Guča/Serbia Aug-2007: Balkan Brass Band Music Festival.

More about the Guča balkan brass band music festival you can find in the links:
During the festival is interesting to see the bands playing on the streets:
Most visitors during the festival are sleeping either to their cars or the are camping (there are also few rooms if you book ahead). In the photo you can see some French jugglers in the camping out of the school (the teachers of the school were renting the playground of the school for camping (10€ per person for the days of the festival)). In France is famous the gypsy music and "the gypsy way" of living, so most of the tourists in Guča are French! (all these remind me the French film Gadjo Dilo (1997) from Tony Gatlif where the story is about a French who travels in Romanian and trying to find original gypsy music.. may-be the French people in Guča are imitating the hero of that movie) ;-).
Serbia has interesting local kitchen. During the festival you can taste roasted meat and traditional soups. Generally speaking the food in a restaurant in Serbia is cheap (ie. with 15€ 3 people can eat) but in the festival the food has European prices (=expensive). Something that I didn't like is the nationalistic character of the festival. In the following photo we see t-shirts with extremist/racist character. You can see in the t-shirts the face of Ratko Mladic how is resposible for genocides in the war in Bosnia. The person how was selling the t-shirts when he saw that I want to take a photo he didn't allow me to take pictures: "I don't want to have problems.. I don't want photos of my t-shirts" he said, and I replied "then why you sell them?" but I didn't receive an answer). The following photo I took it covertly. During the concerts we can see Serbs dancing with Serbian flags (some of them wearing t-shirts as the above).Lately Montenegro got its independence, and today the situation in Kosovo is unstable (soon it will get also its independence). Despite these facts the Serbs during this festival are expressing nationalism. I don't think that an Albanian (ie. from Kosovo) will like to attend Guča festival, with this nationalistic character. During the festival the president of Serbia visited the festival (I saw him walking on the streets) and I suppose that he is aware about this nationalistic character.


Aug-2007: Sarajevo Film Festival: "j'aime le cinema! et j'aime sarajevo!".

A few days ago I visited Sarajevo and I was impressed by the posters of the Sarajevo film festival which takes place these days (Sarajevo Film Festival 17-25/8/2007) but also the image of the 4 girls in a central coffee house in the city. In the poster of the film festival the slogan is in French: j'aime le cinema! et j'aime sarajevo! = I love cinema! and I love sarajevo. Sarajevo (and Bosnia i Hertegovina) is a very interesting place for a visit. Many buildings that has been destroyed during the war in Bosnia has been renovated/reconstructed and Sarajevo is again a touristic attraction (I visited Sarajevo first time in 1997, one year after the end of war, where big part of the city was destroyed).
Let's see some details from the above photograph:You can say that Sarajevo is the Prague of the Balkans.


27-May-2007: Abandoned house in Agridia (Tepeköy ), Gökçeada, Turkey. Form and content in photography, Nikos Economopoulos.

Lately I was discussing with a friend what is form in the photography and what is a formalistic photograph. These two photos are examples of formalistic photographs. These photos are from an abandoned house in Agridia (Tepeköy), in Gökçeada island, Turkey. Let's see the aesthetics of this photographs:


The interesting point in that photographs are the shadows/lights, the general composition and the texture of the abandoned house. So you say that the content in these photos is missing and they are interesting mostly for their form.


Both photographs has been shot from the same point but with a different lens. In the first photo a 24mm (wide-angle) lens has been used and in the second photograph a 50mm (normal) lens. We can see the different aesthetic result. Personally in my pictures I like a lot the aesthetics of the 50mm (normal) lens, but here I think that is more interesting the composition made with the 24mm lens.

Form + Content:

Probably a good photo should have good form with content (and of course shot from a good angle). A good formalist photographs can be impressive only in first views. The next photograph is from the Greek magnum photographer Niko Economopoulo (shot in 1993 in Epirus). This photo combines both good form and interesting content (= it is an excellent photo ;).
When I look in good photos like this one you realize how average photos I make ;-). More about the photographer you can find in the link: http://www.ontheroad.gr/ and to the link http://www.magnumphotos.com.