Photographer. Russia

The Gallery of Modern Art “OkNo” presented the ural amenities from a bird’s-eye view

Maksim Tarasov’s personal exhibition of aerophotography is available for viewing in The Gallery of Modern Art “OkNo” until May, 31th 2016.

“The Eye” of nature

– Can you see penguins?

– Yes… And where is it?

– It is a massif in the Taganay (so called “stone river” in Chelyabinsk region, Russia. – Note of the author.)

On the absolutely white wall in the center hangs a photograph, size 76×150 cm. The picture shows white snowdrifts, casting dark-blue shadows in a sunny winter day and black figures, looking like penguins. The photo was made from above, from the height of a few hundred metres. At first sight, especially watching from one side, it looks like a flock of walking penguins. But it isn’t so. This is Taganay national park.

Chelyabinsk photographer Maksim Tarasov was carried away by drone photography last year although he has been engaged in photography for 8 years and the last 2 of them – in a professional way. Drone, or copter, is an unmanned radio-controlled aircraft moving in the air like a helicopter (copter is a shortening word for “helicopter”). A drone is operated by a control panel and can fly in the air. A cameraman remains on the ground and sees the picture from the camera set on the drone. Thereby he can “fly” far away from the earth. The greatest height reached by Max Tarasov’s drone was 500 metres.

We must add that in 2015 Maksim Tarasov’s photo “Eye” made above lake Turgoyak was awarded with the first place in the nomination “Beauty” at the International contest of airview photographs and also was appreciated as one of the TOP-10 best photographs by the version of photocommunity Dronestagram. One more work of the Chelyabinsk photographer reached the final of the International contest of photographs in Kuwait.

A new world

— Is it difficult for you (from the technical point of view) to engage in aerophotography?

— At first, in the very beginning, I was getting accidental pictures because I couldn’t predict what I would see from above. That’s why I was sending a drone into the air, watching what view was opening from there, looking for objects and places for shooting and only then I started taking pictures. Now I have developed my abstract thinking enough and accumulated experience. This allows me, staying on the ground, to imagine beforehand what I will see.

— You have been keen on photography since 2008. Have you always preferred landscapes as a genre of photography?

— Mainly yes, I did. I love nature. As a child I was taken by my father to the mountains, woods, lakes. This is a natural environment for me. That’s why I always desire to capture this beauty around me. Nature is a real source of inspiration.

— How do you choose the subject, story, place for photomapping?

— Some ideas occur in the time of journeys. In some cases I consciously go to certain places because I feel that I can find there something interesting. For example, my journey to lake Turgoyak in winter. I intentionally went to that place and as a result I saw from above a fishing ice hole which looked like an eye.

Almost all the pictures in the exhibition bring associations with anything but the real object…

— Yes! For this reason we decided not to sign the pictures and explain what it is. For spectators to be able to guess using associative thinking, imagine what it could be. And we made it! On the opening day of the exhibition it was interesting to me to listen what the spectators said and how they reacted.

— Which is your favorite or most significant photo from these?

— My first photo is particularly dear to me. It was the start of my creative search. It is a riverside not far from town Kusa, in village Nikolskiy where my grandmother and grandfather live. That is where I started studying the facilities of drone and made the first pictures. During “flying” it seemed that the copter shot space. When I edited this picture on the computer, the association became even brighter. And then I thought that before I had been able to see space only looking up from below, but now I can look down and also see space. Then I got interested in what else I could find this way. Thereby I opened a new world. All looks different from there. From the earth you physically cannot see it. Then I started sharing it with others and understood that people around me were interested in it, too. It is the main motivation for me.

— Do you plan to search for interesting places for photomapping abroad? 

— I have a dream just to go forward. I can’t name particular places because I know that everywhere you can find something special. Even there, where it would seem there isn’t anything interesting. You should just look differently at usual things.

Ekaterina Syrtseva