For last two months I’ve been working with director from Prijedor city theater Darko Cvijetic on a new play called “Phoenician women, materials”. It is experimental kind of play at least for Prijedor’s theater. It is a concept, without predefined monologues or dialogues. Play about women, suffered from war (any war) and by its aftermaths. Five stories about women who have lost a brother, who were raped, who gave birth to a warrior, who played for a soldiers, who are searching for a grave, who are waiting in vain…
“Phoenician women” by Euripides was taken just as a idea not as a background. But if you search just a little bit about Theban war and stories about king Oedipus you will find out that no war is different no matter if it is some mythical ancient war or some modern Bosnian, Syrian, Ukrainian or who knows which war.
Here in Bosnia, even 20 years after the war, people are still unsettled and restless. PTSD is in its full potential and no category is exempt. We are society of destroyed marriages, youth grown up without fathers, abandoned children. Violence on women and children is more present then ever. And many wounds are still unhealed… But nobody is taking care about it. It is like a taboo in a society burdened by national identity, criminal privatization, stale democracy and trash culture.
My series of five portraits “Theban women” started as a side project but became a significant part of a story and visualisation of a play itself.
This is my ode to women:
For a play itself, I made 5 photo essays or 5 photo stories trying to correspond with each story but not in an obvious way. My storytelling is not narrative and banal. My intention was not to show anything that actress will already do or say but to amplify emotions. It is hard to paraphrase the play. Hopefully, in a few days, there will be a full video of “Phoenician women, materials” online and I will be able to post a link here so you could see for yourself.
Here are my photo-essays. Each video is minute and few seconds long.
All portraits and all images in photo essays are made with Fujifilm XPro1 camera and XF35mm f1.4 lens.
I own this camera for almost a year, and honestly I can say that it is a piece of equipment that is at the same time admirable as well as frustrating. Will try to explain it in next post. It will not be a classic camera review. It will be a completely subjective view to a gear with image samples.
Since I sold out all of my DSLR equipment I was forced to choose what and how to shoot on a different way. One camera, one lens and a lot of patience.
I cheated a little bit… some images are made with Panasonic Lumix GF1 (those two composites) 🙂
Second set is a wedding. I don’t do weddings very often but I find it to be very challenging and creative if you are devoted and not obstructed by some crazy wishes of drunk uncles and not so pretty aunts. 🙂 Sanja and Srdjan let me do this on my own way but with some reasonable wishes and suggestions. If you are confused by the images from the rock – that is the place they met so I decided to make a series and included it in their album.
Ok… I sneaked a few made with GF1 again… couldn’t help myself (I simply love that camera) 🙂
New play by Prijedor city theater – Djelidba (not sure about translation, but I believe the most closest word would be “dividing”) by famous Bosnian writer Skender Kulenović, directed by young Marko Misirača.
I applied last year to a 5th Photography masters cup with 3 photos and since it was just one of the competitions I applied last year, I forgot about it. To be even worse… I received an email (last November) where I was announced to be a nominee in two categories – Portrait and Silhouette. Why is it bad… – I DIDN’T SEE that mail. November is a period when I’m overwhelmed with emails (GFBL Festival is taking place then) so I overlooked it.
Ok… I didn’t won or anything but to become a nominee in two categories among 11 832 entries… I think it is a thing worth mentioning.
I made this for graduated students of High music school (where I work) in my hometown. Idea was to present them in cinema-like manner and of course to break that boring tradition of presenting graduate students like they were escaped from communism posters presenting best workers at labor day celebration, with waxy cleaned faces.
This is panorama shot, made of 7 images (portrait orientation). They were standing as on the final image only I was moving in a straight line. Light is one small strobe with Lumiquest softbox attached. Camera was Panasonic Lumix GF1.
“Quartet” by Ronald Harwood, directed by Darko Cvijetić, a new play by Prijedor Theater. All images are made on general rehearsal. Interesting thing to me was that this is a chamber type of play and audience will be present on the stage. It creates new way of seeing things, some kind of “3-dimensional” performance. Everybody will see it from different angle and perspective. It was challenging thing to do.
Concerning my absence from posting stuff here, it can be explained with my decision to get back to my guitar playing, my wife and I are expecting a baby, apartment reconstruction… Trying to cover several fronts at the same time can be an exhausting activity so I have to settle down my priorities. I’ll try to post regularly but with wider breaks in between. Maybe, in the future, I will post and some music of mine here with the photography I do.
This is a story (sketches from stories) that I was preparing for a Fotopub Festival in Slovenia on which unfortunately I didn’t go. I left this story aside but few weeks ago, I decided to finish it.
