“It’s not enough to have talent. You also have to be Hungarian.” as Capa said.
If that’s true I’ve already completed half of my mission. But to take it more seriously, I was born and raised in Hungary, and I also live there. My name is Peter Karasz-Kiss, I’m a Hungarian photographer and all the other things about my talent and success are still misty secrets of my future.
It started almost 15 years ago when I was a journalist at a local newspaper in Békéscsaba (it’s a county center in the south-east corner of Hungary) and my editors sent me to make interviews and reports about local events and people. They gave me a very small camera and said “if you’re already there, please take some pictures, too!”. I didn’t know anything about photography. I was standing there with my little compact toy camera in a group of professionals with their expensive “work horses” and huge lenses. I was holding my little baby-cam far from my eyes, because it only had live-view, and I was pretending to be a very big professional, too. Believe me when I say: It was funny as hell! But after a few weeks I started seriously learning about what I’m doing, and I still try to learn something new every day.
After I got my first DSLR, I started to shoot everything. There wasn’t any system or reason in my work; I took photographs just for fun, and just for the learning experience. I have a wife and two sons so they were – and they still are – my main subjects, but I started to feel that I need to find my own direction in photography. Like everybody else, I began to explore the history and the technical aspects of photography, and one thing was clear: documenting our family life won’t be enough for me.
Of course, in the beginning, I started shooting in only black and white because I believed it was very very artistic, but later that wasn’t enough either. I thought that “colors are bitches, and I don’t need them”, but to be honest I was afraid of colors. I didn’t know them enough. Actually, I have a good reason to be afraid of colors, because I’m red-green colorblind. My private little war against colors is on-going, but now at least I know which of my photos are better in color, and which work in b&w (and why).
Among my inspirations I have to mention the Hungarian photographer Laszlo Balassa. I met him for the first time at one of his workshops in Budapest, and his principles related to photography influenced my views. I have to admit that we are very different people, but I really respect his art, and I will never deny that his work in photography is exceptional and inspiring. He was the first to teach me that it’s not enough to see things, it’s better to feel them. I know it sounds like empty emotional bullshit, but I believe it works.
I’m still looking for my visual direction, but at least I have my themes. I’m really passionate about finding unique moments in ordinary situations. Especially in the streets. I’m crazy about searching for and finding beauty in simple things as well. That’s why I try to capture the calmness and harmony which lies within minimalism. At the same time I attempt to develop my portraiture skills.
Anyway, I’m on my way, but I thought: why not show where I’m standing now? This is what SIDEWALK DIARY is about. You can follow my blog on this page or on Instagram. You’ll always find something new, I promise. Also, if you like any of my pictures, you can ask for prints. Be brave and contact me if you would like to hire me or to work together; I’m always open for collabs and photography projects all across Europe, especially documentaries and portraitures.
But that’s enough of me! What’s your story?