Sep 18, 2013

Phlearn Interviews Caras lonut

Born in February of the late 70s, I seem to have taken passion in cooler weather as my inspirations for photography in my life as a romanian artist; so much of my work shows depictions of fall and winter and my mechanic entail several hues of blues and whites. Most people when considering dreams would think of good positive dreams, and I like to think I captured that in my work. I also seem to visit the raker side of what people may see of dreams, not necessarily what one would see as negative, but possibly a ream that one could not quite understand or may feel alone.

The definition of art can be quite broad, however one aspect of art that is widely explored is art through dreams. One’s perception of a dream is vast, which in comparison to the views of art, it helps to encompass what artists want from their viewers. That is the perception of many different opinions from their work. Art becomes most popular by both their similarities in view and also their differences. After all that is what art truly can be defined as, using such work in your own life because art is not useful without personal admiration and profess.

Caras lonut’s Publications, Awards and Features
– Workshop Arta Digitala in Indonesia, Jakarta
– Exhibition at Art Galleries UAIC, lasi
– Exhibition at Moldova Mall, lasi
– Publication on PhotoWorld Magazine
– Publication on Practical Photoshop
– Publication on Photographer’s Companion
– Publication on Photoshop Magazine
– Publication on DPWORLD Magazine

Join us as Caras lonut speaks with for this exclusive interview. In this interview you will get to see Caras’ editing process illustrated with many side by side “before and after” images, you will learn through Caras’ mistakes as he talks about copyright, we find out what inspires Caras to do what he does and much more. Caras lonut is a talented digital artist and his work is so diverse from photo to photo that it can be admired by all.

How did you become interested in photography?

I’m not sure when I started to fall in love with photography, but I know I always loved to explore new things. So it was a mix of a lot of things. Like painting, drawing, looking at maps, creating electronic circuits, coding, playing with photographic analog toys and so on… and finally I was interested in photography because of the computer, I was able to store my photographs easily to work on and edit with later.

How did you develop such amazing skills in photo retouching? Your photographs are like works of art.

Well, first of all thank you for your appreciation. There’s a very interesting story behind this, as I said before, I love to explore. I became passionate about photography and what I can do with it in CorelDraw, I loved to manipulate images which I had already taken and had stored in my laptop. So, it began as simple fun and entertainment.
After producing some images, I found some really nice imagery on the internet, and I tried to reproduce them, or try to create something different based on their work, and I tried to break down the digital art.
So, I remember I was starting to learn how to edit in CorelDraw, and everyday I was exploring new tools in that software, and in about one month, I knew the editing software inside and out, but what was missing? It was the idea and the means for creating something great, my vision and many other things. In time, I switched from using CorelDraw to Photoshop, and was very easily able to improve my skills and my vision, and today I have created my own style, but am especially very drawn to work with exquisite details.

On average, how long does it take you to create a photograph? (Conceptualizing, Shooting, Editing)

Well, it is dependent on many factors. First it depends on how the picture will look, like whether or not it is easy to cut out or has easy elements in it. After creating a mood, if I have a solid idea or concept, I will composite in the images that I want to use. Sometimes I “loose” a few hours in the process of re-exploring all of my images, looking for something new, interesting, something to really smash down all of the work I have done before. Sometimes, because I’m running out of time, or I’m too busy, I just combine some of my old work and create a new one, this doesn’t take longer than 30 minutes, sometimes even no more than 15 minutes. But on average, I can say around 2 hours. The longest one was around 17 hours.

Are the images used in your composites photographs shot by yourself, stock photos, or a mixture of both?

A long time ago, I was using images downloaded from torrents to create my composites, and in doing so I came to an understanding of copyright, and how using another person’s image is totally wrong. Now I use only my images, I have over 150,000 raw in my computer, with everything you want, mostly, but at this point, I collect everything I can. I 95% of the time, go out with my new DSLR and just shoot like crazy.

What about the creative process? When planning a shoot do you sketch before hand and plan every detail out? Or do you let things happen more organically?

Yes, mostly I love things to happen organically, I don’t like to copy some idea or to make directed some scene, I like to go around, explore, look carefully for new elements, for new possibilities. I can create artwork from almost anything, and my gallery can prove that. But sometimes, I like to make some “directed scene”, especially for my friends, sometimes I also shoot events like weddings for example.

You began to share your artwork on the 1st of April, 2008, yet you started to create on the 16 of June 2001. What made you want to start sharing your work after so many years of keeping it yourself?

To be honest I don’t remember that, I know I always tried to share my work over the social networks. I didn’t know about international social networking so I was only sharing my work on a local romanian website, that was all. Now, I’m sharing my work only on international networks.

What inspires you?

Well, everything inspires me, everything. I spend a lot of time becoming inspired by looking at other works, by watching movies, playing around in Photoshop or with my camera. I get inspired by many things, it depends.