I was inspired by Mike, Rebecca and Borut and realized that photofilms are something where I can exploit myself full time. As I’m professional musician, expression of sound is something very familiar to me. Combining photography with sound is something I found to be close to me and hopefully you will see it and hear it too.
Long story – short – Ljubija is a small town in north western part of Bosnia. Once cultural and social center of region, strongly dependable of nearby iron mine. Once iron was exploited – Ljubija was left and forgotten. Those are sketches and emotions of Ljubija inhabitants – Cicko, Bodo and Mladen.
As well as past two years, I made a proposal for the promo poster of upcoming GitarFest Banja Luka – international clasical guitar festival. I made several options and not sure with which one to go. All three images have the energy I wanted but still can not decide which one is most suitable. I’m open to suggestions and opinions… so… shoot!!!
I created all these images in a pretty simple way and with no fancy studio stuff. Model was in a room with white walls and white ceiling. I used wide angle lens, natural window light from left, ISO was set to 800, shutter speed to 1/30 and aperture was f4. No strobes ’cause I wanted to capture a movement. Of course, these images are not straight from camera. Post production was simple. Rising up the exposure using a Brush tool in Lightroom and selecting areas that are white. Model is “enhanced” by increasing contrast and clarity.
For some time I’m trying to find a way to make some daylight long exposure shots. I know some photographers are using several ND filters attached together but good ND filters are not cheap and it is a little bit hard to get some here where I live. Another problem was what camera to use. Digital is standard today and results are visible right away but overheating a sensor is serious problem (digital sensors are generating heat when taking long exposure shots). Analog is much safer but again, if you make some wrong calculations, whole role of film could be ruined (and it is truly hard to find decent laboratory these days who will develop it the way you want it). And then recently, I was talking about it with my friend Borut and it came to me that I could try to use a welding glass as a truly strong ND filter.
First, I used my GF1 camera to determine the strength of a welding glass (light sensitivity). I calculated it is a 15 stop filter equivalent.
My intention was to use it on a Canon AE1 program camera with 28mm lens and to shoot some cityscapes – 32 minutes exposures and more – so it would be possible to eliminate all the movement in a scene or to create some abstraction with very crowded places. My test roll was terrible. I realized that all the positions from where I was shooting were “contaminated” with reflections from different shiny objects (car windows, wrist watches on someones hand, sun glasses…). All the shots were overexposed but partially. Something like light stains. I dropped the idea ’cause I need something less complicated.
Then, I tried again with GF1 camera with a intention to make one long exposure and then to leave a camera to cool down. I intended to make 32 minutes exposure but very soon I find out that GF1 camera has a safety feature to limit the length of a exposure to 256 seconds. I couldn’t find any info about the camera feature but I would like to believe it is it. 🙂 (Let me know if you know anything about it).
So, 256 sec exposure became my new obsession. It is long enough to eliminate or wipe out the movement out of frame but short enough to have time to make some corrections if needed without a “moment” lost. Next month I’ll be traveling to Vienna, Prague, Bratislava and Budapest and it will be a good opportunity to make interesting series (I hope).
Of course, welding glass is green so I was thinking black&white but once I saw a green result I felt in love with it. It has some apocalyptic note that gives it additional drama.
Just a few meters away from my apartment, ticket office of city stadium. Nothing much. Three small windows, a few steel bars and dirty concrete wall. It wouldn’t be unusual, if it’s purpose is just selling tickets. No!!! A guy named Petar, started to practice his muscles and his body some ten years ago. Location was great – in the city center but isolated from the city rush, cheap – nobody asked for monthly fee, and finally – tough enough to outstand the weight of a human body. Petar started something that outgrow far from personal practice. People started coming around and in few years – community was formed. Musicians, high school students, workers, sportsmen, physical enthusiasts… everybody was working out at “a gym”. Even young kids are practicing in secret while steel bars are “free”.
P.S. For those people who are interested in technical part of this – all images made with Panasonic Lumix GF1 camera – JPGs straight from camera.
Novak’s career is followed by whole world recently but specially in Serbia and Serbian part of Bosnia. He became national pride and a release valve for all the lost battles. His matches are watched at home as well as at city squares and bars. Men, women, youngsters, old people – everybody was watching with excitement for new dash in a row.
He lost a match against Roger, but for the first time, nation didn’t judged him because of that (Serbian nation has a short memory and easily can forget about a great success just because a moment of weakness). Somehow, all the nation felt released from all the pressure that was hovering above.
Here is a glimpse at the night when Novak failed to became world’s no.1 (for now).