Conrad Witten

I took a photography class at university. Photography appeals to me, and I was eager to learn more about it. The assignment was to shoot a series of documentary photos. I went to my sports club, because I knew the people there and I knew that there was always something going on.

At the beginning of the semester I was very enthusiastic about going out, photographing and printing the pictures in the darkroom myself. Our professor had profound knowledge and a great eye. At the end of the semester I hated him.

My problem was that I didn’t have an accurate concept for my photos. My lack of knowledge about narrative photography made it even more difficult. My strategy was trial and error. Unfortunately our professor wasn’t of any help to me. Much to the contrary: He only told me how mediocre my pictures were. Soon after that, I heard that he told students in another class that I was just not trying hard enough but spent too much time on sports instead. Hearing that made me speechless. It was a plain lie.

I suppose his teaching philosophy was to be as hard on students as possible. Or maybe he just didn’t like me, I don’t know. I didn’t take pictures at all in the last month of the semester. And I didn’t care. This is one of the few pictures that I liked. I love the composition of the seemingly unmotivated children in the background and the big head in the foreground.

Today I can look at the picture with a smile. I enjoy photographing, reading about photography, and visiting exhibitions.

Conrad was featured in Romka 10 in 2017.