In order to explain this project I decided, instead of telling you a sorrowful story behind it, to just post the series of photographs including project’s description, as it is. I wrote this short intro a while ago (see below ) when I was making a photo book. Well, book is a strong word for it but it’s my first one and I’m so happy it’s printed, so for me it is indeed a photo book. In addition to edition of only 6 ex I also handmade a limited edition book that I saw myself and filled with gelatin silver prints. Now this photo book is in private collection in Sweden.
For about half a year ago I submitted 10 photographs from this series to LensCulture’s Magnum Photography Awards 2016. The project is rather weak yet, so it was interesting and very important for me to get a review (which was included in the application as a bonus). I was extremely happy to receive so many words of empathy and understanding! A person, who never met me and doesn’t really know the story behind the project, writes about the emotions I wanted to show, basing it only on my short description and 10 frames. There is nothing better than your work being understood. It gives energy and motivation to continue creating these emotions.
I’d like to show you some photographs including the intro so you can feel the project and make your own mind about it. Next time you’ll read about the struggles of starting this project, and how photography helped me.
After multiple attempts of trying to write about “Sublimis” project in short, I understood that it’s not possible. This should be rather a story around it, not a project description that’s going to be on the portfolio page. So I decided to divide the project “story” into separate parts, which is fair since no project consists of just one continuous tell. Every project, not just in art, has an idea, history, tools, special tricks, involved people, places, organization, realization, problems, raw material, result… wait, result of what exactly? well, maybe of the first step… In my case, projects only get started, and since they are not tied to any specific place or event, they tend to run slow. In a way the idea doesn’t get fulfilled and right now I don’t see there is a finish line. Yet…
I was wondering what to divide “Sublimis” story into, it’s so ancient. I think it’d be good to tell you about the trip to Scotland, about my feelings, and show you some photographs. Let it be the intro to what has inspired me to start a project about nature. By now I have visited Scotland several times but most of my good shots were taken during my first trip. That trip I probably had the most effective outcome, i.e. I selected 7 out of 10 analogue frames for my portfolio, which is rather a happy result for me :D (If interesting, I could show you the index cards of my films sometime).
I think the only rule a photographer should follow is taking lots of pictures. Well, I was so afraid of turning my favorite hobby into a job, I didn’t even realize how I just gave it all up. I kept my precious hobby for myself. Damn it! Why didn’t anyone tell me that was stupid?! Of course, a lot of things changed when I moved to Sweden seven years ago. In St:Petersburg, Russia, I was surrounded by plenty of friends photographers. So no matter how much I wept, I had to find new friends in this new environment, but I was afraid of not getting there! Well, I’m still afraid I guess :) There’s this phrase that helps me to sometimes overcome my hesitations – “Courage is not the absence of fear but a decision of going forward in spite of fear”. (There are different sorts of this particular quote, but this is how I remember it). I like to think that I’m brave. So… I’d rather pee my pants but at least I’d be doing that for photography.
One of my old friends often told me that I had to just take a camera in my hands and photograph. He was good at being afraid and doing things at the same time. Practice is your best skill level indicator! You might end up with bad photos first time, maybe even next time, but then you’ll know what are your weak points. You won’t know if you don’t try.
Courage is not the absence of fear but a decision of going forward in spite of fear