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.

The Eye Of The Beholder

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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!

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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

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.

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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!

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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!

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Poolside at Fairy Bower Baths

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A Freshwater Habitat

Its been awhile since I posted any of our architectural work. What I enjoy most about shooting architecture is responding to the design of a building and the interesting elements that present themself. Take a look at a recent house Lucas Boyd and I shot, City to Surf on Habitus Living.  As I was shooting this spectacular house (designed by Brewster Hjorth Architects) I remember thinking you'd feel like you were on display living in a house like this.  But after spending a few hours in the house I decided you wouldn't really care with panoramic views of the ocean from most rooms!! You really felt that you were part of the environment being in this house.

Back to the Basics

I think I mentioned in an earlier post that I'm doing a Masters in Art at COFA. I'm really enjoying the art history and the research into contemporary art practices. I am finding that art is like philosophy. It's there to ask a question, get the viewer thinking. It is not necessarily about creating a beautiful piece to hang on your wall. With my personal work I am finding that I want to jump in and execute an idea. What's interesting for me is trying to come from a more conceptual space to start with, and then think outside the box more and create work that is less obvious or literal, more thought provoking! Not too easy when you have in your mind to start with what you want to shoot!! We'll see where it takes me.

So in saying that here are some pretty pictures ;-) I would love to know what they evoke in you!

Keeping motivated is almost a job in itself, some tips from me to you.

A photography student recently asked me what photography magazines I read and what I do to keep inspired  and motivated.  I raided my studio coffee table pulled out Capture magazine, PDN ( a fantastic American magazine Photo District News),  Burn Magazine (online), and for those of us that love fine art, B&W and photograph (a US journal highlighting the photography fine art scene). Funnily enough I opened the latest issue of Capture and saw I was featured on the back page! I also love checking out the photography in some of the great food fashion and lifestyle magazines as well as work of other photographers online.

BUT really it's my colleagues, friends and life itself that inspires me the most! The drive to say something with a photograph, to share an emotion I feel, to move someone else, all is driven by a desire inside to share with someone else. So listen to that little voice inside! (except if its saying kill someone; not that voice! Seek help for that voice! ;-)  )

I regularly go to exhibitions, I keep an eye on what's happening at the ACMP and AIPP, the ACP, and attend talks, courses, conferences and network, network, network.  I'm also very excited to say that I've just been accepted at the UNSW College of Fine Art (COFA) to do a Master of Art in Photomedia. That will be fun, and I'm sure will challenge me. I think I will be saying good-bye to lounging on the couch at the same time!

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?

Shooting at the beach with the Schneider 120TS lens

I took my new favourite lens, the SCHNEIDER-KREUZNACH 120 mm TS f/5.6 Aspherical  to the coast to test, courtesy of a loan from L+P Photographics.  Check out the beautiful flare it gives when shooting into or nearly into the light. Magic! Also I had fun swinging the lens (does this make me a 'swinger'?) so that the plane of focus runs into the image (as opposed to parallel with the film plane normally). Is it just me, or is it a bit more evocative?? With this quality of optics on a medium format state of the art 80 Megapixel camera,  I can see some stunning large format fine art prints coming up!

Bold & Beautiful

[slideshow] I took my Phase One down to Manly this morning at dawn to get some inspiring shots.  I was pleasantly surprised to see the notorious Bold & Beautiful swimmers I'd heard so much about. They were decked out in pink speedos and pink hats swimming from the south end of Manly beach to Shelley beach, a 1.5km swim.

Seeing all the fit bodies on the beach made me wish that I went to the beach more often and that I went for a swim after my photo sessions. Shame my camera wasn't waterproof.

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Camera Tips for Shooting Flare

A magical evening at Dee Why beach yesterday.  I had some fun with flare as you can see.

I was recently asked how I achieve this, so here are a few tips;

Technical: I shoot wide open using the lowest aperture my lens will allow (usually f 1.2) and I often shoot in Aperture Priority mode (AV) and underexpose by a stop.

Composition: Compose your shot with the sun directly behind your subject. I love capturing the sun's reflections bouncing off different surfaces,  flare into the lens, and  different textures and contrast it produces.  Also the way the sun back lights and interacts with my subject adds extra magic!

I'd love to see any shots you take. Happy shooting!

Windows to the Sea

Summer's apparently here so I dragged myself out of bed at 5am and headed to Curl Curl beach, I'm hoping my shots with the 80MB Phase One back turned out as good as these Hipstamatic ones.  It was such a lovely morning I didn't want to leave.