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Inspiration : Shai Kremer


Inspiration : Shai Kremer


Series: Ocean Air

First the Backstory

The works of Shai Kremer are curated into projects with a concurrent theme. Being born in Israel and living in New York, his focus remains on industrial landscapes that reflect on society.

His photos feature concrete structures with interesting shapes and broken down structures.

The color scheme is always subdued and the use of soft light and evening glow add to the way he can take something hard and show it in a gentler way.


The way in which he positions the frames showcase the buildings in an angle of power and glory, lifting the perception of the object from junk and rubble. The minimalism in Kremer’s photos simplifies a cluttered junkyard to a single focus point.

The idea of nature taking back what man has demolished runs through his pieces. Grass overgrowing the cracks and desert sands piling over stonewalls reminds the viewer of out temporary occupation of this space.

The structures are frequently shot in solitude, highlighting that it is all that remains of an era. In his compellation “Infected Landscapes” he shot images reminding of the military effect on Israel’s landscape. He went on to do a series in his new home, New York. Here he goes to the places that others might not have seen and the desolation left behind by industrial advancement.

Inspiration to interpretation

What appealed to me most in his work was the way in which these structures could be seen in a negative light, yet his photos show these objects as modern art. There are traces of his style throughout his work but the images remain interesting and eye catching without becoming predictable.

The image below shows the inspiration for the colour scheme, which I decided to carry through my whole series. I was also drawn to the horizontal line in the middle, which, as seen in my image below, was placed on the edge of the horizon to lead the eye far in to the scene.

The decay of the building tells the story of its location, an empty dining room in an Israel scared by war.  The space was used by the army for many years and the writing on the wall is a fitting quote saying: ““Every Jewish mother should know that the life of her son is in the caring hands of the proper general.”


Traces in my image below were also inspired by the style of Gregory Crewdson, who prints his images on a large format within which the viewer can inspect and find smaller points of interest. In the photo placed here to the left one would notice the abandoned broom laying in solitude and the bird coming in to land on the ground.



I decided to shoot the series on a partly cloudy day to minimize shadows and contrast and having a sky that is still has sweeping cloud shapes.

The location of the series is the Sea Point Pavilion swimming pools which is currently undergoing a 3 month restoration before the rainy season. I also photographed an old pier that is in between the rocks next to the swimming pool area which had a cross-like shape which reminds of the probable future of the swimming pool if left unattended to and allowed to decay. In that photo the positioning of the frame was in reference to the way in which Kremer places his points of interests in the centre of the image dividing it in half with symmetry. The walkway of the pier being slightly off centre was a break from the rigid symmetry yet still feels balanced.


Though the scene was littered with dirt and decay I chose to use soft colours and focus on adding balance and simplicity to the photo and in that way allow it to add texture and a sense of three dimensionality to the frame. The result was a sense of serenity rather than sadness or disgust. I want the viewer to see the puddles, rocks and cement as something natural which adds to our industrialized habitats rather than subtract from it.







Medium Format Camera: Sea Point


Medium Format Camera: Sea Point


Film photography is one of the things that I always found to tedious and I generally prefer the control of digital. Regardless, last Saturday I got up early to take some photos at Sea Point as the sun rises. My focus was on the parks & architecture but I wanted to explore the area with my back to the ocean for a change.

I just love how the busiest places can be so peaceful at dawn's golden hour, the perfect time to shoot. Anyone wanting to explore uninterrupted would be amazed at the beauty once the clutter of the crowds have gone.

The animation below shows the camera I used, a Mamiya RB67 Medium Format Camera with a 90mm lens, which works with 120mm film.


The film roll holds about 10 frames max, so you have to make each one be the perfect shot. This kind of professionalism is something we can all aspire to in our digital work. The B/W film was developed and the negatives were scanned to allow minor editing in Photoshop for scratches, or dark tones.

001e 002e

The 35mm film camera I used last year was a pain to get used to, but after seeing how fun the experience was with the bigger camera, I was inspired to buy some film and will be taking it with me on various trips. The idea is to snap the kodak moments I find over a longer time.