Enjoying the sunset

Living by the sea was never my dream or goal, it just happened that we live on the coast. That’s why, I guess, we don’t go there very often. But once in a while, it is so relaxing and calming to come and enjoy the sound of waves and the view of the mountains lit by the setting sun. It’s loud and cheerful over there near hotels but it is quite here near the pier. Sit by the water and think whatever comes to your mind. Or nothing at all.

Identity Crisis

Am I an artist?

This is the question I’ve been asking myself a lot lately. When reading other photographers’ blogs and listening to podcasts, for example. The authors are all acclaimed photographers whose work is recognized and praised and whose passion for photography helps them earn a living this way or another. I look at their work and see the vision, the emotion and the hard work put behind it. I see that they really thought everything through before pushing the button, and because of all that, they have the full right to call themselves artists. And I?

Am I an artist?

I’m asking this while revamping my website to look more like a portfolio. I know if I were to do this properly I should have looked through all my pictures first, choosing the best of the best and being my own cruelest curator. In my defense, I want to say that I’ve done some of that but haven’t boiled it down to the creme de la creme. Being your own critic and curator is hard and takes time to learn, which I never did and that’s why my portfolio looks like a mess.

Am I an artist?

Looking back at all the time I’ve been shooting photos, I ask myself this. Since day 1 of my photography adventure, I saw myself as more of a Gary Winogrand type of street photographer, if you excuse me for such a comparison. As I learned later he used to roam the streets shooting almost everything and oftentimes not caring about composition or whatever photography rule can apply. “I photograph to find out what something will look like photographed”, it’s the quote usually ascribed to him. So I tried to do exactly that, shooting everything of interest without any projects or assignments, or any agenda whatsoever. But as I started sharing my photos more and the more I was involved in watching others’ work, the clearer I saw the need to reevaluate my principles. What is my message and should there be one? What is my style and vision, and how do I develop them? Am I just a person who takes pictures of what’s in front of him or…

Am I an artist?

 

The answer’s still eluding me.

WPC – Band on the Run

 

Nikon D5100, Nikkor 50mm, Portra 400 film simulation

I never saw them afterward and I had never seen them before. It was only one quick moment on my usual way home.

As I was walking down the street I heard a strange noise disturbing the usual “soundtrack” of a busy street. That was the sound of music approaching. Suddenly these guys on a motorbike appeared out of nowhere playing something upbeat and funky. I had my camera with me but wasn’t ready for them as they jumped out of traffic and rushed away, and I thought I missed it. But then they turned around and for the second time, I was waiting.

The real photo challenge here was to focus, as I had a manual 50mm lens on my digital Nikon. Though the band is not exactly in focus, considering the circumstances I think it is still fine.

The paths we take

Nikon F3, Nikkor 35-70mm, Kodak Ultramax 400

A man vs the world, one vs many, man vs nature, loneliness vs together, full vs empty…

There are so many possible interpretations to this photo and I have never realised that until now. It was taken in Moscow back in 2013. A friend of mine was visiting and we went out for a walk in the sun. The road we were walking along is pretty busy, actually, and suddenly we both saw that girl sitting on the sidewalk and there was no traffic to hide her. So we took photos simultaneously and moved on.

I’ve always liked the symmetry of those parallel lines and how the frame is overloaded with objects in its upper half while being empty in the bottom. But the idea of interpreting it in a philosophical way hasn’t occurred to me until now.

Putting it in the context of this week photo challenge, I wish I could take a moment and sit like this on the side and think about the paths I take and choose. I wish I could put this huge world behind a wall for a moment and have a break. To take a breath, to have a look at the empty road ahead and maybe see where it’s going.

Alas, it seems to be practically impossible, but one can hope, hey?