Welcome to the 2nd instalment of “Focus On”, a new series of posts where I focus on (pardon the pun) the work of other photographers. In this series I share my thoughts about their art, and interview them so that they can provide context and background.
This time I’m very pleased to focus on Roman Drits, a wonderful photographer whose work I fell in love with on NFT platform HIC, prompting me to delve deeper into his portfolio. I was amazed at the depth and quality of his work, prompting me to write this instalment.
Originally from Riga in Latvia, and now operating from Hamburg, Roman brings an international perspective to his work. Let’s explore his efforts below:
Welcome to a new series of posts where I focus on (pardon the pun) the work of other photographers. In this series I share my thoughts about their art, and interview them so that they can provide context and background.
This seems like a nice way to contribute to the photography community, and not just endlessly highlight my own work.
So, I’m delighted to start this series with Gabriel Dean Roberts, whose work I discovered recently on Twitter.
Gabriel, hailing from New York City, is an active participant in the NFT revolution that is currently transforming many photographer’s lives. The NFT scene is full of flashy, animated and digitally enhanced work, so Gabriel’s work stood out for me due to a more classical approach.
Back in the early 1990s I lived in Amsterdam, (yes, I’m that old), and was friends with a very skilled and talented painter called Theo Wittering. He doesn’t have much of an online presence now, but back then his work was regularly bought by major collections.
I visited his atelier many times, and was always struck by the power of some of his darker pieces. There was one painting specifically which was very striking indeed, featuring a dramatic skull and other moody imagery. It was great to see it gradually evolve on subsequent visits, until one day, I came to visit to find it replaced with a painting of peony roses …
I asked him what had happened to the skull painting. He pointed at the roses and said, “Oh I painted over it. I prefer the roses.” I was taken aback. Roses? Really? Where is the excitement in that?
They are among us …
Robots, doppelgangers, homunculi’s, golems, Frankenstein’s monster, changelings … these are all manifestations of people’s subconscious preoccupation with imposters. Some are benign, others not so much. Read More
This is not a seascape. It may look like one, but it really isn’t. For a while I had no idea what it actually was, and I didn’t care because it was a blurry mess. So I discarded it, like I discard a very large portion of the shots I take. Sometimes because I missed focus, sometimes because they are blurred, sometimes because they are badly exposed, and sometimes simply because they are bad photos. But here’s the thing; occasionally it’s not the photo that is “wrong”, it’s me. I just didn’t see through the initial impression it gave me to see its true value underneath.
Red is by far my favourite colour. Unsurprisingly, it pops up all time in my photos, and I suspect it always will. Check out my portfolios, especially the MISC series, to see numerous examples.
Interestingly, having shot a lot of red subjects on film, it has become clear to me that film stock is incredibly important when it comes to capturing red. A rather unsurprising statement, as film stock is probably the most important choice wrt to the general “look” of one’s photos. Not only does stock matter, it also matter how you expose it. Some emulsions change how they render red when you over or under expose it, or just shoot it at box speed. It’s one way of manipulating the final outcome. All good fun, but the quest for the “perfect red” remains active for me. Kodak Ektar often comes close, but it’s not a very forgiving film. Slide film like Fuji’s Velvia 50 can be great but is very restrictive. Kodak Portra 800 seems very good, but it’s expensive. Read More
When I was a boy growing up in the eighties I often went exploring in the woods on the edge of my home town in the Netherlands. In those days it was normal for relatively young children to go out and explore, unsupervised by adults. I was simply told “Be back before dinner!” It’s something we lost I think; the freedom to discover the world on our own terms. Read More