My fascination with photography began when I received a first camera for my 12th birthday. Some time later parents helped me to build a very basic black and white darkroom. When I look back at my pictures of those times, it was a mere documenting of life around. During the teenage years of finding and loosing I lost any interest in photography.
During my studies at university, I discovered photography again, this time in color. I photographed various subjects, but with time my disappointment grew. Most of time photos turned out uninteresting and dull. And then I suddenly rediscovered black and white. It was a whole new experience. In my own darkroom, I could tune a photo indefinitely until I was fully satisfied with it. Moreover, monochrome allowed me to express ideas more clearly. I love abstractive nature of the monochrome, the way it hides details, I love tonality, I love almost everything about it.
After spending some time in the wet darkroom, I switched to digital darkroom. It simplifies editing of images and saves time. And with archival quadblack inks I can achieve prints of similar quality to traditional silver gelatin. Although with Photoshop one can do anything with an image, but I mostly limit my editing to traditional controls: dodge, burn, contrast, and some retouching. It is a part of my philosophy. It is about reflection of world and honesty. Places and objects in my pictures exist somewhere. The viewer can find them in the same way I have found them to take a picture. But it is not about documenting the natural world. I let myself to experiment with light and contrast freely to convey and strengthen my message. I still capture images on film. And I will continue to do so in the near future. Maybe some time I will decide to return to the wet darkroom again. You never know.
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This post was mentioned on Friendfeed by Lethe Bashar: Giedriu Varnas http://www.escapeintolife.com/artist-……