WNGN Guests will be a series of guest articles from talented photographers who deserve some attention on Wangan Warriors. Next up we have Swedish photographer Arslan Golić who tells us about his vision on photography!
Photography is an interesting visual media. Depending on whom you ask about photography, it’s a different answer all the time. Everyone is unique and therefore everybody has a unique view and definition of it, no matter whether you are a photographer or not. You consume visual information in different forms everyday and it’s a special medium in the way that you are the person who creates the story for yourself. I guess you have heard the saying, “A picture is worth a thousand words.”
I think it was 12 years ago. One day, my father bought an analog Canon camera. At first I didn’t give it much attention, but slowly seeing what that little silver thing produced, it got my interest growing. All those cool colors, the warm feelings of seeing your family from a trip months ago, it truly felt like a time machine. Freezing time and place. Forever keeping memories of loved ones fresh.
Sometimes as a kid, I took place behind the camera, and my parents were impressed with my skills. I always managed to get everybody into the frame and at times I had some weird ideas that ended up as really cool compositions. No parents wants to say that their kids suck at something of course, but today, looking back at the photos, I wouldn’t be embarrassed showing them.
“Don’t stress it son.”
My father, being an architect and interested in art, had an eye for composition and design, which is something that probably influenced me and inspired my way of discovering photography. He always told me to look at what you want to shoot, observe it, find the right place and then press the button.
Looking in retrospect, my father definitely had an big impact on my technique. Observe, think and then shoot. Digital cameras have made photographers lazy and spray and pray is now a technique used by too many, with no consideration on what or why they are shooting. Being moderate in my way of shooting is maybe not the most efficient or sometimes the best way, but for me it’s about creating art with objects and context. I never shoot for somebody else, I only shoot for myself and my interests.
12 years later, I can finally say that I have roughly found a style of shooting and editing which I’m happy with, not perfect, but close to something I like. Still, I haven’t managed to find that perfect frame. My photos can be found on the web and sometimes they look okay and that’s also a way for me to learn from my mistakes and improve my editing and shooting. I spend time analyzing the feel of what happened and taking my thoughts with me for the next thing I shoot. Sometimes my ideas work, sometimes they don’t – you could say I work in long iterations. Look, Think, Shoot, Edit, Analyze. Look, Think, Shoot, Edit, Analyze.
The style of my photos are rather dark and soft in my opinion – I want it to be easy, eye relaxing and in context. If there is one thing I don’t like, it’s cars and photos shot out of context, in a place where it just sits wrong. For me, the story told by the photo is as important as a good frame. Having people walking around or things happening somewhere is a good thing, it brings the photo to life.
Except working in the way I do, my approach to technology is minimalistic. Prime lenses are the only thing I bring with me – no extra lights, no extra anything. When it comes to editing, I’m all about small touches. I want my work to look as minimal and authentic as possible – to be honest, no editing tool in the world can help me with that. Only experience and knowledge can create that magic photo I’m after, placing the car in context with a story to tell.
“Whats up Wangan Warriors!”
Photography has always been a hobby for me. I have never dreamed of working with it or making any money from it – I have only seen it as a way to express my arty side and my love for cars. Many times, I have shared my photos with other blogs as StanceNation and Speedhunters, to name the biggest. I won’t lie, it feels great having your photos published, but still, for me it has always been just a hobby.
One thing that I always have problems with is not to engage myself in the community of my interests. I never feel satisfied if I see something that is bad and I could do something to improve it or help in some way. That is how Club JDM was born, a forum in Sweden for people interested in Japanese cars, or as the buzz word back in the day, “JDM”.
Photo: Erik Gustafsson
Club JDM was growing fast and suddenly one day, a guy named Johan signs up and starts to write about this cool place called Wangan Warriors. It wasn’t for that reason he signed up, to advertise WW. It was to talk about his trip to Sweden and hunt for JDM events – this was the start of my friendship with him.
Later that year, I visited DMPD, or Dumpd as it was called in 2012. Not only did I fall in love with the cool concept of DMPD, a place created by car lovers, removing the commercial and competitive approach and letting people enjoy the cars and the community – it was the start of my friendship with the WW crew. I stayed in touch with some of the WW guys and in 2013, I met up with them again, only to confirm my love for Holland and the JDM community they had going on.
My can’t-resist-to-get-involved-problem has followed me my whole life, for good and bad. I do feel I don’t have the time for many things, which results in stress and feeling useless at times. For the last few years I’ve managed to take control of it and told myself to stop, enjoy the moment and have fun. The world is moving too fast and I think we are not enjoying ourselves enough. We need to stop, breathe and take in the beautifulness of our culture. There is a lot of amazing people out there and I hope this great journey never stops, at times it feels like a dream and I don’t want to wake up from it.
I want to thank Johan Van Tongeren for introducing me to Wangan Warriors, the Wangan Warriors crew for letting me in to there tribe and Rens Adams, for inviting me to write this short story about my photography and crush for Holland. I’m 21 years old and my name is Arslan Golić. If you are interested in seeing more of my work, please visit Cuvinisme, and my Instagram for some day-to-day photos from my life. Instagram: Cuvinisme.
– Arslan Golić