Interview with Fine Art photographer Mindaugas Gabrenas

Interview with Fine Art photographer Mindaugas Gabrenas


How and when did you became interested in photography?

My background has nothing to do with photography but I was always attracted by art in general. In Lithuania we have an old enough and specifically strong school of photography, so it was always somewhere near by me. But the practical interest of photography I have found late enough – some ten years ago, when I was living in Spain. I was inspired by local art galleries and art ferries and taught myself by visiting exhibitions, reading books and magazines. And of course, by trying to make the similar photos that impressed me and later on – by trying to find my own way.

Is there any artist/photographer who inspired your art?

Well, there are a lot of them.. I like Henry Cartier Bresson for immaculately caught moment, Daido Moriyama for the controversial contrast, Masao Yamamoto for graceful elegance, Michael Kenna for the soft composition, or Antanas Sutkus – for the emotions that all are in my veins.

Why do you work in black&white rather than colour?

I think the colour is very powerfull element in photography which notably affects overall picture. In spite the fact, that we all see in colour, I think the black&white photography permits us to go deeper into details, into the essence of the picture.
I’m impressed by the abundance of black&white tons and semitones, by the contrast and the film grain, which is particularly felt in black&white photography. So I prefer this kind of film for my landscape, cityscape or dreamscape series. Nevertheless, recently I started my experiments with the colour film, specifically using it with my homemade hybrid camera.

How much preparation do you put into taking a photograph/series of photographs?

It’s depends. For landscapes I normally use my Hasselblad 501CM camera with Ilford Delta 100 film and tripod. I very often use various filters, usually, neutral density filters, gradual filters and sometimes – homemade filters. I like long exposure shoots, so shutter release cable is a must. Before taking pictures I try to spend enough time in the area I have interest in, walking around and looking for the suitable angle. Sometimes I’m waiting for hours for any passer-by, if I need a silhouette or any figure in my composition.
Black and white negatives I develop at home by myself, mostly using Ilford developers and fixers.
Recently I constructed homemade medium format hybrid camera, using for it old Kodak Duaflex II and Kiev 88 cameras. I love these blurry shots, especially with colour film. I’m also realized that naturally grown mold on film gives you very interesting natural effects. So now I’m trying to understand how the mold affects film and how can I use it for my future experiments.

Where is your photography going? What projects would you like to accomplish?

I want to keep my meditation with long exposure landscape photography. At the same time I’d like further elaborate my hybrid camera and maybe to explore more attentively the imperfection made by natural mold of film.

Website: www.gabrenas.com

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© Mindaugas Gabrenas

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© Mindaugas Gabrenas

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