Calgary Visual Artist Julya Hajnoczky Featured in National Geographic

Julya Hajnoczky’s photographs of Canadian plants and insects are found in the first section of National Geographic January 2024 Issue.

The Calgary visual artist collects articles from across Canada and uses a high-definition scanner to record them against a black background, something that caught the attention of an editor at the magazine.

Now Hajnoczky receives praise from all over the world.

“People I meet casually online message and get in touch,” he said.

“People all over the world say, ‘I’m overwhelmed by your photographs, this is so beautiful,’ so it’s nice to get all the feedback and hear that what I’m trying to do with the images is really coming to fruition.” “.

Hajnoczky began using the photography technique in 2015 after experimenting with elements placed in a scanner.

“The first image that really prompted me to participate in this project was putting up this little island of lichen and this little dried flower,” he said.

“When the scan came out, it was like, ‘Oh, this is a little world floating in space,’ and that’s been kind of the vision that all of these have followed.”

Gary Lorimer is Hajnoczky’s life partner and accompanies her on various photography adventures that can last months. He says that he is surprised at what she is able to capture.

“Watching her build the art from the walk we just finished, seeing what she collected and watching the process being built, and then seeing it appear on the screen, it’s amazing! I don’t have any kind of artistic essence.” my body, so seeing her do the art of it is just amazing.”

Hajnoczky has a small caravan that he lives in while traveling.

It’s where you set up your studio to scan the items you find.

Lorimer says Hajnoczky’s dedication to her work is probably what prompted her to appear in National Geographic.

“Watching her grow over the last three or four years of this project and seeing what she is now, being on National Geographic and getting recognition, it’s just amazing to see it from start to finish,” he said.

The high-definition scanner is capable of capturing incredible details in images.

Hajnoczky places a black tent over the scanner so the objects appear to float in space, but he says the wow factor comes from zooming in on the images.

“One of my favorite parts of the process is, as soon as the high-resolution scan arrives, zoom, zoom, zoom,” he said.

“Because you can see these incredible details of things like these plants, they’re covered in hair and all kinds of things, it’s really fascinating.”

Hajnoczky says she is not a scientist, but she likes botany and biology.

She regularly researches the areas she visits to discover what grows there that may not be seen anywhere else.

“I spend a lot of time wandering around very slowly, crouching down with my phone or a magnifying glass to look at things more closely,” he said.

“Then you have to go back to the field guides and try to identify what you’ve seen, so it’s a bigger process than just going out and picking flowers.”

Prints of Hajnoczky’s finished images are much larger than what can be seen in National Geographic.

He has worked with Costas Costoulas, the owner of Resolve Photo, for a decade to print his photographs, which reach nearly two meters in height.

Costoulas says he is excited about his client’s success on the world stage.

“I’m very excited about it, it’s a first for us here at Resolve,” he said. “It’s great! I’ve been working with Julya for probably 10 years and to see this kind of success come to her is fantastic, we’re so happy.”

Hajnoczky says he will continue using a scanner to capture the Canadian ecosystem and would like to visit the Arctic on his next adventure.

“Honestly, I feel like I’m just getting started, like I could do this forever,” he said.

“There are so many things to see that you can come back to the same place in different seasons, different years, different conditions and you will always find something different, so, to be honest, you could even do this in one place forever.”

To learn more about Hajnoczky’s work, you can visit your website.

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