Jacint Juhasz: “Photography is a great way to teach your brain how to see”

Jacint Juhasz likes Greece, unique characters and pure feelings expressed through his photographs. Below he discusses how he tries to achieve this.

Jacint, you give us a few basic info in your bio. What other basic things do we need to know about you when it comes to photography and your knowledge of it?
Photography is not my profession, but definitely my passion. I decided to learn photography roughly 2 years ago and almost immediately found street photography and started to practice. I don’t really do anything else in photography outside of shooting my loved ones and doing my walks.

Seeing your photos from different parts of the world, your self-label “traveller” and the briefness and mystery surrounding this “one year” you wrote, I can’t help but feel that this is a project. Am I right?
I am a traveller, this word describes me the best. It’s actually a side effect of my main 9-to-5 job – IT Architect – but it helps me travelling for most of my time, which I love. The One Camera, One Lens, One Year is indeed a project. When you start learning photography it’s a great way to teach your brain how to see. I finished the original one year and immediately jumped into the next with a slightly wider field of view (35mm now versus the original 50mm) so I keep it in my profile as I feel it helped me a lot.

Are you a citizen of the world? Has your photographic (and not only) viewpoint changed?
Not really. I do travel a lot, but I have my safe base, Budapest, where my family is waiting for me to return from each and every trip. Most of my travelling is around Eastern Europe, this is the territory which I cover with my job. Many, who do photography start to travel to look for new topics and discover new countries to expand their topics and vision in photography. For me it happened the opposite way. I was travelling for years already when I picked up the camera. Photography helped me to see the cities I knew on the surface. So for me, photography changed travelling, for the good. Now of course it’s very hard to look back to the wasted years which I spent with travelling without the camera or even the time I spent with my loved ones not documented well, but I’m always looking into the future, what else I can do, what else I can show.

You have visited my country, Greece (one of your few coloured photos is from Athens). How comfortable did you feel shooting there? What are the things that you’ll keep in your mind and heart from this trip? (the photo below was taken in Athens)
Yes, I have been in Athens many times and more recently in Thessaloniki as well. Greece is one of my favourite destinations, the people there are very friendly, the weather is great and the light is beautiful for the most part. Also let’s not forget it’s part of EU, easy to get there, roaming is cheap and the public transport (in Athens) is excellent. I feel Greece is very safe for travelling and the photography point of view, probably because the amount of tourists is really high and also Greeks understand the importance of it. So there’s a huge amount of foreigners with cameras so I am just like another tourist with a camera, nothing special. At the end of the day Greece is special for me because of the people, the architecture and the light.

Every photo, and I mean every single one of them, contains a human figure, an indispensable element. Why is it so important to include it?
Yes, it’s an important point. I like architecture and travel photography, but everything has been shot before. If you like a building from a photography point of view likely there are much better pictures taken of it already. Also, streets and buildings without people are empty for me. That’s not how I see and not how I want to remember. If you go to the streets and wander around you’ll see moments, but every single moment is different from the previous one with likely different people. Some moments are special, some of them look good on picture. I’m also looking for expressions and feelings, that’s one of the reasons I’m mostly working in black and white. In every city and every country you will find unique characters, they are the ones I’m interested in the most, I want to find them and I want them to be on my pictures. Still, all my pictures are candid, I don’t talk to people, I don’t ask them for permission and to be honest, mostly they don’t even realise they have been photographed.

Some shots seem calculated and some completely spontaneous. What is your photographic behaviour?
I don’t have one specific way to shoot. Indeed, sometimes I find interesting places, alleys, gates, squares, etc, and I just wait a bit for the perfect person to step in, it is called the “fishing” technique. Other times I just follow the flow, and I act very quickly. Typically these are the pictures when I’m very close to people. Also, sometimes I just wait at a point and capture people coming towards me. In all cases my pictures are candid, I’m just an observer.

Aaron Siskind said that “photography is a way of feeling, of touching, of loving”. What is it to you?
Photography completely changed my life. If I look back to my trips through my photograph, I have a special moment, a memory from almost every trip I did in the past two years and nothing from the years before. I remember the faces, the places, the smell of the streets, how was the weather, where did I walk to, almost everything. Also, when I’m travelling or just out on the streets but not taking pictures I still see all of these moments, the people I would capture and even if I cannot, they are all mine, others don’t see them.

Where else would you like to travel with your one camera and your one lens?
Some of my dream destinations came true this year which I’m thankful for. But I have never been to anywhere in Asia, so that’s pretty high on my wish list, Bangkok, Hanoi, Tokyo, Seoul, Hong Kong  just to name a few cities. Of course these are the ones I’m thinking of in the long term. These are the ones I’m planning, but if I get a call tomorrow with a request to travel to my typical destinations in Eastern Europe, my quick answer is, yes, I will be there!

Jacint’s Instagram profile https://www.instagram.com/jac1nt/

The interview with Jacint Juhasz was taken on April 24th, 2017