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The meaningful and distorted world of The Jar

Interview/tutorial led by Michel Romaggi in collaboration with author and artist The Jar - Geir Jartveit 
Edited and published by Yvette Depaepe, the  23rd of March 2022




Geir’s photographs look like paintings, close to abstraction.  These distorted, colourful characters whose only form and movements appear, are very surprising and sometimes even a little unsettling. I was eager to know how Geir gets this really artistic results.
Thank you for answering my questions ;-)


Before explaining about the technique to get this effects, I would like to ask you what brought you to this type of photography and what do you expect from it?

My name is Geir Jartveit, and my artist name is The Jar. I'm a photographer from Norway. I was born in 1966. When I was 17 years old, I bought my first camera.
We all have our unique stories. I have my story, and I want to be honest about it. I grew up in a Christian home and was exposed to bullying at school since the very first day. This lasted for 10 years. Whenever I think back, it´s like a black tunnel. Eight years ago, I encountered a psychological wall and was standing on the edge of the cliff. I sought professional help and this therapy got me through a difficult time. During this hard period, I started using photography in a completely different way as I hadn´t used it before.
Photography became my personal therapy to get out of a difficult time. I painted myself, using smoke and masks. It became a pressure valve where I got out everything that disturbed me inside. I couldn´t hold the façade any more, it was getting too hard. Photography became my rescue.

Ten years ago I visited the St. Mary´s Church in Gdansk. I randomly entered the memorial service for Poland´s President, Lech Kaczynski after the Smolensk Crash. I was so influenced by these mourning people. It felt like the music in the church took me to another place. Something happened to me there.  And then I came home and started treating pictures in a different way. My photos got shadows and became graphical. It wasn´t planned. It just came like steam out of a pressure cooker.




Can you reveal some of your secrets from the moment you take a picture to the result we can see?  What about the post-processing?

It is not easy to write exactly and precisely about my workflow. Maybe in the future, I will make a video of my working process to show how I make these photos. But the most important is that everything is in our minds, what we want to tell from our souls and hearts.

The essential to me is the story behind the photo. If I manage to capture an emotion in a photo which touches the viewers, I feel very happy. I use a slow shutter speed in my artistic works. Sometimes it is a single photo, sometimes several photos used in the same frame. For me, it feels like I am using the camera like paint brushing. I like the blurry images in my art form.  It is really the opposite as for a nature photographer where sharpness and techniques are very important. I don´t really prepare much before I'm going out taking pictures. I like my work to be spontaneous rather than to shoot there and then.


What equipment do you use (camera, lenses,…)?

The camera I use is a Sony. I'm using two lenses. 100-400 mm Sony and 200-600 mm Sony. These lenses are perfect to me for a slow shutter speed. Afterwards, I import the photos in Lightroom. Most of the photos are finished there. For the images that I want to continue working on, I go to Photoshop using layers. I really like the Dodge and Burn tools in Photoshop. It also happens that I use Nick software for different structures.




How do you choose the scenes that you will then 'interpret' in your own original way?

I have different methods of working. Sometimes ideas and thoughts about a picture come across to my head. Then I can sit down and finish the picture in a short amount of time. Other times I will be sitting, listening to music, just thinking about the possibilities for that particular picture. I don´t have any plans, it just comes to me from the inside. When I work like this, it feels like the world is smiling at me, and I feel the inner pleasure. It feels like I am dancing with the photos.

What is your advice to beginners, Geir?
Don't be afraid of what others may say or think about your photos. That's the most important advice I can give.

Follow your heart and just be yourself.

Have fun with your photos after what ideas and feelings came to your mind. Don’t be tempted to copy other pictures.
Conceptual photography is about your personal expression. It is your own form of art which you are going to convey.


Do you have specific goals that you wish to achieve, Geir?

I have a lot of ideas. I want to use models and stage my expression with the help of effects. It´s not easy to plan out a specific direction I would like to take my photography in the future. But I am a creative person, and I feel that I will find that out eventually now that I have chosen to focus on something else than working as a service technician offshore. 



For those who are interested, here is the link to the full interview with Geir Jarveit published in the 1x magazine in September 2017 :

