Some scans from Fujicolor Pro 160C captured 2-3 January 2016 in the Moscow region. Unfortunately, this film is no longer available.
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.
“White Balance” serie
Malozemelskaya & Bolshezemelskaya Tundra
Nenets Autonomous District, Russia
(c) Pavel Kosenko, 2013-2015
A semi-deserted locality in Murmansk Oblast on the shores of the Barents Sea. Now there is not even a road leading to it, while some 30–40 years back it used to host the Murmansk Marine Biological Institute. I’ve been there in 2009, with a car from Moscow. It took me 2 days for the first 2000 km, and 6 more hours on an off-roader across tundra for the last 30 km. Now, 5 years past, I recalled that trip in relation to the new Russian Oscar–nominated movie “Leviathan” that was shot on location in those exact places.
While preparing for the trips to the Arctic Circle I was thinking a great deal about what kind of photo equipment to take with me. On the one hand, I wanted to take as little cameras and lenses as possible because it’s quite difficult to carry several cameras in severe climatic conditions, let alone changing the lenses which is practically impossible. On the other hand, travelling with only one camera, even if it is expeditionary one, is also risky – what if it gets broken or, for instance, all the batteries, including spare ones, go flat?
In the end, mostly by intuition, I chose two cameras: ‘big’ Canon 1D X (lens 24-70 f/2.8L) and ‘small’ Fujifilm X-Pro1 (lens Fujifilm XF 18 mm f/2 R X-Mount). I was tempted to take a film camera as well, just in case, but I decided to confine myself to the excessive reserve of power: I took 2 batteries for the big camera and 5 for the small one. Moreover I had an iPhone but it turned out absolutely useless at 53°C because 100% of battery had drained in 2 minutes.
At some point I was shooting mainly landscape photos. Now, with the time passing, I rarely like any of those, but some still stand out. Like this simple one, taken at the location, where the “Island” movie was shot on the shores of the White sea, next to Kem town (Russia). The photo is taken back in 2009.
I really like the stereotypes of foreigners about Russia – the snow, bears crossing the streets and people in national costumes drink vodka straight from the bottle :) But you know … sometimes reality is almost like that! Of course, you can’t see bears in the streets – because bears live at least 10 thousand kilometers from Moscow. And no national clothing can be found except in museums – Russians prefer Gap, Levi’s, Calvin Klein, and similar brands. And we also drink vodka sometimes, but more often Italian, French and Chilean dry wine (red, of course, from the decanter). But what one can not take away is the snowing! For example, a couple of days ago we had a monthly norm of snow falling in one single day. This is how it looked from the window of my house:
And two days later:
In general this is a very curious, but after traveling halfway around the world, I like more and more to shoot from the window of my flat on 7th floor. For example, here’s one more view two month ago: