Tamas Dragon knows how to find the hidden treasures of his home city, Budapest. Not only does he take the time to find and photograph the most beautiful places of the Hungarian capital, but Dragon is also showing us just what you can see (and might miss!) when looking up.
It’s easy to see why Budapest is consistently rated as one of Europe’s most beautiful cities. The capital is packed with charm. And while Budapest is a natural beauty, the man made art of the city is just as breathtaking. The Queen of the Danube boasts architecture you might’ve only seen in fairytales! Picture Baroque, Neoclassical and Art Nouveau styles, combined with 21st modernity… this is Budapest in a nutshell.
Tamas Dragon has been showcasing Budapest’s architecture in a very unique way. In his Instagram series, Look up Monday, Dragon explores the world of Budapest architecture from looking beyond what the average person sees. Every week he chooses a new destination to feature, and every week we are mindblown by the beauty of what Budapest looks like when we take our eyes above the streets of the city.
We conducted a Q+A with Tamas to ask more about his photography.
How long have you been a photographer?
Actually, I’m still not a photographer in the common sense as this is not a full-time job for me, yet. When I was a teenager, my hobby was photography, back then with an analogue film camera. Then I gave up this hobby for decades, only started again about two years ago. And of course it’s like falling in love again, I can’t stop since then. Every single time I can go out to shoot is exciting and calming and fun, so I guess this is what we call getting into the flow zone.
We love your images of Budapest architecture. What sparked your interest in architecture?
I always loved old and new buildings, even when I wasn’t taking photos. For me, it’s still something magical that every building is made from a million small parts, yet when it’s ready, it’s really not the sum of its parts, but a glorious, interesting thing that not only functions as a space for human beings, but a “living” thing that changes with light, season, can change the look of a street (for better or worse) and make us look at it in awe of how beautiful it is. For me symmetry, shapes and lines are just simply beautiful things.
What is your favorite image on your Instagram account (in Budapest)?
Tough question. Probably almost always the last I post. :) As soon as I get back from a photoshoot I’m exited like a child to download the new photos from the memory card to see the images. And if something really grabs my attention, then it becomes the new favourite for me, until the next favourite. So I guess I don’t have a constant favourite.
Why did you decide to "look up" in Budapest?
It comes from real world experience. As soon as I step into a building I photograph it with my mind. Look up, look for interesting shapes and structures. When I decided to make look up photos I searched for photographers who did the same and found a few, but not so much. But as I really love this perspective, I wanted to try that and fell in love with it. For me it’s a unique viewpoint that is very interesting. And it looks cool in my opinion.
As I read about architecture it seems that many architects deliberately plan the building so it is interacting with light, looks fabulous when you look up, or look down from the air, while still functional for the purpose. For me it’s always exciting to see old and new buildings from this point of view, and Budapest is perfect for these type of shots as it has an unmatched heritage, while as a capital it’s always developing so the great modern architecture just lives right next to a 100-year-old house, for example.
If you’re not looking up while you’re in Budapest—or any city, for that matter—you’re missing out on so many architectural gems! And Tamas demonstrates just how much more you can learn about a place, and its design, by turning your gaze upwards.
Written by Sonzja Papp; All Photography © Tamas Dragon.
Be sure to follow Tamas Dragon on Instagram to keep up to date with his Look Up Monday series, as well as his other Budapest photography.