CONNECTIONS BLOG

CONNECTIONS
Affinity. Closeness. Longing for connection. These shared experiences are what elevate our lives beyond mere existence. Good or bad, they are the muse for poetry, the rhythm of music, and the ‘heart’ in our heart. This body of work is about exploring just that: our humanity seen through how we connect with something outside ourselves. That moment when we bare our souls and open our hearts.

Reflection and transparency

Clouds reflecting on water
Clouds reflecting on water
Seascape reflections
Seascape reflections
The sky reflecting the water
The sky reflecting the water
Cloud reflections
Cloud reflections

I've been exploring transparency and reflection recently; the relationship between the subject and medium, the meaning and the means.  My goal was to express colour as light, and show the luminous nature of light. These photos were all created in camera (not photoshop). Hopefully after the art babble above, the results are interesting photographs.

The Eye Of The Beholder

colorawards_winner

The International Color Awards are always an interesting mix of images. I’m chuffed to say I won 2nd place in the Merit of Excellence in the People category. Yippee!

Beach Side Qingdao

The entries for the Colour Awards come from 79 countries across the globe so as they say at the Oscars, "its an honour to be nominated."  I'm excited to share that I received 7 nominations across 4 categories, the details are below. Its always difficult to predict what the judges are looking for so the selection of what to enter is sometimes half the battle.

Bronte - Nominee in People

Swimmer - Nominee in Sport

Beneath the Surface1 - Nominee in Abstract Category

Beneath the Surface 2 - Nominee in Abstract

Journey  - Nominee in People

Wingside - Nominee in Aerial

In Transit - Nominee in People

Dive In

Come dive with me into the warm Pacific. It is so beautiful starting the day with a salt water champagne bath this time of year. A weekend morning swim, followed up by breakfast at the beach makes me smile for the rest of the day!

0Y4A00610Y4A9955 0Y4A06390Y4A0247To see more of my seascape and underwater series, click on the link below.  www.christianmushenko.com

Lounging Around The Boat House

One of the best perks of living in Sydney is going to a beach in the morning for a swim and then breakfast. The Boat House in Balmoral is a fave.  A sister restaurant to one in Palm Beach, and soon to be Shelley Beach; it celebrates the summer lifestyle with fresh produce, coffee and an interesting menu. You will know we are there if you see Samson, our Golden Retriever tied up out the front!

2014_12_0Y4A09222014_12_0Y4A06472014_12_0Y4A07122014_12_0Y4A08262014_12_0Y4A06702014_12_0Y4A0709-2

Immersion

How amazing does it feel to swim in the ocean in the morning?! The sun streaming in, the water feeling like it is rejuvenating our every molecule! It leaves me smiling all day long! These pictures were taken early morning at Bronte recently. On a day like today, I'm plotting when I can next slip under the waves. 2015_01_0Y4A14782015_01_0Y4A16012015_01_0Y4A20992015_01_0Y4A2203

The Bold and Beautiful

There is nothing like a crisp sunny morning swim to get the day started. I went for a quick one Sunday morning in the warm water of Manly. At 7am there you will find a multitude of people all wearing bright pink caps, preparing themselves to dive head first into crystal clear water for a 1.5km swim. What started as an informal activity between a group of friends, has now turned into hundreds of people every day. The group, know as the 'Bold & Beautiful' leave from Manly Beach and swim over to Shelly Beach. The wonderful thing about this group is the camaraderie that they share. They wait at Shelly Beach until the last swimmer has arrived before embarking on the return trip.

So I'm thinking I should get a pink swimming cap on and join in... Will I see you there?

01_0Y4A2530 02_0Y4A2827 03_0Y4A3126 04_0Y4A3139 05_0Y4A2924 06_0Y4A3237Here is a little clip we found on Youtube with the founder of 'Bold & Beautiful'.

 

Coney Island

"CRAZY BUT COOL" is how a friend described this place.  To be honest I didn't know how to describe my afternoon there, but that seems perfect. I think the only way is to take it for what it is and go with it! So yes, I did get my feet wet, the inevitable sand in my shorts and even ate a hot dog. NY__0Y4A1082-1NY__0Y4A0965NY__0Y4A0987NY__0Y4A1055NY__0Y4A1078NY__0Y4A0986-1NY__0Y4A1032-1

QingDao Beach

Recently I had the pleasure of being shown around the northern Chinese city of Qingdao. It’s a port town that hosted the sailing during the Beijing Olympics, and has some beaches around it’s coastline that people flock from miles to enjoy. From Sydney’s standards the beaches don’t look like much. However it was great to see how everyone responds the same to the freedom of getting out in nature, the lure of the coast, and the joy the beach seems to hold within its sand and waves.

With all the strife in the world today, maybe we should just give the trouble makers some plastic toys, a cold drink, some swimmers and plop them into the sand at the beach.

Qingdao__AC8P0569-1Qingdao_Grid-1

New York New York!

Christian has been selected by SeeMe folio to have three of his photographs projected onto a skyscraper in Times Square, New York. On July 24th, 2014 from 8-9pm, SeeMe is taking over the two largest billboards in Times Square for one of the largest collaborative creative projects ever staged. The photos are from Christian's body of work entitled 'Beneath The Surface'. The intriguing images are a metaphor for unseen inner beauty and about perspective, a sympathetic gaze, and acceptance. Something the world needs more of today!

2014_06_0Y4A60692014_06_0Y4A6154 2014_06_0Y4A6334

New York New York!

Christian has been selected by SeeMe folio to have three of his photographs projected onto a skyscraper in Times Square, New York. On July 24th, 2014 from 8-9pm, SeeMe is taking over the two largest billboards in Times Square for one of the largest collaborative creative projects ever staged. The photos are from Christian's body of work entitled 'Beneath The Surface'. The intriguing images are a metaphor for unseen inner beauty and about perspective, a sympathetic gaze, and acceptance. Something the world needs more of today!

2014_06_0Y4A60692014_06_0Y4A6154 2014_06_0Y4A6334

Beneath The surface

It's getting a bit colder outside now, but 2 weeks ago I got in the warm water at dawn. The silvery water, the joy of rolling around in the surf, and the sun adding its magic creeping through the water was a perfect start to the day. Queue the music now...

 

Master of Color

Christian has just been awarded 1st Place - Outstanding Achievement in Fine Art for his image of Bondi IceBergs in The 7th Annual Photography Masters Cup, International Color Awards.  This prestigious event celebrates excellence in color photography. MushenkoChristian_BondiIceBergs7th Annual Jury members included captains of the industry from Contrasto, Rome; Kahmann Gallery, Amsterdam; Galerie Simon Blais, Montreal; Barbara Frigerio Contemporary Art, Milan; Clair Galerie, Munich; and Ingrid Deuss Gallery, Belgium who honored Color Masters with 274 coveted title awards in 18 categories.

"It is an incredible achievement to be selected among the best from the 7,416 entries we received this year," said Basil O'Brien, the awards Creative Director. "Mushenko's "Bondi IceBergs," an exceptional image winning 1st place in the Fine Art category, represents contemporary color photography at its finest, and we're pleased to present him with the title of 1st Place - Outstanding Achievement in Fine Art."

INTERNATIONAL COLOR AWARDS, PHOTOGRAPHY MASTERS CUP is the leading international award honouring excellence in color photography. This celebrated event shines a spotlight on the best professional and amateur photographers worldwide and honours the finest images with the highest achievements in color photography. www.photomasterscup.com

Christian also had this image titled 'lost 2' nominated in the Abstract Category, and the image below nominated in the Americana Category.

MushenkoChristian_Lost2

13_USA-07-005729-1_web

 

the open road

as discovered through the window of the Land Rover...

20130311_188C8779 copy

Afoot and light-hearted, I take to the open road, 
Healthy, free, the world before me,
The long brown path before me leading wherever I choose.
 
- Song of the Open Road by Walt Whitman

20130311_AC8P2101 copy

Summer Haze

188C9964

Summer haze at Balmoral and Manly Beaches

I love summer and the whole feeling of warmth, freedom, and endless possibilities it conjures up. So you won't hear talk about summer ending from me! If you love that feeling too, make a pact to immerse yourself over this Easter weekend! Oh, and take a few pics too to remember it by.

surfer

Inspired?

It's that time again for the Head On festival's ACMP exhibition in Centennial Park, with this years theme 'inspired'. I am really interested to know what can inspire someone. What inspires you?

How can an image impact someone? I find I react to simple, honest images that trigger something inside me. Does that mean I'm simple inside?? Maybe we react to something that we can relate to or we already feel something about.

I entered my seascapes because I love their beauty, the drama and the sense of something bigger than ourselves. Instead of supplying text I included song lyrics for each image.  I see the seascapes as an access and an illustration of feelings held inside; things that we may not wear on the surface but where our minds wander to in quiet times.

What inspires you?

Behind the scenes

 

I wanted to portray Lynda in a way that connected with her artworks, so we chose to shoot at the edge of the water and in a natural way. I used my Phase One camera and IQ180 80Mp back, the Schneider Kreuznach 120 TS lens, a medium California sun bounce and a large door-sized reflector.

I chose to use the Phase One for its dynamic range as I was shooting into the sun to create flare. I didn't want to use flash as I wanted to keep the softness and naturalness in the feel of the light, so I relied on reflectors.

Thank you to my trusty assistant,  Sussie Mellstedt and hair and make artist, Desiree Wise.  Great work ladies!

For the love of flare

[slideshow] On her recent visit to Australia, I was lucky to be able to shoot these promo shots on Balmoral Beach for the beautifully talented artist and my very close friend, Lynda Howitt. Lynda paints sublime abstract oil paintings with a classical romantic light and a soaring spirit that reflect her love of the ocean.  I wanted to portray Lynda in a way that connected with her artworks, so we chose to shoot at the edge of the water and in a natural way.