Insects as actors in 1910-2013: from animation of V.Starevich to photography of L.Jonaitis 3

Miglė Munderzbakaitė, 2013-12-02
Father of animation Vladislav Starevich

In brief: Cinema and photography are two different art kinds that have much in common. Two different artists, Vladislav Starevich and Lukas Jonaitis, were related by interest in entomology. V.Starevich was a famous filmmaker, father of stop-motion animation, author of many film scripts, actor. LJonaitis is a young photographer who has been creating macro photographs for some time and capturing representatives of insects and spiders’ world. At the moment he presents them in the exhibition “Insecta in Photo”. V. Starevich was also charmed with nature, watched and collected insects, was interested in photography at the beginning of his creative road and created real models of insects. Later, he started making films.

In the interview the photographer Lukas Jonaitis explains why artists are charmed by the world of insects and speaks about photography.

According to L.Jonaitis, he was always interested in the surrounding environment, unseen and unstudied things. His first macro photograph was that of a ladybird, later he photographed spiders, dew drops, etc. The photographer notices that the first films of V.Starevich were also entomological – scenes from insects’ lives were filmed in them.

The photographer states that he usually takes photographs of insects in the partially natural environment as he sometimes needs to change the background or takes insects home where he creates artificial illumination, background, etc. The photographer remembers V.Starevich again, who was charmed with the fight of stag-beetles in the Oak Forest of Kaunas and decided to capture it in a film. However, when he took the inspects home with artificial decorations and illumination, the strange environment scared the insects and they tried to escape only instead of the fight for the female stag-beetle.

The photographer L.Jonaitis notices that macro photography demands much patience until you catch the right moment and the calm status of the photographed object. Films, especially first animated films of V. Starevich, also demanded the same qualities of the creator. For instance, one had to capture 960 phases of movement to create a film of 1 minute, which required much of time.

According to L.Jonaitis, the nature photography started developing not so long ago in Lithuania, and the serious Lithuanian macro photographers are also naturalists and entomologists. Still, the photographer states that he is rather interested in the artistic aspect of photographs, and he strives not only to photograph the kind but also to present the insect in a photograph in an expressive manner and in high quality. The photographer states that he has seen some films of V.Starevich and that he was impressed by them. Insects in those films turned into animated characters who could be compared to people.

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