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What It's Like To Go Blind

Sun Aug 10, 2014, 8:27 PM

Published on Aug 8, 2014
What it’s like living with Macular Degeneration.


Logo Tpa Zebrapad By Annieta Photography D5d77 By  by lightdrafter

     Let me introduce you the star of this feature, Bassem or as you may know him :iconbatmantoo:. Why Bassem? Because!! 
Because I like his status of down to the earth man. No high altitudes, turbulence or drama.. Simple everyday life and tranquil moments of beauty. Mary, I believe, would describe his works as slow photography, but maybe I'm wrong. All I know for sure is the fact he enjoys photography a lot and the simple process of finding, framing and creating brings him joy. And that is all that matters!
Also, I wanted to get to know him a little better..

     Bassem has helped my busy schedule too.. I have asked him to write a 'bio' of himself, something he would like you to know about him..

Don't forget to show him your support by clicking the icon above, commenting his works and while you there leave a lot of these :+fav:!!

     Bassem: I was born in Lebanon and raised in Austria and Egypt. My family background is too complex to go into here and frankly irrelevant to me being a photographer. However, I feel it is of value to mention that I am influenced by Egyptian, Arabic, Austrian, German, English, American and French culture and heritage. By Education I am a mechanical engineer and computer scientist, by profession a systems analyst and software developer. I live both in Vienna, Austria and Munich, Germany… not at the same time. ;) (Wink) I am Austrian by nationality, but lived most of my life in other countries… there is no single place I would call home (having been a refugee), but several where I got homely.

As far back as I can remember, it’s far, I’m 50, I have been a visually fixated person. Due to my dyslexia I never became an avid reader or writer for that matter (when I read I listen to audiobooks). I never learned to play an instrument, but am very much into music appreciation and dance. Movies are my thing, though.

Movies, movies, movies… from Hollywood to Bollywood, just can’t get enough. Yes, it was my dream to study at a film school. Photography was my attempt at learning how to frame and capture a story. Circumstances did not allow for me to follow my dream, but I held firm to my camera. So I took courses in film appreciation and photography at university… being able to take such courses for credits towards graduation is something I loved about the American University in Cairo (Egypt).

My first serious camera was a Nikon FE2 with both a 35 and an 85mm lens, which I got from my father beginning of the 80’s of the last century. I developed my own b&w film and enlarged my prints, and shot many slides as well. In the courses I took I was introduced to the most well-known photographers of the time, there was much inspiration and fascination to be found, but only one photographer I could instantly relate to: Henri Cartier-Bresson. I love how he could capture the spirit of a moment, forever real and surreal!

Cartier-Bresson in photography and Jean-Luc Godard in film were the greatest influences when I started shooting. I tried my hand at all genres of photography, and still do, but street and nature are the two which move me the most. Street is the sport, nature is Zen. Though these two are quite different, in both I try to capture a feeling. Of course street is also a situation “thing”, and I do enjoy shooting and watching this kind of street. In all cases though I believe in the “decisive instant”, when all elements converge… the anticipation, the trill, click!

All I can hope to achieve is that the viewer is transported to share and feel this moment with me.

Prater 3 by batmantoo  Last Summer In Rovinj by batmantoo  

Praterstern Exit by batmantoo  Prater by batmantoo 
 Volksgarten by batmantoo  Curls by batmantoo  

Reminiscing by batmantoo  Zentral 6039 1 by batmantoo  
Two on the Town by batmantoo  In Your Ear by batmantoo  Franz West 1 by batmantoo
Steinstrasse by batmantoo  Neumarkt Construction Site by batmantoo
Last Summer in Rovinj 2 by batmantoo  Heldenplatz by batmantoo
Zen Garden by batmantoo  RED by batmantoo
Asphalt Kids by batmantoo  The Fan club by batmantoo

...and many more here :iconbatmantoo:

If you want more of our featured photographers, if you feel you should be the next featured, or simply just to share your best shot click through to 
The People Avenue


This  month we are interviewing Russian photographer Dmitry Ryzhkov :icondmitryzhkov:

TPA - Tell us a little about yourself.
How is your relationship with photography began, and how it has evolved over the years?

- My name is Dmitry Ryzhkov. I am from Russia and currently based in Moscow. I have about 30 years of experience in photography. When I was schoolboy I first become interested in photography. My father gave me his camera and I taught myself basic photography. Then I went out to take photos. My subject matter varied from nature, macro, landscape, etc, but eventually swayed towards people and capturing candid moments and this is how I began. About 8 years streetphoto still my main passion in photography.
2 Dsc8010 by dmitryzhkov

TPA - Which photographers influenced you?

