Category Archives: film

Silent Shadows, Faithless Night


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If you wonder what I’ve been working on lately, here are a few images from a new project I started based on the poetry of one of my favorite authors, Dimcho Debelyanov – a Bulgarian symbolist poet, intellectual and one of the most sensitive soldiers to lose his life in World War I. Unfortunately, very little of his exquisite works has been translated into English, so I can’t fully show you the depth and sensitivity of his verses and let you judge how they inspired the images above.

In a few words, his poetic dilemmas focused on the impossibility of reconciling reality with ideals. Which, for this projects,  metaphorically speaks of the impossibility of art to transparently represent ideas. I aim to use Debelyanov’s particular metaphors in images not to evoke your despair as viewers, which many people report as the effect of his poems, but to address this dilemma. Austin actor Greg Holt modeled for it. If you are local to DFW and would like to help me out by modeling, let me know! I promise the experience won’t be depressing as the poetry suggests. Continue reading

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“Pictures fade when you caress them”. Found Memories (2011)

If the first day of the year is auspicious about the rest of it, I’ll be watching photography-related movies all throughout 2013. But I bet you could’ve guessed that even if I didn’t watch a couple of them on January 1 🙂

One of them was the mesmerizing – in a quiet, subtle way – Brazilian film Found Memories (Julia Murat, 2011).  Just like eavesdropping on a conversation and slowly realizing it’s about you, I realized this story could be about me: raking through a past with a camera lens and trying to bring it back to life, when the camera can only capture what’s here and now. Full of metaphors and lightly paced, it’s delightful to watch and ponder on the interweaving connection between photography and life. Continue reading

Certo-phot in the field: what the camera gave back

So, if you’ve been curious to see what kind of pictures my vintage East German Certo-phot makes, here is a selection from my very first roll:

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The rundown:  Continue reading

A German Holga: Certo-phot camera and the pull of nostalgia

photo by camera-wiki

One of the bonuses of spending time in Bulgaria for me is the chance for old, interesting, quirky photo finds. That usually means old photos, but also – and especially – old cameras and curious photo equipment you rarely come across these days.

My latest acquisition is this Certo-Phot camera, produced by camera maker Certo in Dresden in what was East Germany. Now, the company itself was founded way back in 1902, but it almost fell apart in the wake of WWII, after which it became state-owned. Its history follows the twists and turns all German technological brands experienced as a result of the war: nationalization, patent restrictions and plundering, activity shifts or even splitting between East and West, which by the way gave us two Agfas for more than 40 years. Continue reading

The Edelweiss Camera: A Bulgarian Holga

A mention of an Edelweiss camera today would make people think of the newly released Diana+ Edelweiss. Ironically, an edelweiss is a small, white, sturdy, very rare alpine flower (see left). And the new Diana+  edition is just a reproduction of the original Diana+ ; the only difference is the look and the only connection to its name is the color.

But actually, the original Edelweiss camera was a Bulgarian medium format camera, Continue reading

My silver gelatin prints with photogram elements (Photo+Craft)

© Ellie Ivanova, Playing with the Strings of the Past (2010)

Lightbox Photographic Gallery in Astoria, OR, has made its name promoting film and traditional photographic methods as well as alternative processes. Its upcoming national juried show, Photo+Craft, focuses on works that have a strong conceptual voice balanced with a high level of craftsmanship. Two of my silver gelatin prints with photogram elements will be part of this exciting exhibition.

I realize I haven’t written here about this process that I started working on recently. Since I take exception to the concept of photography as a transparent representation of reality, these recent explorations have led me to ways in which photography tweaks and interprets the world instead of simply registering it. Continue reading

Recent Holgascapes