in conversation with: TOMAS CIHAK
Czech born Tomas Cihak is a self-proclaimed beginning photographer based in Bristol, United Kingdom. He tries to capture the beauty in the every day and the mundane. He wants to live in the moment. For Tomas, photography is all about the emotions and feelings. Tomas captures scenes that evoke and reflect sentiments and feelings of warmth, happiness and memories but also sadness, nostalgia and emptiness.
When did you start getting interested in photography?
I started to think about actually trying to take photographs with a proper camera about two years ago. However, it wasn't until about two months ago that I actually started going out and taking photographs.
What is your favourite quote that resonates with you the best?
I don't really have a favourite quote but a line that has stuck with me for years is "It is what it is 'til it ain't” sung by Mac Miller in a song called "What's the use?".
I am not exactly sure why, but I believe it has something to do with the fact that I am mainly emotionally driven, and I don't like big changes in my personal life. I suppose then the line "it is what it is 'till it ain't” reminds me of the fact that nothing in life lasts forever, that it's OK and that I just have to live in the moment and appreciate what I have while it lasts.
Where do you find your inspiration?
I suppose my inspiration comes from the fact that certain types of images can evoke in me feelings and emotions of nostalgia, happiness and/or sadness. I find that absolutely mesmerizing and I want to be able to take such photographs as well.
Who are your favourite artists/photographers?
I wouldn't say that I have a particular favourite photographer that has influenced my style but rather the ability of certain photographs to evoke variety of feelings and to communicate emotions.
Since you have only just begun your photography journey, how would you describe your style and what else would you like to explore in the future?
I believe the core of my photography will remain the same even in the long run...the desire to capture warm, positive and old-school looking photographs that can evoke and embody feelings and sentiments of happiness, nostalgia and the good old days' vibe.
However, there are some other styles and types of photography that I also want to explore in the future, such as a bit more intimate form of photography or shooting in a studio and working with fashion models etc.
Where is your favourite place to shoot?
So far, I have only been photographing on the streets of Bristol, but I would love to go and take photographs in places such as Prague, Manchester, Lisbon, Edinburgh and Berlin.
Do you think equipment is important in achieving your vision in your photography? What would you say to someone else just starting out?
I suppose it might become more important in the future depending on what kind of photographs I will want to take and how, and of what quality.
Having said that, I don't think I need any special or expensive equipment to do what I do right now. I believe one doesn't need to have a super fancy camera to be able to just go out, explore, have a good time and take decent photographs.
To someone who is just starting out or thinking about starting, I 'd say, your equipment doesn't really matter. I myself shoot with an older inexpensive compact camera, and I couldn't be happier. Just go out and take photos on anything you have that shoots. If you fall deeper for photography and would want to take it to a higher level, then start thinking a bit more about getting a better camera.
Are there any special projects you are currently working on?
I am currently working on a platform called "Laid Back Visuals" which I hope one day will become a sort of feature magazine for like-minded photographers with a similar style to mine on Instagram.
I find it somewhat frustrating to see that the majority of street photography platforms out there tend to mainly focus on abstract, high contrast and fancy looking street photographs.
There are so many talented people out there who understand and portray street photography in a similar fashion as I do but it feels as if there aren't enough platforms to showcase such work. So, I would like to change that.
If I wasn't photographing what would I be doing?
If I wasn't photographing in my spare time, I'd most likely just watch movies all the time... I love movies.