Now that the year is almost over, it’s time for a little retrospective. Here are 12 images from 2022 from my Stocksy collection that I’ve chosen:
Artist Spotlight Interview: Andrei Cosma of PhotoCosma/PhotoDesign
My friend and writer Matthew John Benecke has published an interview with me on TheStayAtHomeScholar.com this year. It promotes my usual images but also the newly made PhotoCoverDesign.com website and service. I figured it is the perfect piece to have on my blog, as I haven’t written here in a long time. You can see the original interview here. Big thanks to Matthew for the interview!
“I first encountered Andrei’s incredible photography back in 2017 when I was designing the cover for my third novel, The Metamorphoses. I had signed up for an account with CreativeMarket.com, and, as part of a promotional free package of images, I spotted one similar to the photo featured above. I was stunned: not only was it exactly the style that I was looking for, I couldn’t get over how hauntingly beautiful it was.
I made contact with the photographer, purchased a photo for use with my book, and came away with a new favorite artist and a new friend as well. I refer to Andrei as an artist because his photographic skills go far beyond merely snapping still shots; instead, he manages to create entire worlds that blend the ordinary with the otherworldly–realms of shadow and light where terrifying uncertainty and awed curiosity are born in equal measures.
I asked him where he conducted his photo shoots, and his response brought an instant smile to my face. After all, it’s not every day that an American horror writer and a Transylvanian photographer come into contact! (And, really, is there any more classic location for fans of dark fiction than Transylvania!?)
Aside from continuing to produce his incomparable photography with his brother, Andrei has begun a book cover and promotional materials business. To help spread the word about his work and the new services he is offering, I conducted an interview with him that you can find below:
So Andrei, where are you from?
I’m from Zalau–a small town in Transylvania, Romania
How long have you been involved in photography/graphic design?
I’ve been a photographer since 2008.
Wow–that’s more than a decade in the industry! What made you want to pick up a camera/begin designing?
I’ve always liked visual things like drawing, painting and comics. When I was a little kid, I loved the way it stopped time–capturing something that otherwise would be lost forever. I’ve been involved with photography since I was about 10 years old, but since 2008 I’ve actively tried learning more about the field, and getting a strong knowledge foundation.
Who or what are your biggest photographic inspirations?
Starting out as a nature/landscape photographer, my biggest inspiration is Ansel Adams.
I love Ansel Adams’s work! He’s definitely one of my favorites, as well. What do you like the most about his photographs?
I like the way he basically simplified landscapes, almost making them abstract in some cases. And his edits are the best – the contrasts, light and shadow in his photos are amazing. I think shooting his photos in black and white helped, but that’s what I like about his images: they are so good, they look surreal.
I completely agree. Do you have any other influences or inspirations?
Other photographers that I really love are Robert Capa and Francesca Woodman. There are more, but I think those three cover all of the picturesque beauty/photojournalism/moody atmospheric photography that I enjoy.
What do you look for when you’re creating an image/how important is the original image versus what’s done in post editing?
I want to get a good photo out of the camera to begin with, but I am not afraid to edit my images. The camera, the computer–they are all just tools in achieving my vision.
I feel the same way. I strive always to keep my images authentic, but sometimes what I see when I take the photo in my mind isn’t what appears on the memory card!
Editing is an important part of the process. I think sometimes photos have to be helped to reach their true potential. The camera isn’t yet capable of capturing the true beauty like we see it, so we have to help it a bit in post processing.
What do you enjoy about photography/graphic design?
What I enjoy most about photography/graphic design is that I can create feelings, emotions with my images, create worlds for the viewer.
Speaking of creating worlds–Romania seems like an incredible, almost fantasy-like place for photography. What’s it like shooting there?
Romania still has some great landscapes, but I have to say that the wild and beautiful parts of Romania are getting smaller and smaller with each passing day. The reasons for this are multiple–and a lot of the times have to do with stupidity and corruption–so this leads to a lot of interesting photo tours.
A lot of times, it’s an adventure just getting to the place I want to photograph, or getting the photos and getting back home in one piece. But when everything is well, and all the pieces fall into place, I can get some interesting results.
Transylvania is often typecast as the focal point of horror, at least in American popular culture. Do you find any similarities between the stereotypes of the region and what you actually experience there? (In other words–does the setting help to influence the photos?)
Transylvania really has some interesting places to photograph, especially if the atmospheric conditions are right. I can see where the authors (book and film) have got their inspiration. Some of the stereotypes really do work–like walking through a cold, damp, autumn forest in the evening. Your imagination starts to act up on you, and you can almost see the fantasy creatures lurking in the shadows.
What are your interests beyond photography? Do you think that they influence your creativity?