- I'm self-taught photographer. When I became interested in photography I did not know anyone from the leading street photographers of the world, I was attracted Russian artists-realists and old masters of painting. As a child I wanted to become an artist. Now I can say that Garry Winogrand, Steve McCurry, Henri Cartier-Bresson - my most favorite photographers. Over the years the list of favorite photographers has expanded. Some of these have included; Saul Leiter, Vivian Maier, W. Eugene Smith, Fan Ho, Josef Koudelka, Fred Herzog, Ernst Haas, Helen Levitt. Many of the modern day contemporaries are also very inspiring.
4 DSC7888zaitz by dmitryzhkov

TPA - What do you enjoy photographing most?

- I like shot scenes with multiple visual elements that grab my attention, best shots make you stop and start it carefully considered. Best street shots usually visually clever, it can be story telling, make you wonder, happy, sad or move you in some other way. I am interested in expressions and inner world of people. I am not a big fan of geometry, excessive contrast, play of light and shadow. I just go and look, this is my method.
 Dsc2607 by dmitryzhkov

TPA - What is your favorite time of the day photographing in the streets?

- I don't pay much attention to the time of day. Of course, it is good when we have sunny day with play of light and shadows, but Moscow is northern city and we haven't too many sunny days. But I like to shoot at night, in bad weather. Rainstorm or snowfall, strong wind etc. are events when nature itself helps the photographer to shot interesting picture, but I not worried about time of day.
1 Dsc0712 by dmitryzhkov

TPA -I visited Russia few times and found extremely difficult doing Street Photography there.
Do you often face same challenges in your city doing photography?

 - Sometimes I have problems too. In Russia most of people in streets don't like street photographers. But Moscow is open international city, many foreign and Russian tourists with cameras walking in the streets. So Moscow people calmly see to my work. True, there are aggressive men and women which are scolding to me. But I don't worry. I have never has ever gotten any serious injuries from shooting strangers in the street. In my experiences I have had only four or five rare occurrences of people getting physical with me. None of those have been serious. In the general case have to be on the alert, shoot fast and invisible to others. Smile and joke, sometimes quick feet are best weapon against aggressive people.
4 DSC7717-borba by dmitryzhkov

TPA - Imagine you have a day off and you decide to go shooting. Describe it.

- I take a backpack with cameras and lenses and go out on the street. Pull out the camera, and hang it on my chest. Here it will be a few hours until I get tired and begin to lose concentration. In a way I have few hours, from time to time to stop, for holiday or check the results of the photography, go slowly and gently, so that I can take a photo at any time. Look around, find interesting people and events. I fully concentrate on pictures at this time, my vision and reaction are exacerbated, I'm all attention. Listen to and watch, go to the noise and screams, I am looking for a crowd. This is my photography style.
 Dsc4316 by dmitryzhkov

TPA - What are the most essential qualities of a photographer?

- Keep shooting. See your own eyes. Believe in yourself and your sense. Do not be afraid to provoke the general trend. Street photographer's main tool are his eyes, not the camera. The eyes are related to brain, so a good education and high cultural level of the human are good help for photographer. Need right use of your equipment, you must keep training your eyes, you need to learn fast to response on events, because street events going very quickly and never repeated. Missing good shots are always disappointing.
Legs by dmitryzhkov

TPA - Choose three of your photos and explain why they are special to you.

- It’s difficult to choose, because as mother or father like all their children, as I like all my pics. My photos belong to my past. I rarely think about what photo better than other ones. I go forward in my photography, I would like to take better shots today than yesterday, and better ones tomorrow than today.
Here are three photos that I have chosen, it is difficult to explain why.

Talk by dmitryzhkov
3 Dsc9682 by dmitryzhkov
Dsc5476 by dmitryzhkov

TPA - In a few words what is photography for you?

- Photography is my passion, my style of life and I can not live differently.

6 Dsc1620 by dmitryzhkov 6 Dsc2012 by dmitryzhkov 6 Dsc0439 by dmitryzhkov
 Dsc3044 by dmitryzhkov  Doors set | arbat street by dmitryzhkov 6 Dsc0603 by dmitryzhkov


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The theme of the contest is: 'Delicate' and more information about the rules and guidelines can be found here:…

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Go and check it out and maybe participate. Goodluck to all and may the best win :D

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djailledie Featured By Owner Jul 17, 2014  Hobbyist Photographer
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Thank you for the request! :)
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thank you!Flowerpot 
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thanks a lot! :hug:
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