Interview with Flora Borsi, Budapest based Fine Art Photographer
In your bio, you mentioned that you became interested in photo-manipulation in 2004, three years before you started taking photos. What made you decide to explore photography?
I could never find suitable images, so I had to shoot my own. But even then, the photos didn’t turn out as good as I had hoped, which is why I decided to study photography. From then on, photography became more important and interesting to me than photo-manipulations.
Are you more comfortable in front of or behind the camera?
Being behind the camera is so much easier, because I can arrange the composition and capture the perfect moment. If something isn’t good enough I can make adjustments in real time. When I take pictures of myself it is difficult to pay attention to the camera settings, lighting, pose, and composition. I often use a mirror to see the result before the self-timer stops counting. Using myself as model makes it easier for me to express my ideas and fantasies, even if it means working until 2 am. I can visualize my ideas more effectively and execute them right away.
Can you take us through your inspiration for the “Time Travel Project”?
I’ve been interested in time travelling since I was a little kid. I’m a fan of any movie that has to do with time travel. I saw a short scene on YouTube of a Charlie Chaplin movie, where a woman was captured holding a cell phone. They called her the “Time Travelling Woman”. It’s just a work of fiction but that was what spurred me to do the “Time Travel” series. At first I thought it would be too difficult to create the photo manipulations but I believed in myself. The reason why I made it was simple: I wanted to do something funny and thrilling.
On average, how long did it take you to insert your image into the photos?
Inserting myself into the photographs was pretty difficult. I was working 8-12 hours on the first piece, the one with Marilyn Monroe. After that first image I came up with a better method of creating stock photos of myself with the right lighting, pose, clothes, and angle. I reduced my work process by 2 hours because of that.
On Yahoo! alone, over 4,000 people have reacted to the “Time Travel Project” so far. Any plans to continue the project with a different time period perhaps?
I won’t be continuing this project because I would rather come up with something more original and unique.
Would you say that photo-manipulation and photography go hand in hand? Why or why not?
That’s been heavily debated over the years. I personally think that a photo, captured either with a digital or analogue camera, is meant to achieve the same result. Everyone uses Photoshop nowadays.
The Real Life Models by Flora Borsi
Nowadays almost every photographer use graphics software to complete the picture, like many painters used ‘original version’ in the past. Some artists use pure imagination to paint their artworks, others may prefer to create art by using a real life model as reference for the anatomy.
What if these abstract models were real people? – Flora Borsi
You mentioned that you “always pay attention to the rules of geometry, the color harmony and the lightning for the appropriate atmosphere of the pictures.” Do you have any formal training in photography? If so, do you think it has helped you develop your style?
I used to draw a lot when I was younger and my past teachers taught me the basic rules of visual culture. I still use those principles to this day. I’ve never learned the techniques of photography in a formal setting. As a self-taught artist, I had to figure out how things work on my own.
Where do you get the images you use in your photo-manipulations? Do you use a lot of stock images from other websites?
If I need any stock material, I’d rather shoot my own photographs because the right angle, lighting, shadows, spatial location is very important in making sure the finished product looks real. But if I need a specific background or accessory that can be difficult to photograph, I just download it from free stock sites.
Do you have any upcoming projects that we should watch out for?
It’s still a secret, but yes I’m currently working on some new projects.
Do you have any advice for other young photographers who would also like to get into photo-manipulation and photography?
Don’t give up, it takes time to make it to the top. If you are really interested in this occupation you will never be satisfied with your work, but that doesn’t mean your work is not good enough. Give time to yourself.
I was born in 1993. I’ve interested in photo-manipulating since 2004. I’ve been taking photos since 2007. I usually do (self) portraits, concept arts, photo-manipulations, fashion editorials. The essence of my photos is to visualize the physically impossible in a form of photo manipulation. I always pay attention to the rules of geometry, the color harmony and the lightning for the appropriate atmosphere of the pictures. I would like to communicate in my photographs emotions, dreams and humor.
About my manipulations
The editor software is just a tool to complete my pictures, I want to make an image, which looks like a real, unedited photo. I would like to shock people or make them smile with some society critics. My goal is to inspire the viewer to think, to feel what I felt.
The Daily Mail
The Huffington Post
The Guardian – The Observer
Freelance Fine art Photographer
Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design Budapest
- Photography studies BA I.