F-Stop Magazine: How did you first become involved in photography and what led to you working in this medium as an artist?
Eldar Zeytullaev: My first experiences in photography were experiments with a compact film camera, then there was a long pause, and in the third year of university I had photography as a subject – it gave me an opportunity to fortify the technical knowledge, but only technical. It all started a little later, when I bought a medium format camera from my friend – it was my first series…
F-Stop: The current “Black and White” issue of F-Stop includes photographs from your “Planta Sapiens” what is this project about and what inspired you to make this work?
EZ: Series Planta Sapiens is a series of plants portraits, where each plant has its face and form through which we can see the character of those, who are on photos. It started with the closest approach to shooting object – this were plants. And this approach about 30 cm gives an opportunity to cross the border of personal space, it creates a feeling of contact.
F-Stop: Can you discuss your process for making these images?
EZ: This process was based on my own feelings to somebody on the other side of my camera. I used to find some plants underfoot when i was walking. These photos were taken on black and white negative 6x7cm camera Mamiya RZ67 pro, further there was a silver gelatin print size 13x16cm.
F-Stop: Do you have a favorite image from this series? If so, which one and why is it the image that speaks to you most?
EZ: I can’t say for sure what I like more, there are some images that are distinguished by their subtlety, peace and tranquility – all of them are unique in their own way.
F-Stop: What do you hope people see or feel or perhaps learn when they look at your photographs?
EZ: I hope that those who will be able to watch these images as well as me, I feel them at the contact level, or even at the level of dialogue and viewing of each image as a portrait of a particular personality with its individual characteristics, history and character.
F-Stop: What are you working on now?
EZ: At the moment I finished printing a series – it’s small size prints 9x12cm . And it is important that it is printing, because on the monitor it looks quite different , and it loses the metaphysical condition. Now I’m working on two projects, which are cardinally different from images that I was shooting previously . One of these series is called “Contact” and it is based on events occurring in social networks, and in the other series I use the landscape as a visual tool , and it’s ” landscapes” of the places where I live – it is an industrial port city and is a great space for things I started to do 🙂
F-Stop: What photographers or other artists inspire you?
EZ: At different stages of my practice there were different authors, some of them remain favorite to this day, such as Jeff Wall, Joel Meyrowitz with his landscapes and I love Keith Carter with his simplicity and metaphysics.
For more of Eldar Zeytullaev’s work: www.eldarzeytullaev.com