With the Student competition closing in just over six weeks, we talk to this year’s judge photographer and founder of NOICE Magazine Colin Czerwinski. Colin Czerwinski’s journey as a photographer has taken him to places he could have never imagined - from the basements of house shows to traveling around the entire United States, Japan, and most of Europe. He is incredibly thankful for all of the opportunities that have been given to him from touring with Vasudeva. In the course of all these years of traveling, what CzerwinskI has come to understand is a deeper vision of himself and what it is that he does as a photographer, and that is to document people and places in the moment. ‘To not seek compositions, but to allow the curiosity and discovery of myself to see and experience,’ he says. Czerwinski is the founder of NOICE Magazine, a photography publication and community for photographers that have a meticulous eye for form, beauty, symmetry, novelty, and humour.
You are the founder of the NOICE Magazine, can you tell us about the title? Does it run online and then you release an annual catalogue with highlighted features?
It started online about five years ago. We don’t publish many books at the moment, but we do try to release at least one book a year with highlights from photographers' submissions. We actually have a new book coming out later this year or early 2022 so keep an eye out for it.
What will your experience and expertise from NOICE (and beyond) bring to judging the submissions?
Just a different perspective and taste. I’m sure someone doesn’t see the world as I see it.
© Colin Czerwinski
We read you were the tour photographer for New Jersey indie punk band Vasudeva, what were the three key lessons you learned during this gig?
They were more instrumental math-rock, but yeah I learned a lot from that time touring with them. I developed an eye to be quick and to always be scanning. Since we were always on the move every night to a different city, it was difficult to take your time to look around. So being on the move really required me to be quick in decisions and develop a more intuitive sense of what to photograph.
You’ve coined the term Minimal Comic-Play to describe the type of photography NOICE Magazine promotes, that it’s all about introducing a new sense of beauty by invoking an alternative perception of the world. Can you expand on this a little? Particularly ‘a new sense of beauty’?
Minimal Comic-Play is something I coined that just describes the photography that we publish at NOICE. It’s pretty implicit in the name, but all of the content at NOICE, and what I shoot in particular, is all minimalistic in approach. There needs to be a particular sense of humour to it all. The way colours interact with one another, or the way a subject is juxtaposed against the background of something. It’s all play. You have to not take yourself too seriously and laugh more. The phrase ‘A new sense of beauty’ is pertaining to just that. I think William Eggleston was the first to really take note of this sense, especially with colour film.
What advice do you have for photographers hoping to be commissioned in NOICE and other titles / online initiatives?
Continue to improve your work. Don’t get too comfortable. Pay attention to the light and things will surely follow.
The brief for this year’s Student competition is ‘Connections’. What key criteria will you keep in mind while looking through the submissions?
Honestly, I don’t really consider things like that when I look at a photograph. If it evokes a feeling inside of me that makes me laugh or makes me go ‘Oh, nice,’ then it's something worthwhile to me. But keeping a photograph limited to what is necessary to make it work is a key element.
© Colin Czerwinski
Entrants are required to submit five to 10 images interpreting the theme ‘Connections.’ What six pieces of advice would you give to students thinking about entering?
- Pick what you feel is your best work.
- Don’t think too hard about it.
- Use photos that have good use of color.
- Use photos that have interesting light.
- Humour is always good, try to use it.
- Don’t get upset if your work isn’t selected. As long as you’re happy with the work, that’s all that matters.