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Artist Feature: Carla Liesching

Meet Carla Liesching, an amazing photographer born and raised in South Africa.


We asked her a couple of questions about herself and her work.



Carla Liesching


carlaatcarlaliesching [dot] com



In which Candy Faces an Abyss



Too many!


Where do you live now and why?

New York because I fell in love…


When did you get into photography?

I stumbled into it while studying Fine Art at Rhodes University.


In which Jens is marooned due to Stormy Weather

In which John Keeps an Eye on the Horizon


What is your favourite subject matter and why?

It depends on what is driving me conceptually, but the human figure is usually somewhere in there. 


Do you plan your shoots or do you wait until something inspires you?

For me it’s plans, plans, plans.


In which Kate Finds Water


In which Lauren Braves an Unknown Peril


What is your go to camera, gear and film?

Mamiya RB-67

Manfrotto Tripod

1 x giant reflector

Kodak Portra120 -160ISO for colour

Ilford Panf 120 - 50ISO for black-&-white


Black and White or Colour?



In which Mmakgosi is the Wreck of Hope

In which Natasha Stakes a Claim


Film vs Digital, do you shoot both and how do you choose when to shoot what format?

Both. When I am shooting personal work, analogue, because I like the quality and feeling of an image shot with film… also the discipline and patience that is required, the way it affects my process. I love the repetitive actions of hand-processing film and the quiet of the darkroom, it’s my therapy. For large prints though, I scan the negative, colour correct in Photoshop and print digitally. So there is always a bit of both… When I am shooting a job on a deadline and especially if it’s a production of a huge batch of images, then I prefer to be fully digital.


In which Nicole Sends a Signal to the Outside

In which Ritchie Journeys to the Center of the Earth


Who inspires you creatively?

I’m terrible with remembering names, but off the top of my head I’d say Cindy Sherman and Jeff Wall for their theatricality. Gregory Crewdson’s dramatic lighting techniques and lately, Viviene Sassen’s use of natural light. August Sander and Seidou Kieta because I am fascinated by portrait archives. Malick Sidibe for his style. Nan Goldin for her way of photographing her friends - such a sustained blurring of the lines between real and fictional narratives. Also lately, Irina Rozovsky, Evgenia Arbugaeva, Max Pinckers…& so many more.


In which Sophie Lets Go of the Rope


In which Tinkabell Discovers the Shortest Distance between Two Points


Where do you think mobile photography fits into the photographic world?

Well, for good or for ill, I think it is pretty central to the ‘photographic world,’ which is kind of ‘all the world’ now isn’t it, thanks to mobile phones. Mobile photography is radically reshaping the landscape of the traditional photographic world and it’s obviously not something we should ignore. I think it’s exciting how important our medium is - a social phenomenon with such far-reaching and critical impacts on almost every sphere of contemporary life. Where mobile photography fits in is not the kind of question that can be answered conclusively. I know some people who like to relegate it to the ranks of ‘low art’ or ‘amateur,’ which honestly, I find quite boring and short sighted. I read a great article recently, in the Spring 2013 issue of Aperture Magazine, which opens with the question, ‘With billions of networked photographs flowing through social media, how can we understand what photography looks like today?’ It closes by saying, ‘Here, then, is the challenge [laid] before us – not just to make sense of contemporary photography, but to find ways to creatively intervene within it…’ The article is written by Geoffrey Batchen, titled Observing by Watching: Joachim Schmid and the Art of Exchange, and its on page 46, for those interested!









carlaatcarlaliesching [dot] com


Preferred Camera // LC-A+

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