Interview with Michel Rajkovic
#1 Please introduce yourself:
Michel Rajkovic, 33 years old, French, and living at Asnieres-sur-seine near Paris.
#2 How did you get interested in photography?
I wanted to do photography since I was young, but for many reasons I have started photography only in 2000 with a digital compact. Until last year (2007) I didn’t have an artistic approach, but I’ve discovered the B&W and long exposure techniques.
#3 Do you have an artistic/photographic background?
I don’t know if it can be considered as a background but when I was young I read a lot of photo magazines. I think I’ve learned a lot of technical things in these magazines, but not much on the artistic part.
#4 Which artist/photographer inspired your art?
I discovered the work of Michael Kenna 2 years ago. I love the ‘zen’ part of his work. I also like the work of David Burdeny, Michael Levin or Josef Hoflehner, and I love the work of Hiroshi Watanabe.
#5 Most of your photographs were taken using long exposure time. Why have you chosen to present them in this form?
The discovery of the long exposure technique and the black & white technique was a real revelation for me. These techniques best fits my sensitivity for many reasons:
– I am very sensitive to the mood, to the light, so I like take the time to feel the place where I am. When I don’t have the right light I can come back as often I can until I get the mood I am looking for. So, for one or two photos, it can take me one year and five attempts (and a lot of kilometres) to get what I look for.
– I’m an eternal dreamer and the long exposure technique allows me to capture a calm and imaginary world.
#6 Some of your works have a really minimalist feeling, is there any symbolism in it?
The minimalist side allows us to open a door to the imagination because it gives the viewer the freedom to make his own history, his own interpretation. I only place the elements; I leave the freedom to spectators to leave their imagination to work. For example in my photo “Stairs to nowhere” some viewers at my last exhibition told me they climb the stairs, others remain seated, others down. They are not just mere spectators but they become actors in creating their own history. I love that freedom.
#7 Waterscapes are your favourite theme for photography. What fascinates you in these places?
I like the concept of infinity in a waterscape that opens a door to our imagination. Besides, I love the early morning mood when I’m alone on the beach feeling the air, the sea. These are magical moments.
#8 Could you tell our readers how to reach such excellent results in photography?
In an artistic approach, I think everyone must find a mode of expression that best fit his own sensibility and then work and work again. It is only 1 year and a half that I practiced B&W and the long exposures technique, but I have the impression that it’s much longer so I feel good in this mode of expression.
#9 Do you work as a professional photographer or do you pursue the art as a hobby?
For now, I’m a semi-pro.
#10 What do you do in your life besides photography?
I’m a dad of a little boy of 4 years old. So I share my time with my family and friends.
#11 Can you tell us about the equipment that you use (digital or traditional)?
I started photography with digital. After several compacts and reflexes, I now use a Canon 5D with two main lenses (24-105 and 17-40), a tripod, a remote camera and several neutral gray filters (ND400, ND4…).
#12 Are you planning any exhibitions of your works in near future?
Yes, I have several exhibitions planned:
– I was awarded the 1st price in the fine-art (non pro) category of the “Prix de la photographie Paris-PX3” prize, so I’ll exhibit this series at the gallery Acte2 in Paris on the 27th June.
– In July and August in the french festival “Rencontres d’Arles Photographie“
– And in November we’re planning a great exhibition with the 8reg’art group to present “Fine Art” style in France with a lot of international photographers we’ll be inviting.
#13 How do you prepare your prints? (LAB, darkroom, digital printing, etc.) What is your favorite kind of paper?
I always shoot in Raw format and then convert my files in B&W with Adobe Photoshop CS. Then I work on the density and the contrast of the photo, and if I need to I make local adjustments. I don’t print myself but I work with a lab which prints on Epson Pro 9800 with Ultrachrome K3 pigment ink. I use only one paper : the Photo Rag 308 by Hahnemühle for my exhibitions and my limited signed prints.
#14 Is it possible to purchase your prints and, if so, where?
Yes, some prints are sold by two galleries in Paris:
– Gallery Wanted
– Gallery Photo Originale
And in a few months several prints will be available in Spain, Italy, Deutschland, and Switzerland in the Fnac shops.
#15 What future plans do you have? What projects would you like to accomplish?
We have created the ‘8reg’art’ group (with some French Fine Art photographers; Bruno Mercier, Julie and Xavier Rey, Philippe Mougin, Alain Etchepare, Philippe Leclerc, Antoine Soubigou and myself) to present “Fine Art” style in France, in November, in a great show with a lot of international photographers.
Michel Rajkovic Official Website: