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Goran Stamenkovic Interview

Goran Stamenkovic Interview - Goran Stamenkovic takes stunning black and white images. Here, we find out more about him.

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Slavko from Mokrin
'Slavko From Mokrin' by GoranStamenkovic

Goran Stamenkovic is from a small village in Serbia. He takes stunning black and white images of the people in his community. Here, we find out more about him and his photography.

Tell us a bit about yourself.
I was born in 1963. I am a veterinarian (DVM). My wife Mijana and I have two sons, Andrija and Milan. I am living in a beautiful village called Basaid, in the district of Vojvodina, Serbia. I am a member of the Photo association of Serbia and have been since 1987. I have the rank of first class photographer in the FSS. Since then I have had one independent exhibition in the Salon Photograph Photo association of Yugoslavia in Belgrade, in September 1990.

How did you get into photography?
I have been into photography since 1977. When I got my first camera from my father, it was a Yashica MG-1. I have been very active photographically since 1987.

Lipovica
'Lipovica' by GoranStamenkovic

What makes you choose the black and white medium?
Since the beginning I have only been capturing black and white photographs and because of that, I like black and white photography the most and I understand it the best. Nothing has changed my opinion about black and white photography, even the digitisation of pictures. That has only changed the way we work, now the computer and printer have taken the place of the dark laboratory!

What draws you to the documentary style photography?
Although there are many styles and directions in photography, for me the most important characteristic of photography is documentation. That characteristic allows me to capture people as well as real and interesting moments. 

Talk us through how you set up and take a shot.
The best pictures I take are with people I know the best. I make people feel comfortable and relaxed in my presence. It's important they forget the camera and just have fun. I am often taking pictures of my family, friends and neighbours. They are all real, unposed situations, without any of my direction.

Friends
'Friends' by GoranStamenkovic

Why do you like photographing people?
In Serbia there is a big migration of people. They often go to live in big cities from villages. Because of that, villages are dying and I want to capture with my pictures the last people living in them. I want to save their traditional way of living, customs and habits. It is very easy for me because I live in that kind of village. I am taking pictures of ordinary people with all their characteristics, good and bad.

What equipment do you use?
Since 2006, I have been using a Konica Minolta 5D with KM 18-70mm and a Minolta AF 100-300mm lenses. Before that I was using an analog Canon T70 with CZ Jena Flektogon 20mm f4 (M42-FD adapt), Kiron FD 28mm f/2, Canon FD 50mm f/1.4 and Tokina FD 80-200mm f/4 lenses. The last camera I bought was an Olympus Pen EP-1 with 14-42mm kit lens and an adapter for the Canon FD lens to m4/3. This Olympus and a slide-duplicator helped me in the digitisation of my old black & white pictures to make them 'live' again.

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