This is a new weekly series designed to highlight people sharing fascinating photos on Instagram. Every week, we’ll introduce you to a new person who uses Instagram to share a unique perspective on the world. This week, we’d like to introduce you to Beirut-based Instagrammer @serjios.
Hey Serge! Can you tell us a little about yourself?
I was born in Lebanon and grew up between Beirut’s shelters and Lebanon’s green mountains. The concept of urban living was nonexistent to me until war ended and I got to discover the amazing cultural diversity a city could offer. Because of the civil war, I left Lebanon to live in Paris for a few years, and I was shocked by the city’s beauty: its amazing art galleries, museums and unique architecture. Paris’s cultural dimension had a big impact on me and led to my interest in modern and contemporary art.
How do you use Instagram? what cameras, apps and filters do you use?
I work as a lawyer in Beirut, and as I have a busy schedule, I always try to take photos between meetings or on my way back from work. I try to go to various neighborhoods and take pictures of what strikes me most. I use the iPhone 4 and mainly the Photoshop app to adjust the exposure or contrast of my shots, and I tend not to use filters a lot because I like my pictures to keep their original properties.
What keeps you snapping and sharing photos on Instagram?
Instagram helped me look at my city in a different way. To see beauty in everyday life, in the seemingly ugly or not-so-appealing aspects of the world around me. It helps me keep a positive attitude towards life in general and how I would like to share it with others. I guess anyone can find ideas and beauty in almost everything. It is perhaps the best attitude to have towards life. After all, our everyday life is not as boring as we think it is.
6 Photos, 6 Stories
1. This shot was taken in Brussels. I was visiting a friend and was struck by this huge office building with just one open window. What I find interesting is the fact that one can see the everyday office life in the first floors (files classified near the windows) then it slowly becomes pure geometric abstraction.
2. This shot was taken in a dense neighbourhood in Beirut. I was struck by the orange curtains that almost had a heart shape. I like (and fear at the same time) the idea of people living in bubbles or boxes. What I find interesting is how each balcony is the reflection of its inhabitants.
3. I was very hesitant when I started taking pictures of this Beirut building because I felt my presence there was almost an invasion of privacy. People here are not used to seeing their buildings photographed because they (wrongly) never view their buildings as anything interesting (and hey, we are in Beirut not Honolulu!).
4. This picture was taken in Tyre, south of Lebanon. I was struck by those balconies — they almost look like piled up boxes about to crumble! The building was left in ruins, probably because no one ever took the time to appreciate its unique architectural style.
5. When I think of bubbles of life I think of these bubbly colorful balconies. They almost look like balloons heading to the sky. Each one of them has a life of its own, its own rythm and character. In this particular building, one can say that life is a stage indeed.
6. Who knew crates would look like buildings? I found that this image was an interesting parallel with the building shots I take. I was just passing by a vegetable market when I saw these crates on the floor.The building-shape reminds me of the movie Metropolis.