The beginning of the new year brought me two achievements!
First, I finally completed 13 hours of Mastering Architecture and Real Estate Photography online course. This is a course by American photographer Charlie Borland who shoot interiors and real estate for more than 30 years. Although, the most part of the course I had to stoically hold attention to lectures, struggling with boredom (because of the information I already knew for a long time ago), nevertheless, some knowledge appeared brand new for me and not only expanded my theoretical base, but also will be very useful in my further work. The course wasn’t free surely, but I never considered investing in education a waste of money. So, I’m proud to show my certificate to you:
The second achievement refers to my art photography. I ranked in the Top 10% of most popular photographers in 2017 on ViewBug! On the joys, I have even more actively began to process the footage shot in the autumn in Crimea. And it’s worth to see! So, follow me on Instagram: denis_wordman
For several years, I dreamed to do such a thing: to come in some beautiful place, to get up early in the morning, before dawn, to go to the mountains in the dark and there, on the edge, to meet up a sunrise. That dream came true in this vacation!
We came out in deep twilight, at half past 5 a.m. and got back in the settlement to have a breakfast almost at midday. Moreover, on our way, from the rock, we saw a dolphin in the sea! It was the first time in my life I saw this wonderful animal and I am very glad that this was not in the aquarium but in his natural habitat. Furthermore, for a long time, I wanted to take a photo with a long shutter speed in order to get blurred waves stroking the rock. And I managed it too!
I’ve already mentioned that the sky was completely clear for almost all days we were there. Excluding the last evening. It was the one on which we planned a sunset shooting from The Qaravul Oba mountain. Exactly that evening gave us absolutely terrific sky!
Although the path to the mountain’s top became from touristic to “semi-climbing” in some places, and being quite simple for walking at the same time was only 50 cm wide with the steep slope about 200 meters right to the sea in others, and I carried the photo bag on my shoulder, and the heavy tripod in my hand, and I’m absolutely not a climber… Still, I twisted my head so active that it was going to come off and I was completely speechless in admiration!
We started our descent in congruent dusk. And at this moment, these wonderful places gave us another gift: right before us, in some 20-25 meters, appeared a fox! Barely noticeable breeze were blowing from her to us, so she took us calmer than I expected. After she did her deeds exactly on the path, she climbed the slope for 10 meters higher us and were running parallel to our way for several minutes not losing sight of us. But then, she decided to get even higher and disappeared behind the trees… It strange, but I didn’t regret that I had just wide angle lens (also, the camera was switched off and put away in the bag by the moment) and hadn’t even theoretical chance to photograph that delightfully beautiful animal. I know that this ideal evening will stay in our memory for ever.
Why am I telling all this? Because to my mind, no matter how your financial and other circumstances developed, try to come in some picturesque place and take a good rest there at least once a year. Believe me: it’s better to spend money for such a trip than for purchasing another smart phone or fashion shoes. Because the feeling of life fulfillment becomes with the bright impressions and not with the silly trinkets!
In a word, travel! Our planet is wonderful!
The last time I visited Crimea in 2010. It was the famous settlement called Koktebel. And the last time I had a vacation was two years ago when I took rest at Turkish Mediterranean seashore. So, with the onset of September, me and my wife (an artist and a designer Polina Kudelkina) strongly decided that we need a sea. For the number of reasons, we couldn’t go abroad. Therefore, we turned our eyes on Crimea peninsula again. But this time, after long and careful study of tourist reviews, map and photos, my spouse chosen Novyi Svit settlement. And now, with all my seriousness and responsibility, I can say that this place is one of the most beautiful nooks of nature I’ve ever seen!
I’ll start with the fact that if you stand facing towards the sea, almost from any place in the settlement, you will see The Falcon mountain to the left of you. This mountain conquered me once and forever! To my mind, it is the most picturesque mountain I faced in my life. Of course, someone can say: “Quite an ordinary rock. Nothing special”. But as for me, I was completely charmed with her: the shape of her peak; the fact that it absolutely free from any vegetation, although the mountain’s foot has lots of different trees and bushes; the rock texture (especially, in morning and at sunset when sun rays touch it with the sharp angle emphasizing all its roughness); the mountain’s height (374 meters above the sea made her as twice as taller than the rest mountains around); finally, the name itself (it doesn’t connect to the mountain’s shape, it’s just because of many birds of prey living there, especially falcons).