Music influences my work the most, I think. A lot of the times when I am out photographing, or when I am sorting and editing the photos, I have certain songs in my mind, and this helps me create those atmospheric images.
Books and movies also have a big influence on me. The most important book authors would be H.P. Lovecraft, Stephen King, J. R. R. Tolkien. Of course there are more, but I think these three have all the pieces needed for my imagination to work: strange, surreal, paranormal and fantasy worlds.
As for movies, I am a big fan of Stanley Kurbick and Alfred Hitchcock.
Those are all excellent choices–masters of their crafts, for sure! So where can folks find your photography?
You can find my photography on http://www.photocosma.net. I have images for sale on Stocksy.com, and I’m also present on social media. All the links are on the website.
On the topic of websites, you just launched a book design service, right? What do you offer there?
Yes, besides photography, there’s also a new service: book covers and album covers design. You can find more about those on: http://www.photocoverdesign.com
There, you can get your custom eBook cover, full book cover, or social media promotion kit. Here is a sample of some of my work:
Thank you to Andrei for a great interview! If you’re a writer looking for an eye-catching, high quality book cover or promotional materials, please consider checking out PhotoCoverDesign.com! Also, be sure to give Andrei a follow or a like on his social media channels!
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/photocosma/ “
Stocksy Top 5 – February 2019
Stocksy Top 5 – January 2019
1000 Stocksy images
Last month, the 1000th photo by PhotoCosma got accepted on Stocksy United. The collection keeps growing every month and I’m really happy about the quality and variety of them. Here are also the top 5 images from last month – December 2018:
Snow Flakes Falling In Winter Wonderland Woods
Stocksy Top 5 of the Month – November 2018
Hello everyone, it’s time for the Stocky Top 5 of the Month – number 23! This time it’s about the seasons changing from autumn to winter. A bit more late than usual, but here are my top Stocksy United picks for November 2018:
Stocksy Top 5 of the Month – October 2018
Shutterstock Blog Feature -Creepy Places
Hello, it’s been a while since I’ve written on this blog, but I have some nice news and something to read on the Shutterstock blog: 6 Photographers on Shooting Their Favorite Creepy Places
In the article you’ll find three of my photos and a bit of info about them:
“Want to explore abandoned houses and lonely graves? Discover creepy places with tips from these six artists as they share their secrets for finding and photographing locations that haunt the senses.
Photography and superstition share a long history, dating all the way back to the “spirit photography” craze of the 19th century. While the “ghosts” that appeared in early camera experiments were in fact merely the results of long exposures, these eerie images were quite popular throughout the second half of the 1800s; many of them were widely published or sold as stereocards. And more than a century later, we still enjoy a good spooky photo.
In honor of the Halloween season, we put together this collection of spine-chilling photographs. We asked six Shutterstock contributors to tell us about the creepiest places they’ve visited, and they shared stories from around the world. While none of them spotted any “ghosts,” their images certainly raised the hair on the backs of our necks. Read on if you dare.
1. “You have to wait for nature to give you the perfect conditions.”
Image by andreiuc88. Gear: Nikon D7200 camera, Sigma 10-20mm lens. Settings: Focal length 18mm; exposure 1/80 sec; f5.6; ISO 200.
What’s the story behind this photo?
I have been exploring a specific forest and photographing it for the past ten years. I live in the northwestern part of Transylvania, Romania, so there were always mysterious legends and myths about forests. That helps me set the mood in my mind.
On early autumn mornings, I go out and look at the mountain where this forest is. On this particular morning, it was colder than usual, and the rain was pouring. The whole mountain was shrouded in fog, and I knew it was a great day for mysterious forest photos. I always go out photographing with my brother, so we got our equipment and drove to the forest together.
As we entered the dark woods, I felt like I was in a surreal world with a haunting silence, full of mystery and wonder. After walking and taking photos for some time, we got to a place that has these old, ancient trees with twisted branches. This added to the spooky atmosphere and created a scary scene. I told my brother to walk between the trees, and I took this photo.
The light coming from the front transformed the trees into silhouettes, and the light was pretty dim, so it almost looks like a night photo. I love the surreal, dark mood and the overall atmosphere.”
Read the rest on the Shutterstock blog: https://www.shutterstock.com/blog/photos-favorite-creepy-places
Moody Autumn Vibes
I’ve recently edited a new series of mysterious forest photos. I always take and edit dark mysterious forest photos, but these seemed to fit together so well that I’ve decided to make them available in a Halloween Forest pack on Creative Market. I like that marketplace because it gives me total control over what I upload and how I organize my photos.
Here’s the Halloween Forest pack 2018
If you want it for your dark moody projects you can get it on Creative Market in two different size options: