Dragos is special (he does film, expired slides, pinholes of all kinds ... mind you, digital too) so I wanted to ask him before going any further in commenting this picture.
Of course the dialectic part of an evaluation is accessory but it happens to know some details about his work. Hellas, not all of them!
So instead of partial knowledge and partial guessing I decided to ask him. But not before writing down my thoughts.
Is it film? The grain doesn't appear to be digital. Nor does the subtle grey palette, so complete that any colour would have contaminated this bursting visual experience. (ed: it was digital after all)
Do you think that people are important? They are not. They are props to fill the scenes imagined by Dragos.
Are they staged? Of course they are. Only that it is also done differently. The subjects are set, then left there until they start regaining control of the self. And it is then when the frame is captured. Forget that you may obtain these looks or body postures by directing human beings. (ed: they were only partially staged after all)
The author knows the difficulty (not to say the impossibility) of getting meaningful portraits out of consciously posing individuals.
HCB was saying that: "The most difficult thing for me is a portrait. You have to try and put your camera between the skin of a person and his shirt." Dragos is putting his camera at eye level and looks through the viewfinder until he becomes part of the scene.
Observe the expression and the look of the girl. It is almost as feeling admiration then compassion for someone spending his time over there and over them. Like asking: "Why are you doing it?"
And the boy's gesture giving up his position and moving towards something else, changing into something we'll never know.
Last but not least, geometry. But I do not need to talk about this. It is obvious that the author masters it and joggles with it at ease. Circular patterns, tilted bodies/poles, fragmented shapes.
Why are you doing it Dragos? - Because I am there and you're not Michail! (ed: not his words).
More on Dragos-Radu Dumitrescu