“Do you think this place will work for us?”

"I don't know man, I hope so."

I was on a rooftop with Miguel, a good friend of mine. We were scouting a place where we will tomorrow shoot new promo for a band Alfonz Mergell which he's a member of.

I had very little idea what I want, I had some bits&pieces of a vision:

-rooftop

- visual layers

-blue hour

-candles

and some smoke and mirrors  (No pun intended)

About the actual process:

The ambient light was a big pillar of planning. I wanted a blue hour (unfortunately it's not really an hour, more like "ten minutes after the sunset when the ambient mix so nicely with artificial lights")

So we started to build a set about three hours in advance with little to no idea how the actual picture will look like.

I did my homework-I had some notion about the framing so I set up a camera on a tripod and used one of the underestimated (by me at least) feature of X-T1:

The remote wifi control.

Walking on a scene with an iPad and adjusting all the elements in the frame

while getting a real time liveview through the air? It spoils you VERY fast.

Everything else was just about fidling with different props and hoping it will not rain :)

I noticed there's always "the moment" in creative process for me. The thrilling one. When it's too far to the finished product and I'm freaking out inside, full of doubts about the whole concept and even the reason.

When I want to say "to hell with everything" and go home to bed, humiliated by falling into creative gap again.

And then I take a deep breath, and remind myself that this really is not inventing a cure for cancer. 

I love how Gregory Heisler told that "it's like giving life to this little new thing that didn't exist before" 

I'm proud on this one. There's a lot of things I love here.

It looks like a superhero painting .

Do you guys like Star Wars?

..I asked them. "If you do, you will love this location"

I was nervous as fuck. They were super nice and down-to-earth guys, but still, members of one of my favourite bands and first big artists I've ever point camera at.

Dom and David from great south african group Goldfish.

But let's go back a year ago.

I was shooting this portrait of my good friend, sculptor Jan Dostal in his workspace. He's not just an insanely talented artist, but has some great taste for music as well. And there they were. Awesome beats mixed with real instruments in a great style.

I know very little about dance music, but I could not get the melody of "hold tight" from my head for next couple days.

In January, we had this crazy editing marathon of our Istanbul City Stories movie with ondrapenicka.com. It was our classic style- very little need to make sense and a huge amount of available energy.

We needed a matching music packed with positive vibe.

With little expectations of getting the answer I sent to Goldfish a mail about usage of their music.

Dom replied me after couple days.

Their music was the thing that helped us to put that crazy adventure movie together.

Last week I stumbled across the information that Goldfish will perform in Czech Republic in couple days.

With little expectations of getting the answer I sent them a mail with an offer for a portrait session.

I'm not in a point of career where I'm one of the photographers that would Rolling Stone magazine hire to shoot a portrait of Goldfish for the cover.

But I was in London at David Hobby's speech and I know that if I want to survive as an artist and live a great life, I must manufacture my own opportunities.

Dom replied me after couple days.

It was Thursday, one day before performance in Brno.

On Thursday evening I fucked up my ankle while learning some new things on my pennyboard. I spent rest of the night in pain and unable to walk properly.

The pain continued on friday morning, I was decided to cancel the photoshoot and stay home in bed. For once make a reasonable choice.

But that would not make any difference.

I grit my teeth, called Ondra and asked him if he could assist me on a shoot. Once he was in (he's always in. and awesome), I was set without a way back.

Doped myself with some painkillers, packed the XT1, one light with softbox and head to Brno with no certain information about time and location of shoot.

I didn't know what to expect, Dom and manager Nick were pretty nice in the emails we changed but still..what if they will be pissed off and the shoot will not happen or something?

I'm still fighting with low self esteem as an artist.

We arrived early on the location. It was a ridiculously cool new club called "Sono", Goldfish were the first performers ever in the club.

We spent couple hours waitin and scouting.

And then they were there.

Do you guys like star wars? If you do, you will love this location.

I was nervous as fuck. They were super nice and down-to-earth guys.

They were cool with me being on stage with them.

It was one of the coolest experience of my life.

It would  never happen if I haven't sent that mail.

If I haven't manufactured my opportunity.

 And if I haven't overcome the pain.

 

--------------------

 

Technical mambojabmbo: After around 30000 shots I'm getting to know and really love the new X-T1. I'm not a skilled event shooter and I haven't had a better idea on how to handle the quickly changing light scenarios than shooting with an 8fps burst all the time. Shot around 4000 photos in hour and half only using the 18-55 lens. Messy spray-and-pray- process, but it worked for me this time, I love the photos and love the camera. Processed them with VSCO presets.

 

DOGS.

This was one of the moments when I realised I really love dogs.

And shooting a portraits of dogs is something I wanted to do for a very long time not just because I want to have a project like this in my portfolio, but more importantly, with projects like this, I really truly believe in an importance of single photographs. And since we live in a world where we upload 208 300 photos on facebook every minute (!), it's nice and crucial to remind ourselves that single photos really still matters in some way. Because, although this topic is a big taboo for every dog owner, they will not be here forever unlike the photographs.

 

And I really love dogs.

So I'm shooting these portraits for free, so far for few friends, but I already know that portraying dogs will be in my life for upcoming years.

 

 

       

(Derek from Ricky Gervais is a great show you shouldn't miss if the hashtag #kindnessismagic speaks to you)

I want to elevate this project little higher to actually do some good in world, so I would love to connect and work with some dog shelter or charity or something, so if there's anyone with idea or any organisation reading this, I would love to connect and work some kindness with you! :)

Kindness is magic. Derek is a great show.

 

And I really love dogs.

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