Zsolt Varanka, PhD

a.k.a. Jacaré

By profession I’m a biologist (PhD, Environmental Biochemistry and Biotechnology), however, life is challenging and made me converted to an IT Engineer and I’ve been working as an IT professional for 17+ years, already. Well, as might be revealed  shortly, I’m not taking photographs for living, but I just cannot live without. Photography is just playing so central role in my life.

My nick: Jacaré is coming from my Brazilian friends, who I told a few indian/portugese animal names when we first met. The very first one I mentioned was ‘jacaré’, this is how the aboriginals call caiman in the Brazilian forests. I learnt these words in my childhood from the exciting novels of the  famous Hungarian hunter and writer Gábor Molnár, who led expeditions to Amazonia from 1930 to 1932 to collect exhibition material for the Hungarian National Museum.

I’m proud to consider myself as a self-taught photographer, as mostly learnt from my own experience and from books and videos. Achieved my first significant photography awards in 2015 without completing any photography school or course. However, I joined a couple of studio photography evenings organized by the local photo club, where I got the chance to try out studio equipment, implement my own lighting ideas and learn to instruct and photograph models. After a while, as my daughters grew, I felt more and more interests in portrait and studio photography, aimed to take unique, beautiful photos about them, also professional ones about beautiful models. Since then I regularly subscribed to some of the best american commercial and portrait photographers’ studio photography video  courses, which helped me to jump levels in my photography in a few months term.

I even joined a so-called ‘right-brain drawing’ course to improve my artistic view and imagination in 2016. Learning from the digital courses of the bests is great, but face to face education by successful photographers is another key point of self-development, so, in 2017 joined an advanced course in Budapest and learnt professional studio lighting and portrait retouching, then attended an outdoor wedding workshop in Austria in 2018 to further extend my skills.

As might seen by the above story, I’m mad for photography and visual arts and looking for adventures to fulfill my creative visual needs. There are so much beauty in the World and I am addict to discover and show them!

When asked what kind of photographer I am: nature, portrait, fashion or what else? – I feel best to say – Would not categorize myself, I’m a passionate photographer ;). Actually, when I’m thinking over I most love the following genres: landscape, wildlife, studio portrait, beauty and glamour.

Although, I am creating photographs mainly for my own joy, time to time participate photo contests and won couple of awards, already.

I live in Székesfehérvár, Hungary with my family and as time permits happy to (re)discover known or new areas within Hungary, also run photography tours to foreign countries with special interest to mountainous areas in Norway, the Tatras or the Alps.

 

Credit to photographers I believe are really exceptional and feel I learnt the most from