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Artist of the Week — Albena Markova

September 7, 2011 by · 4 comments

Interview of Violeta Petkova with Albena Markova
Translated by Yana Radilova

Albena Markova

Albena Markova: “Inspiration is love. Love to what you do, love to somebody, somebody’s love to you.”

You say that photography is a diagnosis. What were the “symptoms” which made you think it would come into your life and add new meaning to your existence?

The first serious “symptom” was realizing that I see world in frames. I always seek the frame, no matter what I do, even if I don’t have a camera at this moment.

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Eventually all other things gave way to photography. Nothing else can attract my attention so much.

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You regard photography as a method of communication. Would you tell us more about this conception? What kind of communication, unrealizable in other arts, does photography offer?

I’d like to cite – A picture is worth a thousand words.

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There is so much information in photography. Just one look is enough to be overwhelmed by a vortex of thoughts, feelings, questions and answers.

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If a shot can make you smile, laugh, sadden, cry, inspire, cheer up or contemplate, the photographer has done his job perfectly.

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In this sense, photography is the most direct kind of communication. It is the easiest and clearest way to convey a message or express yourself.

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What qualities are necessary for a photographer and a narrator of visual stories?

To be able to narrate, first of all you must be able to see, then to realize it and afterwards to “dress” it in your own visions of light, color, shapes, composition and accent.

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A good narrator, no matter in what kind of art, is remarkable for his unique sense of the surrounding world and for his matchless style of visualizing his concepts.

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If a photographer is easily recognized in a sea of photos, he has successfully got over mediocrity. If he grips with tale and inspiration, he is in the list of masters.

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What is your main source of ideas in photography?

Ideas, not only for photography but for anything else, are over there… In other dimensions which are no less real than the generally accepted.


I have my own vision of this. Just like our lungs, which are respiratory organs and don’t produce air, our brain is an organ, a perfect aerial which catches messages from thoughts, ideas, laws, principles. An individual should only set the necessary frequency.

Nothing originates in our brain; everything comes in a trained mind.

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What is inspiration? A technique which is developed in the course of time or a specific feeling, inherent in people?

Inspiration is love. Love to what you do, love to somebody, somebody’s love to you. Only love can open doors which transmit the touch of God.

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Where is the limit between photography and aesthetics in our daily life? Does individuality wander between reality and imagination?

The original aim of photography was to reflect the reality.

But do all people see and feel things in the same way? What if somebody’s eyes have a different structure? Does he see the same colors as the person next to him?

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Moreover, people with different levels of mind see different things, because man sees what he knows and what he has learned.

As Oscar Wilde has it, “Why do you claim people for being bad, look at their ugly towns.”

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I am certain that there is a magical connection between photography and the surrounding life.

What do I mean? If all photographers in a country shoot and express ugliness, poverty, misery, if they circulate unhappiness, this inevitably influences the egregore of the nation, creates ugly virtual towns and intensifies the unhappiness, troubles and misfortunes in life.

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On the other hand, a positive vital photography leads to raising the spirits and fills the egregore with more happiness. This is just an example.

My personal view, which is the basis of my art, is that beauty, mysticism and magic should be multiplied. If somebody has improved his day after looking my photos, I don’t need anything else because my mission has been successful.

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There is no reality and imagination – they merge into one another. They co-exist permanently. Once caught, a thought or a desire will come into view, sooner or later. “Up is down, down is up”. Visible and invisible world are a whole.


What have you learned from your contact with nature? Do you have preference towards landscape and marine photos?

Yes, I definitely prefer the landscape, or the so-called “outdoor” photography. So far I was reluctant to shoot people. Now I find it challenging to photograph people.

Snow Popcorns

I have had contact with nature since childhood. Fortunately, I didn’t spend my early life only on concrete and asphalt.

The Hunting House

The summertime wit my grandma and grandpa – our house was at the outskirts so we were near the field and the mountain, rolling in the ripe wheat (I couldn’t imagine there were snakes), weaving June flowers into garlands, picking wild strawberries on the nearest hills – these are experiences and memories, carved in my mind. Since then I have always wanted to be in nature and wished to turn back to a more careless life.

Winter Tales

Urban life tires me out and irritates me, so if I don’t go out to photograph, I stay at home – my friends know it well how difficult it is to take me to a café.

I have developed intolerance to all that madness in the streets.

Mountains, sea and field are my escape. They are at least a sip of real life.

Because people are a part of nature and anything else is unnatural and impelled, in contrast to our real essence. That’s the lesson I got after wandering so much.

What are your future plans and expectations in professional life?

I have recently concentrated on shooting people – something unusual for me. There is some charm in this genre and I want to reach the level of my landscape photography.

What about my expectations or dreams? Well, the Li River in China, Kashmir, Patagonia, New Zealand, the Polar Regions, Nepal, the Himalaya Mountains, Indonesia – these all are pictures I would like to reproduce.

However, I have no idea yet how to realize that. Such destinations require serious financial investments and sponsors – I don’t know how to find them.

“I have been photographing since 2006 – that automn there was such a variety of colours in the Rhodope Mountains – the most beautiful thing i had ever seen – so I almost forgot why I went there.

My heart left in this mountain and I keep returning to this place to find it.

For a couple of years photography pushed everything into the background. It`s a pity that I found it so late. I have always known that I can take photos, but I have been told that photography is only for select people.

Now photos are my only way of communicating with the world. All other activities seem senseless and a waste of time. Not that I don`t experience them but they pass like in a dream. I feel alive and complete only when I take photos and
achieve the final result.”

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