I love the slow shutter speed effects in your photos. Ive always liked to explore this concept but have not fine tuned the technic in post processing. Thanks for the inspiration! And your story, its heart wrenching and heart warming all at the same time.
Thanks dear friend. Blessed day.
I know and appreciate your photographic art since years. Reading your story I now understand your art. Congratulations dear Geir :-)
Thanks dear friend. Blessed day.
Dear Geir, thanks for sharing your emotional and moving story. All forms of art saves people from losing themselves. Your work is fascinating in its creative expression and unique style which is your exclusive "fingerprint". My compliments dear Geir for the interview and the wonderful works presented. Thanks also to Yvette and Michel for their contribution. Have a good weekend my friend.
Thanks dear friend. Blessed day.
I am following your artwork with great interest. Congratulations and keep up the good work :)
Thanks dear friend. Blessed day.
I have always loved your creative works, and the insights you provide in this interview are very interesting. Congratulations on the well-earned recognition!
Thanks dear friend. Blessed day.
I had noticed your images in the gallery and liked several. The use of people in normal space and the unique processing make it stand out. Thanks for your story.
Thanks dear friend. Blessed day.
Thank you for sharing your story. I love your work.
Thanks dear friend. Blessed day.
Bellissimo articolo, con fotografie veramente molto interessante. Grazie per il fotografo e la giornalista.
I am happy that you like it. Thank you Izabella
Thanks dear friend. Blessed day.
Thank you for sharing. Your images are brilliant!
thanks dear friend. Blessed day.
Many thanks for sharing your expérience. I often say that photography is an "exutoire" and a therapy . Happy to see that this feeling is shared. Your work touch me . Warm regards
Thanks dear friend. Blessed day.
Geir thank you for sharing this very inspirational and a subject of human feelings and issues of the mind which is also a big part of my work in the last few years. Love your statement about what other people think of your work, as this is an issue that always comes to your mind as a photographer and a thing I struggle with. Thanks also to Yvette from this magazine article.
Michel and I thank you, dear Colin !
Thanks dear friend. Blessed day.
A very heart-warming article best friend Geir. For me in all, a catchy testimony how art can have a very great beneficial influence in people's lives. I am very happy about that. Congratulations on sharing your story and I wish you a lot of success ... Thanks to Yvette for taking care of these fascinating articles. Best regards...
Thanks, Gil ;-)
Thanks dear friend. Blessed day.
Very interesting story and interview. Excellent creative photography work. Accept my appreciation Geir.
Thanks dear friend. Blessed day.
Dear Geir, your style is special - unique and creative. Already when I saw the first photo of this kind, I was thrilled - and this enthusiasm is still the same, with each subsequent photo. This is art - YOUR art! It was especially interesting for me to read a little about you and your background now, it touched me.... I want to thank you for sharing your story, your photos! Thanks also to Yvette for this magazine.
The magazine = my "baby" ;-) Love the high quality articles published with the help of my great team of editors !!! Thanks Susanne!
Thanks dear friend. Blessed day.
Very interesting thype of photography coming from your creatieve inner self, the Jar. Your work expresses your feelings in the most expressieve and sensitieve way. Many compliments and sympathy! Regards Jan
Thanks dear friend. Blessed day.
My tribute to your creativity Geir.
Thanks dear friend. Blessed day.
I have always been interested in your work. When I look at your works, which reflect mysterious scenes of people with various thoughts and feelings coming and going, I feel as if I am entering into the world. It was interesting to read about the background and the process of creating your works!
Thanks dear friend. Blessed day.
Congratulations - what a collection!I
Thanks dear friend. Blessed day.
Thank you very much for your advice for a beginner!
Thanks dear friend. Blessed day.
Congratulations my friend,
Thanks dear friend. Blessed day.
Thanks for an interesting story. And for sharing your idea about your photos!
Thanks dear friend. Blessed day.
What an amazing story thank you for sharing this! Your work is amazing! Now I know who the Jar is? LOL!
Thanks dear friend. Blessed day.
His work is special and unique. I was curating some photos few weeks ago and one of his photos appeared and I said this The Jar, is impossible not to recognize his work. Very interesting article, I myself wanted to know better The Jar, I wanted to know who stays behind those ideas. Now I know, thank you for this article.
Thanks dear friend. Blessed day.
Creative and unique artwork! Congratulations, my friend!
Thanks dear friend. Blessed day.
Unique work I feel attracted to… now even more knowing the personal story that brought it to us…. 🙏
hanks dear friend. Blessed day.
Dear Geir. I enjoy your very unique and expressive style. Your advice to beginners is right on. Congratulations and all the best,
hanks dear friend. Blessed day.
Congratulations my friend!
Thanks dear friend. Blessed day.
Very artistic and expressive series. Congratulations on this great presentation dear Geir!
Thanks dear friend. Bledded day.
Felicidades por tu forma de expresión tan diferente
Thank you for letting me discover your work dear Geir, you are a true artist and your pictures do touch my heart. And thank you dear Yvette for this great article in your magazine!
Thanks dear Gabrielle. Happy for your comment.
Thank you Gaby ...
Impressive interview, Thanks for your openness and your motivation from where your photos come about. gr. Piet
Thanks Piet.
I became aware of your work a long time ago and I am very happy to be able to read this interview now, because I am finally learning more about this artist, whose pictures not only impress me, but also show that it is simply good to go your own way ... thank you very much! Ulrike
Here is the link to the full interview with Geir Jartveit published in the 1x magazine in september 2017:
Thanks dear Ulrike. Happy for your comment. Blessed day.
I am watching your work with interest. Congratulations...
Thanks dear friend
I am watching your work with interest. Congratulations...
Very interesting interview. Amazing and very unique pieces of art. Congratulations, Geir!
Thanks dear friend. Happy your feedback.
Stunning works, congratulations my friend 🎊
Thanks dear friend. Blessed day.
Unique and powerful artistic vision. Love your work, Geir.
Thanks dear friend. Happy you like it. Blessed day.