Inspired, Photographer Mihai Florea

From our call for submissions “Inspire” today we share the work of Mihai Florea.

“I choose this image for one of the merit awards.  I am responding to the sense of solitude and the metaphor of the different periods of life as the eye goes from the front plane to the back of the scene.  Wonderful composition and texture.”  Joanne Teasdale, juror. 

 

Tormented © Mihai Florea

Tormented © Mihai Florea

Would you please tell us a little about yourself?

My name is Mihai Florea and I was born some forty-seven years ago in Bucharest-Romania.  Since 1998, I call Melbourne-Australia home.  I am a construction engineer by weekday and an enthusiast photographer by weekends.  I am married and I have two teenage kids.

How did you get started in photography?

I discovered photography in my early 20’s, when I bought my first film camera:  an indestructible Russian made “Smena Symbol”.  This is when I learned the basics of photography, including darkroom techniques.  I wasn’t too happy with my results and my newly found passion started to fade away.  Twenty years later, thanks to my daughter who became interested in the mysteries of the film camera, my passion for photography has re-ignited.  Why photography?  I don’t know.  Maybe it is my way of re-connecting with my younger days.  Maybe this is the best way I can express myself, how I reinforce my identity, and show that I exist and I can create something.

Which photographers and other artists’ work do you admire?

Among the artists I consider to be an influence and an inspiration in my work, I can mention Julia Anna Gospodarou, Joel Tjintjelaar,  Hengki Koentjoro, Michael Kenna and Volker Birke.  Something I aim to achieve in my work is perfect compositions and I believe they are some of the best around in the way they handle subject matter.

Would you share with us an image (not your own) that has stayed with you over time.

It’s actually a series of images:  “Like a Harp’s Strings” by Julia Anna Gospodarou, in which she uses Santiago Calatrava’s amazing architecture to tell a musical story.  It’s so beautifully crafted that, if you listen closely, you can hear the wind playing through the harp’s strings.  Just an amazing feeling!

You can see this series of images by visiting her site at Julia Anna Gosopodarou.

Do you have a story about one of your images that you would like to share.

“Tormented” it just happened by accident.  I took the wrong turn while driving to Cape Schanck – Victoria, as it happens so often in life, and ended up in the middle of this out of the world place.  I spent around two hours immersed in the atmosphere and shot for about half an hour.  It’s one of those places where I don’t feel I can return without ruining that first impression.

Please tell us about your process and what the perfect day is for you.

I am lucky enough to live in a country with endless beaches and a very beautiful and minimalistic landscape.  The light, the clouds, the trees, the ocean, everything in this country is screaming for attention and, thanks to photography, I am now able to share the beauty of it.  And it feels really good.  Sometimes, I drive for 4-5 hours, me and Benny Goodman or Duke Wellington, just to reach a remote beach and to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city life.  I just love to be in nature.  Sometimes, I feel accepted.  Sometimes, the ocean tells me, in pretty rough style, to back away and I respect that.

I am not a very technically orientated photographer.  To me, more important than the gear, is to spend just as much time in the moment as capturing that moment I want re-produced in my image.  The moment that stirs me inside and to which I react because of its beauty.

The Edge © Mihai Florea

The Edge © Mihai Florea

Magic Light © Mihai Florea

Magic Light © Mihai Florea

Is there one thing that you wish people would stop doing when it comes to the creative process or in the art world?

To quote Charlie Chaplin, “We think too much, we feel too little”,  I would love to see people making sure that the subject of their work evokes an emotional response in them.  Otherwise they won’t be able to create an image which will communicate anything to anyone.

What challenges do you face as an artist?

I haven’t been taken pictures long enough and I feel I have so much to learn and experiment.  I am a bit of a perfectionist and I feel I am not “there” yet.

If you could spend a day with another  photographer living or passed, who would it be?

Hengki Koentjoro.  I would love to be a fly on his camera and just watch how he creates one of his masterpieces.

How do you view this time in the history of photography?

Very busy and clogged.  Everyone is a photographer these days and it became quite painful to dig through all the rubbish to find the real gems.

How do you over come a creative block?

Funny you ask that, because I just had one recently.  You feel like you can create, create and just create and suddenly nothing good is coming out of the camera.  What I do, is just taking a break from going out and shoot, clear my mind, read other photographers’ blogs, learn new ways of re-touching old photos and wait for that signal which tells me: Yeap!  You’re good to go now.

What do you hope the viewer takes from your images?

I want them to feel like they were there with me when I pressed the camera’s shutter button.  I want them to be part of the image, to share the same emotions I’ve had.

How does your art affect the way you see the world?

I see the beauty.

Where can we see your work, and would you like to share any upcoming projects?

My work can be seen on my website at, Mihai Florea.

I would like to make 2015, the year of my first solo exhibition.

Thank you Mihai for sharing your work and words with us.

Land's End © Mihai Florea

Land’s End © Mihai Florea

To learn more about the about the following artist please visit their sites.

