Out of Sight / A Stray Ghost and Other Stories
After my latest project A Stray Ghost and Other Stories came out in 2017 a lot of people asked me to tell more about these visual volumes of short stories, what are the details behind the images or the strange and weird titles. So in february 2018 I asked 7 people to pick 1 image from the series and I shared my personal and secret stories behind 7 pictures.
In Budapest all tramways has a very unique mood. Buildings, roads, people, faces, different environments of each tram. Smelly crowd on ‘No. 4-6′, curious tourists on ‘No. 2‘ or ‘No. 47‘, endless travel of ‘No. 3‘ or resigned faces on ‘No. 24.’ This photo was taken on the very long and varied tramway ‘No. 1‘ in rush hour. I love that moment when this tram arrives to ’Puskás Ferenc Stadion M’ station (a very central station) which is also a huge crossroad. In the evening after a little stop the tram is crossing the road quickly and louldly, lights and flashes and movements, people and cars everywhere. A beautiful chaos. But there are also tiny details too, like that thoughtful woman on the left, you can see her face. For me title Ivory Nights (which is same as a track by amazing composer John Lemke) defines that kind of night and moment very well. Also I like the Hungarian translation for word ’Ivory’ which is ’Elefántcsontszínű’. What a great word… the colors of the night.
HENRY OR HANK
That title is simply a reference to the author “Charles Bukowski‘. I guess I was deeply immersed in his stories at that time when I took this shot. Bukowski created a protagonist (actually a literary alter ego of Bukowski himself) named ‘Henry Charles “Hank” Chinaski‘. On the photo there are two interesting man, two Bukowskiesque outsider character. One with the smoke on the left, and it’s hard to notice but there is one in the background, he is sitting on the right on the top of the stairway. I gave them name: they are Henry and Hank.
I like that simple but powerful composition with all the horizontal, vertical and parallel lines. The place is ’Boráros square’ which is a wonderful place in Budapest for street photography. Just look at the surface of the ground and stairs. Amazing rough and frayed concrete.
AND WHAT IF HE DIES
That’s one of my images which got some very bad feedback. Most of the people who I asked doesn’t like it and people are not fond of the title either. I love the darkness and motion of that man. He hurried next to me and I had to act fast to take a shot of him. I was listening to the album of ’Jerusalem in my Heart’ called ’If He Dies, If If If If If If’. Last year I used this album a lot for a new street photo project.
That’s typically a title where I just love the synergy between the visuals and the words. It’s just something personal. Love the upsetting and fearful thoughts when I’m looking at it. What if anybody just suddenly dies? Also love the absurd bouncing of words ‘if if if if if’, and my confused but also calm and stoic feelings. So yes, I often make up non-existent stories for my images.
I’m very obsessed with seasons and every single year I can be totally happy and also a bit sad when a season ends. What a great power the ever-changing weather has, right? This photo was taken in the Indian summer (which is a great phrase too, also like the Hungarian version ‘Vénasszonyok Nyara‘) of 2016. The autumn wind was strong against the pertinacious sunlights. I was thinking it would be so nice for those days to stay so I can freeze a moment.
My personal favourite on this image is the luckless guy sitting in his fast-moving car, he totally stuck in that moment forever.
GENTLY AS SHE GOES
If there is a huge rain in Budapest it’s absolutely sure that ’Nagyvárad square’ station of ‘Metro 3‘ is flooded.
When I took this shot there was a brutal storm in the city and water just ran down on the station’s stairs as in a fountain. Everybody were hurrying but there was that woman in her interesting dress (look at that shawl and those patterns on her dress and umbrella) who was totally calm. She went up from the station in soft moves as gently and slowly as she can. It was a lovely scene also with the woman who was standing straight in the rain with her strange hat.
I REMEMBER THAT HOT DAY IN JUNE
The truth is I don’t want to remember that hot day in June… It’s like the moments that you can recall from the past. You’re in a good mood, somehow everything seems wonderful but suddenly a worrying thought just hits you from nowhere. A tiny fear that your fickle happiness will end very soon, maybe tonight, maybe tomorrow or the next week.
The photo was taken in a strong unforgettable moment that felt exactly like this. I was on a business event as an organizer and finally I realized that an era of my life has began to end. I was just standing there watching a lovely and unknown girl on the balcony for couple of minutes, smoke and sunlight all around her, with the beautiful view of ’Klotild Palace’ of Budapest…in a very hot day of June.
This title came from the meaning of synthesis (‘the combination of components or elements to form a connected whole’). In 2015 I made a small photo project of how I feel in big crowds on public transports. I really liked the dynamics how people move together. There are a lot of interesting aspects of it like people often use the same path to work every single morning, but there are others (for example tourist) who don’t know the right way. This makes lovely glitches in the system of how the crowd moves from A to B and C and so on.
I came up with a shooting technique for not looking in the lenses, but using the movement of my whole body. I took this picture on a stairway when the crowd moved to the right (always in the same formation) and a lot of people were trying to move faster and gain on the others. It was a moment when we merged into one big creature and moved together in a similar rhythm.