Another thing I like is that Novyi Svit surrounded with mountains and hills quite tall to stop low clouds. I guess there couldn’t be such a hopeless and gray cloudiness as in Saint-Petersburg in fall. That’s why for the seven days of our eight-day leave there was completely clear sky. However, by the second day I realized that it’s good for me as for a person hungry for the heat and the sun. But for me as a photographer, that’s a little bit annoying thing, because only the mentioned solid, gray and low flying mass of clouds looks more dull on photographs than clean sky. Therefore, I had to seek something spectacular, something really special in order to get interesting landscape images.
Nevertheless, for the first two days, we just climbed to the hills and rocks in full admiration and I remembered what and where I want to shoot. Only on the third day, I started to photograph. As a result, I brought home two almost full memory cards!
Eventually, we walked all the elevations around the settlement excluding The Falcon mnt. Moreover, we visited Soniachna Dolyna settlement where we walked and watched the vineyards, and Sudak town where I was absolutely delighted with the ancient Genoese fortress.
To be continued…
Some time ago, I signed up on this web resource and upload my photos there. You may ask: “What for to follow you there if lots of your photos here?” My answer is simple: on Instagram, I post one or two photos every week. Here on my web site, much less. Furthermore, here, I prefer to upload either whole completed photo series or the best single images. But I noticed that often those photos I consider as just not bad many viewers estimate as wonderful and incredible!
I think that’s fun and curious but it takes place. So, if you want to see my works more often, follow me: Denis Churin. I will be glad!
What do I mean by this title? The fact that a photographer is not an artist who makes on his canvas the unreal world or the world quite far from the reality. Photographer is not also a magician who can change the reality itself. The photographer only captures the reality.
Yes, a good specialist in photography can embellish it. To remove on a photo a wire protruding from the wall, for a example. Or to correct the curved curtain, or to shade in the smoke detector which looks not aesthetically pleasing, or to correct the colors at all and so on.
But photographer can’t make the image of your building ideally clean from the extra items in case he have to photograph the facade, entirely crowded with, say, the parked cars. (The photo below as an example made not by me).
Of course, even in this case he can fill up the cars with the pieces of facade and asphalt. But believe me: it will be looking blatantly unnatural and terribly ugly. Even if only because it’s unreal to make it the way not only the asphalt in front will look naturally darker than under the lights, but also the road at all will keep its geometrical and textural perspective.
Yes, such a trick can also be done in theory, but it still won’t be looking completely natural. Moreover, no photographer will not spend the whole working day just for retouching a single photo. Well, only if you as a customer agree to pay him for this day separately, beyond the main order. That means you will pay for this single photo several times as much as for the whole rest images. And you will get a photo still far from the ideal! As they say: not worth powder and shot.
In a word, I just want to say that if you heard from someone the thing like “The Photoshop makes wonders!” – do not take it too literally. This program hasn’t the magic button called “correct everything”. The quality image processing in it is a painstaking work demanding patience, experience and knowledge.
I can say the one thing which is trivial and obvious for someone but probably unexpected for many others: absolutely any human activity making on the highly professional level is the serious labor and many years of studying. No matter what exactly this activity is be it the bridge design, biathlon, surgery or juggling with burning torches on monocycle. (This photo below made by me).
It was in summer 2009, just one year after I purchased my first photo camera and started to learn Photoshop. I tried to make a sepia toned photo. It was an old, badly damaged and abandoned house image. I was very satisfied with the effect obtained and since then I had an idea to make a whole photo series of similar images.
A few days ago, I completed processing the photos shot in last early fall in The Summer Garden (Saint-Petersburg, Russia). These images are sepia toned as well (the truth, not the damaged houses are objects), but this time I used not the couple of ready filters. Opposite – I made it by myself in few steps. Among others, I managed to get a delightful effect very similar to infrared film one when tree trunks are look almost black and, at the same time, its leaves are very bright. Moreover, I so much wanted to make very contrast and grainy images. Plus, some other additional strokes made this work completed exactly how I wanted to.
Eventually, to my mind, I succeeded to convey the special mood you could get seeing the old, 18th century photos of autumn almost deserted park. In a word, I’m not only satisfied with the result but also proud of it. I hope you will like this photo series as well: Dreams Of The Old Garden.