Who are some of your favourite photographers and/or artists?

Well, the first one is Michal Karcz from Polland. After, a very close second is Leszek Bujnowsky & Darius Klimczac, both of them from Polland as well. Anka Zhuravleva, Alex Teuscher, John Wilhelm and few more.

What’s your favourite photo that you’ve ever taken?

Well, it is hard to decide, I have some work that I am still really impressed with, but I guest I will choose one with my daughter, one called FACE TO FACE.

And on the contrast, what photo of yours was the most difficult to create?

Well, this depends how the original image looks. When compositing images together there is sometimes a big difference between them and it is very hard to achieve the correct contrast, light, tone, and so on, but in the end I manage to figure out something — like less saturated, and some more toned.

What are some obstacles that you’ve had to overcome to get to where you are today?

That’s a funny question. Well, I think the hardest part was my ambition, and that a lot of “people” tried to bring me down for what I create. They call me stupid, say I have no brain, I’m just a boy who discovered Photoshop, I have no true talent and so on, so I wanted to show them that this is not true. Whatever I was creating, I was never going to stop, I just follow what I love the most, be creative and create things only from photography. Today, I believe that I have one of the most complex Photoshop galleries out there. I have scenes, landscapes, series with a lot of different things, InfraRed work, special effects for night time and so on. To be honest I can make anything if I am inspired.

Please tell us about your Photoshop tutorials! Why did you begin to create these tutorials, what inspired you to share the knowledge that you have?

I started to do this based on advice given to me from a user of social networking. The idea is easy, more free time for me, and I can also keep the “work”. I think this training is useful for both parties – for me because I can earn some money to continue to invest in equipment, costs for exploring new places, travelling, and besides that, it is the way I survive – and useful for them, because they can learn in just a few hours what I have learnt in years. But I also love to share my work, just because I want that branch of work to become more popular, and some people really don’t understand the extent of work which is behind my “scene”, they don’t really understand the time spent collecting all of these materials, the cost of all of them, the experience behind them, the time put into creating the final image and so on, so there are many reasons why I want to share the knowledge that I have.

What’s on your gear list?

Well, at this point, I have a lot of things, so I will start with my DSLR, I have a Nikon D600 and mostly running on it with 28-300mm from nikon, after for my event’s shooting I use a Sigma: 12-24mm, 35mm 1.4, 85mm 1.4 and the last one is 150mm 2.8 macro.
I have 3 Nikon speedlights, SB-900 and one small from Meike MK-300, that is my favourite one, I use triggers from Yongnuo, and a lot of other things, like stands, diffuser, spare batteries etc.

What are you trying to accomplish with the stunning work you create? What is the end goal?

I try to create something that will be more than amazing, to break down the day. And of course, for my “friends” to see that I’m still keeping up with the good work.

How has photography changed your life?

Everything, now I see beauty in everything, I love everything around me, I’m more patient and try to enjoy my life as much I can. Indoors and outdoors are different worlds for me now, more colorful, with more meanings and opportunities.

What are you currently working on?

Now I’m working in Romania, in a city called Iasi, and I’m very proud of this.

Do you have any advice to offer us fellow photographers?

Well, I have many, but because of my “bad” experience, I will start with copyright, so the most important thing is that we should never try to use other peoples images without the authors written permission, to not use other peoples images to create another image. To work hard day by day, because we never know what the end result will be. To explore and use your camera without fear. Check all pictures more than 3-4 times, on all sides, maybe you will notice something which you didn’t see before. When you try to improve a picture, be sure that you do just that, and don’t edit it in such a way that in the end it “looks edited”. Fix the details, correct exposure, dirt spots and so on. The edited version must always look better, improved, with more clarity and details.

Interviewed By: Angela Butler
To keep up with Caras and his work you can do so on his Photoshop Tutorial Website, 500PX, and Facebook Page. Thanks for reading!


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    Alexandru Anton-Luca

    The artist’s name should be Caras Ionut and not Caras Lonut. Great story.

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      Angela Butler ?

      Oh, I’m sorry I didn’t realize that. I’ll fix it, thank you for pointing that out. 🙂

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    I have just started to learn photography and photoshop and its bec of this guy .caras work for me is just breath taken. i remember looking on 500px and seen one of his photos and was totaly amazed by it .something about his work just pulls you in. i have prob since then looked at almost all th his work lol..phlearn always talks about tone and complementary colors this guy is a master at it.think my favorite photo is rule breaker amazing . totally inspirational stuff . thanks for sharing it..

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    Shirley Privette Baucom

    He is awesome – I would just like to buy some frameable prints from him.

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    Irina Escoffery

    I discovered this amazing artist on my own. Really admire his work and would love to learn from him. Unfortunately, his tutorials are very expensive and I cannot afford them.