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Featured: Albert Retief

Albert Retief
Albert Retief

Q: Where are you from and where do you live now?

A: I am from Cape Town, South Africa and currently residing in Seoul, South Korea.

Q: What camera / lenses are your go to?

A: I shoot with a Fujifilm XT3 camera and I use a fixed 23mm lens on a crop sensor camera, which acts as a 35mm focal length.

Q: What got you into photography?

A: I got interested in photography at a young age through riding BMX in the streets on Cape Town. Capturing BMX moments through video and stills. When I was a kid our family traveled lots around Southern Africa and this definitely had an impact on my photography and desire to explore more. At university I studied political science which added an extra layer to my photographic outlook.

Q: How would you describe your work?

A: My social documentary photography is fuelled by a curiosity with the world. I look at themes of belonging, community and globalisation. In my South Korea based work I document the societal changes that come with globalisation and economic growth pains, looking at themes of escapism, nostalgia, control and the subtle political undercurrents woven into the urban fabric. A nuanced look at my surroundings, knowing I am an outsider. I am passionate about traveling and when I shoot photos on my travels I continue to document humanity. Not just documenting a city or trip, but also a time in my life.

Albert Retief
Albert Retief

In my South Korea based work I document the societal changes that come with globalisation and economic growth pains, looking at themes of escapism, nostalgia, control and the subtle political undercurrents woven into the urban fabric.

Albert Retief

Q: What subjects are your favorite to make photographs of?

A: My favorite subjects to photograph are people navigating life. Photos of humanity, asking questions through my work and at times sharing my social commentary. Documenting the everyday and seeing ourselves in the streets.

Q: Who’s work inspires you (local and international)?

A: Locally I am inspired by David Goldblatt for his professionalism, empathy and historical contribution. I am also inspired by Obie Oberholzer for his long term curiosity with his surroundings. Internationally I like the work of Alex Webb, Bruce Gilden, Mark Power, Nick Hannes, Joel Sternfeld, Josef Koudelka and Xiaoxiao Xu, to name a few.

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