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Photography of Rachel Berg

Thu. May. 26, 2016

Many UWinnipeg faculty, staff, and students know Rachel Berg as the Department Assistant for the Departments of Modern Languages and Literatures and Religion and Culture but may not know that she is also a talented photographer. Recently, an intriguing photo she created was used on the cover of French professor Dr. Adina Balint’s new book, Le Processus de création dans l’œuvre de J.M.G. Le Clézio (Amsterdam: Rodopi/Brill). Given this, I thought it would be interesting to speak with her about how she came to create that image, see Layers: Featuring the work of Rachel Berg, and to see more of Rachel’s work. Here she shares several of her photos.

Rachel has lived in Downtown and the West End of Winnipeg for about 20 years, and appreciates how diverse these neighbourhoods are. A few years ago, she was asked to take photos of corner stores of these areas for a calendar that Pat Martin, long-time MP for Winnipeg Centre, was putting together.

corner store in winnipeg's west endShe later submitted some of these photos to McNally Robinson’s call for photos for their book Winnipeg by Winnipeg, a compilation of photos taken by Winnipegger photographers, both amateur and professional. Two of her photos were selected for publication.

corner store in winnipeg's west endThis is the other photo selected for Winnipeg by Winnipeg.

More recently, she submitted the series of photos below, taken of her son Soren, for the The Lens Project on HitRECord in response to the prompt of “capturing emotion.” As soon as she posted this, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, director of hitRECord, commented on it and shared it on all his social media sites.

series of photos of a baby crying"the agony of babyhood" - Rachel enjoys photographing children and capturing them as they are – the good, the bad and the ugly!"

young child sitting on window ledge“the owl is not what it seems” - This photo was a contribution to The Lens Project prompt “snap a photo that captures window lighting” and depicts the introspective side of Rachel’s first son, Leif.

Woman as seen through the lens of a microscope.”under the microscope” - A difficulty in focusing on portraits is that people often don’t like being photographed. The challenge, then, is to find the techniques both of taking and editing photos to get a good shot. Rachel works at this by taking lots of photos of herself, in different lights, at different angles, etc.

Woman reading in the light of a lamp.”the night is when I live a thousand different lives” - Another contribution to The Lens Project, this time in response to the prompt “take a phot that captures what the night means to you.” This photo was highlighted by the guest curator for the week.

Photos of a woman layered to create sense of movement.”the penetrating light” - Another contribution to The Lens Project. This week the prompt was to take another image on the HitRECord site and recreate it. This photo is another example of the layering technique that Rachel is exploring, and consists of three photos with various opacities.