8 aprilie 2017

„Viața și întâmplările...” și un interviu – în „LensWork Extended #129 Computer Edition”

http://shop.lenswork.com/LensWork-Extended-129-Computer-Edition-115-mb_p_1434.html

După ediția tipărită și cea pentru tabletă, a apărut și versiunea pentru computer a revistei LensWork, numărul 129 (mart.-apr. 2017). Aceasta conține o selecție de fotografii din proiectul meu „Viața și întâmplările din jurul podului de la Blejoi”, alături de un interviu de jumătate de oră cu subsemnatul, care a avut marea bucurie și onoare să dialogheze cu Brooks Jensen.

http://shop.lenswork.com/LensWork-Extended-129-Computer-Edition-115-mb_p_1434.html

29 martie 2017

#128 (memento despre Fotografie: Lumina, comunicarea, rostul)

Lumina aceea de atunci: cu Ea se fac fotografiile. Învăluie totul, e Vie, la propriu. Nu o percep(em) cu adevărat decât rar mare păcat. Doar amintirea.

Un miracol „banal” al Fotografiei: acela de a „arăta” pur și simplu, de a comunica. Oare de unde entuziasmul ce mă cuprinde la acest gând simplu?

Contrabalansând alienarea produsă astăzi de tehnologie, Fotografia se opune înstrăinării lumii de propriile rosturi. Altfel nu are, însăși, rost.

28 martie 2017

„Haiku from Romania - An intuitive audiovisual composition to Andrei Baciu’s photography”

https://soundcloud.com/hubert-zemler/sets/haiku-from-romania-an


În perioada 8-16 aprilie 2016, la Wrocław (Polonia), Capitala Culturală Europeană în 2016, a avut loc ediția 30, jubiliară, a Festivalului Musica Polonica Nova, organizată într-o clădire iconică a orașului, Narodowe Forum Muzyki (Forumul Național al Muzicii), unul dintre cele mai noi și spectaculoase spații muzicale construite în Polonia ultimului an.

Lucrarea „Haiku din Romania” a fost comandată de Institutul Polonez al Muzicii şi Dansului cunoscuţilor compozitori și interpreți polonezi de muzică contemporană Tadeusz Wielecki (directorul prestigiosului Festival Internaţional de Muzică Contemporană „Toamna Varşoviană”, cea mai mare manifestare de gen din Europa Est-Centrală), Ryszard Latecki (vicepreşedintele Asociaţiei Poloneze de Muzică Contemporană), Szabolcs Esztenyi şi Hubert Zemler. Piesa reprezintă o incursiune în spaţiul minimalist al fotografiei poetice din ciclul „Winterly Haiku” de Andrei Baciu. „Poet al fotografiei”, el creează imagini extrem de subtile, cu un puternic mesaj poetic. Sunt surprinse pustietatea şi tăcerea, expresia şoaptei şi a mişcării minimale, vastitatea peisajului de iarnă şi strigătul păsărilor care conduce atenţia la „aici şi acum”. Fotografiile lui Andrei Baciu reprezintă sursa creatoare pentru partiturile de muzică contemporană ale lucrării mai sus menţionate.

https://soundcloud.com/hubert-zemler/sets/haiku-from-romania-an.

19 martie 2017

#127 (N. Steinhardt despre fotografiile lui Ansel Adams)

„Zürich, februarie [1980] În eleganta Stockerstrasse, la și mai eleganta galerie Stockeregg: expoziție de fotografii ale americanului Ansel Adams. Anunțurile spun că sunt cele mai scumpe din lume.

Oricum, sunt dintre cele mai frumoase făcute vreodată de mână de om. Adams a început să fotografieze în primii ani ai deceniului 1930. L-au atras îndeosebi peisajele din Yosemite Valley și Sierra Nevada. Tehnician expert, e creatorul unei metode noi de expunere și developare cunoscută sub numele Sistem Zonă. A publicat mai multe volume consacrate artei fotografice.

