A few days ago I accidentally found out that in November 2018 I won in the photo contest “How beautiful is this World – show!” by TV and Radio Company “MIR” (means “World” in Russian).
Totally, there were announced six winners: three by the opinion of jury and three according to the votes of the Company’s web site visitors. I risk to seem immodest and vain, but to my mind, jury opinion in the contests is much more valued than votes of visitors. My experience of participation in lots of very different photo contests (Russian ones and other World’s as well) during more than 10 years tells exactly about it: in the overwhelming majority of cases, the winners by the opinion of site visitors do not reach by the level of their works even for fifty runners-up. Opposite, jury decision is almost always gives the win to really good works.
So, my photo called “The Head of the Dragon” which I took in Crimea in Fall 2017 (it has already appeared here in my blog) won the 1st place by the jury opinion! I won’t hide that I’m very happy with this fact! Even though the organizers didn’t emphasis the difference between places.
I guess you got a question: why I knew it accidentally? The point is that the results were published on the “MIR” Company’s web site and their group in Russian social media “Odnoklassniki” (means “classmates” in Russian). Both of these sites are not the places I visit often. To put it mildly. Simply, about 10 days ago I suddenly logged in to my account in “Odnoklassniki” and found there a whole bunch of messages from the mentioned group’s admin. He congratulated me with this win and asked for my postal address to send the prize. To my joy, although I replied too late according to the contest’s rules, organizers still decided to send me the prize and I’m very grateful for that. So, I’m waiting.
The moral of this fable: never give up! Right at that moment when you finally drown in despondency and stop any struggle – right at that moment you need to show a little more patience and endurance, and a holiday will come to your street!
When I was 18, I knew exactly how to live, what and how to do, what to strive for. I had a whole bunch of dreams and I tried to make all of them true. When I got about 30, I was already not sure about many things, not always knew what I want, doubted about possibility of making true at least half of my dreams. Now, I almost constantly don’t understand absolutely what’s happening around and for what all of this. I got just one dream left: health of loved ones and life with them in peace and serenity. Even this single dream is vandalized by fate: it breaks off one piece (decease of one loved one), then gnaws out another one (the death of the other).
They say tests are sent to us to temper. “What does not kill you will make you stronger”. Where did they get that I want to be stronger? In any case, not at such a price.
Perhaps, it’s impossible to understand and explain why do some people become dear to us, grow into our souls, merge with them, while others remain only fellow travelers, often temporary. The same with pets. We love some of them, appreciate and protect but they still remain just our wards, life companions. On the contrary, others grow into us, a special relationship establishes with them, they become a part of ourselves.
When dies such creature (no matter human or animal), after, when with great difficulty, but still, finally, you realize this fact, becomes the feeling like a huge piece of you was torn out, and nothing will heal this wound ever. Yes, you slightly begin to get used to the emptiness, to the hole in your soul. But that’s just a habit. It’s not easier to feel this emptiness.
And a guilt. No matter how good you showed yourself, how much love, tenderness and care you gave, after his death, all the same it seems that you gave insufficiently, that you could give more. And nowhere to escape from this guilt.
Time doesn’t heal. And in general, nothing can heal this. You just can get used to this pain and share it with someone close to you. And to remember the good things that were. After all, until death was a lot of good. And this should not be forgotten in any case because it’s much more important than death. This exactly is really important.
We don’t know what is expecting us after the death. We can only believe or hope – who can do what.
As for me, I want to believe. To believe in the words written by Mikhail Bulgakov: “It will be given to each one according to his faith”. I believe that all those who are dear to me, and who are no longer alive – all of them I will meet after the death. So it’s easier for me. In the end, I don’t lose anything. If all of us there are waited by nothingness, nobody will know it.
See you, my dear cat, my Masyuk!
I’ve never been to Spain earlier. And of course I dreamt to visit it. It happened this spring that me and my wife bought inexpensive trip to Catalonia, to the famous sea shore of Costa Brava. Before leaving, we knew that there won’t be hot in the beginning of May, but we have hoped we would be lucky. Plus, we expected that “not hot” in Costa Brava would be exactly what we, citizens of Saint-Petersburg, need. It didn’t work out that way and we have seen that relatively not high price for the trip was justified. In one of the ten days there were just +12 in Celsius with frequent cold rain. Even in general was just warm, definitely not hot. Nevertheless, my wife swam twice in the sea: pure, salty, and about +16 degrees. I for one, as a veteran cold and hedonist, decided to stay away.