It’s been quite a long time since I have a desire to make black and white photos consciously and thoroughly, not accidentally and just hoping for luck. I mean to choose location and times of day before shooting in order to get material for good black and white images. Moreover, I already saw in my mind for several months which exactly these photos should be.
To my opinion, black and white photography is not just images without color. To make really interesting and beautiful photos, you have to process images no less long and serious than colored ones.
And I made my new series just like that. Here it is: Peterhof.
I have to say that my present life – when photography is not only my profession but also my hobby – leaves me not much free time. Huge part of it I still spend doing all kinds of nonsense that, nevertheless, helps me to relax and take a break. But rest of my free time I spend useful – I do my self-education, slowly but true and hard increasing my photography level.
And now, on 14th of March, I finished “Interior Design Photography” online course by famous professional French photographer Serge Ramelli. I learnt this course not for free, therefore, I got the Certificate in the end and I’m very glad about and even proud of it!
So, now, I’m not only professional but also certified interior photographer! Welcome!
By the way, I have already started another course but by different photographer, American one this time. If Ramelli told about interior photography of different hotel rooms, the new course is about architectural and interior photography of houses. That means my training as a photographer continues permanently!
I guess many of you know such a famous platform for designers, builders, photographers and other specialists in home repairs and design as Houzz. A few years ago, Russian branch of Houzz opened. And I am the one of the interior photographers on this web site.
Houzz gives their own award in different nominations every year. I’m pleased to tell that I won “Best of Houzz-2017” award in “Client Service” nomination. Frankly, it was a big surprise for me. I don’t mean that I’m not sure in the quality of my photographs or my services at all. Just the opposite: I am completely confident about it. But I didn’t expect that it will be appreciated on such a high level. As it appears, I wasn’t alone in it.
In connection with this prize awarded, there was one funny and very surprised me case. If you occasionally visit my site you know that I completed very big order for The State Russian Museum last summer. It was an interior and architectural photography. Some of these photos are presented in my portfolio on Houzz. So, it didn’t pass an hour after I have received a mail with congratulations from Houzz and I suddenly got a personal message on Houzz web site from one of the interior photographers. I can’t call him a colleague and you will know why below.
First of all, it should be mentioned that this person is placed on the first page of Saint-Petersburg interior photographers on Houzz. Moreover, he photographed 46 different palaces and mansions in Saint-Petersburg as a professional photographer as he wrote me himself. And if you look over his photos you won’t doubt in his words. Simply put, he’s a very successful, demanded and I guess highly paid interior photographer.
And this successful a Tom Shelby style cap carrier suddenly wrote me a message where he doubts that I could photograph The Russian State Museum interiors and facades because I have such a low photographer level! “Why do you mislead a respected public?” he wrote. Like, ah-ah-ah, not good! And he virtually wagged a finger at me.
I answered quite honestly as I always do that I never mislead anyone at all and even didn’t think about it. Then he like a Napoleon’s army general began to prance in front of me on a virtual horse of his success telling how many palaces he had photographed. I was impressed of course but still didn’t understand what he wanted from me and I respond it. For unknown reasons, he answered that I’m an anxious person and vanished in the air left me think it all over and scratch my nape.
By the way, if you interested in who it was you can find him on Houzz Russia very easy: he’s the only interior photographer in Saint-Petersburg with double surname.
From 11 till 30 November 2016, there was “The Nothern Beauty” photo contest on the National Geographic Russia web site. The same name exhibition was organized according to the results. It included the works got to the final and took place in “The Gallery” mall in the center of Saint-Petersburg from 14 December 2016 till 14 January 2017.
I am very glad to announce that one of the contest finalists and exhibition participants was my photo #6 from my recent “Farewell To The Summer” series. I guess that’s one of two my highest achievements as a creative photographer so far.
I can also add another, much less significant but no less pleasant news for me. There’s international photographers web site called Viewbug that have a very respected jury include such grandees of modern photography as Tray Ratcliff, Scott Kelby, Peter Hurley, Alan Shapiro, Jerry Ghionis and many others. There different photo contests and challenges are regularly running on this web site. My photo #1 from the mentioned series won the “HDR Photography” photo challenge in December. Moreover, this photo also got the “Members Selection Award” in the same month.
As for my professional interior photographer career, I also won quite famous and prestigious award recently, about 10 days ago. I even suddenly met envy from one of the Saint-Petersburg’s successful interior photographers! But I’ll tell about it a bit later, after a few days.