Bucățile expuse justifică elogiile, uneori hiperbolice, ale comentatorilor. Un eclaraj special pune în valoare și evidențiază nemaiîntâlnita lor stranie putere fascinatoare. Nu sunt fotografii în înțelesul obișnuit al termenului. Sunt niște viziuni, niște fantasmagorii, par a fi fost luate din farfurii zburătoare, sunt în domeniul lor ceea ce sunt poemele lui Lautréamont în cadrul literaturii. Nici microscopul electronic ori laserul nu cred să poată obține imagini mai neașteptate. Realitatea pare să fi fost înlocuită ori scăldată în cine știe ce misterioasă substanță păstrată în tainițele unui castel fermecat. Nu e o realitate transfigurată, e o realitate conformă altor sisteme vizuale, unor globi oculari altminteri alcătuiți. Aparatul fotografic va fi fost scufundat înainte de întrebuințare în acid lisergic ori într-un filtru magic. Sunt și nu sunt copaci, râuri, munți. E o pararealitate, deopotrivă felurită și depărtată de ce vedem pe cât e de felurit depărtat un tablou de Prassinos ori un roman de Julien Gracq de banalitatea spectacolului cotidian înregistrat de cortexul unui om de rând.

Când dispar efectele eclerajului special, fotografiile dobândesc alt chip, emit alte vibrații magnetice. Lumea lui A, lumea lui non-A. Materie, antimaterie. Nucleul izvoditor de energie și tremur nu s-a schimbat.

Plec uluit din galerie, într-atât, încât dau buzna în selecta cafenea vecină West-End și socotind cumpătarea drept zădărnicie, înlocuind chibzuiala prin nesăbuință comand o cafea-natur la ceașcă mare, un toast cu brânză cottage și o porție de plăcintă de mere!”

(N. Steinhardt, Escale în timp și spațiu, Polirom, 2010, pp. 79-80.)

3 martie 2017

„Viața și întâmplările...” ─ publicat în revista americană „LensWork”





Dragi prieteni, sunt foarte bucuros să vă anunț că imagini din proiectul „Viața și întâmplările din jurul podului de la Blejoi” au fost publicate în paginile prestigioasei reviste „LensWork” (nr. 129, mart.-apr. 2017), socotită de mulți, printre care și subsemnatul, cea mai bună publicație de fotografie artistică din lume.

Revista există în trei formate: tipărit (http://shop.lenswork.com/LensWork-129-Mar-Apr-2017_p_1432.html), pentru tabletă (http://shop.lenswork.com/LensWork-129-Tablet-Edition-22-mb_p_1433.html) și pentru computer (acesta din urmă va apărea la începutul lui aprilie și va conține 51 de fotografii din proiect și un interviu audio cu subsemnatul).

20 februarie 2017

„Andrei Baciu: Photogralysm, when photography and poetry meet and mix” ─ interviu pe 1x.com


„Andrei Baciu: Photogralysm, when photography and poetry meet and mix” ─ acesta este titlul interviului pe care subsemnatul a avut onoarea să-l acorde pentru unul dintre cele mai importante site-uri fotografice din lume, 1x.com. Vă invit cu drag să îl citiți!

Îl reproduc, pentru orice eventualitate, și mai jos.



While an art such as literature seeks, through words, the Word, Photography reveals the light within the Light: this is the premise of Andrei Baciu’s visual expression endeavours. Obsessively fascinated by the power with which the photographical art bears testimony that the world is ”good from the viewpoint of its purpose, beautiful as making, complex from the perspective of its existence and spiritual through its very materiality” (Horia Bernea, Romanian painter and thinker), Andrei does his best to acknowledge the assertion in the quote above.
 

Many thanks for taking the time to participate to this interview and answering my questions, Andrei!  To start, can you briefly tell us about yourself, your hobbies and other projects you are involved in?
Thank you too, very much, for your interest in my work, Marius! I feel honored by this interview.
I am born in 1983 and I live in Măgurele, Prahova county, Romania, working as a high-school literature teacher. I photograph mainly on a 100-kilometer radius, on the hilly surroundings of my natal village, where I keep discovering new subjects, including landscapes, people, bridges and horses.
One of the projects I am currently working on is an album about the greatest Romanian poet, Mihai Eminescu. Also, there is a fine art e-book, named ”In a Train Station. A Twelve-Step Meditation” and containing photos and text, which I have recently published on LiterNet.ro, one of the most important Romanian cultural sites.

