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Artist of the Week – Dobrin Stanev

January 26, 2011 by · No comments

Interview by Yana Radilova with the photographer Dobrin Stanev

Dobrin Stanev: “There is something magical in the living experience and the dance between a photographer and a model.”


How did you become interested in photography?

At my prom. I had the most basic film camera and I took a picture of the most beautiful girl. It happened just like that I raised the camera and snapped. When I saw this picture a few days later at the studio I really liked it and decided to take up photography.

What kind of photos do you prefer to take?

Nothing can be compared to portraiture. There is something magical in the living experience and the dance between a photographer and a model. This however I found to be one of the most difficult genres. On second place I put travel photography because of the spirit of discovery.

Photo: Dobrin Stanev

What qualities are necessary for a professional photographer?

Patience. It takes time and effort and just a little bit of theory. If you happen to have one or two lucky shots that doesn’t mean that you’re there. When the good shots come naturally, without thinking much about lighting and composition, then you have made quite a progress.

Photo: Dobrin Stanev

You have travelled a lot. Which of the places you have seen were most inspiring?

Every place brings its own inspiration if you are open and let its magic embrace you. It doesn’t matter if you are walking down the canals of Stockholm or Venice, or if you are mingling with the crowd in a Moroccan bazaar. You have to be there and feel the uniqueness every particular place has to offer.

Photo: Dobrin Stanev

Do you think people without special talent may become good photographers, just possessing a suitable digital camera?

It is not the camera that takes the picture but the photographer. Good or at least decent equipment certainly can help but it is just a tool after all. The human factor is paramount. Unfortunately many people think that having a good camera would miraculously create great photographs. It won’t. I would like to quote the great landscape photographer Ansel Adams here:

“I have often thought that if photography were difficult in the true sense of the term — meaning that the creation of a simple photograph would entail as much time and effort as the production of a good watercolor or etching — there would be a vast improvement in total output. The sheer ease with which we can produce a superficial image often leads to creative disaster.”

Photo: Dobrin Stanev

Do you believe in the future of photography?

The photography of the future will be quite radical and conceptual. It will transcend the classical taking of pictures and even create its own artistic genre closer to painting but with all the possibilities the digital technologies have to offer. I however believe in the past of photography. Today photographers are trying to be original but all to often they discover what has been discovered ages ago. So it is good to know the old masters: Henri Cartier-Bresson, Ansel Adams, Dorothea Lang, Alfred Eisenstaedt, Herbert Bayer, Steve McCurry, the photographers of Magnum, Life, National Geographic.

Photo: Dobrin Stanev

What is the most important thing you have learned from photography?

Photography teaches you to see things. There are different nuances in everything and they keep changing all the time. A smile can change in a second. The smile you see now is not the same smile you saw a second ago. You always have to look for what Cartier-Bresson calls “the decisive moment”.

Photo: Dobrin Stanev

Do you edit your photos or you don`t use software in photography?

Sometimes I do edit my photos but only slightly. I am not much of an expert on editing software. The editing is much easier to be made by the photographer before taking the shot then afterwards on the computer.

St Andrews
Photo: Dobrin Stanev

Give some advice to all readers of Public Republic!

Don’t give up if initially you don’t see great results in your work. It takes time and perseverance. You need that.

Photo: Dobrin Stanev

Dobrin Stanev is a postgraduate student at the University of St Andrews, Scotland. He has a BA degree in European Studies from the Sofia University.
He has studied photography with Zdravko Dekov and it became a favourite hobby of his. He has won third prize in a photo competition, organised by the Faculty of Journalism and Mass Communication at my University and has taken part in three exhibitions. Traveling inspires him to see the diversity of the world and is such an enriching experience for him.

Apart from that he is the editor of the e-journal “EuroFocus” at . You can visit his blog:

Photo: Dobrin Stanev

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