Djura Stankovic is among the Shutter Photo royalty as we’ve featured his work many times (many times). I like to diversify the field and introduce you to as many great photographers as I can when I do these weekly features. But I keep coming back to a few photographers because of the simplicity, elegance and of course the beauty of their work. Djura is among those few, and he absolutely deserves it. This week, I’d like to share a photo I’ve been keeping in my pocket for a short while: Lost Screw, which was taken back in May. It’s a simple still-shot, but Djura’s composition and treatment tells a much bigger story.
Sometimes it’s difficult to really understand why a simple subject can be so powerful. I mean, if you really get down to the bare bones of Djura’s photograph, it’s just a photo of a screw. Things can’t get much simpler than a photo of a screw (except perhaps a photo of a nail, but I digress). Of course we’re not talking about a screw on a seamless white background; we’re talking about a screw in a setting. And that setting – though we can’t discern any specifics – is what gives us enough clues to tell a story. From what we can tell, this is a screw in some sort of modern ruins. We can see a few rocks and boulders around. We can what looks like a railroad stop brace and some sort of sign. It’s bed of weathered grained wood is clearly visible. There is even a tiny whispy seed in the lower right corner. It’s not a lot of context, but it’s enough to pain the picture: This screw has had a long and meaningful life. And now we can see that each rusty spot, each pock-marked surface holds within a beauty that is only available to elders. If Djura were to capture this screw out of context – if we weren’t afforded any clues as to this screw’s origins or habitat – then we wouldn’t be able to comprehend it’s story.
Djura Stankovic is a master of simple elegance. For this reason alone, you should be actively following his work on Flickr. But you should also follow his work because he and his work is an inspiration. His photos – his choice of subject matter, treatments and compositions – will get you thinking about your own works. He will also get you thinking about turning simple subjects into the main character in far more complex stories. Alternatively, you can also follow Djura on 500px.