These are strange times, as we keep on telling ourselves and our friends over the phone. We can’t meet, have to keep a distance, can’t leave the house unless we have a justified reason…
So it’s time to cheer up that house of yours, make some changes, and why not consider one of my works as suitable for decorating your interior?
I have finally had the time to update my website, tweak it a bit, and made most of my images available for online sale. Feel free to have a good look, klick to make your choice and order! Of course you can always contact me if you need other sizes, if you have questions or comments, or if you just want to have a talk!
I look forward to hearing from you!
PS click on the ‘back to website tab’ and go to portfolio
For months I had been planning my trip to Buenos Aires to do a photographic project. I have lived there for 8 years, and it is the place where I decided to become a professional photographer and where I spend 3 years in the class room.
I have a zillion photos of Buenos Aires, but didn’t develop my own style until later, after I had moved back to Belgium. So that’s when I decided I needed to go back and finish what I had started. I blocked the whole month of March and the month of November (in case I couldn’t finish in 1 month) and started planning.
Argentines are a bit paranoid when it comes to safety, and it is absolutely impossible to get into buildings or rooftops without special authorisation by the owner of boss. So I did the necessary research and contacted the people in charge. Armed with a list of locations and permissions it was time to leave.
Apart from lists and permissions, an other very important factor is of course, the weather. For a start, I am not a blue skies and good weather photographer, and there are only a couple of moments a day that are perfect to shoot. So besides some occasional trial shots, I spend most of my first week getting extra permissions, making appointments and getting new contacts through my friends.
I was ready to get really started by week 2, when the weather became more interesting. That is also when Corona alias Covid-19 started sneaking into the country.
Immediately many places were closed down. Buildings where I wanted to go inside were no longer accessible. People who had invited me to shoot from their terrace didn’t want anyone coming close. Fear was starting to get a grip on every thing I wanted to do.
By the end of week 2 the country went into a complete lock down, we ‘ran off’ to the province, and my photographic project was put on hold…
Extremely frustrated at first, I had no other choice but to accept my defeat. I will not be able to get 20 top photos of my beloved Capital any time soon. But then our priorities changed, when we realised getting home would be the next huge challenge. Our flight home being canceled 9 times until all the commercial flights out of Argentina were put to a halt, and with the help of the Belgian Embassy we got onto a French Repatriation flight home.
With only a few great images on my laptop, the biggest question was yet to come : will I be able to go back in November to finish what I started? These are strange times indeed…
It seems ages ago, it was ages ago, when I was actually traveling in the land of Volcanoes and bears, also known as Kamchatka.
“Kam-What?” Is what I heard all the time. Kamchatka is the name, the Russian Far East is the place. It is ‘the other side of the world’ for us, at least, the other side of our almost-neighbour Russia. A mere 10 hours time difference, about the same amount of flying hours, which makes it a lot further off than let’s say, New York.
The only people that generally know the name are Argentines. There is a country in a board game that is called that way, and there is an Argentine movie called Kamchatka.
So far so good. For all the other people in the world who don’t know it : it’s a peninsula the size of let’s say the UK, it’s a 1250km long. It is practically inhabited, about 320.000 people, of which 85% lives in the urban areas. The economy is based on fishing. There are few to no roads outside the urban areas. The further you drive from the capital Petropavlovsk, as can be expected, the worse the roads get. Best is to either take a huge 6×6 (larger, with much larger wheels then a large 4×4) to drive over all the debris, or a helicopter.
For years it has been closed to the public, as it was a military zone, and now that it’s open for ‘tourism’ it is slowly getting known internationally. ‘Tourism’ (between brackets), because there isn’t a lot of tourist accommodation. We did a cruise on a boat that would not be considered seaworthy in Europe, shared a cabin with 11 people and some had to eat standing up (lack of space). We slept in tents, and our most luxurious “hotel” was a cabin shared with 7 other women. And then I will not discuss the availability or condition of bathrooms…
So one must be a bit out of his mind to go there, you would think?
Well maybe. The beauty of the land totally makes up for the uncomfortable stay. The exhausting and sometimes dangerous climbing of volcanoes, I would sign up again without thinking, if I could. This land is unique. This land is amazing, this land is a dream!
It is situated on the “ring of fire”, the belt of volcanoes that goes from the Andes in Latin America over Russia, Japan, Indonesia, until New Zealand. It counts about 452 volcanoes, of which over a 100 are in Kamchatka, and of those 100, about 30 have been active during the last decades. So it is right to say that Kamchatka is the land of volcanoes. It is also considered UNESCO world heritage.
I had never seen so many volcanoes. They are high, much higher than the surrounding mountains, they have this beautiful cone shape, and are magnificent. All you can do is admire them. They are grand! I just could not get enough of looking at them. Taking pictures of them, again and again.
