domenica 28 novembre 2010

The Art of Photography: “make the familiar strange, and the strange familiar”

Has it ever happened to you to watch something strange and feel it immediately familiar?
This is what happened to me, while searching on, when I discovered the “golden Buddha” image.
I felt immediately at home, even if I didn’t know where the pictures had been snapped, and who was the Photographer.
I felt that the picture had a story to tell: watch the long Buddha’s ears! 
They suggest the art of listening…
Listening and creating a deep contact with other people, but most of all, listening our own inner voice.
The picture also talks about silence, patience, peace.

So, I decided to write to the author of the picture, to know the story behind the image: Natalia Robert.
A graphic designer, with the passion for architecture and photography.
She’s living in San Diego, but she has been travelling throught United States, Europe and Asia.
You can find more pictures on her Etsy shop: Fullcircleimages.
She accepted kindly to answer to my three questions about her artistic path and the story of the “golden Buddha” image! Enjoy!

Tell us about your creativity path and why did you choose the art of photography?

Photography actually seemed to choose me. When I was 16 I went on a family vacation. Right before the trip, my parents gave me an old Mamiya camera that had been theirs. It was my first “real” camera, and I fell in love with it! When it came time to choose a university, I decided to go into architecture so that I would have a more stable degree, but wanted to keep doing photography also since it was my passion. The school I went to encouraged all artforms and had 6 or 7 darkrooms that were available to students, so I learned the basics of a darkroom and began exploring. I’d spend entire nights in the darkrooms, and soon it became my escape from the stress of classes. With the exception of one basic beginner’s course, I have been completely self-taught in photography and continue to learn. I love exploring, and the challenge of trying to capture the essence of a place or person in a photo is what keeps me going to this day. A professor once taught me that one needs to “make the familiar strange, and the strange familiar.” Those words of advice have since become the foundation for my journeys with photography.

Can you tell us the story behind the beautiful image "the golden buddha"?
This photo was taken in 2007 in Bangkok, Thailand. I was there with family and had agreed to take a city tour (I normally prefer to roam a city without a guide). The highlight of the tour for me was a stop in a small neighborhood temple. It was crowded, it was cramped, and it was completely alive. You could smell the incense in the air just as strongly as you could hear the motorcycles zooming by. Once you entered the temple there was a sort of peace, and you almost forgot about the craziness outside those doors. There were several Buddha statues inside, and this one was off to one side and had been beautifully adorned with flowers by worshippers. The pink flowers stood out on the gold statue body and I couldn’t resist snapping a few photos before having to rush onto the next stop.

Why have you chosen Etsy to show and sell your pictures?

I heard about Etsy a couple of years ago from a friend, but hadn’t seriously considered it for my photos until this year. I tried doing some street fairs and local markets, but found that it was a lot of work and expense for very little return. I decided to give online shops a try. Aside from having great rates for listing and commissions, Etsy has a great community that you don’t find in most online markets. I loved that it was true to its goal of selling handmade or antique objects. I also loved that there was an enormous amount of support for the sellers. Etsy’s helped me connect with artists and art lovers in different corners of the world, and that’s something I could never do with a brick and mortar shop or by working at local street fairs. To this day, Etsy is still a great support system for me as I expand my shop.

I thank again Natalia for her kindness, and I hope you people will love this picture as I do!

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