Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Night meditations, testing, photography love. Hakaniemi/Helsinki

PHOTOS AND ARTICLE BY MONIKA CSAPO





I have been away for a while now. Sometimes it is better to stop and think a bit than just shoot all the time- at least I like to progress this way. Some days ago I finally got two new ND filters (Hoya ND4 and Hoya ND8). Before that I have been reading reviews about ND filters and ND grads for almost two weeks. I do not enjoy to read reviews at all- especially because too many choices have always caused me a headache but sometimes it is inevitable if you want to buy new gear and do not study photography at a photography school but by yourself.

Besides this I have been watching a lot of Finnish music videos (mostly those of Balansia Films) lately and I have to say that I am amazed by the creative possibilities what shooting a music video can offer. There is a lot to learn from it also as a photographer from analyzing camera angles through how to build a story line to studying color design.

But back to the NDs. Of course I could not stand not to try them the same day I bought them. I went to Hakaniemi in the evening when I finally had some free time and I found this spot by random in the harbor.

Although I am very tired now again but shortly I can summarize how it felt to be there and try the filters: it felt f. awesome!! I was so happy as I saw the pics because I realized the new creative possibilities what this technique brings with itself. I really liked the harbor with the boats after sunset and I plan to go back there to hunt down some details I sketched during my first visit.

The harbor was otherwise a very peaceful place to test the filters. There were some people walking their dogs but mostly they were far away. Only once some guys walked by and asked me what I am taking pics of. At the end also a very cute dog stopped next to me and did not leave until I petted him. That was a good closure of the night. I have been really happy since then because when I was testing I felt that it is worth to invest time, read and learn new techniques because it really opens up new creative possibilities. I already have my next plan what I wan to learn parallel to this technique but let`s keep that as a secret still for a little while.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Inspiring people: Gayathri Govind Indian classical dancer and coreographer

If I had to summarize how Gayathri is with one expression it would be professional attitude. It is something very interesting what I discovered lately through my artist friends: that although people associate art with some sort of sacred chaos most of the artists who are really devoted to their work are very focused and hard working.

I also had to realize through our meeting how different and still how the same we all are. It sounds like a cliché but it is true. It is so dangerous to move always only on the superficial level but when we start to talk and listen we will see our differences and recognize a much deeper similarity in the end. 

Meeting people always teaches us something if we listen properly.

I was hesitant about how deep I should go into the background info research then I decided to go more with the heart and include the parts which impressed me the most during and after our conversation. 
Can you understand Indian classical dance without knowing the story behind the dance properly? Can you understand a song written in a  foreign language? Yes, you can feel it and it is actually much more than knowing all the background info connected to it.


You can read about Gayathri`s professional career here  and watch the Society Tea commercial with her here.

This is a recap of our conversation and the lessons I learned through meeting Gayathri.


BEHIND EVERY SUCCESSFUL WOMAN THERE IS A LOVING DAD

We have talked about this many times with my girl friends how important role our Dads have played in our lives as a source of supporting energy. I really enjoyed the part in our conversation when Gayathri told about his Dad supporting her career as a professional dancer. Although he is not a dancer himself he has been always very supportive. He helped with ideas, went to every performance, brought her to classes. A great example for current and to be dads to follow!



IN ART SUCCESS HAS 3 KEY ELEMENTS

Success is not a miracle. Especially not in art. The three keywords to success are: product, platform and connections. And sometimes you have also other obligations not just being an artist no matter how much you love what you do. I can relate to this part a lot and I think we should talk much more about the background work which is behind an artistic product and not overmistify art and artists in general. In dance, music or photography you have to learn techniques, practice a lot, throw out half of the things you create, focus, simplify, evolve all the time.
Also platform and connections are very important. If you want to succeed and get a name you have to socialize, seek for artist co-operations and be your own PR-manager.



TRUE LOVE IS ALWAYS THE SAME NO MATTER HOW WE GET THERE


Gayathri got to know her husband through the traditional way representative of her religion. Families introduce their children to each other and when there is sympathy horoscopes are being done to see how the couple harmonizes and how they balance out each other characteristics and strengths. This is something very unknown to European culture but what matters: through seeing Gayathri and her husband in person I had to draw the conclusion that it is all the same how you get there true love is always the same all around the world.


NEVER SETTLE

You don`t have to be a control freak but once you develop a professional attitude it will show also in other territories of your life. You learn how to organize things, how to focus your effort to get the best result possible and will always have a healthy amount of self-doubt in you which will help you to keep the faith and aim always for better and better.


BE YOURSELF


It is seldom true that the loudest people are the most interesting. You don`t have to want to seem interesting to be an interesting person.  Be as you are. Your actions will talk for you much more than your words anyways.


IN ORDER TO EXPERIENCE THE REALITY OF A PLACE YOU HAVE TO GO AND SEE IT YOURSELF

If you want to get to know the real India you have to go there. India belongs to the countries which are strongly stereotypized by Westerners. People follow traditions at different levels in today`s India. Many people in the Western world think for example that most of Indians are vegetarians and hence do not eat meat which is untrue because it is only Brahmans who do not eat meat. You can see elephants mostly in the zoo and Bollywood does not have so much to do with traditional dances. Pottu the the famous red dot seen on so many Natgeo photos has significance in Hindu religion. Traditionally it identifies the person wearing it as a married Hindu woman but it is not so often worn nowadays as we would imagine.

India is not one big homogeneous entity. Every big city and geographical region differs from each other. So do the various ethnic groups and religions. Also different social classes live very different lives. Yet there is no racism in India, people go to each others places and are able to live in harmony.
Gayathri is for example from Kerala which is in South-India. It is characterized among all by traditional boathouses, dishes from freshly caught fish and is home of several Indian traditional dance forms.

If you are interested in professional Indian dance performances in Finland, India or anywhere else in the world or want to learn Indian dances you can reach Gayathri at gagomalu@gmail.com.

PHOTO AND ARTICLE BY MONIKA CSAPO