Assia Starke Austria experimental photography light painting photo art



// Assia is Russian-born, but now living in Austria. Having grown up with a father who had his own improvised darkroom at home, she developed a fascination for photography from a young age. Assia kindly shared some of her abstract photo art of Christmas motifs in her current home town, Mödling, near Vienna.

Assia is self-taught and always interested in trying out new methods of capturing the present moment – trying to keep it lively. She tries to include lines, patterns, and most of all her own emotions, the things that make her happy, in her pictures. In her mind, the quote by Edgar Degas that Assia gave us applies equally to photography. And so she likes to continue to explore new ways of going about it.

We absolutely loved her artful Christmas photos when we first discovered them and asked her to share a set with us to show here.

“Painting is easy when you don’t know how, but very difficult when you do.”

Edgar Degas

What draws you to the arts?

“The fascination of human creativity, the expression of someone’s else’s inner world.” 

What do you like most about your photo art?

“Christmas is all around us. 🙂

To create these artful and partly abstract images of the Christmas lights in Mödling, Austria, Assia used simple, but effective tools. “I love bokeh, it is sometimes the main theme of my captures,” she says. But the bokeh in some of these images looks different from the usually round colour circles.
For these unusual shapes Assia fabricated a home-made “aperture”, something like a stencil, a simple paper circle with a cut-out in the middle, which she held in front of the camera lens. By doing this the unfocused lights take the shape of the “hole”, turning them into hearts, stars, or anything else that strikes the creator´s fancy. For some of this photo set she used intentional camera movement (ICM), a popular technique in experimental photography that can achieve interesting arty abstractions.

What we take from this is: Equipment matters, but it absolutely does not have to cost a fortune! Thank you for the Christmas present, Assia!

Photos may be cropped for layout, click on the photos to see the full image.

All photos © Assia Starke

To see more of her photography art visit Assia´s Instagram page


Fantastic series. I would love to learn her technique!!! Thank you Spectaculum Magazine for the feature

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