Formerly an entrepreneur, I turned into an artist a few years ago and my life totally changed for the better. Three words that describe me: impatient, curious, ambitious.
Photography has been one of my interests since childhood but I've only started to take it seriously in 2015. That's when I ditched "auto mode" which turned me into the "pro" in my group of people we spent our holidays with. The pandemic made me explore the beauty of Romania, it’s amazing landscapes and mostly the rich fauna.
Right before getting serious about photography I did a series of sunsets and sunrises atop Ciucas, a spectacular massif in Romania. Back then, I was mainly interested in landscapes. It was either chance or my imagination that made me "see" the shape of a Sphinx in the snow-covered rock beautifully lit by the sun.
I baptised it the Ciucas Sphinx and it was a breakthrough for me: National Geographic published an article about this striking image. Since then, I have started to envelop every picture I took into a story with a plot, characters and a bit of magic.
Currently, I am working on the Project and it's amazing how photography brought me here and created this unique opportunity. North of Words (NoW) is a photographic journey aiming to educate Romanians (and not only them) about the effects of climate change. It involves an artistic chronicle of several Arctic regions, reaching as close as possible to the North Pole.
I will first travel to Svalbard Archipelago in July, then to Greenland, followed by Iceland and the Canadian Arctic. My goal is to show people that although global warming is visible worldwide, its first signs appear way up North, in the Arctic, and we all need to take action NoW!
Nature. Life. The stories just unfolded along with what I was feeling when taking the photos: so much emotion that needed to be shared! It all started with the Sphinx above but the next one is equally relevant because it is about wildlife. This time my muse was a black-winged stilt. It was almost urging me to never stop searching for moments like that one: that particular bird in that precise moment came with the whole plot, an intricate story plus the soundtrack.
I almost saw it on horseback in the Wild West while Ennio Morricone's The Ecstasy of Gold was playing in the background. I decided to name it "The Long-legged Cowboy". From then onwards I always applied a filter on my photos: if they don't tell a story, if they don't make me feel something, they end up in the trash bin. One more step from here and we get to the Lava Elephant (the photo that was awarded).
Nature. It was the very first day of the Meradalir eruption and I was lucky to get there quickly. Surrounded by prominent names in photography, I thought I didn't stand a chance to get a memorable image. I eventually set off the drone above the volcano.
What happened was both unbelievable and ephemeral: for a few seconds the lava flow took the shape of an elephant! I blinked and it immediately turned into an abstract drawing but I had the chance to capture the Lava Elephant. It made me feel like the luckiest guy on Earth and I saw it as a good omen, so I decided to enter it in the contest.
Please visit me on Instagram and check out my website (raresbesliu.com) where I will publish my diary from up North, sharing my day-by-day experiences in the Arctic.
I am looking forward to showing you what life is like close to the North Pole, so feel free to comment and share your insights about climate change. You and me and everybody else, together, can help preserve the beauty of nature as we know it!
Iceland, 2022 - Meradalir Vulcano. I captured the moment when lava took the shape of an elephant. But, the ...
(Read more at London Photography Awards)
Having once been an entrepreneur, Rares Besliu transformed into an artist a few years ago, resulting in a markedly better life. While an interest in photography existed since childhood, it wasn't until 2015 that he began pursuing it seriously.
Read more about this interview with Adrian Schaub from Switzerland, the Gold Winner of the 2023 London Photograhy Awards.