Featured Photographer: Mindaugas Gabrenas' Dreamscapes


“Lost” from the series Dreamscapes

Mindaugas Gabrenas’s Dreamscapes isn’t a series of images, a cohesive body of work, or a chronological collection: it is a photographic interpretation of the endless human pilgrimage that takes place inside every one of us. His images stimulate classical esoteric motifs of hidden truths that lay just behind our grasp while in traditional states of consciousness. His work isn’t simply about dreams, but are dreams themselves.

The surrealist landscapes he produces with his homemade tilt-shift 6x6 camera allow him to bend and distort reality by combing conventional long exposure photography with blurry and vague figures that are recognizable, but somehow unknowable. These characters represent the inexpressible thoughts we experience as we attempt to reconcile our dreams and memories of the events that take place between our states of wakefulness and sleep. Each scene captures everything we see and all the things we don’t: the flashes of emotion that leave us with agitating feelings of loneliness, as well as the glimpses of hope that strike us when we remember that thought.

Mindaugas’ images are intentionally imperfect: littered with obvious visual impurities, they represent the fragments of our collective consciousness that shape our view of the present by examining our past that ultimately influence our future decisions. To him, memories and dreams are deeply personal: they fuel our personal nature of creation and artistic expression. He shared with us that, “[dreams] are a place where our consciousness and subconscious meet. Dreams often affect our memory too, because after a while it is not always possible to distinguish what was reality and what was just a dream. [To me] even those fragments of dreams that I'm able to enjoy are extremely inspiring and important to me”.

It seems fitting that one of Mindaugas’ prime influences is Franz Kafka, the famous magical realist writer, who once said, “Don't bend; don't water it down; don't try to make it logical; don't edit your own soul according to the fashion. Rather, follow your most intense obsessions mercilessly.” This has echoed true in Mindaugas’ own path towards his photographic work. He has developed a one of a kind process that allows him to capture the world around him exactly how he see’s it, without any aim for critical acclaim. He told us, “I have an extremely intensive work agenda, the escape from daily routine is crucial to me. I don't know whether this is important for everyone, but I definitely need to escape sometimes into my world of creation. [In this world] I do not care about social roles, elements of subordination, responsibility or order. I'm free to do what I like. It is the way of expression, my vision, my monologue with myself. It's an integral part of me and I can't stop doing it”.

We do hope that Mindaugas keeps producing his dreamscapes so we can continue to escape reality and ponder our existence within ourselves through his creations. His work is a refreshing departure from traditional long exposure photography that encompasses a deeper meaning behind why we create art in the first place. His Dreamscapes deserve immense recognition for their originality and vision and we encourage you to visit and connect with him on his Website and on Instagram!


Michael Behlen is a photography enthusiast from Fresno, CA. He works in finance and spends his free time shooting instant film and backpacking in the California wilderness, usually a combination of the two.  He is the founder of Analog Forever Magazine. Connect with Michael Behlen on his Website and on Instagram!