Which are your most important experiences so far that have influenced your steps in photography?
I am not sure I can point out some distinct experiences, in the sense that everything that I live, photographically and extra-photographically, influences my photography, as it does my life. Yet, there is one moment I can evoke, that is one of my first trips, made actually close to my home, on the hill nearby. Down, in the village, in that November day, everything was covered in fog, but when I got to the top of the hill, I suddenly found myself above this vapourous blanket that covered everything. Only the sun was to be seen, bathing the whole scenery in its golden light. I will never forget this. :)

What first attracted you to photography and why? What photography genre do you prefer?
As a philologist, I feel somewhat disappointed in words. Or, more precisely, not in words as such, but in the way they are currently used. We ignore their profound, divine meaning and power and contaminate them all too often with our mundane paradigms and interests. On the other hand, photography is a lot purer and calls things by their true(er) name, in the sense that it has the ability – as amazing, as it is gentle – to help us perceive existence at a deeper, cleaner level. As God meant it to be, I dare say.
As for the preferred genres, I am open to most of them, since they all have the fascinating ability to reveal something about the world, both about the one perceivable with the physical eyes and about the one perceivable with the inner, spiritual eyes.

Can you please shortly describe your overall photographic vision? 
My view is that, as I wrote on my site, there is no border between photography and poetry. Photography is, just like poetry, full of lyricism. Somewhere, high up, they meet, they mix, they mingle. Photogralysm.

You are also an appreciated books author and you have a PhD in literature. How do photography and literature interact and complement each other for you and how did both influence your photographic vision?
In a mysterious, and yet so natural way, I think. The reason I am fascinated by photography is the same for literature: they both can whisper to us the greatest questions and answers of Life. The most important impact literature has had on my photography is that it has taught me to see beyond the empirical – to use it metaphorically in order to convey higher meanings, more precisely. This is (one of) the key(s), I am sure.

Two of your photographic projects fascinate me the most: “The Life and Happenings around Blejoi Bridge” and “Winterly Haiku”. Can you please tell us was the idea behind each of them and what got you so interested in these projects?
I think of ”The Life and Happenings around Blejoi Bridge” as an extended allegory on existence, I might say. The very fact that a bridge connects two different pieces of land, two different realms, is a symbol of the dual reality of life: the seen and the unseen.
Regarding ”Winterly Haiku”, maybe the most succinct way to characterize it would be that it is an exercise in silence. In the midst of our current busy, all too talkative lives, ”a photo may well fulfill its goal by simply suggesting that, be it from time to time, moving closer to the gentle fields of silence represents a higher wisdom”, as I wrote in the introduction of the project.
Regarding the latter part of your question, i. e. the starting of these projects, I can say they sort of came by themselves. All I did was to simply open myself to the experience of being there and, little by little, things became more and more coherent.

What is more important from your perspective: the mood, the story behind your images, the message transmitted, the composition or the technical perfection?
The emotion they convey. J Why? Because my fundamental endeavour is to pass on the emotion I myself felt when the moment that generated the photo had been gifted to me. 
Obviously, from another viewpoint, all the elements in the enumeration have their particular role. And they all have to play it right.

What is your relationship to the locations where you are shooting?
The more you love a person or a place, the more you know about them (since you allow them to be free, not burdening them with your own preconceptions, expectations and desires). The more you know about them, the better you can photograph them. I try to abide by this common sense principle.

What is the gear you prefer to use (e.g. camera, lenses, flash)?
I use my trusty old friend, a Canon 40D camera, with these three lenses: Canon 10-22 mm f/3.5-4.5 EF-S, Canon 24-105mm f/4L IS EF and Tamron SP 70-300mm f/4-5.6 Di VC USD.

Do you have specific techniques when shooting your photos you would like to share and recommend?
Sincerely put, I don’t. The technique is only the inherent tool that serves as a means of expressing emotions and ideas. So, when these are clarified in the photographer’s mind and heart, the adequate technique should naturally, instinctually, come to mind.

