new ventures

As always, if you have questions, objections, worries or praise, and especially if you found your picture and want it removed, feel free to contact me. I will get back to you as soon as possible. You can also read my full disclaimer, if you are interested.

 

It’s been a long while since I last updated this blog. As you know, I often take breaks and do other things in between bouts of photographic activity. Sometimes I learn languages, other times I build cool electronic stuff and this time I went down a particularly deep rabbit hole, namely learning to draw and paint. I considered posting my progress over here, but until now this blog has been dedicated solely to photography, so I was a tad hesitant. As drawing and painting is becoming more and more important in my creative process I think I might just try to integrate these activities here as well though. This might take some time as I need to restructure the website a bit, but I think I can make a good start here by sharing some of my drawings and paintings of the previous ~300 days too. By the way, 306 days is exactly how long I’ve been drawing every single day! It all started out with a 100 day challenge and somehow it escalated from there, because I was enjoying it all so much!

It’s been frankly quite amazing to see how fast I have improved in this journey and although a lot of it was due to simply drawing and painting a lot, in part it was also the way I structured the learning process. I always challenged myself to try new things and set myself time frames to work on specific things that needed improvement, like perspective, colour theory, character design etc.

And you know what’s most amazing about all of this? I learned it all on the internet, for free! As bad as some corners of the internet truly are, for me the internet actually lived up to all the dreams and expectations I had for it when I discovered it at the age of 13. It brought me together with like-minded people from all across the world, allowed me to exhibit my work in places that I never could have reached otherwise and together with a bunch of lovely ladies from several different continents we now make a magazine that empowers women photographers. And we’re doing that together although we’ve never met in real life! Speaking of She Shoots Film, we just published our third issue and it includes an interview with the wonderful photographer Nancy Rexroth who was kind enough to speak to me and has been a huge inspiration for me this last year. If you haven’t bought any of the issues of our magazine yet, you’re truly missing out, it’s such a beautiful magazine and I’m very proud to be part of this endeavour to give women photographers a platform! You can order the third issue of She Shoots Film here. Without the internet none of that would have been possible.

Most importantly though, the internet has brought me together with YOU, a truly encouraging bunch of people who have supported me in pretty much all my endeavours. I may go silent for a while when I’m busy teaching myself new stuff, but whenever I’m done with whatever I was doing I always find YOU back here cheering me on. I truly appreciate it!

And, there is one more thing I learned on the internet over the last few months that you might find interesting and involves some photography: I learned how to make videos of my painting process. Since I started my drawing and painting journey I’ve been watching art videos on YouTube. I think I actually learned almost everything I know about painting from YouTube at this stage! For me these videos are incredibly interesting and I learned so much from them that I decided to learn how to make such videos myself. If I can learn to paint from watching other people on the internet, maybe someone else will find my painting process interesting too and perhaps even learn something from it. Well, in case you enjoy these sorts of videos or would like to watch me paint and ramble along at the same time, here’s your chance! I’ll leave two videos here for you to watch if you’re interested: one a sketchbook tour of my very first sketchbook and I’ll also leave one of my speed painting videos.

You can also head over to my channel to subscribe or watch the rest of my videos – there are 8 videos already after roughly 2 months. Making videos is definitely harder than it looks, even when you’re a photographer and I’m still learning a lot about lighting and videography in general. So far the reactions to the video have been resoundingly positive though, which makes me happy since I put a lot of work into my videos. I will definitely make more videos and I hope to expand my video skills over the next few months to make some vlog style videos too that will probably include some bits about photography too.

Now, you might wonder what happened to the rest of my photography while I was drawing and painting and learning video skills? To cut a long story short: I have been plagued with technical issues and only very recently got a new editing setup that doesn’t risk killing hard drives – my MacBook Air pretty much died and since it was killing drives the only solution was to upgrade an old MacBook Pro from 2009 with an SSD drive to become my new editing machine. By now I’ve accumulated a huge backlog and the prospect of editing about 135 rolls of film seems quite daunting to me! I will slowly chip away at it, but as long as that backlog is looming over me I rather wouldn’t want to add more rolls to that pile of work. I’m hopeful though, since my new/old computer now actually runs a newer version of Photoshop and with my iPad connected to it as a graphics tablet things will hopefully speed up a lot now! And to give you a bit of a taste of what’s to come I’m also sharing some pictures from my newest project with you. The pictures were taken in the mountains around here with different cameras that are sort of unusual for me. There is my lovely and heavy 4×5 camera with a whopping f/2.5 projection lens, a super light plastic Diana F+ – I know, shocking stuff for someone who normally shoots Leica – and a soviet Horizon 202 panoramic in the mix. The project is a lot of fun and I get to see great landscape on the way, which is why I decided to get a stabiliser too, so that I can take you guys along on my hikes and show you some moving images too when I continue with the project.

© Lilly Schwartz 2018

© Lilly Schwartz 2018

© Lilly Schwartz 2018

© Lilly Schwartz 2018

Speed Graphic 4×5, Leica Hektor 150mm f/2.5, Fomapan 100, HC-110.

There has also been more great news apart from the new She Shoots Film issue last year: I had a small solo show here in San Sebastián in June combined with a talk I gave at the same time about Women in Photography. And then later that summer I also had an article in the simply wonderful publication Let’s Explore about finishing the shooting stage of my Progress through Demolition project last January, which brings me to the best news altogether: I hopefully never have to go to my hometown again! You know, that German town that was in the international news for Nazi mobs hunting migrants? That’s my hometown Chemnitz and my Progress through Demolition project is all about that “lovely” place and growing up there. If you want to know more about that last journey and read a lot of super interesting stories from all over the world, I warmly suggest this current issue of Let’s Explore to you. It’s beautifully designed and I’m glad I could contribute to it. I’m also currently editing the pictures from that trip and I hope to be finishing the project for good this year which will involve lots of darkroom printing.

© Lilly Schwartz 2018

© Lilly Schwartz 2018

Horizon 202, T-Max 100, HC-110.

And as a final bit of news: Since I’m now planning to share all my artistic output including paintings, videos and photography on this website you can expect a bit more activity from now on. It’s been way too quiet around here, because I’ve been keeping my endeavours separate, when it’s really all part of one journey. Learning to draw was a goal of mine mainly because I love the work of photographers like Cartier-Bresson who had been trained in painting and drawing originally. Their sense of composition is just so good and something I aspire to reach one day. Also, learning a lot about colours for my paintings and about lighting for my videos will most likely have quite an impact on my photographic endeavours too. I’m really curious to see where this will all go and what you think about these new developments. Let me know in the comments below!

© Lilly Schwartz 2018

© Lilly Schwartz 2018

© Lilly Schwartz 2018

© Lilly Schwartz 2018

Diana F+, Pan F+ 50 @ 100, HC-110.

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