The previous version of my site, in place from December 2009 to June 2012 (for 2.5 years) has become seriously obsolete. Both its design and functionality have dated, just as, even more importantly – its content. The old website was some kind of a personal photobank with a lot of technical details on each photo (detailed EXIF data, GPS geo-tagging), providing a possibility to use advanced search criteria (for example by camera or lens type, ISO or aperture settings, or a combination of those), linking groups of photos to GPS tracks, and with a small online shop for selling the images (files, prints and dibond prints).
It used to be a good, handy and practical website for a travel photographer, but with the time passing, my artistic priorities have changed completely. As a result, the whole website had to be recreated, with all the things unnecessary, including some of the images, technical information, and the online shop features, removed. I needed the new site to serve as a portfolio, be very simple and aesthetically appealing, provide the possibility for comfortable viewing of the photos individually or in series, as well as having rich admin options for uploading the pictures, and working with the series (layout design, editing, sorting, etc.). And all that, of course, in two languages – Russian and English.
And now, thanks to Oleg Kotenko and Constantin Mashinskiy, the new website has launched! Seemingly, a website as simple as this, could have been built in a few days. But it took us several months to do that. To a large degree, it’s me to blame, since I needed time to digest the interim results after each phase of the process. For simplifying the things and polishing the details we have had a lot of discussions – we were sharing ideas, talking them over, putting them to life, killing our own ideas and generating new ones. And now I can confidently say that I really do like the results.
P.S. By the way, the website is optimized for viewing on mobile devices, such as an iPhone and iPad.
I will be glad if you like my website and my photos!
My thanks to Karen Hovhannisian for translating this post in English.
Today I would like to present a small set of my photographs from Tbilisi. I really liked Tbilisi because it is a very photogenic city, and people there are extremely kind. I do not judge this selection as a strong one, because there is not enough light and I did not have enough time to actually get inspired by the atmosphere. Let it be as it is, hopefully I will have the chance to complete it in the future.
As you probably know, it is not very easy to find a good hotel in Russia, and Moscow is not a exception to this. In the soviet times our country wasn’t very interested in tourism, either in internal or international. Due to historic circumstances, we now have very few hotels, and as you know, absence of competition leads to high prices and low quality.
As an active traveller I am always happy to see new hotels appear in Russia, as it gives hope for the future development of the hotel industry and turism as a whole. The opening of new hotel types, which previously did not exist, is a good way to stimulate this process.
This is the reason why I eagerly responded to an invitation from “AZIMUT Hotels” to make a photo series of their newly-opened AZIMUT Moscow Tulskaya Hotel, and to tell about it in my blog. Let alone this is the first loft style hotel in Moscow!
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What is a loft
The idea of loft was born in 1940s in Manhattan’s factory district as a way of using cheap accomodation under the roof of old buildings for housing and office purposes.
Land was quickly getting more and more expenxsive, and young penniless artists and musicians couldn’t afford renting traditional accomodation, that’s why they began settling down in lofts and attics, which were available at a significantly lower cost.
At the same time owners of manufacturing businesses were forced to bring them out of the city. The empty factories and storehouses were also modified into creative workshops and studios due to their functional characteristics (high ceilings and good lighting) and low cost.
Loft evolutioned from a workshop into a stylish accomodation and was at the peak of popularity in 1950s. New York’s creative life was centered in lofts. A classic example of this was Andy Warhol’s “Factory”. Very soon, though, lofts, as well as office space, became an elite type accomodation. It became very expensive to rent space in the city’s historical districts in buildings that were close to being considered historic landmarks. Artists couldn’t afford this type of accomodation anymore, and their place was taken by successful businesses.
The key characteristics of the loft style are dictated by manufacturing buildings: open layout, maximum space and light, and a mixture of old a new materials as a must. Old brickwork, painted concrete walls and plank floors are combined with glass, chromium-plated details and modern equipment.
AZIMUT Moscow Tulskaya Hotel is located in the loft business district «Danilovskaya manufactory 1867» at Varshavskoe shosse, 9, which is about 7 minutes walking distance from metro station Tulskaya. The hotel’s building was constructed in the 19th century to serve as a dormitory for manufactory’s workers. The building has been fully renovated and is now converted into a hotel.
I spend a lot of time studying color from aesthetic and technological points of view. Eventually I figured out that the really good results can be achieved by studying several points of view to color.
On the one hand, you must study the artistic properties of color – study the works of the acknowledged masters of color photography, view beautiful movies, visit museums and exhibitions, study the history of painting and art, and reading books. All this creates a visual experience, refines your perception of color and artistic taste, sets your priorities and criteria, creates a solid aesthetic base for working with color photography.
On the other hand, you should be able to use all this knowledge when shooting. You must not only understand, but feel how color is binded to light. You should know how to find colorful scenes, master lighting and feel the right moment to push the shutter release button.
And for last, but not least, you should know that the process of creating a beautiful photo in color won’t be completed unless we have the technology to implement our ideas. Speaking of color photography the most important parts are RAW conversion and post-processing your shots.
It is really odd, but in the era of digital photography, when we have a handful of ways to process our images, the post-processing is the most troublesome part for many photographers. For two years now I am writing a book about causes of this trouble and quality ways to overcome it. The book would be called “Living digit”. It will be available in Russian this fall. I also look forward to publish it in English in about a year.
Briefly, most of the problems in modern digital photography are associated with purely technical approach, deprived of any aesthetic component. It is believed that the manufacturer should give maximum picture editing possibilities and let the consumer create nice colors. Problem is, that the average consumer does not have any education in arts and have no idea of what colors look nice or even how to get the desired result. In the days of film photography things were all different – photographers were supported right from the beginning, because the film itself and the film processing technology contained some pre-programmed resulting colors that would look good . And this result was researched and designed not by engineers, but by artists and professional photographers.
Today the big manufacturers are not interested in such research and are not determined to bring aesthetics to digital photography. Lack of understanding of color harmony creates lots of ugly colored photos and lots of moaning about “how beautiful colors were in the era of film photography”. But things are not as bad as they seem. Some little-known enthusiasts and professional photographers with vast knowledge and work experience try to create alternative means and instruments to process digital photos.
One of such instruments – Raw Photo Processor (RPP) software. I found this software on my long quest of creating beautiful colors. Yet one must understand that no software can have some magic “Masterpiece” button and create a work of art in one click. The beauty of the picture is determined by photographer, the scene itself and the way of processing the raw shot. However, some smart software can greatly simplify things. I like the logic and results of RPP, thats why I recommend this software to other photographers. This does not mean that good result can’t be achieved by use of other instruments. This means that I believe RPP to be the shortest way to it.
You are about to read the translation of my article, once published in my blog in Russian and found very interested by other photographers. If my English-speaking readers found it interesting as well, I will continue to translate my articles about modern digital photography. In fact, I have lots of them!
Let me share with you a set of photos by Anzor Bukharsky – a not well-known but nevertheless a very good photographer from Uzbekistan.
My name is Pavel Kosenko and I’m from Russia. I am a photographer, and my major interest is street and art photography. I like to work and experiment with colors in photographs. Travel is the main source of my inspiration.
You can also read my Russian blog using Google Translate.