Photographs From Croatia, by Vedran Falica

I was surprised to discover that one of my favorite things about running filmzblog has been finding guest photographers from all over the world and learning more about them and their work. It's been really great. Usually I just surf through various 'film' groups on flickr, find a few people who's work I like and write them an invitation. Often I don't know where they're from, but sometimes I can tell that they deffinitly aren't native English speakers. Though, in every instance I have been impressed to discover that their English is far superior to my own ability to speak any other language. 

I was so excited when I heard back from Vedran Falica, because his pictures are so incredible. This first one for instance, I think what kills me about it is the tiny bit of sand in the navel. Something about it is just so sensual and mysterious. No matter what he's photographing, Vedran's images are always captivating. Even if it's just a photograph of a building or some cars driving along a hillside, there is a quality to his photographs that draws you in and makes you want to know more about what's going on. I was even more excited when I learned that Vedran & his girlfriend Sara are total photo geeks together, and they have started this really awesome double exposure project called 'The Toss Off'. They only have one roll of film up so far, but they have already created some really great images together.  

I am swooning..... is there anything more romantic? No, I don't think so either. And on that note, here's Vedran:

I got into photography when my brother showed me some toy cameras he stumbled upon on-line. I was blown away with their simplicity and potential for modifications. Experimentation with film was a major factor that kept me shooting and both my brother and my girlfriend are inspirations that keep me going, since they're both into photography. I shoot almost exclusively analogue, and own quite a few cameras, but I shoot mostly with a Holga 120GN and Minolta X-700. The first one is one of the cheapest I own, and the second one is probably the most expensive one I own. I try to use as much various kinds of film as I can so I don't really have a favorite one, but I tend to like Ilfords and Efke films.

I live in the central part of Croatia, near Zagreb, and I'm studying graphic design in Zagreb. Living in Croatia is more-or-less the same as in any part of Europe, especially for younger folks. We had communism until the nineties and you can still see some relics of that time, in architecture for example, and then we had war which left some scars but in central part of Croatia you couldn't really tell if you're in Zagreb, or Vienna, or Budapest. A few weeks ago, I had a friend from the US come over for two days and he was mostly impressed by the coffee we drink here.

The first two photos were taken with a Holga 120GN. Altough I don't like lomography aesthetics, Holga is probably my favourite camera. It makes you think more about photos and less about the equipment. You have to overcome it's limitations by composition, motifs and experimentation. Both photos were taken during my vacation this summer on the Adriatic coast. The first one was taken on expired and cross-processed Kodak Ektachrome and the second one on Ilford Delta 400 developed in Rodinal. That's my girlfriend on the first one and a part of my big-toed foot, and on the second one is the famous Church of the Saint Cross in Nin, on a very windy day.

This photo was taken with a pinhole camera. When my first Holga broke down (I tried to modify the camera so I could get an f8 aperture and broke the shutter during the process), I made it into a pinhole camera I took this photo with. This is actually a selfportrait with my girlfriend, taken in Zagreb, very near the place I took the first photo you picked. The film I used was Shanghai GP3 developed in Ilford ID-11.

This next one was taken with a Minolta X-700. This is the camera I use mostly when I'm shooting 35mm and want conventional looking photos since it is the most reliable camera I own. Oddly enough, I got it for free because it was broken. I managed to repair it (took forever but learned much about how cameras work during the process) and now I use it when I need reliability. The photo was taken in Zagreb on cheap supermarket 400 ASA film.

I took this one while I was on my summer vacation on the island Rab, Croatia. I really liked the surreal landscape on that part of the island. It was taken with my father's old Zenit EM camera on Fuji Sensia film. Originally, I wanted to develop Sensia (which is a slide film) in E6 chemistry but the photo lab developed it in C41 by accident. This was my first cross-processed film and I actually liked how it turned out. Washed-out colours somehow emphasized the summer heat on an island.

This is the first photo I took that I actually liked. Before this photo, I was mostly trying to get a grasp of various techniques and get into photography in general. It was taken with a Pentax Spotmatic, a camera my brother bought for me and one of my all-time most beautiful cameras. At the time, I was learning everything I can so I wanted to try a redscale technique. Hence, the film I used was a generic Fujicolor 200 ISO redscaled film. The photo was taken in Zagreb, Croatia, when I was walking on my way to my girlfriend's apartment.

All photos © Vedran Falica

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