Photo

In my pre-stroke times (notably my 20-s), I was a passionate amateur photographer! This activity was also abruptly interrupted by the stroke(s) that devastated me. Sure enough, I continued to experience the world around me even more intensely, and the urge to visually conjure up & express everything I would experience, led me to my haiku phase (haiku/senryu is actually a miniature fractal image of a manifest universe, reflected in certain detail of this universe, but pictured in words, so to say – in nD), offering the opportunity to visualize the particular detail in all dimensions one is capable to sense! My prior experience with the 2D expression (photography) and this new one, in nD (poetry, in my case specifically – haiku, due to it’s brevity) merged in my flirt with haiga!... Since my last pre-stroke job included (computerized) postprocessing of all kinds of digital images (including photo-manipulation), I felt stable on this ground. Having harnessed my PC, I picked some (mostly b/w) photos of a friend (we had plunged together into the magic world of photography, way back in our youth) that he had uploaded to a photo-site. I incorporated some of my spiritworks into the pics, at the same time manipulating them slightly and adding some colouring to them!... My haiku-trip lasted about a year, and with it’s extinction my haiga-experiments also quit!...

Early in the summer 2007 our old closet in the hall started to fall apart. It had to be replaced, but – with a smaller/handier one (due to the definite/ever growing lack of room in our apartment)! ‘What this has to do with photography?’ – you may ask!... Much!!! Leaving with kids for the vacation Lidija, my wife, announced that she intended to throw away/move to cellar many things from the old closet when they return. This included several boxes in which I stored my dated negatives, dia-slides even some b/w prints!... I decided that very instant (actually decided – had been thinking about it for long, long time before) to digitalize and store/backup my photo-history on a HDD/DVDs, as much as possible! I quickly got a modest flatbed A4 scanner and taught (first my mom, later all other familymembers) how to put photos in it! (Unfortunately, it is not suitable for transparencies.) About the same time a good friend of mine encouraged me to activate myself on a cool photo-site – www.fotozine.org. Up to then I would usually just briefly/superficially browse such sites, yet the openheartedness and warmth of this site’s inhabitants made me stay, sign in and observe the old & fresh photos more deeply, even comment on them (drnda.fotozine.org)! Soon I realized that my own photos are not too bad either, so I started to publish my scanned analogue prints (some 20-25 yrs old) (albums prefixed “retro_” contain this old photos from my forelife)! This cyber-socializing intensified – moreover, a little party of fellow fotozinesters closer to me surprized me in the beginning of January 2008 with the 1st phase of the even bigger surprise: the friend that had talked me into all this, (Silvija), lent me her camera (digital, compact one), which has an USB interface to PC:
A fellow fotozinester (Robert) mounted the camera onto a table tripod, connected to my PC, installed the camera's remote-controlling program , and it worked! I was able to take photos again!!! :-}
My first photo, taken few moments after this test installation of the basic photo-drnda:





Couple of days later, yet another friend, “the boss” fotozinster (Janko) payed me a visit – his camera (all settings by him, clicking by my mom) recorded the 2 of us, but also this 1st, test photo-drnda:



As we assured ourselves that this system works, a couple of months later, around Easter, Gaca (the friend whose photos I had drnded into haigas some years earlier) presented me with a “resident” camera - (the same as the previous one!), but also with a remotely controllable (2 axes, via USB!) pan/tilt stand for it! (trackerpod, actually meant for video-surveillance/webcam steering):

Gaca’s photo of me operating this new photo-drnda::

foto-drnda

Wow, what an advance of the abilities for my photo-work!!! :-} Subsequently we cleared the cable-knot surrounding my PC (so-called n.1 cable-surround! ;-} ) in order to make it more convenient for the assistants-in-charge to move the photo-drnda where I wish (of course – in cca. 5m perimeter around the PC-case; the result thereof is visible in my fotozine-album „meta_my room with some views“ also, on deviantart and facebook)!

About the same time as I got this magic equipment, a movie caugt my attention and i was strongly influenced by it - 'Smoke'! More precisely, by one of it's characters, Auggie Wren. In it he comes every day at the same time out of his tobacco-store and takes a photo of his corner with his camera seated always on the same spot. Same time, same spot, no matter what! Then he stores those photos in albums, has piles of them - thousands of the same scene-photos! This was his lifetime project (and he is no photographer at all)!... At the first, superficial glance those photos all look boringly similar to each other, since the scene doesn't change (buildings, streets...). Yet, if you slow down, you notice there's life going on in these seemingly dull surroundings! Always different people, weather - no two pics are same!...


Adopting such mind-frame, i started immediately to take photos of (almost) all people who rubbed (more or less intensely) my space-time continuum and who happened to find themselves, on the occasion of visiting me, in front of my camera. Generally, the visitors would be conscious of the camera (considering the USB cables and the green led of the camera's autofocus system), but very soon everybody would neglect it's presence since nobody holds it or points it to anybody, the atmosphere is more relaxed... Also, everybody understands that they got to do with a cyborg, so one more cable in the bunch and one more weird drnda around don't excite anyone!... And the best yet comes: the camera's controlling window offers the shutter-clicking via a button/function key. There's yet another window on the screen, controlling the pan/tilt drnda. Although this all is a quantum jump for me, i still frame only approximately! While trying to hit the clicking ('Release') button, I don't see at all what's in the 'viewfinder' since my eyes are focused on this button/stand-steering buttons. Plus, I don't want rudely stare at the screen (instead looking straight into my guest's eyes), so my clicking/framing adventures are very brief, relying upon my peripheral sight which catches only approximate main outlines of the would-be picture. When we add to this that the actual clicking is somewhat delayed after clicking the 'Release' button, it is obvious that in fact I take „blind“ photos i.e. when catching „accidental“ portraits! (Which is a good exsercise for improving my anticipatory+intuitive skills, necessary for my everyday functioning)...

I compiled those spontaneous portraits into a loosely organised project ('By-bed 3D Tangents'), which can be seen on fotozine (completely) and, to an extent, on deviantart & facebook. (also, there's a short slideshowed compilation):

 

Simultaneously, another, more clearly organized project was put up -'Time out'. The theme is very close to 'The By-bed 3D Tangents', only - it's about the flowers those visitors brought to me - the extension/prolongation of their good vibes. (Their primary purpose is not to serve as 'photo-models'!...)
Again, visible at 3 standard locations: fotozine, facebook & deviantart, and as a slideshow of selected items:

After moving to Novi Jelkovec, sequels were developed to some projects: 'Timeout 2' (fotozine, facebook, deviantart), and 'N.Y. By-bed 3 Tangents' (featuring the same armchair for visitors) - again: fotozine (incomplete+discontinued), facebook (mostly up-to-date -> album1 + album2), deviantart

In addition to those still open projects, a new one came to being, probably more attractive than it's predecessors, so i present it separately, with somewhat more detailed description+gallery: 'Caverna Magica'!