Q&A with Ralph Talmont – Part II

Urban Symphony Project - Moment

Urban Symphony Project - Moment

Here’s the second half of my Q&A with Ralph Talmont, along with a display of some of his work from the Urban Symphony project. It’s an interesting project based on the one camera, one lens methodology, where all the images are captured with the same camera. The project has three fascinating branches; Movement, Moment and Monument.

Urban Symphony project - Movement 2

From the movement of a rushing car behind an elderly pedestrian to the soft presence of a cat walking behind empty chairs marking stillness; the energy of speed to the energy of quietness, there is a unique unspoken power in his black and white images.

I found an interesting interconnectedness between the three branches of Ralph’s project. Monuments attract people who move towards them from across the seas to create memorable moments. What a fascinating process, never before depicted through pictures.

The Urban Symphony project advocates black and white like never before, portraying images that bring to light the voice of photography. Have a look and feel for yourself. A powerful image to me is one that rests in the waiting room of your consciousness long after having viewed it.

Q7: It’s obvious that you love what you do. What are some of the stresses that go along with doing this?

The last ten years have seen a fundamental change in how photographers make a living. Most of my old buddies no longer actually do photography full-time. The perception of photography being ubiquitous and cheap has made it very hard to earn a living from simply shooting, especially in the editorial field.

Q8: What are you planning on doing next?

I’m starting up an internet company which is based the idea of photography and travel.

Q9: What is the best piece of advice that anyone has given you?

Do what you feel passionate about. Money comes and goes but boredom is forever. If you do what you love and find a way to pay for it, you’ll never be bored and you might actually contribute something good to society.

Urban Symphony Project - Moment

Urban Symphony Project - Moment

Q10: What would be your best advice for someone who wants to establish himself/herself as a successful photojournalist?

Understand that this is a very hard way to make a living on many levels, not just ‘f8, grit your teeth and be there’. Be brutally honest with yourself; can you aim to be the best? Can you do work that sets you apart from everyone else? Because everyone else is now your competitor. Learn from the best and aim to be among the best because the rest of the market has been wiped out and without a means of getting your work out to a lot of people you’re just an amateur shooting for pleasure. This is great of course but it doesn’t make you a professional. Learn about audio and video, become a multimedia reporter. That’s where the demand will be from now on. Stay lean as long as you can, don’t buy expensive gear, upgrade don’t update your computer, do deals that don’t cost you cash but rather inventiveness. Build a brand around you, find an audience for your work and find alternative means of distribution of that brand directly to that audience. It’s a tall order and it takes passion and determination and an awful lot of time and effort, not just a modicum of talent. A modicum of talent doesn’t register on the hard scale of reality.

Q11: What is a day in the life of Ralph Talmont?

Wake up around 0530. Juggle lots of things. Try and squeeze in a bike ride or at least a walk somewhere. Crash and burn. Do it again the next day 🙂  Great fun!

Urban Symphony Project - Moment

Urban Symphony Project - Moment

So next time you see the light at the end of the tunnel dimming away, you better have plenty of extra bulbs stored away. In today’s highly competitive world, where downfall seems to be a going trend amongst newspapers and magazines, build a product around yourself. Find your passion; whether it is sculpting art, photographing weddings or writing editorials, and learn the bible of your passion. Once you get there, let your passions fly you off to success.

Urban Symphony Project - Monument

Urban Symphony Project - Monument

Urban Symphony Project - Monument

Urban Symphony Project - Monument


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