Julia Anna Gospodarou

Joel Tjintjelaar

Hengki Koentjoro

Michael Kenna

Volker Birke

Thank you to the photographers that share their work with us.

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For the Wonder

Arcadia © Tami Bone

Arcadia © Tami Bone

Fauna © Tami Bone

Fauna © Tami Bone

Venus © Tami Bone

Venus © Tami Bone

The Big Dipper © Tami Bone

The Big Dipper © Tami Bone

Navidad Creek © Tami Bone

Navidad Creek © Tami Bone

“The pursuit of truth and beauty is a sphere of activity in which we are permitted to remain children all our lives.”
Albert Einstein

Thank you to the photographers that share their work with us.

To learn more about the work of Tami Bone please visit her site at,Tami Bone.

To read our interview with Tami please visit,Tami Bone Visual Poet. 

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Remember

 

Assurance © Ellen Jantzen

Assurance © Ellen Jantzen

“Look at how a single candle can both defy and define the darkness.”

Anne Frank

Wait © J.Rosenthal

Wait © J.Rosenthal

“Our actions can speak for those that have no voice”

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Thank you to Ellen Jantzen and J.Rosenthal.

To learn more about Ellen Jantzen please visit her site at Ellen Jantzen

To learn more about Anne Frank please visit The Anne Frank Center

Our Sunday Gallery

 Where will your dreams take you?

Child on the Forest Road By Wynn Bullock 1958 © Bullock Family Photography, LLC

Child on the Forest Road By Wynn Bullock 1958 © Bullock Family Photography, LLC

Inside Looking Out © Susan Burnstine

Inside Looking Out © Susan Burnstine

Away From The Crowd © Peter Liepke

Away From The Crowd © Peter Liepke

© Leslie Rosenthal

© Leslie Rosenthal

  Mind Over Moss © Ann George

Mind Over Moss © Ann George

Bayou Boy © Tami Bone

Bayou Boy © Tami Bone

Roman Loranc

Roman Loranc

Utopia 5 © Jennifer Schlesinger

Utopia 5 © Jennifer Schlesinger

 © Racheal Short

© Rachael Short

To learn more about these photographers please visit their sites by clicking on their names.

Rachael Short

Jennifer Schlesinger

Roman Loranc

Tami Bone

Ann George

Leslie Rosenthal

Peter Liepke

Susan Burnstine

Wynn Bullock

Thank you to the photographers that share their work with us.

rfotofolio-com

Art You Don’t Want to Miss, and Announcements

Please visit these wonderful exhibitions if you are in the area.

 

Josephine Sacabo

 

To learn more about Josephine Sacabo please visit her site at, Josephine Sacabo.

To read our interview with Josephine please visit,“Muse of the Moon.”

To learn more please visit NOMA. 


Dark Matter 6 © Keith Taylor

Dark Matter 6 © Keith Taylor

Vibrant Matters

January 24 – March 14, 2015
Public Reception, January 24, 2015.
6.00 – 8.00pm
Gallery Hours
Wednesday-Friday 12.00 to 6.00pm
Saturday 11.00am to 5.00pm
940 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis, MN 55403

To learn more about Keith Taylor please visit his site at, Keith Taylor.

To read our interview with Keith please visit,“The Art of Keith Taylor”.

To learn more about Vibrant Matters at the Instinct Gallery please visit their site at, Instinct Art Gallery.


And from Rfotofolio:

The R.O.M. will return in February.

Thank you to the photographers that share their work with us.

rfotofolio-com

Tim Hyde Gallery

© Tim Hyde

To learn more about Tim Hyde please visit his site Tim Hyde. 

To read our interview with Tim Hyde please visit, “Photographer Tim Hyde”.

 

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Photographer Tim Hyde

© Tim Hyde

© Tim Hyde

Today we are pleased to feature the work of photographer Tim Hyde.

Would you please tell us a little about yourself?

Originally from Iowa, I spent most of my professional life working politics and public affairs.  I’ve lived in a number of places, but for many years have been a resident of the Washington, DC area.  I have four daughters, two of whom are still in college.

How did you get started with photography?

I was always been interested in photography probably because my grandfather, surrogate father, was a photographer.  I studied it as part of an American Studies curriculum in college, and more or less followed it as an important art medium over the years, but didn’t pick up a camera until about a dozen or fifteen years ago, almost by accident.  I was surprised at how immediately and completely it took hold of my imagination.  Nothing like it had ever happened to me before.  In some important ways, nothing has been the same since.

Which photographers and other artists’ work do you admire?

The photographers who speak to me most intensely, the ones I find most incisive, are entirely different from the photographers who have influenced my style as a photographer and the way I see things around me.  That is not as odd as it sounds.  I think I admire this group of photographers precisely because they offer a way of understanding and describing the world that I cannot:  Masahisa Fukase’s, “Solitude of the Ravens”, Chris Killip’s, “In Flagrante”, Christer Strömholm’s, “Poste Restante” and all his wonderful progeny, all of Robert Frank’s work, and much of the early “Provoke” work.

