Kilka tygodni temu zwróciła się do mnie z prośbą młoda dziewczyna o nazwisku Gabriela Cerna. Spytała, czy nie wziąłbym udziału w jej "investigation project". Napisała, że właśnie kończy studia i przygotowuje pracę o artystycznej fotomanipulacji.
Pochodzenie jej nazwiska wydało mi się bałkańskie, tymczasem okazało się, że pochodzi z Gwatemali. Porozumiewaliśmy się koślawym angielskim, ale zrozumiałem, że mam odpowiedzieć na kilkanaście pytań.
Oto cała ankieta w języku Szekspira, publikowana po uprzedniej korekcie dociekliwej anglistki:
Which creative process do you use to define the final photograph?
I don't quite understand the question. First is the idea, then the realization. I work on layers with the use of Photoshop. Until I merge all the elements, I work on the each of them individually. Flattening the image is not the end - I work on the tonal range, both in colour and in b-w. Sometimes I turn my artwork horizontally, to check whether the composition is ok. All these processes are important, neglecting one of them badly affects the final photo.
In your words, how does digitalization contributes to optimize the creative or imaginative result in photography?
In a fundamental way - digital photography is faster than analog, you can easily see the effect. You can just look at the display on the camera, check the focus and the histogram and, if necessary, correct something (change settings and take a picture again). In my work this is a great comfort. When I photograph elements needed to photomontage, I immediately know if everything is fine.
How do you establish composition and lighting in you photographs and how do you enhance them on the editing process?
This is a complex matter. PS is so powerful tool, that practically there are hundreds of ways to enhance the image, increasing its focus or tonal range. I operate with colour selective and distort, but the whole process is tedious, long and complicated to explain it in few words. That's why I organize Photoshop workshops, where I show and explain the process.
How does imagination contributes to the impact generated by photography?
Without imagination there wouldn't be a good photography, not only manipulated. Everything starts with a thought, and that it is the most important thing in the whole process. Reckless, random images, of course, also have their charm, but to develop your own style, you need to have control over everything.
Which elements do you take into consideration so photographs tell the story in your creations?
I usually operate simple archetyps and symbols, such as for example: a lonely tree, a ladder, a desert, a house. It is understood all over the world, that's why I was able to develop specific language competition – a visual Esperanto. The positive reception of my artworks on all continents proves that my efforts were rewarded. I am proud of that.
Which is the intention of the main element in your photographs?
My intention is to provoke the viewer to think, while watching my works. I rarely put together random elements. I look for those that completes each other, either by similarity or by contast. Most often it works.
Which technical resources do you use to trace the path the viewer will follow in your photographs?
As I said before, I have been working with Photoshop for many years (about 15). The tool itself is not everything, you need a strong composition and a kind of story to tell. Previously, I was a painter, and I use this experience in my photography.
By which concept do you establish the dynamic of your photographs?
My pictures are rarely dynamic, rather quiet, contemplative. To achieve this effect, I use the central composition and square size.
How do you integrate the photographic expression with the edition of your images?
In photography, I'm not looking for chaotic or extreme emotions. I photograph in a rational, thoughtful, not wasting time and energy way.
What do you look for when choosing the predominating colour?
I do usually black and white, so the question about the colour is a little pointless. I know that the photography likes red, but it's a difficult colour to deal with. It is always a challenge.
According to the photographic manipulation you use, how does it contributes to the expression and impact intended?
When I construct a certain image (not registered), I can plan the reception, the emotions that a recepient could have. Of course, It is not predicible. In my opinion, that's the most beautiful, when viewers can see in your work things, which you don't see.
Why do you separate the b/w series to the colour one? Do it have a different meaning? Which will it be?
Colour often distracts from the essence of the image. For the b-w works the most important is a story.
Which equipment and software do you use?
Canon EOS 5D Mark III, a few lenses (kit, 50mm, 85mm), Photoshop CS6.
Which is the importance of photography for the expression of humans?
Photography now meets a variety of functions, it is a documentary, artistic, fashion photography and so on. The camera doesn't only record important moments for us, but also creates a new reality. So photography is now a tool of art.
When and how do you consider a photographic manipulation is an art?
People usually consider my works not as a photography, but an art.
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