Archiminimal Photographic Artistry

· 10.November.2016

I have always loved the story an image can tell and the memories that are behind a photograph. I started my photographic journey in 1989 with a Ricoh KR-10se. I loved that camera and have great memories of using it especially while on a 17-day, three city (Moscow, Kiev and Tallinn) trip to Russia.Sadly, my whole camera bag, film and all, was stolen from my hotel room the night before I was to return home, leaving me with only a handful of memories. These remaining memories are fading far too quickly. Though I’m not able to share any of the photographs from that trip, this experience is what really jump-started me into the world of photography.


One of my prized possessions is an old 35mm Kodak Retinette IA with a fixed 50mm 3.5 Schnieder Kreuznach Reomar Lens. It is the camera my father used while serving in the Army. When we look at the photos from his younger days, I am transported back in time with him while he boasts about the adventures of his life.


Cut to 2006: I was working on a feature film called “American Dreamz” that was spoofing the T.V. show “American Idol”. I worked in the Set Decoration department and was asked to shoot some photos for the main character’s office. I jumped all over the opportunity. Taking my Nikon N90s and my B&W 1600 speed Fujifilm I set out on a mission, shooting all types of California life that day.


No sooner did I get to the office then my boss asked me to download my day’s work so we could get it edited, printed and framed ASAP. “Download?…wait…what? I shot film, 1600 speed no less” I replied in a sudden panic. “Well, just take it to the 30 minute developer” was my boss’ reply. “But they don’t do that kind of film there. I need to take it a lab”, I said. “MAKE IT HAPPEN! And, if you want to do more of this type of thing you better convert to digital!” Needless to say that’s what I did.


My first digital camera was a Fujifilm S3 Pro. It was a great introduction into the digital world. After putting it through its paces I moved onto a Nikon D300. Currently, I am back to using Fujifilm almost exclusively. The X-Pro2, X-T1, X-T10 and the X100T are my current workhorses. I couldn’t be happier and more in love with a camera system. It’s exciting how Fujifilm has brought new life into an old love, my deep love for all things photographic.


I enjoy many types of music and so, too, many types of photography, all of which have its own place and time. That is why I consider my work a bit “erratic”. I shoot in the direction of my inspiration. Whatever the melody, genre, or song of the day seems to be, I go with it. The one consistency of my work is that my photos usually end up in B&W.


In addition, I’ve always been drawn to the parts and pieces of things, the lines, shapes and shadows. It could be the look on a child’s face, or the small of a woman’s back. It could be a glittery pair of shoes at a swap meet, or a long exposure of cloud, or wave, or architecture. Rarely do I capture the entire thing. Of recent days it’s mostly been architecture, which is always more than just the sum of its parts. But in my desire for more and seeing deeper into what isn’t there or could be there, I’ve started taking those architectural part and pieces and have been flipping and turning them into new creations. There is magic in giving a single image new life or lives, depending on how far I can take it. That vision has brought me here, to my current journey, which I call Archiminimal Photographic Artistry. These are some samples. I hope you enjoy them.


You can find me at erraticphotographic.com, David M. Milstien on Instagram, David Milstien on 500px or on Facebook at Erratic Photographic.

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