Anastasia Egonyan Fine Art Photography
27 Jun 2016

Being a photographer

I am doing photography since I was 14. It is hard to say what made me better and stronger in my passion, but at some point I have realised that this is the major part of my life and there is no way back, but only one way forward. 

Last several years I have spent searching for my own style and ways of expressing my creativity, trying different media formats including digital and film photography, illustration, design and handcraft art. Now I have finally reached a certain level of skills and abilities, developed a sort of own sense of style, where I feel comfortable to create my own point of view while doing Fine Art photography

This is a photograph by Dimgo Lee in my hand, the one he has made of me about four years ago when I have just started taking my interest in portrait photography more seriously. His art has deeply influenced my style and point of view then, giving me an enormous kick of personal growth and showing me the way of a good and grungy arthouse. This photograph is very important to me as it symbolises the start of my artistic development and who I have become now. 

My main gear now in Contax 645 with its amazing 80mm f/2 lens. I am using the 55mm f/3,5 lens for landscapes sometimes as well, but focusing mainly on portraits, I have my heart set on the first one. I love the 645 format and I enjoy working with such great and rare yet highly demanded technologies. Why did I choose film after all? That's simple: digital photography is too good for me. First of all, I need the colors that are altered by the natural process of chemicals on film, rather than a realistic and high quality result of a digital receiver. The processes of image making is so much different in those two mediums that it is hardly comparable to each other. It's not about the question of "what is better", but I personally prefer the old analog form of photography rather than the modern progressive digital variation. 

Another reason is the quality. I pretty much like the slight artistic imperfection of what I get out of Contax (don't get me wrong, the camera is a sensation, the best of all gears I have held in my hands), but that is what makes the picture breathe and feel so real, yet in the same time keeping the artistic surreality of happenings. In digital I always get such a life-real and high quality result that I have to alter it on my own to fill with color and mood and sometimes even get rid of too much unnecessary details.

The third reason is the grain. All the analog images consist of more or less grain. Sometimes it's not even visible, but if you look close enough - it would be still there. That is how film works naturally, that is why we get such a result. One digital sensor has a totally different process of light-recording and almost all of the modern cameras have the anti-aliasing filter built in that helps to resolve the Moiré pattern problems in different complicated texture situations, but this filter has a huge downside as well - it destroys all the grain in the details. That is why your digital photos seem very smooth and clear. That is the reason I even manually add grain to some of my digital works. 

The last thing why I prefer film better is the little game I have with it. I mean you have a challenge out there in your hands - and as much as I can fairly well predict the result of my shooting, I still have a little excitement about what would I really get after all. And the best is that you don't get to see it instantly - some time passes, memories start to fade, you can only remember the emotions and get more and more excited for the results. And them suddenly you get the link with the files to download from the lab and there are the butterflies in your stomach again, you feel like "now the mystery will finally reveal" and there you can finally see your work! And the emotions always sweep over. I am a little bit of an emotional junkie here, but please forgive me my passion, I do it in the name of art.