from "Queen of Silhouettes" to "The Girl with the Pearl Earring"
Hello everybody,this month we are together with wonderful photographer Iryna
. In her galleries you will discover the magic of the light and admire how smoothly she handles it.
-Tell us a little about yourself. Hello everybody and thank you for all your tremendous support and kindness you gave me here, on deviantart. I was born in Ukraine 40 years ago in family of professional musicians. Everybody, not only my mom and dad, uncles, aunts, cousins, my two stepfathers play or played instruments... Of course, I had no choice but to play piano. But then tradition was broken, I graduated from State Economics University. Worked as accountant for only 2 months (too boring). Then I was a DJ, host of couple shows on local radio station, political journalist. On weekends I volunteered at stables and was taking classes on horse riding ( I love horses!) and in mornings before going to work I did a rock-climbing. In 2002 I came to New York with knowledge only 2 words in English - hi and bye - and worked as a florist, jewelry maker, video editor and diamond setter. Now I'm a mom of 2 female gangsters 3,5 and 7 years-old and proud housewife.
-How did your relationship with Photography begin and how has it developed through the years?
Honestly speaking, absolutely occasionally. It was my husband who was in charge of taking images in my family. For years it even didn't occur to me that I can try it until we bought first digital camera in 2004. It was Nikon Coolpix. Just out of curiosity I decided to learn what all these buttons were for. I just wanted to know how it works. By the time I knew what F- stop means and knew the manual by heart I took billion of images and really enjoyed the process. Then came other questions - what is the meaning of photography? which images are good and why? To answer these questions I needed outside help and in 2009 took classes in International Center of Photography. One of them required from students to bring their work and other students had to decide if their classmate's work was good or weak and give each over assignments. To my horror and surprise I was send to the street. -What does Photography offer you?
I always loved paintings. When I was a child my mom didn't' read books to me but showed works of Picasso and Monet. Unfortunately (or fortunately) I can't draw... Camera gave me the opportunity to create paintings I wasn’t able to produce with pencils or brushes...
-Which photographers influenced you?
Besides all well-known monsters of street photography I found a photographer on Flickr that works perfectly with people in geometry and back light. Unfortunately he didn't give his real name - only nickname : piriskoskis. I learned from him a lot. Then I found Lukas Vasilikos, Rui Palha, Nick Turpin... But real inspiration I got here when Khuram and Doug called me a queen of silhouettes... I thought: "Sounds great but it's time to try something else" and people started appearing in my images. Then Mary wrote in her journal that most photographing subjects (after homeless) were pedestrians from their back... Well, I thought, now it's time to try to avoid people's backs... And you, Alphan with your ferry series is a big inspiration to me! I've read/heard so many times complaints like "you live in a big city so it's easy for you to make a great images!" Wrong ! You show that one can take brilliant images in small limited space!-What do you enjoy photographing most?
Of course people on street but also I like to take images of my family, friends, parties, travelings ... When I can't go outside I do still life at home...
-What equipment do you use?
My first Nikon Coolpix and second Nikon d70s died in my loving hands. Now I have Nikon d600, Nikon 70-200 lenses, 1,8F 50mm lenses and lensbaby
-What is your favorite time of the day photographing in the streets?
The thing is that I have no choice - I have free time only from 10AM to 12:30PM one or two weekdays in a week.
-Choose three (or more) photos you have taken and explain why they are special to you.
Maybe it sounds strange but I love construction blocks - they are so bright and orange - and took plenty images with them. This one is the first and so far the last one I like.
It was a snowing like a crazy... I wasn't sure should I stay or should I go... Decided to go... Then got a cold... But never regret.
I saw this black wall and tried to do something with it... Took couple images with people but they didn't come out good... This woman was taking images of the front of the building with her smartphone and distracting me... I was avoiding her all the time but finally decided - if you don't want to go away I'll take image of you... just out of "punishment". As it turned out she was the "right" person.
-Imagine you have a day-off and you decide to go shooting. Describe it.
First need is to get rid off family - husband went to work, kids are driven to school and day care. Then I take train to Manhattan...I love Wall Street - there is a lot of people and they are dressed well. But sometimes I take off at random station - to learn a neighborhood. And then I walk at any direction I feel, singing (I love to sing - it brings a special rhythm and mood)...
-What is your style and what tricks do you use in order to 'steal' a photo of strangers in strange situation?
I move very quickly till find something that strikes me - usually a special light or special spot and wait for the"right" person to appear... Or just take images of pedestrians while moving... So far I get only two reactions if people noticed me - they ignore me and pretend they don't see me at all or they start to pose and smile in the camera... Sometimes I ask permission to take images but usually it doesn't work...
-How do you describe your photography style?
I'm not sure if I have a style... Before I was enjoying to work with back light and silhouettes... Now I try to use light the way old Dutch artists (Vermeer etc) used in their paintings - to light the main character and leave some details in black...
-How do you get close to your subjects?
Honestly, I think I'm not close enough to my subjects... I often use zoom lenses not to disturb people... Maybe to get closer is my new challenge and a new style
Journal made by
on behalf of the
Where can you find The People Avenue?