Angel Carbonell

A personal journey

by Angel Carbonell (Spain)

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He asistido como fotógrafo a varios desfiles de moda tanto en Madrid como Barcelona. Pero lo realmente interesante ocurre detrás de la pasarela. Este es mi intento de captar la soledad y la tristeza del mundo de la moda.

Portfolio from the Un voyage personnel workshop with J-M Castro Prieto, March 2012.

Written review by TAJ FORER,
Photographer and cofounder at Daylight Publishing, United States of America

First, I must start by complementing your classical aesthetic and beautiful use of shadow. Your photographs posses a traditional photographic quality that is not often seen today, especially within the genre of fashion photography; so, bravo on these formal qualities.

However, I must admit that I find many of the photographs presented within this portfolio to be quite drab. I appreciate the “behind the scenes” approach to your fashion photography and, when effectively utilized, the narrative that drives your examination begins to evoke a story that, as a viewer, I want to be drawn into. However, in the majority of your images, the narrative or story, is not unique or enticing. The narrative that does excite me, lure me in, keep me wanting more, is the narrative of these models when they are not models – the mundane, ordinary existence of the models. There are a few images wherein you begin to capture my imagination and draw me into a narrative that demands my attention.

From my perspective, the most powerful and engaging photograph in your portfolio is image 17: To me, this photograph represents a way of seeing that is fresh, yet still rooted in an edgy aesthetic approach to fashion photography. Furthermore, its success hinges on the use of flash, the “in between” moment (a fashion model during a break, perhaps, on a personal phone call). The narrative is about this model, as a person to whom we can relate, not the dolled-­‐up “eye candy” that we typically associate with fashion models. I would suggest using the above photograph as a seed from which to grow and entire tree of photographs. Additionally, I must note that the environment within which this model is photographed appears to be gritty, raw, urban, etc. – it is a setting that is somewhat oppositional to the beauty, sensuality and fragility of the woman in the image. This tension is extremely effective and provides the viewer with a complicated and question-­‐filled experience of this woman.

Who is she? She appears to be a strong, empowered, beautiful woman who is not afraid to exhibit her body; why, then, is she sitting on the ground against the concrete wall in such a rough-­‐looking landscape? Why does she confront the lens with such confidence and ease and what does her gaze say about the relationship between this woman and the photographer? I encounter this photograph and immediately my mind begins working. The technical aspects of the image are not at all in my consciousness as the story is so powerful, and the photograph so technically seamless, that I immediately begin engaging with the subject matter of the image. I believe this is the most effective and meaningful process that can unfold within the viewer of a photograph and so I applaud you!

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