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Transformational Eye – Nomad Festival Photography

Photographers

Transformational Eye – Nomad Festival Photography

OZORA Flow Artists
Transformational Eye

We sat down for an eye-to-eye interview with Amir Weiss, the visionary behind the lens and the mastermind behind the project “Transformational Eye.” Amir has skillfully captured the enchanting moments within the realm of world-leading Psytrance festivals, including renowned events like Boom, Modem, and Free Earth. His lens not only captures images but also encapsulates the transformative essence of these gatherings. As we delve into Amir’s journey, we explore the intersection of his passion for photography and the world of Psytrance Festivals, discovering the stories behind the shots that immortalize the magical experiences of festival-goers. Through “Transformational Eye,” Amir has become a storyteller, translating the spirit of these events into captivating visuals that transcend the boundaries of mere photographs.

Could you tell us when it all started? How did you go into photography?

I received my first camera from my parents at the age of five. Unfortunately, I mistook it for a waterproof camera, resulting in an early mishap. My genuine journey into the realm of visual arts started as I delved into animation studies after the Army, intensifying my involvement in the media world. While I only dabbled in photography during this period, I gradually developed an affinity for the nuances of camera features and the art of photography.
Following my formal education and up until approximately two years before embarking on my travels, I shifted my focus towards studio photography. During this time, I honed my skills through online resources and guidance from friends. Although the experience was exhilarating, I limited myself to practice without pursuing tangible outcomes. Only later, I stumbled upon the vibrant world of festivals, adding a new dimension to my artistic exploration.

Mop Festival Puppit

When was your first festival?

In 2013, when I went on my big trip for the first time, I found out about a festival in New Zealand that I didn’t know much about, and this Festival was something crazy like something I had never seen, not even in Israel. The local community there was so giving, open-hearted, and filled with spirituality that I didn’t know how elevating a festival could be back then.

That experience changed my life, and I took photos of people I liked. Then, I did a bit more at a different event. Later, when I went to Australia, I began using photography to attend festivals. It wasn’t really work; it was more like a hobby. Eventually, I met a small community of people through my work, and photography helped me connect with more individuals than when I was just traveling alone. It’s more than just communication; everyone has a talent. I suppose photography created an opportunity for me to connect with people.

Mop Festival 2

Transformational Eye

The desire to do more and make a living out of it wasn’t easy. But later in 2013, An Australian friend of mine went to Europe, and I took the chance to apply to two festivals, and I got accepted.

The first was Lost Theory, where I got a ticket, And since i was nearby, they didn’t actually neede to pay for my travels. 2013 was the first time I worked in that specific location, and since then, I have worked with them a few times until they stopped.  The second was Mo: dem, which became somewhat like my home festival, and I continued working with them ever since.

The following year, I designed a bigger Festival tour. It was the Lost Theory. Modem, Tree of Life, and Boom Festival. At that time, I still had my old Job, But I asked them to work very small amounts and actually give me three months in the summer for myself.

Mop Festival Puppit OZORA Healing OZORA Opening Boom Festival

Share your Experiences at the Tree of Life Festival

how did you like the festival and the people? And did you experience something there that made you unique to this festival?

Tree of Life, mainly held in Turkey, is a unique festival draws visitors from the Middle East, including Iran,. Which was my first real encounter with these special and beautiful people. The mix of attendees in that Festival from Europe and Israel creates a distinctive and unifying experience, offering meaningful connections in today’s world. This is particularly impactful as people return home with a different understanding of my country.

It was a truly special experience, not just the first but the second time I visited Turkey. I meet a significant number of people I wouldn’t have encountered elsewhere. i heard The Festival is returning to its original location in 2024, and i truly hope they invite me again.

 

What is your mindset as A pro event photographer?

Firstly, I aim to attend festivals that cover my expenses as, for many years, I relied on my own pocket money to sustain myself. Given the financial constraints, I can no longer afford to attend just for fun, as I used to. This limitation has its advantages, keeping me focused on the purpose of attending festivals rather than just for leisure.

I do not request payment upfront. Instead, I rely on the festival to confirm the job they require. Once the tasks are fulfilled, I accept the payment. This approach ensures that the festival isn’t let down, and there’s a clear understanding that the compensation is for the services provided.

I am ensuring that the festival organizers understand the mutual support between us. I aim for them to support me to the same extent that I support them.

 

Describe your experience working in festivals.

