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I’m inspired by nature and unusual weather

September 29, 2008 by · 2 comments

Interview with Evgeni Dinev

“Happiness comes with attention to small things”
Wilhelm Busch

To me, photographer Evgeni Dinev is a happy person – an artist who, through his favorite passion, captures the beauty and the uniqueness of small things, rediscovers them and shows their charm and individuality.

How does photography provide a different view of the world?

Photography is a way to look at the world through the eyes of the person who has captured the moment. The street through which I walk every day could be the most banal part of my daily routine until one snapshot, which captures an aspect of it, wakes up memories or shows things that I have never closely examined.


How did your love of photography come about?

My love of photography is rooted in my childhood. I took photos with my father’s Zenit and then I developed the photos myself.

For the last three years, I have been more serious about it, and I realize that taking photos, while it may be considered a hobby, is definitely not trivial. In addition to a decent Single-Lens Reflex camera, you need lenses, which may exceed, by an order of magnitude, the cost of the camera body itself; you need a means to travel and a lot of time, which an amateur photographer may find difficult to make up for with the photos he’s made.

I share my travels in the form of photo essays in my blog, and the pictures that I especially like, I put in my photo gallery, Seen in My Camera, and on specialized photo forums.


Can photography be called an art, and why?

Anything could be turned into art, provided that it’s done with dedication and talent. Even if taking pictures is just an option on your cell phone, there will be somebody who turns it into art.

In the same way that not every painting is a masterpiece, so it is with photography, although to a lesser degree.

In one flash memory card, there could be space for thousands of snapshots, but that is not a guarantee that even one of them will be successful.

A photo is not made by the camera, but by the person behind it. The equipment is only an instrument, as the brush is for an artist, and instead of paint, we have light. The bar for dubbing a picture “art” is rather high.


What statement are you making with your photographs?

I like to take pictures of nature, especially in the more obscure places in the country [Bulgaria]. Around my town, there are many interesting places that rarely fall within the vision of a mainstream photographer.

Such are the areas around the lakes, the hills north towards Balkan Mountain, or south towards Strandzha, the gulfs towards Kraimorie, or the crumbly sand of the seashore beyond Sarafovo, where the photo of Cape Lahna can be seen when you call up Bulgaria in Google Earth. Usually these are hard to reach and not especially friendly places where nobody goes.

In Bulgaria, there are so many natural sights, which are an inexhaustible source of pictures for every season of the year. I don’t know if my life will be long enough to visit all the places that I have in mind.


Do you have favorite topics and themes?

I like to take photos where there is water – around the sea, dams, rivers… in the very early morning or before sunset, one can get good snapshots due to the light being rich with colors. I like leading lines, close-up objects… I think I will yet discover what my favorite themes are.

What are the situations or the images that inspire you?

I am inspired by nature and unusual weather. I frequently go to obscure places like protected areas, nature preserves, where in most cases, there is nothing interesting to take a picture of. I need to walk around a lot, especially when I am not familiar with the area, just to get to something interesting.

I always bring the entire set of lenses with me, and I avoid parting with the tripod. I try to get up very early in the morning, as difficult as that may be, and to set off with the car somewhere. During this time, the scenery is a lot different. A place that is completely uninteresting during the day could turn out indescribable before sunrise. It is more difficult to shoot during that time of day, but it’s worth the effort.


Will you continue to engage in photography?

Ever since I started taking pictures, my desire has only increased. I am stimulated also by the fact that many people call me because they want to use or to buy my photos for magazines, calendars, commercial sites, and others.

Where does Bulgaria rank in your list of subjects for your photos?

Bulgaria is number one on my list. I know it well. I have plans where, who and what to take a picture of. With great pleasure, I would go into the neighboring Balkan countries – Montenegro, Albania, Greece, Turkey, … if I had unlimited time and income. If that were the case, I couldn’t manage to visit all points of the world.

What do you dream of?

As for things of a technical nature that I could afford, I dream of a better camera, many high-quality lenses, and so on. When I stay closed up in my office and the weather outside is wonderful, I dream of leaving everything and going to take pictures in Rodopi Mountain. Still, this is in the realm of possibility, so that someday, if I start making my living with only photography, this could turn into a reality.

In the realm of impossible things, I dream of going to the most distant places on the planet, as in “Travels to the Edge with Art Wolfe.” For example, I would go see Tanzania, Kamchatka, Alaska, Patagonia, the southmost islands in the Pacific Ocean. I would go visit all these interesting places that they show on National Geographic and The Discovery Channel.

Evgeny Dinev was born on June 7, 1976 in Bourgas, Bulgaria. He graduated with a Master’s degree in Systems Management, College of Automation, Technical University – Sofia. He lives in Bourgas and has two children. He works as a freelance web designer and photography is his hobby. He likes to read everything from Dostoevsky to Stephen King, his favorite authors are too many to mention. Evgeny prefers rock music, especially the groups that lean toward progressive rock. From the newest newer bands, he likes The Feeling, Interpol, Kings of Leon, Maximo Park, and many others. He is a big fan of classical music – Shostakovich, Prokofiev, Stravinsky are his favorites. As for artists and photographers, he has difficulty naming names. On photo forums, he has many favorite photographers whose work he follows and from whom he learns and receives inspiration.

Photos: Evgeni Dinev

Interview conducted by Natalia Nikolaeva
Translated from Bulgarian by Katerina Stoykova-Klemer

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