JRP: Dina Bova is a photographer whose gallery on PhotoNet displays a mix of artful images ranging from erotic art, black & white portraits, and colorful scenics.
Thanks Dina for sharing your thoughts and photography with the readers of JRP Blog.
Dina Bova: Thank you, James, for being interested in my works.
JRP: Where is home for you Dina?
Dina Bova: I was born in Moscow. My parents brought me to Israel at 1991 when I was almost 14. Since then I live in Israel for already 17 years. I think Israel is home to me, but I also feel very much attached to European culture and climate.
JRP: What brought you to photography? Do you have any formal training?
Dina Bova: I love art since childhood. First photography caught my soul during my travels around the world. I visited all the continents except Antarctica, where I also dream to go. I want to show wonders of nature, colors of distant countries and versatility of cultures.
I didn’t have any formal photography training, but my friends say I have it in me … the artistic soul and the ability to express it. Before photography I was trying to express myself though sculpture, where I also didn’t have any formal training. In my sculptures I was mostly expressing dreams, strange and erotic.
In 2007 I met a remarkable man, Leonid Padrul, a photo artist, his works inspired me. My soul connected to his art and I fell in love with photo art. Art photography became a way of my life. I tried different styles and genres in art photography.
I experience many dreams, very strange dreams, very mysterious and paradoxical. Dreams are the way to ourselves, to our souls and sub-consciousness, to understanding ourselves and the world around us.
Isn’t life itself and the world around us filled with secrets, strange coincidence, amazing events, fine harmony and bright feelings? Paradoxes and dreams, secrets of simple things and mysteries of distant countries, harmony, sensuality and erotica, that’s something that unifies my works in all the styles and genres, and that’s what I want to show in my art.
JRP: What are the tools you make use of? What is in your camera bag?
Dina Bova: I can describe my bag, although I think it’s not what’s inside your bag that is important but what’s inside your soul.
I have a Nikon D80 camera, 12-24, 30, 18-200, 70-200mm lenses and several filters.
I also plan to build a photography studio at my home. I think that having good equipment is necessary but not enough for creating real artistic work. Sometimes a remarkable work can be done with the simplest equipment, or on the contrary, can not be done with the most sophisticated equipment.
JRP: What software do you make use of in your digital work-flow?
Dina Bova: I use Adobe Photoshop and Neat Image software.
JRP: How do you set up a shoot for your “erotic art images”? Do you work with available light only? Do you find your female models less inhibited because you are female? Have you worked with any male models?
Dina Bova: I work both with natural window light and with professional studio light. Many of my best works are made with one source of light.
When I photograph a female model I imagine myself in her place. Identifying with her and transforming in my mind into the character I want to present. That’s why I work with female models since I can identify with them when I photograph them.
I haven’t worked with male models yet. I believe it’ll be different to me, since I won’t be able to imagine myself in their place. Then I believe it’ll present the man differently, through a woman’s eyes.
JRP: A great deal of your work is presented in Black & White. Is that a preference for you?
Dina Bova: When choosing whether to make a colorful work or black and white I think whether color adds a special meaning to the work. If I want to show the harmony of color … I leave it. If I want to work on forms or textures interpretation, perhaps black and white is a better choice.
In documentary shots, in general, black and white photos emphasize a special atmosphere and emotions, thus there I prefer black and white…
JRP: How did you arrive at your subject matter for the series on Urban Legends?
Dina Bova: My “Urban legends” series describe a fairy-take in everyday life, the fiction versus reality. Sometimes It’s a matter of angle of look, and the world looks completely different, like in a fairy-tale, like something unbelievable.
“Urban legends” for me is something like “Believe it or not” in very simple everyday urban landscapes. Urban legends series is also inspired by a child’s view of life.
A small child sees everything bigger, big people, big trees, big houses. When I take a shoot from bottom to top, it creates the same effect as a small child looking from bottom to top. I guess I still have a child in my soul, that’s why this series is so close to me.
JRP: What has been the best advice given to you by another photographer?
Dina Bova: Learn the rules, know when to use them and when to break them.
When breaking rules, understand why you do it.
Free yourself of any limits, free your imagination, no fear, no constraints, doesn’t matter what other people will think.
A real art is something extraordinary. A unique art is something that expresses you and only you. The art with the signature is something that can be recognizable even if there’s no author’s name written on the work.
JRP: What advice would you share with a photographer starting out?
Dina Bova: If you love it make it a way of your life. Observe, understand what you see. The harmony in simple things. Understand what you feel during the observation and after the observation.
Prepare a collection of textures, clouds, doors, windows etc. You might need them some day.
Learn the technique, practice, and the most important is to free your imagination. Mastering photography equipment, composition rules, light effects and post processing tools, is not the final goal, but only the medium of expressing your individuality. Creativity and free imagination are the keys.
JRP: Thank you Dina for sharing your thoughts and photography with us. It has been a pleasure talking with you.
Dina Bova: Thank you very much. I hope this interview will inspire beginning artists. Just remember, “Sky is the limit” … or should I maybe say that even a sky is not a limit?!
JRP: To view more of Dina Bova’s images please go to these links: