Shutterstock Blog Feature -Creepy Places

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halloween night in dark spooky forest

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.”

andreiuc88

6 Photographers on Shooting Their Favorite Creepy Places — Wait for Nature

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

 

PhotoCosma is back on 1x.com

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Out of This World – from 1x.com

I’ve been an active member of One Exposure (1x.com) from 2008 and until sometime in 2012. In that time I’ve learned a lot, got frustrated a lot, saw a lot of great images, met some great people, grew up as a photographer, established my own style and when I became skilled and confident enough to know which photos of mine are good and which ones aren’t I noticed that the curation process doesn’t always work so good.

1x.com is a curated photography gallery so the level is usually higher than on any other online galleries that I saw. Only a small percentage of the photos (some say 3%, others say 5%) get accepted to be part of the gallery. That’s both good and bad. The gallery looks great and a lot of the photos they accept are extraordinary, but curation takes a great deal of subjectivism and the curators will favor and accept a certain style and category of photos. There are a lot of photos that should be accepted and aren’t, just like there are some photos that maybe shouldn’t be accepted – so the curation process is not perfect and it get’s frustrating and unfair a lot of the times.

That being said, it’s still one of the best photography galleries on the internet and the majority of time I’m glad of being a part of it. I have 17 photos that are accepted and curated on 1x.com and a total of 25 photos in my portfolio. I’m expecting these numbers to increase. I have also made my photos on 1x available as high quality fine art prints.

I’m confident that this will again be a great experience and that my images will find their place once again in one of the most interesting online galleries. I’ll let you know how this goes 😉

Dark Dreams Series

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Old cabin in dark forest

The Dark Dreams series is something that’s been a work in progress for the last five years or so. The majority of photos from PhotoCosma have a dark and mysterious side but this is taken even further in the series. While browsing trough our portfolio in the early days, we noticed that there are some photos that work well with a darker edit and that don’t fit in any particular series, but could be used to create a story on their own. After some time we got our hands on a selective focus lens – a Lensbaby – and realized that this type of approach could bring a whole new dimension and really made sense given the fact that PhotoCosma is all about mood and atmosphere. It seems to me that it’s a great tool for creating surreal fine art photography and seeing the world in a different perspective. This type of lens makes the edges become out of focus so it seems the viewer is drawn into the frame. I think this is why these images are so powerful and alive, sometimes even inducing motion feelings. Everything becomes blurry, dreamy, soft and some have even told me that some photos give them a sense of nausea, anxiety and restlessness. Putting it all together we realized that this is how some  dreams that are surreal make you feel so the title stuck trough the years.

You can see selected works from this ever evolving series here: http://www.photocosma.net/portfolio/G00008kNAkAGjN00

Shutterstock Blog Feature

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Forest road in Transylvania

Shutterstock has a blog post on  “9 Exceptional Photos That Look Like Paintings” and one of my photos – Forest Road in Transylvania has been featured.

As people who follow my work know, a picturesque look is what I try to achieve, together with a special mood and atmosphere, and it seems that the folks at Shutterstock got that too. I am andreiuc88 on Shutterstock. Got that nickname in 2009 and didn’t change it. Here’s what they had to say on it:

“Many photographs seem like paintings because they effortlessly evoke a complex mood or feeling with just a glance. Such is the case with this eerie photo of a desolate pathway in a dense forest in Transylvania, Romania. The combination of the fog, sparse flowerbeds, and low light make for a creeping sense of dread.

The effect here is not accidental – the photographer, andreiuc88, is somewhat of an expert when it comes to moody, atmospheric photography. A nature photographer based in Transylvania (the literary home of Dracula), andreiuc88 creates a variety of nightmare-inducing landscapes.”

