Celine Frers; an eye on the wild

style="float: right; margin-bottom: 10px; font-weight: 600;"Fri 3rd Jan, 2014

Celine Frers was born in 1982, in Argentine, in Buenos Aires countryside, between Luján and Navarro.  During her childhood she used to spend all her summers in her grandfather´s farm, in the wild province of Corrientes, on the east of the Argentine Mesopotamia.

Her grandfather, came from Belgium to Argentina after the Second World War, bought land and settled down in Bella Vista, Corrientes. Her mother, Celina Moens de Hase, was born in Corrientes, years later she married Ricardo Frers, from German hugonote origin, an Agronomic Engineer that worked with several estancias in Buenos Aires.

When she was 5 years old her family moved to Buenos Aires city where she began her school life. In the city, parks and squares were her favourite places to spend her time. She could stay long hours playing and always wanted to come back there. Those were her places to get in touch with nature, where she could be one with the wild again.

When she graduated from High School at the Michael Ham Memorial College, she studied Cinematography at the Cinema University Foundation, Fundación Universidad del Cine, (FUC) at San Telmo, Buenos Aires. Then she moved to New York to study Photography at the New York Institute of Photography (NYIP).
After graduating she increased her experience, working in the states of Colorado and Hawaii. As a nature lover she travelled a whole year making photography assignments around Asia, Europe and Oceania.

Back to Argentine, she published three books with her photos: Colours of Corrientes, (Colores de Corrientes), about the rural life in her mother´s province, and where she grew up, each summer, surrounded by a luxurius ever growing green landscape.

Then she released the book Gaucho´s Land (Tierra de Gauchos) that portrays the life of the rural cattle workers and their families in the crossroads of the country action. She travelled during five years along Argentine roads to shoot enough material to search in the identity of those skillful horsemen. "The gaucho from the East (Litoral/Mesopotamia) is very well disposed and cheerfull, the one in the Norwest is more reserved, he speaks less. Their personalities vary according to climate and landscape, but the courage stands out in all of them", she says.






Her third book, Patagonic Skies, was a request for the Argentine enterprise Cielos Patagónicos that asked her to get the photos of the estancias that the group has acquired in the province of Santa Cruz, in order to preserve them as tourism resorts, emphasizing conservation, historical and cultural preservation. Frers got involved in the issue and travelled across the Patagonia wilderness with some of the entrepreneurs, while local gauchos led the way. "It was a work for this enterprise that believes in culture, history and conservation", she told to local newspapers. They are pretty idealist but they are preserving the estancias Menelik, by the side of the San Lorenzo mountain, and El Cóndor, by the San Martin Lake.

"I am an avid traveler, I think it is a family heritage. My grandfather was the first to fly from Europe to Africa in a balloon" she emphasizes.

"Now I am working on a book about Race Horses and another one about Arab Horses" says Celine. Sometimes she does commercial shots, but mostly they are outdoor products related to nature, like flyfishing lodges, or tourism".


How is the process of getting this kind of pictures?

"I look for something that thrills me" she says, "I like all these places and I spend a lot of time around to take all those photos, and to achieve what I want to accomplish, that is communicate what comes to me when I am there".
And she goes on, "All this culture is fading out, when I go back to some places, they are totally changed. There are still gauchos, but you have to travel further, to find the gaucho I want to show. I stay there, drink mate with them, talk about their work, go for horse riding, maybe next day I go out with the camera, I try to understand a part of what they do and from there I get involved".

"What I love is to portray the landscape with its people".
"What I love most from Argentine is that there are still so many wild places. I love large extensions, and virgin lands".

Celine Frers uses a digital camera, a Canon 5d Mark3, which she prefers for practical matters. "A good picture is a good picture now or 150 years ago, but today everything is much easier with digital equipment. It´s the same thing that I did at the lab, but faster".

Her referents in photography are Sebastiao Salgado and Ansel Adams.
As a personal project she wills to make a book about Argentine, and the local country people, the paisanos. "It is a culture that is fading out", she remarks.

Have you been to Germany?
"I ´ve been to Berlin, loved it, it is a crazy city. German culture is really awesome, the discipline, they are a little bit structured, but I appreciate the work culture, and the culture: their writers, their musicians, their artists".

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