Apart from the wild, impressive and powerful nature, there is also an extensive wildlife, killer whales (we probably saw about 100 of them in a couple of hours), sea lions and seals, lots and lots of birds, but most famous are its bears.
The Kamchatka bears are similar to the Alaska bear, they are among the largest in the world (up to 3 meter), and live all around the peninsula. In many areas they are hunted for, with real guns, in order to kill them. We shot them with our cameras, in order to bring the images back…
Around Kurilskaye lake (a lake that originates from, yes, a volcanic eruption) there are about 1.000 bears living protected from hunters. It is where bear lovers go to see them, study them, take pictures.
The lake is also known as one of the biggest concentrations of spawning salmon in the summer season. The salmon that, after a few years living at sea, swim upstream to put their eggs in the lake (and then consequently die, if they have not been eaten by bears before that). Thousands, millions of them. This is of course a total feast for the bears!
This amazing experience I have just put together in my latest book, “Kamchatka, the land of volcanoes and bears”. Check it out and share the news! Now also available as e-book for your iPad or kindle. Feel free to add comments!
If you know how dangerous a bear is, you wonder why they give -of all animals!- stuffed bears, also called ‘Teddy Bears’, to kids and babies. But even though my brain says they are dangerous, I must agree that they look particularly cute. At least, if you look past the blood around their mouths, and discard the way they capture, skin alive and eat the salmon.
Even so. They are unbelievably cute. So much that I would want to hug them. Even when they stand in front of you, really close, and gigantically tall.
I have stood in front of a bear (or rather, bears), several times, really close. Mostly the bear is not ‘standing’, but walking on his 4 legs, so the giganticness doesn’t strike you that much. Well , it does strike you, in a way. But still, they look cute.
If it wasn’t for the armed guards, one walking in the front, and one in the back, constantly urging us to stay close, and occasionally telling us to back off, we would have gotten close enough to actually touch them.
I have traveled a lot, and I have been to many interesting places, but not one was looked at with so much eager and enthusiasm by my friends and followers than this trip to bear country, Kamchatka.
Kamchatka, a far away land, also called the Far East of Russia. It is a long flight (from Moscow) and a huge time difference (11H), and as soon as you arrive you know you are in an extraordinary place. Especially when you land on the empty airport of Petropavlovsk in a Boeing 777, where you have to get off the plane, and into a bus, that drives you 15 meters further and drops you off at to the door of a tent where the luggage belt is (why can’t we walk?). There are only a few tourists like us, many locals, and a lot of Russians visiting from Moscow, arriving with their guns, ready to hunt some bears.
Yes, in Kamchatka they hunt for bears. Some with a gun, others, like me, with a camera. There are many, many bears in the Peninsula, some say too many. We Europeans wonder, can there ever be too many? (their cuteness must have something to do with that, and having to live with the constant risk of being attacked by one of those dangerous giants is something we tend to forget))
For many people, the bears are the only reason why they go to that place. For me it was one of many, but after 3 days of ‘hunting’ and shooting over 2000 bear photos, I have to admit that I have come to love them.
We went to a national park at Kurilskoye that is known for its bears. All day for 3 days we walked around the area, close to each other, looking for bears. One day we saw more then 70, all doing their thing. Mostly this is hunting for fish, call it fishing, often it is sleeping, or napping, or just walking towards good fishing spots. Bears are slow, or so it seems, calm, but when they accelerate they change into something quite different. You do not want to cross their path when they run (towards you).
Some bears are fishing champions, they catch one salmon after the other, others really suck at it, like that one bear the guards called ‘Jumper’, because he always jumps into the water but hardly ever catches something. As a result he is skinny. Some bears are constantly running after fish, others are standing at the shore looking down until an interesting one comes along, they then jump in, sometimes come out with a fish, sometimes they missed.
It was extremely tempting to stay and watch a bear for hours, with cameras at hand, ready to shoot when they make a move, but very often they would stand there and look into the water and not move at all. But we knew, there are more bears further on. Kurilkoye is a bear crowded area. Here, buy the way, there is no place for hunters, and even the guards said they never had to shoot a bear. There had never been a dangerous situation during their guard…
Even though I don’t consider myself a wild life photographer, this bear shooting was a wonderful experience, so you should best keep on following me to see what else I will be doing in the future 😉
Have a great bear-day, give your friend a bear hug, and for our Flemish readers; ‘t was Beire goe!
It is always a pleasure to be awarded in competitions! After the Spider Awards, the Chromatic awards, the Neutral density photography awards, it is the 4th nomination this season.
I have my second nomination in wildlife with an image of bears (photo above), taken in Kamchatka (Russia), which is quite something considering it was my first wildlife shoot. My work ‘the Game’ (see below) has been nominated for the 3th time in Fine Art.