You can read the whole post and see some truly amazing pictures here: https://www.shutterstock.com/blog/9-photos-that-look-like-paintings

Stocksy Top 5 January

The end of the month is here, some of my best photos are up on Stocksy United, so I tought about making a top 5 at the end of each month. So here are my top 5 favorite photos that have been accepted on Stocksy in January:

Fairy tale winter forest with deer

deer running in winter forest
Fairy tale winter forest with deer

Ice lines

Abstract ice lines on frozen lake
Ice lines

Man on road trough enchanted mountain woods

Man on mountain road to fantasy land
Man on road trough enchanted mountain woods

Fog over pine forest in winter

Pine forest in winter
Fog over pine forest in winter

Tree reflection in lake in morning

Lake tree reflection in autumn
Tree reflection in lake in morning

Shutterstock’s Most Viral Photos of 2016

Deer in mysterious forest with fog
Deer on road in dark forest after rain

One of my photos – “Deer on a road in a dark forest after rain” is on the list of the most liked and shared photos from the past year from Shutterstock’s social media feed.

I caught this moment a few years ago. I got to the woods early in the morning and a deer herd kept appearing and disappearing trough the fog almost like it was watching me. I got a glimpse of them running and jumping trough the air as they appeared only as silhouettes in the magical glowy light. I saw them doing this a couple of times but they were too fast for me and the light was too dim to photograph the scene. After a few hours I was following a forest road and saw the herd standing in the middle of it. I had a short zoom lens on my camera and thought there is no way I can get the shot right. As I was approaching two of the deers started to run but one stood curiously in the middle of the road watching me. I kept taking pictures and approaching bit by bit until it ran away. I said it before – for me it’s almost like a supernatural moment when I cross paths with wild animals so I was really excited to see this scene and photograph this special moment.

I have also made it available on NatureStockPhotos.net for those of you who don’t have a Shutterstock account or don’t like the subscription model.

Land of the Mist

image of mist rolling over mountains in winter

It was a cold December day when the weather kept changing every minute. The few inches of snow made the climb harder, but once we reached the top all was worth it. A cold wind began to blow and the clouds covered the sun again. Thick mist started rolling down from the mountains and pouring everywhere. The landscape was changing right before our eyes.

The endless pine forests were engulfed by the mist and only a few rays of light managed to break trough to them. The whole landscape got a mysterious eerie beauty that was accentuated by the fact that there was no human being in sight for miles. We could really feel lost in the enormity of the landscape.
The only sound was the one of the cold wind blowing. The rush and background noise of everyday life vanishes is replaced by a calmness that you can’t find anywhere else. It always amazes me how the mist has the capacity to transform a landscape so fast and make it almost timeless. It’s this kind of mood and atmosphere, that feeling of being lost that I (and we at PhotoCosma) try to capture and transmit trough images.

I used a 300 mm tele lens to capture what was happening around me. I was so excited of what I was seeing that I realized a lot of the shots will come out blurry so I used a tripod. It proved to be a good decision as the light was scarce. The mist kept moving and transforming so I had a lot to photograph, but as the night approached I knew we still had a long way to go back again so I stopped and stared for a few minutes. The cold, the tiredness, the fact that we would have to walk a long way trough the dark – nothing mattered. Everything was perfect.

www.PhotoCosma.net

www.naturestockphotos.net

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Deer in Winter Forest

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Deer trough trees in winter forest

I don’t usually capture photos of wildlife, but in my search for special moments in nature I got a glimpse of them a few times. It’s always like seeing a chimera, a ghost. I know it’s something that many never see and that I don’t see everyday. I also know that these sightings get fewer as time goes by and as we humans destroy the places that wild animals inhabit, so it becomes more and more like seeing a ghost. I feel that I am wittnessing something rare. This is why this feels a bit bittersweet to me.

I was out in the woods in winter photographing when snow started to fall. I started shooting with a tele lens to get the dreamy snowflakes in the frame, and after a couple of minutes I saw this wild deer trough the trees. It didn’t take long before it noticed me and got further and further away from me, but I managed to capture the photo above, along with others. The trees made everything even more difficult, but I like how in the end the tree trunks frame the deer and also the fact that the dark trees contrast with the snowflakes falling. It truly was a magical moment.

It seems that the folks at Stocksy appreciated this special moment too, so now it is available for licensing here.