ART.ZIP: You studied photography at university, what do you think you’ve gained from the course?

GO: I might be a little bit cynical here. My course was not what I expected. I expected a lot technical kind of support, technical know how. It was more about understanding how images are constructed. I think for that side, I was a little bit disappointed. I suppose, overall I met people, I’ve made friends with people who worked in various parts of the industry. Maybe that enabled me to have
a career of photography. I don’t say it’s the right path for everybody, because
I think quite often people will be better off sometimes assisting a very good photographer, learning the ropes that way. For some people, they want that kind of background, you know, to look into images, to look into art and to read it. We did things, which for a lot of people, might not need to be commercial photographer we went into the realms of semiotics, into psychoanalysis. It was things you could not necessary relate to mainstream photography. The theory. But it wasn’t so much of a practical course. I have to do that myself and then I left university. I did assisting which for me was the real kind way of learning the process. Sometimes it’s difficult to say what is it or how has it influenced me. Obviously some of the obvious side being part of it, but you just can’t take that part away and say that is how effective it was. It’s very difficult to analyse.


GO: 在這個問題是我的態度可能比較負面。大學的課程讓 我有些失望,我原本期待可以學到很多實際操作技巧,但課 程更側重理論,對於圖像構成的理解,所以覺得沒有達到 我的期望值。不過我在大學結識了很多業界各個領域的朋 友,這也促使了我選擇攝影這份職業。在學校的學習並不 一定適合每個人,有些人也許通過做攝影師助理,能學到 更多的業務知識。當然也有人願意了解相關背景知識以及 如何去欣賞藝術和攝影作品等等。我們當時課程的設置還 涉及到符號學、精神分析學等理論,這些或許與主流攝影 學沒有聯繫。由於課程的實用性不是很強,我當時只能靠自 學。畢業之後我去做了攝影助理,那時才真正開始學習拍 攝。很難解釋究竟是什麼對我產生了影響。不可否認的是, 我或多或少都從這些經歷中受益,但很難具體分析。


ART.ZIP: So how did you start your first photography job?

GO: I got a job with someone I knew. I worked in the studio, doing the usual stuff, making cups of tea, being nice to people, buying the lunch, bringing and getting lunch in, arranging and all that, loading film bags, cleaning and stuff, set up lighting, and then I free-lanced as well in assisting for various photographers. So you start to watch and learn the process over time. And also through that, you actually make contacts. Because what’s very good about when you assist, you actually start to get in touch with younger designers and who one day will become art directors so it’s a very very good way of creating contacts. And also have access to equipment. Because not being an assistant, it would be very difficult to buy a lot of stuff. When you work for someone, you will let you use the equipment at weekends. You would have access and free film processing from the film lapse because that was part of the deal with assistant as well. So it really helps. So it’s a good way. I’m al ways positive about assisting.


GO: 一個我認識的人給了我第一份工作。我在攝影工作室做些普通的活,端茶倒水、買午餐、做清潔、佈 光等等。之後做過自由攝影師,也為其他的攝影 師做過助理,慢慢學會了通過觀察來學習攝影技 巧。這些工作也幫助我積累了一定的人脈,因為 做攝影助理可以有機會認識些年輕的設計師,他 們未來會成為藝術總監,所以這是很好的建立 人際網絡的機會。另外,做助理還可以使用攝影 器材,否則是很難買到大量的設備的。而作為助 理,週末就可以藉用這些器材,或者可以自己在 工作室處理膠卷,這些都是助理應有的待遇。所 以我一向很支持做攝影助理的工作,會從中受益 很多。


ART.ZIP: You’ve traveled a lot. How do you think traveling has benefited you?

GO: I think, the main thing about traveling, when you do it as a job rather as tourist,
you actually get the inside of the country. For example, I was in Miami in May. We were working with the fire brigade, the fire division. And it kind of made me realize how incredibly hard that job really is and how difficult it is. What they do not only they going out for fires, they are actually on call all the time for the ambulance service so they always do medical stuff all the time. I met one of the guys, he’s from Little Havana, which is like the Cuban area of Miami where nobody speaks English, it’s all Spanish. And he just said, “Come on let’s go I’ll take you around because I’m from here.” We had little Cuban coffee. You really feel you got the inside of a place. I think that’s the big difference. Because as you do it when you walk around with your cameras as tourists you don’t really know much about that country. As soon as you do it as a job, you are actually working with everybody on a somewhat equal basis. You just get to see and do things you’ve never thought about. For that, I got to say, that’s the most wonderful thing about traveling.

ART.ZIP:你經常去各地出差,你覺得這對你有 什麼幫助嗎?

GO: 在我看來,旅遊和出差最大的區別在於,如 果是去工作,你能夠深入了解這個國家。記得今 年5月,我在邁阿密與當地的消防隊一起工作, 讓我意識了到這份工作的辛苦。消防隊員要隨 時待命,不但要去火災現場,還經常負責醫療急 救車的各種服務。我認識了其中一個消防隊員, 他來自邁阿密小哈瓦那地區,也就是古巴移民 聚集地。那裡的居民講西班牙語,沒有人懂英文。這個消防隊員對我說:“我帶你去逛逛吧,我對 那一帶比較熟。”我們一起喝了古巴咖啡,我有種真 正走進當地居民生活的感覺。這與觀光旅遊有很 大區別。只是拿著相機到處逛街、拍照,是無法真 正了解一個國家的。如果是去工作,就有機會與當 地人共事,去陌生的地方,做你從沒想過的事。我 認為這是出差最吸引我的地方。

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