Trash The Lens

Journeys and photos

Minimalism

For a long time I've wanted to try my hand at minimalism in photography, but never quite got around to doing it. That's not a style that comes to me naturally, so it needed to be thought through beginning to end. I wanted to get as close to the final look in camera as I could and painting in a solid background was absolutely out of the question.

A recipe for this photo happened to be: an interesting, naturally standing out subject, a heavily overcast evening, a long exposure of around one minute to blow out just enough of the background, and an ND-grad to even out sky-to-water exposure (not completely, but close).

Hvitserkur Minimal

I'm quite pleased with this one, and this is a rare thing. (2015-06-05 Vatnsnes, Iceland)

Tokyo Bloodstream

Creative use of color is the one aspect of photography I can't quite wrap my head around. Whenever I try to color-grade a picture I end up with something that doesn't satisfy me. In all my attempts either the grading is too weak and looks like a poor job at color balancing, or so strong it bugs me as unnatural. On the other hand I don't mind pictures color-graded by others. And let's be honest: nowadays it's not the colorimetrically correct images that gain any degree of popularity.

Tokyo Bloodstream

The rush of Tokyo below, the dimmed lights and peace of an observation deck - a perfect evening. (2014-11-05 Tokyo, Japan)

Of Glass and Steel

Sometimes you come upon a building which, from the outside, looks nice and modern but isn't particularly standing out of its surroundings. Only after you've come inside you realize what an architectural masterpiece it is. One of such gems is the Tokyo International Forum building, of which I can't get enough of. I've already been there three times, and I hope I'll visit it again.

Entry is free, it's open till 11 p.m. or so, and when you come in the evening you can have the place almost to yourself. Just perfect.

Tokyo International Forum

Beam me up, Scotty! (2014-11-06 Tokyo, Japan)

Arachnophobia in Tokyo

What I love about Tokyo so much is that despite it being a mega-metropolis there is still enough room left for things that have no purpose at all. Like this giant sculpture of a spider by Mori Tower in Roppongi. Why did they put it there? Because they could. It's probably not much of an attraction for an average visitor, given how many people are averse to spiders, but it definitely makes the otherwise dull place more interesting.

This thing is huge, about 10m in height and according to wikipedia this is one of six bronze castings of the sculpture. Others are being exhibited in such notable places like Tate Modern and National Gallery of Canada.

Arachnophobia

It is supposed to hold 26 eggs inside its abdomen. I didn't count. (2014-11-07 Roppongi, Tokyo, Japan)

Along Lake Pukaki

This is a tough one. The RAWs have been sitting on my disk for a year and a half now and during this time I attempted processing them 2-3 times. It never worked. It had all sorts of problems: poor framing due to wrong lens choice (it was a 50mm, and I really should have gone for something longer), exposure issues (blue hour works fine for cities, not so much for landscapes) and simply put the general lack of this "magic" component that makes some photos special. Don't get me wrong, the view was stunning, it's just that I failed to make the best of it.

Some aggressive cropping and heavy processing later, here it is. I'm still not entirely satisfied with the outcome. It's got a nice symmetry between the light streaks and the shoreline in the bottom, it has interesting skies, but still no "magic"... Oh well, maybe next time.

Lake Pukaki

Despite my dissatisfaction with this photo, it fared quite well on some photo sharing sites, which just strengthens my opinion that the scores there aren't indicative of quality. (2014-02-18, Lake Pukaki, South Island, New Zealand)

The Drinking Troll

The sea-stack of Hvítserkur, which is said to be a troll turned to stone, was one of the spots I wanted to visit for a long time, and during my June 2015 trip to Iceland I finally managed to do so. I've always imagined it to be more tree-dimensional but as it turns out it's actually quite flat. More like a cardboard cutout of a troll than the real thing. Not that I've seen many trolls, apart from those working in public and governmental offices...

Had I wanted a spiffy, colorful photo, I should have driven there for the sunrise (2-3 a.m. or so...). But instead, I got there on an overcast evening with the tide coming in -- just about perfect for my Tempest-tossed Islands series

I don't expect this photo to win any popularity contests, but I'm quite fond of it. I guess I've always had a thing for diagonal compositions. (2015-06-05 Vatnsnes, Iceland)

Rorschach's Kirkjufellsfoss

If you look closely enough you can see a small waterfall there. This is the famous Kirkjufellsfoss, but seen from the side of the road instead of the typical view from up close, with Mt. Kirkjufell in the background. It might not be as striking, but at least it shows that the waterfall is really quite small... for Icelandic standards that is. While still cliché, this view has been slightly less photographed than the one from up close.

Rorschach's Kirkjufellsfoss

At first I dismissed this photo and threw it into my "rejects" folder, but somehow it grew on me. (2015-06-04 Kirkjufellsfoss, Iceland)

Lítla Dímun

I was approached by Qusay Al Ansari, a writer from Belgrade, about using the photo below for a cover of his book. Had it been a normal, commercial publishing house I would have asked for a normal, commercial price for it, or simply refused outright. But since it was a self published, "indie" title I decided to help out a fellow artist for free.

I understand how it may be perceived as "spoiling the market" by some, but for me it isn't. I do sell some of my photographs through stock sites, but those are the photos I consider to be of little value to me. On the other hand, there are the photos I showcase here, which are more of personal works (I avoid the term "artistic") and which I value on emotional, rather than monetary, scale.

Litla Dimun, Faroe Islands

I don't understand Serbian so I didn't read the book, but if you do, you can check out Velika Tajna on Smashwords. I hope it's good.

Icelandic cliché: Kirkjufellsfoss

Iceland is like a landscape photographer's Mecca. With the golden hour lasting literally several hours in the summer and a chance to see northern lights in the winter, it is a destination you must visit. The drawback is that this country has been photographed so many times, by so many skilled photographers, that you will be really struggling to create anything original there.

But in a place like this, sometimes, just sometimes, taking the cliché shot is also fine...

Icelandic cliché: Kirkjufellsfoss

My main idea behind coming there this summer was to continue my Tempest-tossed Islands series, but the weather gods played a trick on me (again...) sending down this perfect sunset. (2015-06-04, Kirkjufellsfoss, Iceland)

Fuji Sunrise

This was my second day in Kawaguchiko. I woke up before sunrise, looked out a window and this time it wasn't raining, so I quickly got on a bike and cycled to a spot I'd found before. Unfortunately, low clouds rolled in and hid Fuji completely. I even started packing up and going back to town, but the weather gods smiled down on me once more and sent a few stronger gusts that tore off the veil of clouds and let me see Fuji in all her beauty. And what a sight it was!

Fuji Sunrise

Premature abandonment of a photo-location is the root of all evil. Well, OK, maybe not all evil, but at least many missed opportunities. (2014-11-10 Kawaguchiko, Japan)