In spite of this, we got a whole bunch of emotions bright and memorable – and this was the main thing for what we traveled there. Well, photographs too, of course.
One of the days we allocated for a trip to Barcelona, the most beautiful city in the World according to the opinion of one famous Russian sports journalist. As for me, I have visited just a few of World’s greatest cities so far and I haven’t enough to compare with. Still, I can say that Barcelona undoubtedly beautiful, distinctive and very interesting city. I’m not really good in architecture as an art, but, in general, I got the impression that if Saint-Petersburg, for instance, is the city by Carlo Rossi, so Barcelona is the one by Antonio Gaudi (it’s clear that this is a strong simplification, but it sounds great, isn’t it? ).
But still, nature for me is more beautiful than any cities, and her creations are nicer to the eye than the most beautiful architectural ensembles. That’s why our trip to Montserrat mountain impressed me a lot more than Catalonia capital. What only cost one rise on foot from about 1 km height
to the top (1236 meters above sea level)
and walking the same way descent to the monastery (725 meters)
by narrow and winding paths, then making their way through the mountain forest,
then going to the edge of steep slopes with breathtaking views! Well, I guess I can even don’t talk what delight caused me the texture of the rocks of this amazing mountain.
As Vladimir Vysotsky sang:
“To the vanity of cities and car flows
We come back because there’s just nowhere to go!
And we go down from conquered peaks,
Leaving in mountains, leaving in mountains our hearts”.
I can’t quite agree with the thought that human in principal capable to conquer a mountain. This became obvious for me while we descended on the cremalera down, “to the vanity of cities”. Just look at her! Mountains do conquer us, not we – their!
But yes, we left pieces of our hearts on this mountain. And we were back to the small, cozy and wonderful town of Tossa de Mar. The town we loved as well for its beauty, ancient fortress, hospitality and silence.
So, I repeat myself: vacation is always good, even if the weather doesn’t please you!
P.S.: Follow me on Instagram: @Denis_Wordman
That’s what one of my regular customers told me about my work a couple of days ago. Only without interrogative and exclamatory intonations. Just affirmative. From surprise, I was just taken aback. Because I used to think that there’s always someone better than you in any activity. But here it is…
The point is that this client have launched the new web site of his company. My photos of company’s products he collected and scrupulously selected during all our cooperation, and that’s more than half a year already. His web designer selected from the gotten bunch of images the most appropriate ones for site design (because, the photo can be even ideal at all, but inappropriate for the specific site). And he did it no less thoroughly. The same was about my photos which must present to the visitor samples of the company’s products.
And suddenly, like snow on the head, the responses of the first two customers who entered to the site and then phoned and asked where they can see the photos of finished products! One of them, a professional interior designer (as she introduced herself) to their reply “You can see the photos on our web site”, she just refused to believe saying: “I know perfectly well what photographs look like, do not fool me! I make 3D-visualizations by myself and I do can distinguish them from photos!” As the saying goes: Curtain!
Just don’t misunderstand me. I do not cherish the illusions about my level as a photographer. This level is quite high but I’m still very far from the leading masters. I know it because I study on their videos and courses. Furthermore, I follow the current trends and know the standards of the industry.
Accordingly, an obvious explanation is that by 2018, in my country, the interior photography customers in general still have no idea about which photo is good and how much it should cost. And that’s sad.
Therefore, I hope you, the visitors of my site, do not belong to the above. And if you’ve never asked before which interior photography truly good, you can read my articles about it here: “A few words about interior photography” and “Another few words about interior photography“.
In the lead of my 39th birthday, I, so to speak, pleased myself with another two achievements. First of all, for the second time in a row I won “Best of Houzz” award in the Client Service nomination! Thus, it’ll be perfectly fair to say that I keep my level of commercial photography service on the highest degree for two years! Fortunately, in contrast to January 2017, I hadn’t to meet the aggressive envy of my colleagues this time.
Furthermore, just today, I finished another photography training online course. It was not so long but surely useful. And here’s the certificate:
So, stay on tune!
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).