Photographing festivals has evolved significantly for me, and I now possess a broader perspective than before. My experiences have deepened, offering me a richer understanding of this art form. Interestingly, I’ve observed that beginners often receive more favorable treatment than I did initially. However, I recognize that individual experiences vary, and the treatment one receives is subjective. Consequently, I’ve concluded that I must assert certain conditions to ensure a positive and fulfilling festival photography experience.

Mop Festival fire place

What are the ideal terms for Photographers working in a festival?

Not every festival covers my travel expenses or provides meals; not all grasp photography’s importance. While they appreciate the photos, the true value of the effort often goes unrecognized. But that Ok, it’s not all about the Money for me. to answer your question, the ideal terms would be:

  • Flights, Accommodation, and Basic food arrangements.
  • Sleeping in a tent is fine, But a media room for charging the Cameras and offloading the cards is important and helps a lot.
  • Recive Payment before delivering the edited Albums.

 

Share your insights with Festival Promoters.

I believe a few important things should happen. Firstly, the community needs to recognize that if there are booking agents for musicians and artists, there should be similar support for the media. It would be beneficial if individuals or booking agencies representing video artists could extend opportunities to photographers for collaborations and creating content for artists or festivals. This kind of collaboration often occurs in smaller, tight-knit communities, much like the connections in Israel.

Currently, artists often seek or bring their own photographers, managing the process themselves and compensating them. However, a more organized system is lacking, like a booking agency specifically for photography or videography. It would be helpful to have the option to be booked through an agent who takes care of logistics and provides a presentation, enhancing the overall experience.

 

How do you handle working in front of crowds?

What’s your mindset when you go with the camera to take pictures? How do you handle the people around you?

My approach varies with the mood, but my usual process involves interacting with the subject, not necessarily through physical conversation, but to establish a connection and build intimacy. I clarify that I’m present for the participant, employing a quick and calming atmosphere. I try not to disturb them too much. I received feedback from several photographers that using Zoom is not very effective, even though it can capture great candid photos. I sense something is lacking in the experience.

It’s not like Tomorrowland, where you do your job and leave. Our role involves participating in the festival and blending in with the crowd. We also face our own challenges and stuff. So yeah.

OZORA From Above

What Gear are you using these days?

I want to switch, but I’m still using a Canon. I’m unsure what im gonna go for yet. I used to use a DSLR, and now I use a mirrorless because it’s more advanced. I’m into tech, and I also use a drone. When it comes to videography, using a stabilizer has its pros and cons. The stabilizer limits me from taking photos or moving freely. With a handheld, I need to stabilize and stay still. In photography, I need gear that works quickly and accurately. If my current gear can’t do that, and my camera has been giving me issues for the last months, So i am looking to upgrade soon.

 

Preferred time to shoot pictures

What’s the difference between night photography and the photography I will, and what’s your specialty? Do you like to take photos in the day or in the night? And what’s the difference?

Firstly, my favorite specialty is daytime photography. It’s simpler because you can interact with people, and the light is adjustable for creative play, unlike nighttime, where you rely on external lights, camera options, and editing. You may not achieve the desired results during the night, and the interaction may not be as good. Most Night People prefer solitude; they want to be left alone, in their own zone. When you approach with a camera, if they don’t notice, it’s okay, but they may not like the photos. However, they might become more self-conscious if you bring light, especially at night. Daytime is more open. As I mentioned, the light is less intense.

 

OZORA Healing

How do you prepare for an event?

What prep work do you do Physically and mentally before you go to a festival to take photos?

I ensure my gear and cards are in order, Charged, and ready to go. I Come and blend with the comunity and friends and evolve from there, Every festival is a universe of its own and my general mindsent is to capture the magic as best as i can.

 

Describe a challenging situation you faced during an event.

My worst memory was when i lost half of the photos i took at my first Boom festival 2014, until this very day im not sure what happend…but that day was one of those ultra special days where i met a lot of uniqe people and captured the most amazing shots ever…It’s one of those experiences you understand but can’t recreate. Im still bombed about losing those photos 🙂

I was also stuck in Tribal Gathering & Panama for three whole months when the Pandemic started; that was a really hectic experience since the authorities gave us hard times, But the Festival took care of everyone there the best they possibly could, and I survived to tell.

 

What are your festival’s most favorites?

Besides the music and the comunity which is obvius we all love, i am very much into Flow arts, I love these people who cretae this form of arts and im very invloved in their global movment.

Boom Festival

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Yaniv Ben Ari
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