When Damir contacted me with his Portfolio, I could feel a breath of fresh air coming from his images, a sense of peace, serenity. I asked him a few questions about his project “Walls, Floors, Pillars, Vaults…” to dig in a bit deeper.
Damir, can you tell us a bit about yourself?
I was born in 1970 in Offenbach a.M. (Germany). I have been living in Zagreb, Croatia, since 1975. I am happily married and the father of four children. My educational background is in mechanical engineering, I graduated Faculty of Mechanical Engineering and Naval Architecture, 1996, Zagreb, Croatia.
I have always had passion for art, and the last few years I devoted to photography. For me, photography is a melody of light and soul. It is evidence of a singular moment in time and space, where we find our own reflections. Often, in contemplation of my surroundings, I find myself seeking a deeper meaning.
Recognizing the intimately whispering interplay of my souls vibration with the space around me, my soul is forced to express itself through images. This is how I discovered photography; as an outer reflection of my souls inner vibration. In 2013 – I became member of The Croatian Association of Artists (HDLU)
Is this project complete or ongoing?
This project called “Walls, Floors, Pillars, Vaults…” is still emerging, and complementing every year in the summer time, every day when I walk Dalmatian towns.
Where was this series shot? What gear did you use?
This series of photography was created in Dalmatia, in towns on the Adriatic Sea. I fell in love with Dalmatia during my childhood and always come back during the holiday season. Everyday passing the old streets, my senses come alive and my camera tirelessly “catches” details illuminated by beams of light, the magical play of light and shadow. These photos are my little meditation…
I use only the old classic film cameras and black and white films that leave the viewer more freedom to interpret the photographs and his feelings about photography. I develop my photographs in Prague, at the Supreme Master, on the museum archival paper known as “Silver Gelatin Print” whose durability is about 100 years. Unfortunately, in Croatia there is no production of such photography, it's mainly digital photography which for me is “too fast”.
Why did you want to shoot it? What does it mean for you?
When I take my bag with a camera, I always leave all my thoughts, problems behind. I go into the adventure without any suggestions and considerations. “let the moment guide you” is what attracts me.
Photography claims the photographer completely. It's a complete mental engagement because you have to get in touch with the essentials, what you're watching. Which means that photographs must be able to make the viewer feel, it must be a step above what our eyes see. I'm a romantic at heart and I want with viewers to share my emotions. It's what moves me in my artistic creativity.
Attractiveness is something you should always discover for yourself. It does not matter whether it is a person, nature or some detail that we usually do not notice in our busy and stressful lives. In my photographs I just try to get away from the stress of everyday life, so in my photographs there are not many people, often only one individual….
Any anecdotes you can share?
In my photographs, I often photograph children. They are special, always honest, you can never cheat. I love their photographs that capture their invisible world. Often, by watching them I can go back to my own childhood. On one occasion I wanted to photograph my son Vito, I told him to stop in front of an interesting old house, but he refused, he just wanted to kick the ball around the yard.
I tried to get him to do it for 15 minutes! Then I literally yelled at him and told him to stop and turn to me, but he just stood with his back facing me, he put the ball in the hand and did not want to turn towards me. At this point I arose spontaneously with my camera. It's the best possible picture, because I caught that particular protest, his attitude and background of the house, while he was not aware that I still took a photograph of him, even better than I had in mind!
Any closing comments?
Photography is not what you see, but what you felt when you captured it!
Thank you Damir for shedding light on the project! You will hear more of him in a next issue of Inspired Eye.
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