Pavel Kosenko

Author's blog about photography

Film Washi “X” 400

Film Washi “X” 400. Very strange film… but cool! I think that should be done metering of the shadows, because the picture is too dark and not very different from the substrate (which should not exist, but in fact it is gray). But if you set the levels in Photoshop, colors will develop. And grain, of course.

All photographs are taken in Paris on 14-15 November 2015.

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Ilford HP5 400 (EI 1600)

Black-and-White film “Ilford HP5 400”, expired as ISO 1600 in November 2015 in Paris. Self-developed in D-76 with +2 push.

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Kodak Gold 200

A few pictures from old French Kodak Gold 199x of years, produced in non-existent in our time factory near Paris. Paris, November 2015.

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(in progress) by Lera Kardash

Dear readers of my blog!

I’m asking you for a little favor. My “SREDA Creative Lab” now helping the photographer Lera Kardash to work on her first book. The project has no name yet, but there is an idea, material, and statement. The topic is quite delicate, and before continuing working on it, the author is interested in the reaction of a wider audience. This will help her to figure out how to introduce the material. Please, see the photos and write what you feel when you look at them.

Here’s what Lera says about her project:

In my country, people with disabilities belong to a vulnerable segment of the society. It is often not talked about, and, sometimes, even meant to be hidden. In some ways, a pattern thinking society hardly perceives those who differs. When a straight pattern faces a multifaceted reality, it breaks down leaving people in bewilderment.

On the one hand, this project is personal and appeals to those who have met me and know me, on the other hand, this project can appeal to anyone who, for whatever reason, is curious to get a first-hand view.

It is an attempt to establish links between me and the society so as to reduce the gap between the awkwardness that people experience when they learn about the leg and the way I really feel in my body. It is going be shown through shape exploration and lightness of perception.

Preparatory set of pictures for this project:

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MISTAKES photobook

You can find me and my first photobook “MISTAKES” at UNSEEN 2015, Amsterdam start from today, 17 september.

“This book tells about mistakes. It says that creative work is impossible without experimenting. It focuses on being open to unexpected outcomes and being able to spot new opportunities there. The book conveys how difficult it is to let yourself make mistakes, and how it gets even more difficult with years. It deals with my own wish to be someone who is still not afraid of making mistakes, i.e. experimenting and creating new things.” /Pavel Kosenko

Self-published, September 2015
A5+, 52 varied pages. 13 b&w photographs, 17 color superpositions
Languages: Russian, English
Total limited edition of only 250 copies, signed and numbered

(c) Photo, text, design — Pavel Kosenko, Moscow, 2015
(c) Curating, page-proofs — SREDA Creative Lab, Moscow, 2015
(c) Translating — Pavel Gafarov, Moscow 2015
(c) Printing, hand-assembly — Nemakulatura, Moscow, 2015
(c) Information support — Treemedia Content Oy, Helsinki, 2015

What is good color?

When discussing color, different people have different reactions to the same pictures, be they photos or paintings. Where some enthuse „such great color!”, others won’t acknowledge color at all.

What determines color perception? Where is the borderline between objective psychophysiology and subjective preference? What distinguishes perception and attitude to the thing perceived? How does perception change with age and visual experience? How to develop good taste in color – and just what is good color, to begin with?

I’ll try to answer these and other questions in what follows. Let me preface it by saying that everything in this article is my personal opinion based on my studies and experiments with color as well as scientific research in the fields of psychophysiology, color theory and aesthetics, analysis of works of art, museum exhibits and films, conversations I’ve had with painters and photographers world-famous for color mastery and observations of how color perception changes in people as their creative powers develop. You have every right to disagree with me, but I hope you’ll find these thoughts useful or at least curious.

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A few words about professional photography

The term “amateur photo” ought to mean compositions with excellent technique, real works of art, because an amateur driven by love rather than a need to make money or restrictions of employment has no excuses for mediocre work.

“Soviet Photo” magazine, 1926


When I was just getting into photography I wanted to become a professional. It seemed like a dream job – take pictures and get paid for it. But eventually I began to notice that my envy of professional photographers was petering out and that I was myself avoiding paid work. And why was that?

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Armenia on my Fujifilm

I have written lately about “Armenia on my iPhone”, and now I’d like to show you photos shot on my other favorite camera – Fujifilm X-T1. Even if this time I’ve been using it less than usual, taking most of the pictures on iPhone, I still (or maybe thanks to that) have few good pictures, which I would like to show you.

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Traveling light. Hand luggage

For a long time now I’ve been meaning to explain how I manage to limit my luggage to just hand bags without leaving anything essential behind. This morning I’m going to Armenia, and I’ve just packed my bags, so this is a good time to deliver on that old promise and take exhaustive pictures of my traveling gear.

I used to travel with huge backpacks stuffed with everything necessary, and a lot of what was unnecessary, for living. Photo equipment took up a separate backpack. Check out documentary proof here, and here. Those days feel like a bad dream now.

Eventually I realized that I bring along all sorts of bulky and useless things, which is particularly inconvenient with a backpack – to take out something buried in the middle, you have to excavate at least half of the stuff. Suitcases are much easier in this regard: snap it open and choose what you need without disturbing the rest. I don’t carry luggage on my person anyway – it always either lies at the hotel or a shuttle/car/sleigh carries it, and so on. And even on wilderness trips there’s a porter or a sherpa shouldering the stuff. At any rate, the suitcase is my bag of choice – or, very occasionally, on Arctic expeditions where you really need to take a lot of equipment and clothes, a large knapsack. But that’s a whole other story. For 99% of the traveling I do, including photo trips, I can’t imagine anything more convenient than a suitcase small enough to pass as hand luggage.

With experience I’ve learned to fit everything necessary for a month’s worth of travel in hand luggage – without omitting anything really needful or breaking air travel rules.

You shouldn’t think I bring only bare necessities either. Most people would say that I bring plenty of excessive stuff: a projector, running clothes and shoes, hard drives, ironed shirts, a hair trimmer, a heart rate monitor, an anorak and more. How does it all fit? Very simply. Here is the inventory of the stuff, and below you can see the same on the pictures.

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ORWOCHROM and other Soviet-era slides

As Iwas preparing for the “Retro Color. Technologies and art” lecture, I stumbled across a remarkable branch where people put up scans of old color film from home archives. Some pictures are so heart-warming, I couldn’t resist getting a selection to wax nostalgic about. Unfortunately, I don’t have old color film of my own, although even back then I took, developed and even printed images in color. Here you get mostly ORWO from the German Democratic Republic, incredibly popular in the USSr in the 70s and 80s. There was actually very little alternative for color, except SVEMA and sometimes KODAK, if you could get it. Here I was more interested in color than mementos, but it’s still an impressive selection.

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