In the beginning I used to take photos in order to take notes, like in a scrape book of sketches and observations, with the view to develop further, adjacent projects. Over time I realised that the amount of sketches and observations has become too big and realised that all these could shape up in their own right as they were already telling their own, unique story.

Sometimes, here, I perceive photography (as a tool) as a hindrance, as a lamentable limitation full of caprices and weaknesses, which is dependent only on light and not on sound, fragrance, height, wind, etc, etc.
Still, I continue to take photos as I cannot scan or uproot pieces of nature in order to multiply them. That is why, although the images are captured by means of photographic tools, I do not consider them real photos as such.
There is no rigorous organisation, on themes or styles, in which I display the images on my site, there is only one topic that fills up my entire life: nature.

Not people, but amongst people.
‘Tribute to my places’ - a tribute because on that particular day, that particular place allowed me to understand its splendour, despite the fact that maybe, it was deeply hidden in normality or in the natural beauty of that particular place.
This feels to me like a process of self-taming (in an esthetical sense) in front of nature, which is freed as much as possible of the subjective filter of expressive human emotions… solely trees, solely hills, solely grass, mountains, waves or just a cloud.
The only thing that keeps us away from being able to appreciate all this is our old habits. We label them as ordinary places, banal and insignificant, etc.

If someone who looks at one of my images sees only the tree or the mountain, the rock or the cloud (and not the compositions, the photographic technique or the processing), then my aim has been reached.

I have decided-despite the risks carried by such a decision- to display my works on this site in very high resolution. Each image contains a potential of compositions. Places that hide other places, separated solely by the visual scale. It rests with the viewer how they decide to compose the frame, according to their own personal disposition or curiosity. Although the images have a high resolution, my subject is not ‘the big picture’. Large images and using the zoom-in function enable proximity and not detachment from nature’s matrix.  Often ‘ the big picture’ proves to be ‘ too big a picture’ placing us too far away from it.

About Urbaum as a new word:
This is a phrase I came across randomly, like a play on words with a specific resonance to it.  Soon I found out that it carries a lot of meaning, in German for instance, it means ‘ the ancient tree, the great-tree’. By accident or not, in New Zeeland I had the chance to touch a being of 2000 years old, a majestic kauri tree.

My name is Dan Florin Spataru.
I graduate in 2002 from the Faculty of Arts, part of the University of the West, Timisoara, Romania, Department of Graphics.
However, graphics and painting had been my continuous interests before 1995, when I started my university. After graduation and up until now I have been working in advertising, in various specialised roles.

‘Tribute to my places’ is a personal project that I have started many years ago, in Romania, continued and improved later, after I arrived in New Zeeland. This is a continuously developing and expanding project.