Interview with Ognjen Karabegović – Photographer in Croatia

OgnJen KarabegovicOgnjen was born in Banja Luka, in Bosnia and Herzegovina, in 1959, and has a degree in Law. He started taking pictures in high school. He curently lives in Zagreb. He has had exhibitions in Canada in 2008, and in Zagreb in 2009 and 2010.

You can connect with Ognjen on facebook or you can also see his photography at EyeFetch, Jpg Mag, and Digital Photographer

You can also reach him through his contact info below:

Email Ognjen

Telephone: +385 1 4620 155

Mobile: +385 99 411 64 46

Skype: ogymaster7

View Ognjen’s photographs. You can also view his photograpy after the interview below.

ExtraImaginary: Please give us a background of yourself and your photography.

I was born in Banja Luka, in Bosnia and Herzegovina, in 1959, and that’s where I got my degree in Law, back in 1986. As far as photography goes, I started taking pictures in high school and contined through my time in the University, since it was always a very important hobby of mine (if you could even call something you take as seriously and dedicate as much time to, a mere hobby). I moved to Zagreb during the nineties, where I live now, and after a pause, I started actively involving myself in photography again in 2000, this time working with digital cameras. I joined the local Photography club and later became a member of the Croatian photographers’ association, and started exhibiting my photographs, both independently and in group exhibitions. These included independent exhibitions in Canada in 2008, and Zagreb in 2009 and 2010.

ExtraImaginary: How did you begin with photography?

I got my first camera for my 14th birthday from my parents, it was a Lubitel, and that got me involved with a small group of five or six friends in highschool who also took pictures. We had a small laboratory there and we experimented with the different possibilities of analog photography, and a teacher who gave us a lot of encouragement, and who I owe a lot of my starting enthusiasm to.

ExtraImaginary: You’ve been taking photographs since 1973 so you’ve been through the major changes from black & white to colour and then to digital. Tell us about the transitions, and how you adapted to the new media and also which is your favourite?

I didn’t have any major problems adapting to the new media since I can appreciate its simplicity and the way it really made a lot of things easier, which I think is an improvement as far as the technical side goes. Also, it is a huge time and money-saver, especially if you take a lot of photos like me. To say the truth, even though I now rarely use analog photography, I think that the magic of our craft is definitely still on its side – at least that’s the way I see it. It holds the element of surprise, and you are more immediately involved in making it, that is, it somehow seems more deliberate and more final.

ExtraImaginary: These days cameras are everywhere – on computers , on phones, and almost everyone has a digital camera these days. With so many people taking pictures and posting them everywhere, do you feel that photography is losing its value as an art?

I think that value is an individual things, really. If creativity is involved in the act of taking a photograph or later, in post processing it, I don’t think the value of the end product has anything to do with the number of other photographs online or wherever. This, of course, only applies to original and innovative works, and the art of photography. As far as snapshots and familiy photos are concerned, I think it’s a good thing that more people can now buy cameras and have memories of certain dear moments. I don’t think it decreases the value of photography as an art, they are two things which need to be distinguished.

ExtraImaginary: Your photography is about architecture, nature, street photography, and people. What inspires you?

Old Man by Ognjen KarabegovićThere’s beauty in everything that surrounds us, as well as ugliness. Both are in their way interesting, and inspiring. Like the details of architecture, through which one can express a certain fondness of symmetry. Through faces, you can try to paint the everyday suffering of joy of life. I guess what inspires me is the metaphor – trying to take one thing and put it in a photograph to respresent another.

ExtraImaginary: Do you carry your camera with you most of the time, just in case you see something you want to capture, or do you plan a shoot?

I rarely plan anything as far as shooting goes, so yes, I carry my camera around with me all the time. You never know when you might stumble upon a perfect shot.

ExtraImaginary: What is your most memorable moment as a photographer?

The most memorable moment for me is when I took a picture of a woman begging for money, with a metal, prosthetic leg. It was a moving experience, later when I looked at the photograph it spoke of courage to me, of survival.

ExtraImaginary: Do you use software such as photoshop to enhance your photos after you shoot them?

I mostly use PS, and some other programs, to experiment with photographs, to transcend the reality of a basic photograph and venture into the world of the surreal.

ExtraImaginary: Do you use any special techniques or equipment and what are your favourite cameras and lenses?

Morning by Ognjen KarabegovićI don’t really use any special techniques or equipment, I’m very fond of simplicity as far as that goes. My favourite brand of camera is Nikon, although I use a Fuji camera as well, and I don’t have preferences involving lenses either. Basically, I think it’s what you take the picture of, and not what you take it with. I’ve seen amazing photos taken with simple point-and-shoot cameras, and very bad ones taken with state-of-the-art equipment.

ExtraImaginary: What are your goals in regards to your photography?

To continuously explore – both myself, and the world. Never to stop being amazed and discovering new things inside this particular field.

ExtraImaginary: Is there anything else that you would like people to know about you?

Not really, I think your questions have covered everything nicely!

ExtraImaginary: Thanks Ognjen. You’re ExtraImaginary.

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  • Ivankos

    You are great photographer. Excellent mixed traditional way photography and modern art. kee that way, all the best!

  • Bravo Ognjene 🙂

  • Izolda

    Odlicno,cestitam,znala sam jos od srednje skole da ces postati “neko” u ovom svijetu.

  • Pingback: Children of Zagreb – An Exhibition by Ognjen Karabegović()

  • Alma

    Impresivno. Banjaluka je bila uvijek izvor nadarenih i talentovanih.