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Coffee Story №15

“Historical” photographer

And again, hello! Today we finally had coffee with a creative person again! Meet the photographer from Moscow – Dmitry .

The interview during the lockdown was even more tart, since we met right in the subway. Dmitry came up “wrapped up to the top” with a colorful scarf, everything as befits a creative person.

–It’ll do instead of a mask,” he said cheerfully, and this already set the tone for our meeting.

And my first traditional question:

– Dmitry, how did you come to photography?

– It’s all the influence of my father and younger brother. My father is a photographer in the past, and my brother managed to interest me in photography. He was the first to buy a camera, and then I just “picked up his theme.” At first, I filmed everything I saw, you can say – everything in a row. Then he began to think about how to shoot and what to shoot, began to study the works of famous photographers. In spirit, Henri Cartier-Breson, who is considered the founder of street photography, Robert Capa, a well-known photojournalist, Helmut Newton, a master of boudoir photography, turned out to be close to me.

– What genres have you chosen for yourself in photography?

– Different! Not at all overlapping with each other! I am interested in photojournalism and photo reports, as I am a historian by education – a teacher of history and social studies. Making a photo report is like telling a story, only in a different way. I like boudoir shooting, artistic portrait, as well as military archaeology. Mostly I take pictures in black and white format. It’s not just a photo, it’s like drawings with light and shadow.

– Which photo projects were (and are) the most significant, eventful for you?

– Firstly, of course, this is a military archaeological project with the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation, we have been cooperating for more than five years, it concerns military reburials. This is interesting to me as a historian.

– A large editorial creative project “Jin” is a collaboration of poets and artists on the pages of the magazine, where I act as director and, at the same time, illustrator.

– And my own project “Russian Village”, these are trips to abandoned villages, colorful photographs of Russian life, even if dilapidated, but retaining its attraction as art. I really hope that this project will be further developed and continued.

A lot of different things are happening, – says Dmitry, – there is a book by my friend, which is illustrated by my works.

– Thank you, Dmitry! Very interesting! And tell me, please, how do you feel about criticism? Surely, it is in the arsenal of any “creator”…

– Of course it is. And, of course, I cannot treat this phenomenon indifferently. But I support the well-known idea that “photography is a subjective assessment of objective reality.” Therefore, criticism should always be constructive, coming from a “superior in rank”. I take pictures from my point of view, maybe even depending on my mood, on what I have in my head today. And criticism has always been, is and will be …

– And what do you not like about modern photography? Is there such a thing?

– Yes, absolutely! (smiles)

I don’t like the fashionable trend of total processing, it seems to me that people have forgotten how to shoot well right away.

– Dmitry, I can’t help but ask if you have any real competitors?

– Absolutely! Of course! Every photographer is a competitor to each other! But everyone has their own ideas! And in some ways we are both competitors and allies at the same time.

The answer is completely exhaustive. Great!

Yes, he is. “Historical photographer” Dmitry XXX. He speaks in short phrases, tells us little about himself, but when we look at his Instagram page, we understand that photos are his soul, which he tries to hide behind the images of others, but he does not succeed. His works reflect a multifaceted inner world and, at the same time, complexity, indifference to beauty and high creative potential.

Thank you for an interesting conversation!