What brought you to Photography? An interesting question, no? Our photographer of the week, Igor Zacharov from the Czech Republic, gave us a surprising answer!
He found his way to photography and video through skateboarding and music videos and always try to bring this original enthusiasm to every project he works on.
Discover his fabulous universe of Urban and Landscape Photographies in full resolution! Do not forget to zoom!
A few words about you? Explain me a little bit how did you start photography?
Hi, my name is Igor Zacharov and I’m originally Ukrainian from my both parents sides but born and raised in the Czech Republic. I currently live and work in Prague, but try to travel as much as possible.
What originally got me into photography was skateboarding. I had no interest in any visual arts whatsoever before that, but once I started skateboarding and watching skate videos, a whole new visual world opened to me. I started filming and taking pictures - but not really in a serious way. I never really thought about it as something I could do professionally one day, nor I knew it’s even possible - it was just fun.
Years later I found my way back to it after spending years studying economics and diplomacy, which I didn’t really like, but I guess I needed it as a slap in the face to point me in the direction that I really wanted to go.
Why did you choose to make Architecture & Landscape photography? Would you like to do more portrait or test other styles in the future?
It’s not really that I chose to photograph architecture and landscapes. The first subjects that I spent a couple years filming and photographing were glass makers. I photographed a lot in the glass workshops, which taught me a lot. I also started travelling and photographing finished glass projects of the company I worked for in hotels around the world.
That’s where I found interest in photographing streets. I had the chance to travel all over Europe, Hong Kong, Dubai, USA.. I’m a huge fan of street photography, but it’s really hard for me to get close to people and photograph them, which is usually necessary for a good street photograph. As a result, I found interest in other things, like colours, light, compositions or just scenes, that make me stop. That’s what mostly comes out as my personal work. Nature and landscapes are a contrast to all the time spent in the cities.
You seems to feel comfortable with city views but also with wilder environments like Iceland, no man's lands… Do you have a common approach for both subjects?
I would say it’s a little different. When photographing in the cities I try to think as little as possible while photographing - once I see a scene that catches my eye and makes my chain of thoughts stop - I go for it and photograph it - leaving the editing phase for later. Nature is different because you’re very often confronted with incredibly beautiful sceneries, that I naturally want to photograph - and usually, I do - but the result is not necessary a picture worth sharing. It’s very easy to end up making kitchen pictures and you have to be constantly aware of that.. I guess with nature and landscapes photography it’s necessary to not show only the beautiful stuff, but to leave some space for a mistake, randomness, to make it more believable and relatable.
Which other photographers or artists influence you?
The thing that I realize the more I look at other photographers work is that there are so many of them, that I still don’t know.. I find photographers that blow my mind every other day. The one that comes to my mind every time I walk around with my camera in hand is definitely Eggleston. Mostly for his unpredictability and sense of colour and atmosphere.
Is there somewhere in the world you dream to fly and take pictures?
The way I think about it is that there are places I’d like to go and just spend time. The fact that I’m gonna have my camera with me is just a bonus. I’m trying to photograph more in my hometown Prague too, to learn to find interest even in the most common and mundane environments. Then when I leave and travel, everything seems even more interesting. Right now I’m planning a trip to West Coast USA, which I’m really looking forward to.
What kind of photography gear you love to use? If you would have to choose one lens, what would it be?
For my professional work, I currently use Canon 5DSr and variety of Canon L lenses. I usually use Profoto B1 flashes because they are super portable and reliable.
For my personal work, I usually shoot film. Therefore I use a medium format Mamiya 7 with 80mm f4 lens. For 35mm I use Leica M6 with a 35mm Summarit f2.5 lens. Lately, I’ve also been experimenting with a mirrorless Sony A7s ii, which I usually use for video. I use the Leica 35mm lens with it by using a Metabones adaptor and I really enjoy it. It’s a shooting experience similar to the film Leica.
If I would have to choose one lens, right now I would pick 35mm. I’m still hesitant between 50mm and 35mm though. This year I’m spending a lot more time with the 35mm, but next year I want to force myself to use the 50mm more and then I’ll see which one sticks.
Do you have projects for the future like workshops, personal series?
Right now I’m planning a couple trips until the end of 2017 to finish my city series, which I’d like to publish as a book and kind of close the chapter for myself.. at least for a while. I’ll see what’s gonna be next. I also work as a filmmaker and director, so there are a couple projects I’m planning, such as music videos and a documentary about glassmaking.
To see more of Igor's work:
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