Oxford School of Photography

insights into photography

ANDREW MIKSYS . PHOTOGRAPHER

L1GHTB1TES is the blog place of our friend . He has the simple but wonderfully perceptive idea of talking to photographers whose work he likes. Every so often he finds someone that intrigues him and he interviews them. I recommend you make  L1GHTB1TES one of your regular book marks

Andrew_Miksys_DISKO_04

GL: How did you meet this girl in this disco that more than anything looks like a set from a David Lynch movie?
AM: The problem with photography is that you never know what’s going to work in a picture and what’s not. I find it impossible to plan a good photograph. It’s more about getting into interesting situations and environments and then just seeing what happens. I asked this girl if I could photograph her. The location was kinda good because it was in the lobby of the disco and not too chaotic. Then I tried a few different things from photographing her standing near a wall and then near this column. When I was photographing, I can’t remember seeing all the guys in the background in leather jackets, but when I saw them on the contact sheet I thought the contrast between the girl and the them looked great.
GL: How long work you working on this series? And how did you know that you were done with DISKO?
Andrew_Miksys_DISKO_03AM: I spent about 10 years on and off working on DISKO. It was really difficult to finish the series. I wasn’t exactly chasing after individual photographs. There was something more in the mood and atmosphere of rural Lithuania on empty back roads that I wanted to come through in the book and in a series of photographs. At one point a few years ago, I decided to stop photographing and look through every roll of film and start choosing images that worked together. There were about 75 images that seemed to fit the them which I later edited down to 45 for the book.
GL: What attracted you to the disco?
AM: I like projects that have many layers. In DISKO there were the teenagers growing up in a new post-Soviet reality with more influences from western Europe and the US. But the discos took place in Soviet-era cultural centers that were basically unchanged since the days of the USSR. Past, present, and future were all mixed together in one room. Lots of material. Photographing was always a bit cumbersome. I use a studio style flash on a stand. It’s pretty easy to move around, but I was rarely out on the dance floor trying to photograph. Instead I worked around the edges.

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