There exists a sense of modern expressionism in the pairing of the photography and words of Carina Antl (@carina_aurora_photography). Each image represents some mixture of emotions that Carina wishes to communicate, whether it be explicitly or implicitly. The diversity of subjects, textures, colors and lighting work together to convey an extremely raw and honest indicator of the mood and sentiment experienced while creating any given piece. We were fortunate enough to chat with Carina recently and stitched it all together here in our most recent edition of Mextures Shorts!
My name is Carina Antl. I’m 26 years old and based in Vienna, Austria. After six years of hustle and bustle I decided to take some time for myself. I've worked for a lot of films, TV Shows, magazines and in the music industry - which I honestly loved - but I've always had the feeling that I was missing something. I discovered that what I was missing was silence. And this is what I've finally found deep in the woods, in endless fields and on the open road with only my camera.
HOW DID YOU FIRST GET INTO PHOTOGRAPHY?
I started photography around the age of 20. After school I felt free enough to explore what the world of art had to offer. I always had the feeling that school held me back and that I didn’t fit into the system. A friend of mine who is a musician (Silberwolff) asked me to join his videoshoot for his new single as an extra. I brought my camera with me and shot behind the scenes. That’s how I got to know new people from the film industry. From that point on I worked for a lot of movies as a set photographer and that is basically how it all started.
WHAT SORT OF GEAR DO YOU PHOTOGRAPH WITH?
I’m working with my Canon 550D. I can’t wait for next year when I will finally purchase a Canon 5D Mark III. It is time for an upgrade! A lot of my images are of stars and the moon - for that I use my Tamron 70-300mm lens. For other subjects I’m in love with my Canon 50mm 1.4 lens. My Cullmann tripod is always with me when I’m shooting. This summer I got a Rolleiflex film camera from my grandparents. This will be the next big step for me because up until now I have only shot digital.
WHAT APPS/SOFTWARE DO YOU UTILIZE THE MOST?
I work with Lightroom, Camera Raw and Photoshop. I work with Photoshop the most. The images I create are very time-consuming, so I’m glad that I can finish my work in the Mextures App. In earlier years I used VSCO, but then I got to know the Mextures App and I kept it because it really fits my photography style.
WHAT MAKES A PIECE MEMORABLE TO YOU?
Definitely Emotions! When I see a piece of art I may not remember exactly what it looked like, but I will always remember the mood and feelings it gave me. This is what photography and art in general are all about for me - to feel what the artist felt in that special moment when it was being created. If this magic happens the artist won’t even need a title. As a creator you are able to share your emotions in a specific kind of way. The special thing about it is that the viewer will take these emotions and will interpret it in his or her own way. At least this is what I’m trying to do - share emotions in a dreamlike and intimate way.
WHAT EXPERIENCES HAVE LED YOU TO PROGRESS THE MOST IN YOUR WORK AND STYLE?
Once I had a few lessons in photography and my teacher told me that I don’t have to be afraid to release my feelings into my work. From that moment on I have tried not to care about what people might think and just keep creating. I don’t want to hide anymore. I have been going through hard times and suffering from anxiety issues. Emptiness and apathy are everywhere I go - except in the silence of nature. I have always been a very optimistic and cheerful person, so I’m trying to combine these emotions in my work. True to the motto, “It is both a blessing and a curse to feel everything so very deeply.” (David Jones)
HOW DO YOU USE MEXTURES TO ACHIEVE THE FEEL YOU WORK TO CREATE IN YOUR IMAGES?
What I love to create is an analog look with digital gears so Mextures is perfect for me. I’m using it as my whims take me and I don’t have enough time to use Photoshop for everything. In general I use it for my final touches. Mostly, I prefer to give my pictures a grungy look and at the same time a dreamlike and melancholic feel. My favorite overlay packs are Grit and Grain, Emulsion and Grunge. If time allows, I play with them for hours to achieve the look that I had originally imagined.
My photography is very dreamy so one of my favorite film presets is Misty. After using the film preset I like to increase the exposure in the adjustments section. This has a very nice effect, especially when you’re shooting in the fog. The fog will become very bright and washes the picture out really nicely. Sometimes I will increase the fade, particularly when I have more than one picture in my image. For me, it feels like I’m balancing the image to achieve the look of a perfect illusion. Sometimes I get stressed out when I see a great scene but I don’t have my camera with me. I’m very glad that even simple iPhone photos can get a very nice and professional look with Mextures!
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO SOMEONE HOPING TO CREATE WORK SIMILAR TO YOURS?
This is very difficult for me to say because I don’t always edit my images in the same way. Some things that I tend to do consistently in Mextures are to play with the saturation and lighting to create darker colors, increase the contrast, use different types of grainy overlays and playing around with the opacity of them, increase the highlights and try to create emotion.
HOW HAS SOCIAL MEDIA PLAYED A ROLE IN YOUR WORK?
Social media inspires me every single day. There are so many talented people out there and it’s so wonderful to be a part of their journeys and adventures. It feels like having family members all over the world. I love to communicate and work with other artists and to share experiences and to learn from each other.
I have also used social media, especially YouTube, to learn Photoshop and Lightroom. There are a lot of people who are willing to help beginners. It’s kind of a funny thing how when you’re following other artists it sometimes seems like you know their soul. I’m really touched by these things. I’ve met a lot of really wonderful souls in the world of social media and for that I am really grateful.
WHY IS CREATING IMPORTANT TO YOU?
I use it as a tool to release my inner thoughts and feelings. There are so many emotions in my head which cannot not be expressed with words because there are no existing words to describe them. So I have to create in order to express what is in my mind. Art is also a kind of shelter to me. I’m simply creating and I hope to reach other people who may feel the same. Along the way I have met a few artists which I consider to be soulmates. They also have this longing to express bigger things and to explore every thing and every detail.
COULD YOU SHARE A FEW OF THE MOST INSPIRING ACCOUNTS YOU FOLLOW?
Here are my loved ones!
@margaretdurow - She is an American photographer and I simply love her work. It’s very melancholic and nostalgic.
@nishediary - A Polish photographer. She was one of the first photographers I followed on Instagram. I read an article about her and I fell in love at first sight. Her art is very emotional and sometimes feminine. Most of her portraits are of girls who seem to be fragile and sad. I like that a lot. And the tones she uses are very beautiful. She mostly photographs with an analog camera.
@natebittinger - He is just WOW. I’m very happy that he became a part of my life about one year ago. His work is so sensible and very intimate. He often shoots conceptual self-portraits in which he lets the viewer see a part of his soul. His art is so honest and brave and I really look up to this wonderful soul. His work - and especially his short movies - bring tears to my eyes. This is what photography is about I think. Realness and honesty. If you’re searching for this he’s your man. Damn. This guy is emotional and he knows how to express it.
@ediesunday - Her art is very mystical and magical. Every picture is full of soul and a special kind of intimacy and sensitivy. In her pictures you can travel through all of your dreams.
@aurelienbuttin - I simply adore his tones and style. Through his pictures he takes you with him on adventures. If you want to travel with your mind just look at his page!
@wrapped_in_plastic_ - Very significant style! She has such a beautiful way to edit her pictures. It’s like you are with her in the same room. Every picture is like a still from a movie.
@lauramakabresku - Her style is so dark and mystical which I really like. It’s like you enter a world of a dark fairytale. Witchcraft everywhere.
@hogabophotography - It’s like a mix between art and fashion photography. I really like the way the photographer plays with the light in his images!