A view from Croatia: Miroslav Vajdić
Photography can be many things. It can be art, it can be work, it can be a hobby. For Miroslav Vajdić, it is a passion. Photography is not Vajdić's full time job (he works in IT), but entries from his huge portfolio, amassed over three decades, would be recognised by many. That's because his iconic and evocative shots of Croatia have been used on many websites, phone apps and as book and cd covers. 'I like location and documentary photography, documenting changes over time,' says Vajdić, who graduated in photography at Shaw Academy and holds a Digital Photography Certificate from Harvard. 'For me, I think that this type of photography is important and that changes are often best shown in photography. As the saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words.' Looking at Miroslav Vajdić's incredible catalogue of work, most of which is available to see on his Flickr or Facebook pages, you begin to understand what kind of a photographer he is, why his photographs have been used by so many and why he has been exhibited internationally, in places like Berlin, Paris, Cape Town and Singapore; there is a complete absence of ego in his work. Vajdić appears to remove himself completely from his photographs, eschewing any overtly artistic pretensions. He seems to allow the subject matter to tell its own, honest story within the eyes of the viewer. That's not to say that there is no art in Vajdić's work nor that Vajdić is absent; of course he is there, traipsing through wild, muddy paths
A view from Croatia: Antun Delinger
24-year-old Antun Delinger lives just outside Vinkovci in Slavonia, located in the bucolic east of Croatia. He treats photography as a hobby but his fantastic Instagram depicts the work of a talented and considered enthusiast. His photographs are often landscapes using long exposure, a technique he enjoys for its unusual results. He often photographs the nature surrounding him, enjoying the peacefulness and solitude of venturing out into the wild with his camera, at any time of year. He also loves to photograph starry nighttime landscapes. Many of his pictures are taken in and around his home in Slavonia, but Pula, where he studied, and Biograd Na Moru, where he goes on holiday, are also featured.
A view from Croatia: Tomislav Marcijuš
Tomislav Marcijuš is a photographer from Osijek. He is best known for his day job, photographer at Marcijuš Weddings, for which he travels the country. But his interest in photography extends further than happy couples and their special day. He is also the founder of the wonderful Osijek Postcards project and has managed to maintain his enthusiasm for photography to the extent that it remains a hobby as well as his full time job. Tomislav Marcijuš's personal photos could not be more different from his wedding photos.'For me, living in eastern Europe can bring an everyday feeling of nostalgia and melancholy,' says Marcijuš, who acknowledges Russian filmmaker Andrei Tarkovsky as one of his main inspirations. 'My photos couldn’t have avoided it and my surroundings are what inspire me the most. My personal projects show a different world, the environment in which I grew up and in which I live, a space that can seem empty and uninteresting.' But Tomislav's shots are far from uninteresting. He photographs Communist-era architecture, framing the brutal buildings in a realistic and sometimes beautiful light. Similarly, he takes photographs of people existing naturally, unposed, in their everyday environment. His use of an analog camera and 35mm film adds to the timeless quality of his work. Looking at Tomislav's personal photographs, you can often imagine that you are seeing something captured 40 years ago; a past that, in this region, still seems to exist today.
A view from Croatia: Matej Pilaš
'My interests in photography are mostly with landscapes and nature,' says Matej Pilaš, who is originally from Požega in central Croatia. 'But I’m also doing some commercial work for the small businesses as well.''As far as landscapes go, I enjoy spending time outside, exploring nature and I want to capture all the weather changes in the scenery. For me, photographing lightning storms and clear night skies is the most interesting part of it all. Every season has something special and different to offer, but my favourite time to take photographs is during autumn and winter in the dawn or twilight.''I mostly take photos in the Slavonia region of Croatia, but in my portfolio there are a lot of photographs taken in another parts of Croatia, or in Slovenia, Austria and lately some from Kazakhstan. Currently I’m in Kazakhstan working as electrical engineer and because of that my photography work is a little bit reduced. One of the goals I had for a long time is to travel the world in a camper van while taking photos of a beautiful nature that surrounds me.'RECOMMENDED: See the work of other Croatian photographers from this feature series
A view from Croatia: Dario Dunaj
'I have regular job that pays the bills, but my photography is quickly catching up in importance,' says Zagreb-based photographer Dario Dunaj, who is sometimes a fashion photographer, but also a part of the Krenimo collective who document abandoned spaces. 'Sometimes you need to run as fast as you can, because not all the places or rooftops are legal. But that's part of the deal. I would say that skateboarding videos and photos educated me most when I was younger. And for sure they shaped the way I observe the world around me.''What inspires me most to take photos? Life itself and how some situations, despite how small they seem, can have a big impact on you. Situations and human emotions; how people hold themselves and deal with their inner worlds. That is really interesting to observe.''Abandoned places make you wonder who was there before you, and what was the energy inside the space when it was alive. You can almost feel like an archaeologist when you're digging through somebody else's past like that, even if it's just in the building itself. By pure instinct you can sometimes just feel some situation, and then your eye or your camera will capture it forever.' 'My personal beliefs about photography as a medium is that it helps us express our view of our surroundings. It works as a perfect bridge between the past and future because, as a moment, motive actually only exists in the now.''Most of the best photographs I took turned out to be those weird little moment that you