Words by Emily Quli

Censay Darilus’ background in mechanical engineering has provided an interesting gateway into his work as a creative photographer.

Engineers are typically  analytical and logical thinkers and quite tunnel-visioned, but they can also be creative in different aspects. My engineering background has helped amplify me as a photographer by using the same outside-the-box ideology as I do in engineering  to create my concepts for my photography sets.

His seeking for self -expression has led to a series of inventive and imaginative photography which glorifies the beauty of the world around us. Darilus constructs innovative scenes that invite the observer’s imagination to make their own judgments of the image.

The world's beauty results mainly from the brilliant diversity of its living organisms like ourselves that exist in various parts of the earth, just as the extraordinary terrain of water and forests. This diversity gives serenity and tranquility


Darilus’ photograph Buruberu is twofold. Buruberu was a creative idea that I came up with while exploring a new concept involving the colour “blue”. Blue itself is considered beneficial to the mind and body. As the observer attempts to work out who the character is, they consequently try to dissect where the setting is. The setting that Darilus has created is elusive, inviting the observer's imagination to place it and dictate where they want it to be. The subjectivity of this image is a consistent theme throughout his works – keeping each of his images fresh and exciting to look at.

The unfamiliar setting is constructed so that it is relatively unapproachable, achieved through artistic direction such as the colour scheme and the foil surrounding it. Ultimately, the setting is transporting and invites images and associations of cold and ice through the foil and glitter. The photo shows the individual consuming a clear blue substance which would provide depth and stability.


The photo shows the individual consuming a clear blue substance which would provide depth and stability. Buruberu actually stands for bluebell which is the symbol of humility and gratitude. This is part of Darilus’ genius – his ability to encourage the observer to create stories about the subjects he photographs.

Himawari epitomises a daydream. Darilus blankets the photograph with a genial warmth, both subduing and exaggerating the sunlight. Through this he creates an impression of summer that resonates with the observer. The subject’s face is the focal point of this image and it is off this that all the sunlight in the image radiates. You don’t need to be a professional to take a good photograph; as long as you evoke a feeling or a memory, and an emotional element. A good photograph communicates the story of your individual experience with the viewer. The model’s face is inflicted with all the imaginings of a summer romance. Her face is gentle and reposed and yet her eyes are confident, assured and sultry holding an affirmed gaze with the audience. The decoration of flowers physically epitomise the beauty and femininity that bleeds from this image. The blue sky that is hazed and faded around it amplifies the tranquillity of this photograph and makes the subject stand solitary in relation.  


In the photoshoots Lycoris, Asagao and Chrysanthemum, my photography exhibited a prominent growth in both creative directing and concept creation

Lycoris is an image of strength and power. Darilus experiments with the subjects’ poise, colour scheme and features in the photograph to embellish the solidity in this photograph. One way this is achieved is through the straight on, stern gaze between subjects and the observer. This ensures that a relationship is attained between them, the subject has achieved the observer's trust  through the blatant gaze. Darilus incorporates a sense of security through this image by the hands that hold the subject’s face.

I would describe my aesthetic as moody, sympathetic, and radiant. Also, I would say my aesthetic is a form of expressionism since I want to capture the inner emotions and feelings.

This doesn’t necessarily add comfort but further adds to this sense of strength and evocation of emotions  as the subject is clearly supported and has a clear foundation in someone else. The colour scheme of red emboldens this photograph through connotations of desire, power and regality.

I always apply storytelling elements to my images. Ultimately, if you can draw viewers into the frame and make them think deeper, then you are  making the story come alive.

Asagao is a delicate series. Each of the photographs feel like a poised snapshot of spring. The artistic direction of the balanced colour scheme (deep purples and lavenders) adds a consistency against the plants which are scattered around this photo. Darilus marries nature with posed through this series, by assimilating the beauty of fashion and creative photography into the world around us.

Never let yourself impede on making photos. As creatives, we tend to inherently have self-doubt and are in constant conflict, with thoughts like, "I'll never be in the same class as he/she/they/them". But what photographers must remember is that making photographs takes practice. 

I will be collaborating with a few brands by incorporating some of their products within my shoots as well as continuing with my own personal projects. I am currently collaborating with @kneeback on a project called “I Keep That Thing on Me” which will be a storytelling  photobook on the essence of black culture.


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