Behind Zardo, my real name is Behrouz Riahi. I’m Belgian and I live in Brussels. I really began photography when I was 19 years old and have pursued it actively for 10 years. Before taking pictures I liked writing some dark poetry. The problem was that illustrating my thoughts only with words soon became too restricted. I wanted to show how I saw the world. It’s why I began with photomanipulation before photography. But the problem with photomanipulation is the fact that it is not “real”. With photos and the technique I use, I found the way to show the world as I see it.
I am a self-taught person as far as photography is concerned. When I see a really good photo I wonder how it was made and how I could make it myself. Then I search and learn. The greatest help I received was on DeviantART. It’s a super community with a lot of beautiful images. It makes you feel like perfecting your skills. And now, I improve myself with 500px.
I have always liked to work with Canon. As I use a method called “HDRi” (High Dynamic Range image), I have to use a post-processing software. I use the Photomatix pro. In my opinion, it’s the best way to merge your HDR.
To take my photos, I like going to the old part of cities and to places with stunning landscapes where there is nobody. Everywhere I go, I take my camera with me. Firstly, for me, the ideal place is deserted. I hate having people on my photos. It’s one of the most difficult parts of the job. Secondly, it has to contain some old buildings with a Gothic architectural style. And finally, there should be a tormented sky where clouds are tempestuous. Maybe one day, I’ll find the perfect conditions. But does perfection really exist?
I have been influenced by a lot of artists in various ways. The movies by Tim Burton and the beauty of his images is one of them. I’m also influenced by the great imagination of two Belgian painters: Magritte and Delvaux. The surrealistic look of their paintings always makes me dream.
As a conclusion, I would like to say that photography is a way for me to leave a world and live in another. When I take my photographs, time stops. There is nobody with me. Photography is a method for me to share with others what is inside me. It is a pleasure to take them and then to share them.
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- Bruxelles, Bruxelles, Belgique