Featured photographer #62: Bonyo Bonev
What did you want to become in your childhood and are you that person today?
I really do not remember myself of dreaming to become a specific person, but I can tell you this- I was fascinated by mechanical and electronic things. My father had to hide some of his tools or else they get taken apart. Now I can tell you I am captivated by science and how it changes our every day life. I can confirm that I have become that person today :) Today I am what more or less fascinated me as a kid- IT Manager, Project Scheduler, CAD Manager, Photographer, Website designer and etc.
What do you do when you don’t have a camera in your hand?
Same thing I do with camera in my hands which is enjoy life as much as possible.
Where did you meet photography or where did photography meet you?
I met photography at an early age around 10. First camera I played with was “Zenit-E 80” film camera which I still have. The next one my father got I really used and that one was again Zenit film camera but with Auto metering options.
Your personal story with photography in 12 words
A love romance where I Observe - Capture ...
What do you want to achieve?
What are your superpowers and weakness (and how do you overcome them)?
Power must be that I have a tendency to observe detail and geometry in the photographs I take. Weakness maybe is I rush too much from time to time. The way I overcome that weakness is that I will stop and stay still for a minute and let my eyes absorb my surroundings.
What attracts you to the work you shoot?
I shoot variety of things and do not want to limit myself to only one style. But before I start shooting I have to be in the mood or have to be inspired by the object in most cases. Sometimes I will go out shooting with no clear idea what I am looking for and might not make a single shot.
Where do you think the wisdom and instinct for a good photograph comes from?
That is very individual, but I can tell you this- when you see the shot you will know it is the right one. This will change with time. The important thing is to go out and want to shoot. The instinct will develop itself inside you with time. Important process after the shooting is to analyze your shots.
The craziest thing you ever did as a photographer? Have you ever got yourself in trouble?
In trouble no, the regular issue in street photography is the question "why do you shoot me" to which I have variety of answers.
In your opinion, where is the social barrier between the photographer and the subject?
In some sense you have to break all barriers between you and your subject. But on the other side, like in street photography for example, I believe you should not disturb the space around you just like fishing in a lake. In that type of photography I tend to leave space between me and the subject as I respect their privacy. If I can break the barrier and talk to them I can get closer.
What annoys you the most in this profession?
Really not much but I can tell you what is annoying to any profession: the advices :) and the idea that I will hire you to tell you how to do your job hahaha. You should have already saw my pictures before you call me and if you liked what you saw then you should just tell me what the goal is.
What’s in your camera bag?
I shoot with Leica M 240 and 5 Leica lenses which I absolutely adore- 18mm/3.8 APSH, 35mm/1.4 FLE, 50mm/1.4 ASPH, 100mm/2.8 APO R Macro lens and 80-200mm/4 R zoom lens. I have some adapters like 2x extender for the R lenses and 1:1 ELPRO for the 100mm macro lens. For metering accuracy LUMU Power- I love it as it fits in my jeans key pocket so it is there if I need it. I have Polarizing and ND filter for the M lenses and EVF for the R lenses.
How it affects your process, how often do you / don’t you shoot?
Leica rangefinder really change my shooting quite a bit. I am a technical guy and want to control the whole process. That camera made me go back to my childhood when I was shooting with film. I try to go out at least once a week and shoot- what I am going to shoot really depends on the company I shoot with or the task.
If you could carry only 4 pieces of equipment to a parallel universe (no photo equipment on the other side) for a year, what would you choose?
you are killing me… only 4… I will be honest- I go out and also travel extremely light. I normally take less then 4 but I know where I am going so I take this into account. But only 4 for a whole year lets see… Leica M, 50mm lens, Lumu power, 100 mm lens. Wait but you are asking no photo equipment- come one what a place I am going to?! Ok... then it will be a pencil and a notebook.
When do you rely on your instruments and when on your feelings?
I will answer you in this way: I believe you should know your equipment very very well before you go out so it does not become an obstacle. My point is if you rely on your equipment too much this means you do not know exactly how it will react to a situation. I only rely on my instincts. Maybe it is a good practice to look at your equipment in a very technical way before you go out shooting so later you know exactly what it will do.
If you could give one final advice / task / riddle to your fellow photographers, what would it be?
Think what you want to shoot before you go out and then just go out and shoot it. Prepare yourself mentally like before an important meeting and then just do it. What is the most important thing in a great photograph- light and subject. Find your light and let the subject enter. If the subject is particular then move it to a good light :)
Your top 4 current photographers?
Henri Cartier-Bresson for street photography, Platon for portrait, Ansel Adams for contrast, and Steve McCurry for his color travel photos, but there are plenty more that I like. To be honest the first two are my favorite that I will always tell you right away…
Links or anything else you would like to share
To see the variety of photos I take go to http://www.bonevphotography.com/ or follow me on Instagram or Facebook or to see how lumu performs on harsh light go here http://www.bonevphotography.com/photography/places/sofia/serdica/