Wednesday, 29 April 2009

Self initiated project

"Life is full of misery, loneliness, and suffering - and it's all over much too soon" - Woody Allen

At first just after the briefing on this project I thought that it is a great opportunities to incarnate one of my old ideas. For the long time I have been thinking that interaction with completely unknown people on a street would be very useful for the level of my favorite documentary portraiture. I had a talk on a tutorial with Eva and was pretty sure to start working on it. But those thoughts on a theme of loneliness in cooperation with sudden interest in multiple exposure experiments and our upcoming gallery show caused a birth of a new, unexpected update.

Do you like to be alone? I do, well not all the time of course but there are some moments when I desperately need this quiet dialogue with myself. The Narrative project made me understand that the most successful photographs I took alone just camera and myself. After that I have been thinking about loneliness and researching it. I am not an individual person who loves walking alone a lot of people do the same. My camera and ipod help me to focus on the process while shooting. But what to others do to feel themselves separated? Bingo! Double exposure, portrait of a stranger, loneliness, everything can now be connected in one!

Michael Kenna, Antoine D'Agata, Alan Khlug, Roberto Kusterle, Wynn Bullock and especially Diana Arbus, plus some of young unknown artists from internet, inspired me to make double exposure portraits of people being alone in town. First exposure would be just a usual portrait containing his/her face looking into the camera. O second layer I would ask my model, while staying maximum still, rise up a tool of their solitude in front of his/her face. Double exposure automatically lets the second layer be as transparent as you wish. All I needed to do is to experiment with exposure times of two shots and go taking photographs.

After unsuccessful tries in Luton town centre I decided to go to a bit more positive place.

It was a lovely weather on Friday the 3rd of April when I was building my roots through Brighton on Hove. After four hours of walking I have won a favor of 9 out of 10 people. Success!

Second trip was a bit less successful but I am really happy with such a piece of experience.

Here are some of the images I have done:

Kit: Bronica SQ-Ai, 6x6, 80 mm, F/2,8, Fuji Pro 400, Photoshop CS3, Lightroom, Silver Efex Pro.

Tuesday, 27 January 2009


I have realized that capturing real people, real objects, and real moments of live is the most inspirational for me. That’s why I was very interested in watching the material Eva gave us on her seminars. I have always been surfing through the works of World known masters of photography Robert Capa, Lee Miller, Philip Jones Griffins, Wiegge, James Nachtwey and so on.

Documentary photography is a very wide genre. If you would ask me what are the borders of it, when a photograph stops being documental. I would answer with a silence. I think image is documental when you feel it to be such. Photo Imagery itself is a document of something that has happened. Looking at the fashion shot you can say that the particular model was staying in a studio and posing on a particular day. For me photograph is documental unless I feel it to be such.

It is a Christmas break starting soon I have got my tickets back home for three weeks and a Bronica SQ-Ai, 80 mm, f 2,8 and 150 mm f 3,5 (lovely portrait glass) lenses with 30 rolls of Ilford and Fuji Color film of a different light sensitivity, ready to make some lovely “documaentika”.

As I have said documentary for me is first of all what you see, what you feel and what you believe in. I have just been home. Everything that I saw, felt and believed in were memories of my past life. Streets of my home town are a canvas my life was drawing on. I have decided to make its portrait. So I woke up early in the morning sun was just rising up and it was expected to be a lovely, sunny, frosty Estonian day. -12 C would cause some problems for electronics of a digital camera but I had a Bronica which was not afraid to be frozen. So here is a story “There is a winter on a block”:

is a city and municipality in north-eastern Estonia, founded in 1924 and incorporated as a town in 1946. The city is highly industrial, and both processes oil shales and is a large producer of various petroleum products. The city is also very diverse ethnically: it contains people of nearly 40 ethnic groups and only 21% of the population are Estonians. Many ethnic Estonians in the city have adopted Russian as their primary language, although this changed in the late 1990s, as Estonian once again became the primary language used in everyday life. Kohtla-Järve is the 4th largest city in Estonia.