8/365 A Forest

...at the midpoint through the journey of life, I found myself in a dark forest...
…at the midpoint through the journey of life, I found myself in a dark forest…

There is something about forests that reminds me of human nature: growing, magical, deep, twisted, diverse, intricate, savage, sometimes dark, sometimes benevolent and welcoming, calm or full of whispers…and the list could go on forever. You get the point.
I often like to take small trips into such natural mazes, mostly for the serene feeling and the bit of disconnection from the daily rush of city life. I feel…safe and at home among the old trees.
Anyway, I will let you rest here while I try to manage the film projects I am working on. Don’t worry, the 365 project continues! 🙂

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6/365 or why back to the basics is good, sometimes

6-of-365Well, of course old things we did are the reasons why we are who we are, yet, just because we outran or passed a certain step in our evolution (as human beings, as artists, you name it) doesn’t mean we can’t return to all those happenings that beat the path for our current selves.
Much as everyone out there, I started photography with landscape and macro. Nothing too serious, really. Just a cell phone camera and a lot of eagerness and will to learn. I was only fifteen years old and looking back, I still can’t believe 8 years have passed ever since I decided the clicking of shutters at stuff made me able to express myself.
For you see, I have always been frustrated at my inability to draw or paint for the life of me so photography was the next best thing I could do to let out the ideas that blipped and blopped around my head.
So here it is, my 365 project bringing me around to outgrowing little plants, critters and bugs. This one is not much, but the sheer determination of that little plant, to grow higher and higher and towards the sun inspired me to do the same.
Not to mention that the photo happened in the very first location where I decided I should be a photographer. 😀
The main idea? Reinventing yourself is sometimes good if not necessary. And sometimes, in order to do that, you have to retrace your steps to the very roots and start on another branch 🙂

5/365

5/365The fifth day of the 365 project started rather similar with the other one (more details, here), only this time we set off for guitar practice (Miruna is a very proficient guitar player and acts as my teacher 🙂 ).
After all the strumming and finger-numbing scales, we decided to take a break and maybe shoot a few portraits. I had only my camera and my 50mm lens and this is what we came up with.
It was rather silly, she was just playing around while she thought I was setting up my camera, so when I called for attention, she just gave me this look. I knew I had the shot, right away.
A summary? Make sure to always track what’s going around you, that photo you are looking for might not be the best thing out there and sometimes, hazard can really produce some neat results!

4/365 or why keeping your photos matters

MirunaSo, with the start of this 365 project, I decided  to work on more of the ideas I had going around but had no time/didn’t dare to start.
One lovely late summer morning, I took my friend Miruna out for a shoot. Some portrait practice for me, some leisure fun activity for her.
As we arrived on scene, the Botanical Garden from Craiova (the city I currently live in), we walked among all sorts of trees, bushes, shrubs and plants of all kind of sorts until we found a meadow among the thicket.
Tall, Cypress and a few Oak trees stretched out wide while the ground was covered in ivy.
Now, here’s the fun part: as we unloaded out gear, clothes and whatever else we were encumbered by, the Sun slowly crept into the sky and spilled its rays all over the meadow through the network of branches and foliage. Miruna had turned around to see it rise and as the rays contoured her hair, I grabbed my camera and asked if she liked the sunrise. She turned around, excited and smiling. And then, SNAP!. I had the shot.
Now, the day continued, we did lots of shots, some of which I considered to be so much better, yet when I arrived back home and downloaded the results onto my computer, I noticed things wre quite different from the results in the field.
The main idea? Always keep the photos you might want to delete on scene because they don’t seem quite as good as you’d expect. Because later on, you might find these gems among the stones and be glad you did so!

3/365 or why I hate taking selfportraits

3-of-365
Ah, self portraits…ever since ancient times, the human ego thingy hasn’t gone one step further from drawing one another one a cave wall and calling it art.
What’s my big issue with “selfies”? (other than being a never ending pool of self-feeding egomaniacal abyss).
A self portrait rarely reflects anything about the artist. Whereas a portrait, by definition, should reveal something (whether true or a role played behind a mask) about a certain someone.
Self portraits LIE! And they do so brazenly and in a cheeky manner. I have yet to see a self portrait where the vision reflects either true enunciation of one’s personality or a true form of artistic foul play or theatrics. We cannot lie enough to ourselves and we cannot lie good enough for others to be deceived.
While the risks involving a true exposure of oneself are, do doubt, to be taken into consideration (given the amount of information warfare going on), in my personal opinion, I believe a self portrait should be done as sincerely as possible or as artistically as possible.
I mean, you won’t send grandma a photo of you acting all mysterious for the sake of facebook’s likes, aye?
Nor will you post on such social networks a photo of you taking a bath, as a baby…or would you?
As the curtain between privacy and publicizing our every living moment gets blurred by the year, I feel…torn.
On one hand, I believe in the intimacy of certain moments and the necessity for those moments to be shared with special people and be kept and treasured deep inside one’s mind.
On the other hand, the utopian inside of me would aspire to a universal bonding, a “big family” (oh, the hippies are all gettin’ giddy). Yet we cannot do so if we keep presenting false imagery and shallow, see-through masks. It only gives people more trust issues (and fills psychiatrist’s pockets, mind you).
Now, the rant above begs the question: is this a true self portrait? Is it sincere? Is it a well-cast mask? I guess that is for you to decide.

Rivers of Molten Gold (2/365)

Rivers-of-Molten-GoldThe Sun sometimes must feel like Midas, gilding and then liquefying everything it touches.
I guess it’s somehow safe to say the family was simply enjoying the late afternoon on the lake. Maybe it’s my nostalgia or something, I don’t know.
But Autumn is a-coming in, right? Somehow autumn makes me all giddy and shooting happy. So, hopefully, more awesome images to come in the next few months.
What would you consider to be a Golden Moment? (The theme I had to execute for today).

Her Sad Story (1/365)

Her-Sad-StoryAnd with this, I shall start my 365 challenge.
This is an image I shot during the making of a short movie (whose title is still unrevealed due to the movie being still in pre-production)
Hanging around on the set sure is fun and you can definitely snap some interesting things, from emotions to simple amazing and funny stills.
What’s so special about it? Other than it was a completely lucky shot and filled with emotion? Being shot on a 40-year old lens, full manual with no meter data whatsoever.
So…here it goes. My first post on the 365 challenge. I don’t have anything set in stone, I jsut want to redefine my style and work more on my photography since I feel I kinda’ neglected it lately.
Are any of you doing the 365 Challenge? Let me know!  🙂