Here you can read the press release.
12TH ANNUAL INTERNATIONAL COLOR AWARDS HONORS PHOTOGRAPHER Katti Borré FROM BELGIUM
LOS ANGELES March 12 – Professional photographer Katti Borré of Belgium was presented with the 12th Annual International Color Awards Nominee title in the category of both Fine art and wildlife at a prestigious Nomination & Winners Photoshow streamed Saturday, March 9, 2019.
The live online gala was attended by 11,829 photography fans around the globe who logged on to watch the climax of the industry’s most important event for color photography.
12th Annual Jury members included captains of the industry from Sotheby’s, New York; Benetton, Ponzano Veneto; The Art Channel, London; Kolle Rebbe, Hamburg; Droga5, New York; Preus Museum, Norway; Art Beatus, Hong Kong; Forsman & Bodenfors, Gothenburg; Wieden & Kennedy, Portland; Fox Broadcasting Network, Los Angeles; Gallery Kong, Seoul; and Phillips, New York who honored Color Masters with 761 title awards and 1,032 nominees in 37 categories.
“Winning awards is an endorsement that you are doing something right in your craft. I am delighted to win Merit of Excellence in the Food category and have another 8 nominations… a huge thank you to you and your support of photography,” said Hugh Johnson, 2nd Place Winner in Food. Leigh Miller, 1st Place Winner in Aerial added, “Wow, I’m over the moon with pride and joy at getting 1st place and honourable mention in the amateur Aerial category. I’m privileged to have my work showcased alongside such talented and creative people. Thank you International Color Awards for the chance to show our work on an international stage and big thanks to the judges for their time.”
“It is an incredible achievement to be selected among the best from the 7,241 entries we received this year,” said Basil O’Brien, the awards Creative Director. “Katti Borré’s “The Game” and “Cutie alarm” are exceptional images entered in the Fine art and Wildlife category, represents contemporary color photography at its finest, and we’re pleased to present her with the title of Nominee.”
INTERNATIONAL COLOR AWARDS is the leading international award honouring excellence in color photography. This celebrated event shines a spotlight on the best professional and amateur photographers worldwide and honours the finest images with the highest achievements in color photography.
Many of you have visited me on my exhibition last month. It took place in the beautifully restored city palace on the Coupure in Gent, now instead of a family residence, a co-working space called Ampla House.
During 3 weekends an overview of my work was on show in the different spaces on the 3 floors, and every visitor was invited for a glass of wine in the bar.
It was a huge succes and the works looked perfect in this location.
If you want to go through the exhibition another time, check out this video
Feel free to contact me if you want to see some of the works in real life again!
Qualified European Photographer, QEP, is an official qualification system issued by the Federation of European Photographers (FEP), the European umbrella organization of professional photographers, awarding the photographer for his high professional skills. In order to be recognized, the photographer must submit a series of 12 photographs revealing his technical and creative excellence, while the photos must also have a certain ‘wow’ content. They are awarded by a five-member international jury.
In the whole Europe there are about 500 QEP photographer, and only about 60 Belgians have received the award. I am now one of them.
There are different categories, and I obtained the QEP for the reportage photos taken during the holi festival in India. This is a Hindu festival in which the beginning of spring, as wel as the victory of good over evil are celebrated. It’s a festival of love, friendship and a lot of colour. People go dancing in the temples, while they throw paint (called Gulal) at each other. For this series, I joined the celebrations with my well protected cameras at hand. It was challenging, but lots of fun, after a few minutes I was already one of them, unrecognisable.
The award was handed over to me during an official ceremony in the local town hall, by our mayor Pieter De Crem, after speeches given by several colleagues, and followed by a reception organised by the town of Aalter.
The news has made it to the paper (Nieuwsblad and Het Laatste Nieuws) and it resulted in a radio interview on Radio 2.
The original QEP images are still on view on my exhibition ‘disclosure’ in Ampla house Coupure Rechts 88 in Gent. Saturday and Sunday, 17-18th and 24-25th of November.
In case one might wonder, being a fine art photographer is a full time job. The carefully choosing of locations, events, weather situations is one part, the actual shoot another, probably the shortest, editing and processing the images probably takes half of my time, and printing and framing is the final part. Seeing the picture on your computer or in a real live print is quite another thing.
Choosing which one to frame is the easiest part : I just listen to my heart! When the image touches me I’m sold, I just need to chose the perfect size for that particular image and the final process of printing and framing can start.
These final art pieces can be viewed during exhibitions and fairs on different locations throughout the year, but on special request I have now also opened up a continuous show in my studio near Gent.
If you are curious to see the final result and want to see the images live, do not hesitate to contact me for an appointment, so we can meet there and discuss the images in person!