What’s in a dream? For me, dreams have always been an incredibly powerful driver for creativity. At least a day or two every week, I wake up at 3am, scurry out of bed and make some notes about a future piece of work, an idea that needs development,etc. In short, the rooms of our subconscious are ripe with fruit for the picking. I’ve been considering creating a series of images of my own dreams and in doing so, stumbled on the work of Ronen Goldman. Ronen’s work is solid, simple and clean with a sprinkle of surreal, never overdone or overly dramatic. He imposes time and budgetary limits on himself so he can complete the work – focus on “making” rather than pontificating, which is something I really appreciate. As a part of researching for my future project, had a chance to ask him a few questions via email about his photographs and his creative process. See below – enjoy.
Chase Jarvis: How long have you been shooting?
Ronen Goldman: I have been shooting for about 8 years, and started the surreal series about 6 years ago.
CJ: What inspires you to pick up a camera and create this stuff?
RG: Well, I studied script writing at university, but felt that some things are difficult to express verbally. I find that visuals, and photography in particular have quite an ability to convey complex and abstract ideas.
Oh, And l love taking pictures.
CJ: Where’d you drum up the idea of photographing your dreams?
RG: It started out with a simple photo I tried to create for a music album I was putting out independently, me in the woods with a bunch of guitars which was based on a fragment of a dream I had regarding exploding guitars. from there I just created more and more (this project has been going on for six years, so about 4 or less images a year). depending on things I was going through in the different times- the images took on different “subjects” and dealt with different things.
CJ: Are there any particularly challenging concepts you have been unable to tackle?
RG: Since this is a personal project, done with zero budget, I have ideas that producing them is just outside my financial ability. I usually work with a skeleton crew of myself and maybe another person aside from the person or people in the image.
CJ: Are the images created primarily with photography or photoshop?
RG: I am more a photographer than a photoshop-er. All elements of the surreal photos are shot in the same shoot, on the same day with the same lighting, without the camera moving. I don’t “bring in” elements that werent there, and that is why the whole thing looks so believable, most of the time.
CJ: How do the models feel when you tell them what you’re planning?
RG: Great question. I was blessed that the people I choose to work with are the kind of people that “just go with it”. they trust That I know what I am doing, even if it doesnt make a whole lot of sense when I describe it ahead of time. They are in it for the art, as am I- and sometimes awesomeness occurs.
CJ: Tell us a story behind one of your dream images.
RG: “The Magician” was born of a dream I had involving order within chaos. its hard to explain. but I knew the image I wanted to created. We went out into the woods, did the shot of the magician(using a Canon 5d mk2 , 50 1.2 Lens, lighting thru soft box on top of magician hat and below for face) and then used the ambient light for all the individual cards. we plotted the spiral carefully and the whole thing took about an hour of shooting. When we got back I realized the cards were underexposed, so I convinced the Magician(Dvir) to go out with me and do the whole thing again.
happily, he agreed, and it all worked out great.
CJ: What do you have planned in the future?
RG: I hope to be able to create more elaborate and enticing conceptual imagery, whether for commercial ads or personal work.
The Series is exhibited and sold as fine art editioned prints, and I hope to be able to share this type of imagery with many people, and hopefully inspire them to chronical their own dreams, or pursue creating weird ideas they may have and were afraid to produce.