In terms of artists who have influenced my own work as a photographer, certainly Edward Hopper is the one ring that rules them all.   Stephen Shore has been hugely influential for me, especially his work in “Uncommon Places”.  My early use of a 5×7 camera probably has something to do with that approach.  Robert Adams is another, along with Joel Sternfeld and perhaps Robert Polidori.  Among other lessons, Frank Gohlke helped me understand the importance of what exists just outside of the frame of a photograph.

Would you share with us an image (not your own) that has stayed with you over time.

Daido Moriyama’s “Stray Dog.”

Please tell us about your process and what would be the perfect day for you.

Photographers must love this question.  When traveling, I try to shoot early, before light, and continue through the early night hours.  Ideally, I would stop mid-day and take a nap, or eat, or go to a show or something, but that doesn’t happen often enough because I’m usually driving or walking from one place to another.

Most of the time I have a subject or purpose in mind when I go out, or a “route” if I am traveling, but sometimes I just go.  Often my original subject is displaced by something else.   I shoot with different camera systems, but the Leica M is always on one shoulder, whatever else I’m shooting, or even if I’m not on a shoot.  I carry a tripod for MF, which is most of the time.

I upload everything into one Lightroom folder each night, always, and do an initial pass-through to select those photographs that will get further processing.  I try to choose and prepare at least one image for posting the following morning.

Unless it is a commission or a specific assignment, all the photographs go through a kind of funnel:  Lightroom to Photoshop to Facebook to the photoblog and Twitter to printing to the gallery.  I try to post one photograph each day somewhere online.

© Tim Hyde

© Tim Hyde

© Tim Hyde

© Tim Hyde

What challenges do you face as an artist?

Time.  I deeply regret not getting serious about photography earlier and am constantly aware that I can’t work at this level and pace long enough to do what I want to do.  Still, that is what keeps me working my ass off, so in some ways I’ve found it an advantage.

If you spend a day with another photographer living or passed who would it be?

Robert Frank, though if you ask me tomorrow it might be somebody else.  I would have loved to watch Frank for one day during his 1956 trip around America.

How do you view this time in the history of photography?

I hear a lot of complaints about how hard it’s become to make a living as an artist, how difficult it is to find an audience.  I’m not buying any of it.  In fact, I think it has never been easier.  The barriers to entry are . . . well, non-existent.  It may be harder to make a living as a gallery owner—or other broker/intermediary—but nothing has changed for the artist except lowering of the craft thresholds with digital technology and vastly increasing the direct availability of audiences.  It has ALWAYS been hard to make a living as an artist, and it still is, but finding audiences has become the hallmark of our age.

Of course, I’m talking about the fine-art photographer here.  For commercial photographers of various sorts, life is much harder.  Fine art photographers, though, have never had so many opportunities to show and distribute their work.  Not even close.

Jennifer Schwartz founded a promising organization, Crusade for Art, that focuses on helping photographers find paying audiences for their work.   I think she is right that our system is churning out an ever-increasing supply of fine-art photographers, with the various MFA programs, and all the grants, festivals, portfolio reviews, and so forth.  More work needs to be done on the demand side, for sure.  As the gallery system deteriorates, we need to foster new ways to find and encourage collectors.

How do you overcome a creative block?

We all encounter slack water at times, or lose our way for a bit, but I don’t think I’ve ever experienced a true block.  I go out and take pictures almost every day.  Some days I feel like I’m in a rhythm and, when processing, conclude that I’ve made real contributions (at least to my own understanding of things), and other days and nights result in uninteresting pictures, and occasionally nothing at all.   I go out the next day all the same and the day after; over time these things all become part of the cycle.

What do you hope the viewer takes from your images?

I like to think I’m providing a bit of information–a small piece of the puzzle–that the viewer didn’t have before.  I try to ask more questions in my photographs than impose answers, but the process I hope adds to what we know about our world.

Would you like to share a story about one of your images?

I used to shoot disasters.  That was my first serious project, and first publications (NYT, Fraction Magazine, and others), and first print sales.  I would just get on an airplane and go to Haiti or Japan or Galveston or wherever Mother Nature had most recently kicked the crap out of us and take pictures.  Three years ago, I was shooting tornado damage in southern Indiana and took this photograph.  It was a temporary homemade memorial cobbled together by neighbors where an entire family that had died in their mobile home two days before.  It moved me unlike any of the other disaster scene in all the tragedy I had encountered.  I was there all afternoon, waiting for the light, thinking about things, watching people from the area come to pay their respects and weep, and then all of a sudden I knew I was done, the entire project was over.  I got in my car and dove back to Washington, wondering what the hell I was going to do next.  I felt like Forrest Gump, though less heroic.

© Tim Hyde

© Tim Hyde

Thank you Tim for sharing your work and words with us.  

To learn more about Tim Hyde please visit his site at, Tim Hyde.

Thank you to the photographers that share their work with us.

rfotofolio-com

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