I’m proud to present one of my blogger friends’ efforts here and invite you to see some awesome work by Belgrade Streets photography. I invited Andy to answer a few questions about his work that I have been following on his blog. I found it hard to pick my favorite photo on his blog so here is a couple I have chosen that I think sums up Belgrade Streets so well. A fresh, personal view of the city that is completely honest, and confounding to much of Serbia’s reputation. Great to see photographers, under their own motivation, creating their own work under their own voice, and finding ways to get it seen on their terms. I’m looking forward to seeing more from this photographer. Here is 10 @ 10 with Andy.
What inspired you to become a photographer and why did you choose Belgrade streets?
Photography has been a lifelong passion!
I received my first camera, a Kodak Instamatic, as a young child, one Christmas. I remember how thrilling it was to wait to see the prints after they had been developed days later!
“belgradestreets” began in part as a response to a challenge thrown down by a friend. It became a way to record my changing feelings for a complicated city and the people who live and work here.
Photography has become an important part of my life.
What is it about Belgrade that you are focusing on?
The people, their lives, the grit and raw beauty of a city, a country, a people in transition. I’m trying to record my perspective of a city which bears the scars of its recent history with pride, one with a unique vibrancy which touches all those who visit.
Why street photography?
I love to capture life as it is, capture a moment in time. I try to capture people and places as they are, try not to “dress them up”. I like my images to be “real”, sometimes blunt and uncompromising. I’d like the person seeing them to have some idea of the feeling the subject aroused in me.
And how does this reflect Belgrade/Serbia/Serbs?
I hope that my blog, and book, paint a different, a fair, picture of Belgrade, Serbia and the people who live and work here. When I was planning to move here from Sydney, it was very hard to find information about the city, and what I could find back then was not entirely encouraging.
Things are changing now as more and more people discover the city and its people.
I’d like to think that in some way I have contributed to that discovery.
And the city and its people have captured my heart.
What are your favourite locations for shooting?
For me, it’s not so much the location. It’s the details that I see when out on the streets. The beauty behind the crumbling facade. The glimpse of the courtyard hidden away behind the gate or doorway. The expression of the person looking out from the bus. I love the hidden away streets, the clutter and anarchy which contrasts so much with the branded “identikit” streets we now see across the globe. On “belgradestreets” you really do know where you are.
Who are the photographers that influence and inspire you? What motivates you to keep going?
I admire so many photographers. However cliched it may be, I do love the work of Ansel Adams and Henri Cartier-Bresson.
And now, through blogging and apps such as Instagram, it’s possible to find a huge, previously untapped range of images from ordinary people across the globe. My feeling is the way in which photography has opened up in this way brings richness and depth and a new and constant challenge to those who take their photography seriously.
I love to express myself through photography. My work on “belgradestreets” has become a personal journal and has built connections with people across the world.
For me, the big question is what next?
What are you hoping to reveal through your pictures?
That’s very simple. Life on “belgradestreets” as it is today.
How long are you planning to stay in Belgrade?
I came here on a two year contract. That has now been extended. Many people I know came here and stayed a lot longer than they planned.
The city, its people, make thinking about leaving difficult.
So, we shall see!
Tell us about your photographic equipment – what cameras do you use and how it helps you.
I’m lucky to own a Nikon D700 and a range of Nikon lenses accumulated over the last decade or so. For “belgradestreets” I often leave a 50mm f1.4 lens screwed on the front, it’s light, flexible, works in any kind of light and lets me use very tight depth of field to bring out the details which have become a big part of my work.
I use my iPhone every day. My “belgradestreets” feed on instagram runs in parallel with my blog and features many shots grabbed when the moment presents itself. Often those shots will end up on my blog or inspire a new post.
And finally, show us one of your favourite shots and tell us a bit about it.
This shot from a recent post says a lot about life on “belgradestreets”.
The words capture many people’s feeling for a city that surprises and delights.
Hope for the future is strong on “belgradestreets”.
Check out more pf my interviews here.