The Street is My Playgound

Darko Eterovic

Darko Eterovic states, “In street photography you have less than one second to see the story, set then camera, and press the shutter. That’s why I love street photography. It is pure adrenaline”. With that thought as his prod, Darko slides silently through the streets of Ljubljana recording the moments that feed his addiction. Eterovic artfully traps his subjects within the urban geometry that make up their game of life. His images are savvy, they are inventive, and they are bold.

I was born in Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia. I began my photographic journey in 1995 with film SLR, but photography become my real passion in January 2007, when I bought my first DSLR. Mostly I am interested in street photography, but because I always running out of time, I photograph almost everything… except weddings." Darko Eterovic

Kujaja: Describe your photographic style. How did you develop your style?
DE: I hope I have a different style from other photographers. It is good to be different and have your own recognizable style. I can see my photo and also a title in my head before I press the shutter, but in photography you should be developing your skills all the time. I still miss many shots because of my indecision.

Kujaja: What does ‘street photography’ mean to you?
DE: The street is my playground. Someone likes to play football, someone likes to go to opera, and I like to shoot street photos. It’s just that simple.

Kujaja: What is the most challenging part about being a street photographer?
DE: Being able to catch the unforgettable moment. If you miss that moment you miss the possibility of making an extraordinary photo.

Kujaja: What do you want your viewers to take away from your work?
DE: A successful street capture for me is one that gives the viewer the same feeling that I experienced when I looked through the viewfinder. The viewer should smell the street.

Kujaja: Who inspires you other than photographers?
DE: Music is always a good inspiration for me. Jazz and reggae are my favorites.

Kujaja: Have you ever had formal training?
DE: No never. Everything I learned from the internet. It is very important to study the photos of other photographers and share your own photos on good photography sites. Every beginning is difficult.

Kujaja: Is there any particular genre/style of photography you would like to learn about and try?
DE: Yes of course. Travel photography. I wish I could travel more.

Kujaja: How has photography changed you as a person?
DE: Many things changed. I developed a sense that I see interesting things that normal people do not and that is a great feeling.

Kujaja: What do you consider your greatest photographic accomplishment?
DE: This exhibition. I am very proud that my work will be displayed with photos of such great photographers from all over the world.

Kujaja: Do you think a photographer must have ‘natural talent’ to become a great photographer?
DE: Yes .You must know when and why you press the shutter. Every shot must have reason, must have a sense and a story. In street photography you have less than one second to see the story, set then camera, and press the shutter. That’s why I love street photography. It is pure adrenaline.

Kujaja: Locations and weather conditions seem to be a crucial aspect to a successful picture. How do you handle these unpredictable factors?
DE: I use a weather and cold resistant camera, so I do not have problem with that. Location is a bigger problem. I live in a relatively small town with only 300,000 citizens. My big wish is that someday I could visit New York and do some street shots.

Kujaja: How does black and white vs. color play into your work?
DE: Mostly I prefer black & white for street photography but I do not hesitate to make a color photo if it is necessary.

Kujaja: What type of images do you view as overdone or too common?
DE: Personally I do not like staged or creative edit photography.

Kujaja: What do you think makes a memorable street photograph?
DE: The right moment is the key that makes the differences between ordinary and extraordinary photos.

Kujaja: What were the difficulties you encountered first starting street photography?
DE: Fear I guess. Street photography is one of the most difficult genres.

Kujaja: When you are out shooting—how much of it is instinctual versus planned?
DE: I think it is about 90% instinctual versus 10% planned.

Kujaja: What are some tips/advice you would give to yourself if you started street photography all over again?
DE: Don’t be afraid. Use wide prime lenses. For me 21mm and 35mm prime lenses on a crop camera works fine. Personally I do not like long telephoto lenses. It is not my style.

Kujaja: What advice can you offer for those who want to get into photography but maybe can’t afford equipment?
DE: Cameras and lenses don't take pictures, photographers do! Many of my best street photos were shot with a 6 MP camera with a kit lens attached to it. My advice: Forget about a camera brand. Go to second hand camera store, take a few different cameras in your hand and let the camera choose you. Then get out there and shoot some damn pictures!

Kujaja: Thank you for this interview Darko.

Darko Eterovic at Kujaja (click)