Can you please generally describe your workflow (e.g. editing, post-processing)?
I open my raw files in Canon’s Digital Photo Professional and, after a few general adjustments, I import the resulted file in Photoshop. Here, I finalize the general adjustments and go on with the local ones, using various tools, including masks and Nik Efex Viveza. Actually, I use most of the excellent Nik Efex plug-ins, mainly Viveza and Silver Efex. Generally, I spend about 90 minutes with the processing of a single photo and,  for a long time, I’ve had the impression that this time is required by my various adjustments. Actually, I use most of this time in order to connect with the image and to understand it at the deepest level as possible. It is only when I understand its inner workings that I can do the appropriate adjustments.

What is your most important advice for the beginners in photography and what is the minimal equipment set you would recommend?
I too consider myself a beginner. And I try to keep it that way, because I am only an amateur photographer. I strive to be, at least, in the etymological sense of the word ”amateur”, which, as we know, comes from the Latin ”to love”. Photography is, indeed, a way of being, of understanding the exterior world and myself. More than anything, photography is, really, a blessing and (I like to think that) I give my best to live up to it.
So, these being said, as far as I can give advice to anyone, be they photographers or not, my word of advice is to always be an amateur, in the sense outlined above. It is where all of it starts – honestly.
As to the minimal equipment, nowadays, when photographic technique has progressed so much, I would say that any camera with any lens is just perfect to enter this fantastic realm of photography. The not-so-obscure-trick, yet, is to keep it simple and not to forget that the equipment is just a tool.

Who are your favorite photographers and, more importantly, how their work influenced your own work? Is there any specific photo would you like to mention that has inspired you and why?
I have many-many (many!) favourite photographers, both classic and contemporary. The first that comes to mind is André Kertész. Most of his photos inspire me. Why? Well, maybe because it is what great art does – connects souls and permeates them with the ineffable Light.

What was the first image you had published on 1x? Can you remember the way you felt when it was published?
It was this, if I am not mistaken: https://1x.com/photo/18010. I was very glad to see it published, of course, especially that I hadn’t met a curated site before. An extraordinary idea indeed, so much the more that today billions and billions of pictures flood us from everywhere.

Usually the photographers have their own favorite piece of work, part of their portfolio. Can you please shortly present your favorite photo and explain why it is special to you?
I must say that all my photos are my favorites, so to speak, each in its own way, since they all originate in a deep emotion that made me press the shutter. Yet, for the sake of the game, I will pick one of them, namely a photo from “The Life and Happenings around Blejoi Bridge” series: https://1x.com/photo/1241424/.
One of the most intense experiences I lived - not only from this series, but also from my whole (photographer) life -, took place the very first time I went photographing the bridge. I had been there for no more than 25 minutes, when, on the road beneath the railroad bridge, an old man appeared, with his cane. Almost simultaneously, more and more black birds - crows, to be more exact - started showing up. At a certain point, the old man turned away from me, facing the fog in the distance, as if ready to disappear into it. That precise moment, the sky literally filled with birds. The epiphanic convergence of all these elements, alongside the setting itself, simply overwhelmed me. What had been initially a prosaic scene transformed, for just a second, into a profound allegory (of life itself, if you ask me), which I was not only witnessing, but, at a deeper level, I was really living, with all my being. (That was also the moment I knew that the general approach of my project had to be a symbolical one.)

Andrei, we are about to conclude our interview and here is my final question: are there any specific directions that you would like to take your photography in the future or any specific goals that you wish to achieve?
I am always reluctant when asked this question J. I don’t like to talk about my goals, and this not in order to affect preciousness, but simply because, you know, our plans prove often times more difficult to complete than expected and, once you build up a certain expectation from the audience, it is quite delicate and difficult to nullify it. Therefore, I prefer to discuss only what I have already (or almost) finished and to keep my ongoing projects to myself.
From another point of view, I do have a specific goal I wish to achieve – in the sense I referenced above, to remain an amateur photographer. For good.