Frang Dushaj’s images capture the landscape in a way that inspires us. Their beauty filters out the noise and clutter of everyday life. His craft and his eye take us on a journey to those far away places, that might just be at our own back door, if only we take a moment to look. We are pleased to make Frang Dushaj our choice for the Rfotofolio Award.
Would you please tell us a little about yourself?
I was born in 1975, in Shkoder, Albania but I have been living in Sweden since 1990, currently in a small picturesque town north of Stockholm, with my wife and two children.
I grew up with my father’s artistic work as being my first introduction to the visual arts. I remember as a little boy I was fascinated watching him work and I was drawing and trying to imitate his technique, listening to his advice, and being amazed by the experience of creating something. I grew up in a country that was under communist rule and access to art entirely born and shaped out of an artist’s genuine sense and feeling of freedom was next to non-existent. So one would automatically look for this from the outside world, especially within the broad variety of what western cultures had to offer. Besides a few reproductions of photographs, small prints, and one or two books of classic painters that my father had in the house, my mother introduced me to the wonderful world of cinema. I was very young when I first saw classics like, “Metropolis” and “The Night of the Hunter”, or the masterful works of Kurosawa. I feel that my sense for aesthetics and my appreciation for beauty and art started at home, something I am very grateful for.
How did you get started photography?
I have always been interested in photography and used to shot with a 35mm camera and later on with different digital cameras when I was in school. I did not devote all my time to it, however, I kept the amateur spirit always alive, as I do today. It was not until six years ago that I came to look at photography in a different perspective. I started reading about the pictorialists and many other masters of photography and I found new forms of expression through this wonderful medium. So I studied a lot on my own and was also shooting all the time, primarily landscapes. Landscapes have been a well of inspiration. I was born and grew up in a city that is surrounded by such beauty of nature, the majestic Albanian Alps with snow-covered peaks stand in the north, pristine rivers run through the landscapes and the greatest lake of the Balkans, which bares the same name of my home town, is connected to the beautiful Adriatic Sea by the serpentine flow of the river Buna. It is truly a beautiful place that is bound to have a great impact on any person that harbors a creative soul.
Which photographers and other artists work do you admire?
When talking about art in general, I admire the dutch painters, especially Rembrandt, his use of light is absolutely amazing. I also like very much painters like William Turner and Ilya Repin. As far as photography goes, I love the works of the pictorialist era, like Edward Steichen, A. Langdon Coburn, Leonard Misonne, and many others. Their work has perhaps not been a direct influence on me, but it is an immense inspiration.
Would you share with us an image (not your own) that has stayed with you over time.
“Dawn and Sunset”, Henry Peach Robinson. It feels in a way like the timeline of life, from a newborn to an old man with a space in between to be filled by our imagination.
If you could spend a day with another photographer living or passed who would it be?
It would be Josef Sudek, on a quiet stroll around Prague in the time he lived. I would be perfectly content just to watch him work.
How do you over come a creative block ?
By taking a step back, breathe, and find out what is blocking me.
What do you hope the viewer takes from your images ?
I look for and work with images that I hope will convey the sense of beauty that is all around us.
Thank you Frang for sharing your work and words.
To learn more about Frang please visit his site at, Frang Dushaj Photography.
To learn more about Josef Sudek please visit, Harvard Press.
Thank you to the photographers that share their work with us.