New East Digital Archive

Fleeting beauty: perfect, ephemeral moments caught on film

Caught up by a Stream is a documentary narrating the life of cities and people around the world, viewed through the imagination of a stranger. Maria Romanova-Hynes, who was born in Moscow but now works in Dublin, is a young artist interested in literature, film and photography. But what fascinates her most of all is storytelling, and she tries to depict "a fleeting moment saturated with an emotion that would otherwise be gone". Romanova-Hynes took the pictures over the last three years across different countries including Japan, Russia, the UK and the USA. Her shots have the gentle melancholy of postcards sent from the edge of the world, with dream-like double-exposure and the rich colours of old film stills. "It is a collection of momentary impressions and memories translated into a less personal form," she says. "The choice of a film camera is justified by the subject matter: just as there is only one chance to notice something while wandering through a new place, there is only one chance to capture it. Strangers do not pose and nature never stands still, so the photographer’s task is not to make several copies of one scene, but rather to portray the sole original feeling that an ever-changing scene conjures up within them."

3 December 2013