Posted at 15 Jul 2015

Interview with Tudor Prisăcariu

The Bucharest-based creative discusses his transition from coding to photography, and how the two eventually came together in his practice.

Talk us through the design of your personal portfolio site,

One day I had the idea of doing a design with offset images as a homepage, so I did a quick sketch and this was really the starting point.

I wanted the website to have a smooth experience and avoid jumping from one section to another. To achieve this, I put all the focus on images and used zoom in/out transitions to guide users through different views of each project: hero image, single slide and thumbnails. The zooming out/in from large image to thumbnails is something I was particularly keen on, and has its origins in my London LOOP website.

To keep things as simple as possible, I’ve also ‘hidden’ all text in an info panel that slides in from the left if required.

The yellow colour and dot also have their origin in a past personal project, and carry a lot of personal and national symbolism.

Coming from a programming background in high school, I actually started off studying Computer Engineering and then gradually shifted my focus to the creative fields

What came first for you, photography or digital design?

The web came first, initially in the form of my fascination for HTML and CSS. This started mid-way through high school, when I began doing some very basic code experiments. I also had some interest in Flash at the time, but that gradually faded over the next two to three years. It was around the same time that I also started doing my first, albeit quite naive, design experiments. These were either in the form of text applications on photography or basic layouts for the web pages I was playing with.

Photography came second, also in high school, but only in the final year when I received my first digital camera, a 2mp Canon A20. That was the big trigger; I started photographing all the tiny details around me, which is how the name of my first portfolio site (and first .com) came about: As I started formally studying photography at uni, my interest gradually shifted towards documentary and architecture photography.

Where and what did you study?

I have a BA Hons in Creative Arts and Communications from Richmond University in London. I also completed a second major in Computer Engineering. Coming from a programming background in high school, I actually started off studying Computer Engineering and then gradually shifted my focus to the creative fields. In the end, as my university is a hybrid between the British and American programmes, I was able to complete both majors.

What are the three websites you’re most proud of?

The global network of portfolio sites I did for Elite is a clear first. It was by far the longest project I have ever worked on and the most rewarding one. Because the whole process took about one-and-a-half years from commission to launch, there was a lot of time to think everything through and get it as I wanted it.

The Eight Inc. website is another favourite. They have an extraordinary body of work and I was very excited to help them with their 2014 portfolio redesign. I worked closely with Matt Judge from Eight on fine-tuning the designs and the user experience, and then went on to code the whole thing.

The interactive timeline I did for Norwegian studio Uniform also has a lot of sentimental value. It was the first project I did after coming back to Bucharest and setting up Verde. It was also one of the first projects where I really experimented a lot with CSS transitions and animations, and I was very proud (and still am) of the final outcome, especially given the very tight deadline that I had to work on.

Can you fill us in on what’s coming up next, either in photography or design?

I’m currently trying to publish my first photography book, the result of about two-and-a-half years of work. The book focuses on Bucharest’s architecture and landscape and contains 132 photographs. Until 31 August, I’m running a crowdfunding campaign to help finance the production costs. If all goes well, the book should be out in October.

As far as my design work goes, I’m currently working on another project with Elite. It’s a more editorial-based website with an even broader scope, so it should be at least as exciting as the previous one. More details will be revealed this fall!