Friday, 9 August 2013

OSMOSIS by Julia Horbaschk

OSMOSIS by Julia Horbaschk

You know when you are sitting at a table in a cafe or a pub after a function and you are chatting to the other people seated there - people you have only met that day for the first time - and one person above all others, holds your attention by dint of his or her engaging personality and the intelligence of his or her questions and comments? Well, that is what happened to me the day I met Julia for the first time. It was on 13th July 2013, the hottest day so far of that beautiful summer and I had just given a talk at a MiniClick event held in Brighton. The heat explains why not as many people came along as we were hoping but enough did come to make it a very good event. I spoke in the first half followed by about five photographers and then we had a break for lunch before a Question and Answer session in the afternoon and it was during the lunch break that I met Julia with some other members of the audience. We talked about this and that, including my project and in particular the question of nudity. Afterwards, she gave me her card and later I took the opportunity to look up her photography online and I was impressed with her work and her description of it.

I made contact with her and we met again at The Meeting Place Cafe on the Brighton Seafront and Julia said that there was a beach near Portslade which would be perfect as the location for our shoot if, as seemed likely, I was to be nude. I wanted also to try to find an unharvested cornfield up in the hills to the north of Brighton, if we could fit that in on the same day. Our first visit to the beach was very short and sweet and very wet! Julia took some photographs from some way off and then nearer the remains of some old, rusted metal breakwaters by which time the wind had got stronger and the rain was lashing down so we ran away to the car and thereafter retreated with honour to have a cup of coffee. The next shoot was much more successful in terms of decent images taken because the weather held and we got all the shots we wanted. We did not find a cornfield but we did find a suitable alternative in a quiet spot at the back of some newish houses where there were tall bleached grasses growing.

All the images looked great at the back of Julia's camera and I very much looked forward to receiving the finished articles. As Julia herself wrote of the beach shots on her blog, "The vast seascapes with the humble presence of Tim's body speak to me most. They point to fragility of life, power, drama and synthesis of the elements; an Osmosis of air, water, sand, sea and us."

Julia was quite quick in producing what she felt were the best images and I think very much that they captured the feel of those days brilliantly. The isolation of the location, the thoughts behind each shot, the feeling of utter liberation which I enjoyed but more importantly, the comradeship arising out of a true collaboration and meeting of minds. Julia is an absolute professional when it comes to Photography but she has a delightful personality and a wacky sense of humour. She is also married to a charming husband, Mark to whom she introduced me and who clearly is very interested in and supportive of her work.

It took me sometime choosing a final image for my project but I went for the above in the end - not that I had any real doubts; I merely had an embarrassment of riches from which to choose a single photograph to represent Julia. I love this shot - the way I am stretching up to breath in the cool morning air or maybe I am hoping to be beamed up to sit on a cloud as it scuds over this buzzy seaside city.

Since those two shoots, Julia has helped me shoot one of my silly films on You Tube (see and and together, we are looking to collaborate on more exciting things in 2014.



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