January 10, 2013

Jarda Balek's interview

" I do not make pictures for money as a primary goal. I am just pursuing my hobby. I am satisfied if someone finds my pictures interesting and let me know about it." Jarda Balek


"Gymnastic 8"

Jarda, could you tell us some words about your passion ?

I was given my first Russian Lyubitel 2 camera at age 11. I learned the dark room work at the high school photo club. But marriage, children and busy life made me stop this hobby except of family vacation and family events shoot for many years. I have returned to photography some 5 years ago.

I shoot almost everything occasionally, but because I have been all my life interested in art nudes of any form, I started to try out in this field of photography.


"Soft and hard"

And you make it so well... Did you learn in a special school ?

Unfortunately not, I am too busy with my job. All I can do is self education, so I read books and I spend a lot of time looking all over the Internet for lessons, advice and mainly good photographs. I am also a member of a local photo club. I participated in couple of workshops and also so-called shootouts.

"Lenka 1"

I think some good course is helpful only if you have some talent but on the other hand photographic education is not necessary.

Nothing can replace the practical shooting.

Of course you have to share your pictures for comments, discuss them and learn from mistakes. I find very useful method of learning to find a photograph, study how it was lit, what equipment was likely used and than to try to recreate it.

"Aria sitting 2"

"Reclining Aria"



Why do you call you "amateur" ? You're an experienced and talented photographer !... Wouldn't you want photography to become your next full time job ?

I disagree. I am truly nothing more than a keen amateur and in my opinion not really a good one. One remark – I mean amateur in the basic meaning of the word, I know many amateurs who are real masters.

I am not interested to have photography as my full time job because most likely I would die of starvation. No, in fact I like my job and photography is for me nothing more than a passion and I would like to keep it that way.

I can shoot when I want, what I want, how I want and I do not have to worry about results too much because of some clients and pay. Being professional means to loose this freedom.

"Yellow nude"

"On the deck 4"

But do you work sometimes for companies, advertising, fashion ?

No, I do not and I not interested either. Fashion and advertisement photography is very demanding category and if you want to do it right, you have to invest heavily into equipment and production. Competition is tough in this field too. And of course there are limitations set by client. I do not make pictures for money as a primary goal. I am just pursuing my hobby. I am satisfied if someone finds my pictures interesting and let me know about it.

"The wall pose"

The model Stana is amazing 6´2 model, and because of her height I asked her to try inverted “S” pose (silly idea, how can you bend your knees to side ?). She tried her best and with few adjustments here is the result. I inverted the original (digital) picture into BW to blend better the figure and the wall. I’m aware the photo is built purely on the natural beauty of the model, but I wanted to show it in somewhat unusual pose. As an author I’m too biased to judge this photo without prejudice, so I would welcome any critique and comments."

"The wall pose 2"

"The Bar 1"

Have you made an exhibition ? Published a book ?

I do not feel I am at the level of having my own exhibition yet. Of course I am thinking of it for some time now, but when I try to select some photographs I end up with very few I would put on public scrutiny in form of exhibition. I participate in my photo club exhibitions, but I publish mostly on photographic sites on Internet. I am not in hurry…

And what do you expect for your future ?

I do not know what future will bring for me but I have some plans of course.

I think I am at the end of my so far a bit chaotic learning-by-mistake and improvisation period. I feel I have to concentrate on few long term projects I have in my head.

I have to slow down, think over the concepts, put together ideas for individual images, make some planning and then start to shoot. Maybe then we can speak about exhibition.

Thanks a lot Jarda !

"Adela in dark 7"

"Marketa dark figure study 6"

Jarda Balek ©