stages of the Calvendo platform launch in the UK last year. All this has been sorted and images can be realigned automatically now! Good news, Nadja
Thanks, Nadia, for talking to us, and we look forward to more of your work in our product gallery!
More about Nadia and her work:
Calvendo product gallery