Category: Artist and sculptor
Oleg Oprisco is a Ukrainian photographer, who brings an ethereal, fairytale-like quality to his photos, that makes them instantly recognisable as his.
His photos have inspired many photographers to try and capture the same magical effect, but like most inspired artists, few ever succeed in equalling his work.
He is more particularly admired in the photographic community because he shoots only in medium format film. The interview below helps to explain why, but part of the reason is that it forces him to prepare and devote more time and effort to the preparation for a shot, in effect like an artist he thinks more about the composition, lighting and effect - the drama and emotion captured in the photo.
He also appears to like the ‘magic’ associated with taking a shot and only later being able to find out the results. In effect there is an element of surprise and excitement attached to this method, lacking in digital photography.
I could find no photos of him, his facebook site has a cartoon as the icon and search as I might no photo was forthcoming, so I have had to use another photo to try to sum his work up. The following comes from an interview with him in 2013.
I was born in the small town of Lviv, in western Ukraine. After completing my studies and working a little, I moved to Kyiv [Kiev] where I worked as an assistant to a famous advertising photographer. I was making money, but I lost my creativity. For a long time I thought that was all I was able to do, until I tried to shoot on medium format film. That changed my life.
My photographic journey began when I was 16 and working in a photo lab.
As an operator, part of my job was to adjust all the pictures that the photo lab printed. I had a few buttons to control the colour, brightness and contrast.
I lived for several years in “reality show” mode, observing every day life. I have visited thousands of weddings, birthdays and many other special occasions. I could do this forever, in what I call “robot” mode. This means working seven days a week for several months.
This experience taught me what colours people like. I am using this information to this day.
What I like about photography as a medium, is that, like every Ukrainian, I love freedom. I like the ability to stop time and create my version of reality.
There is inspiration all around us if only we look. Everything changes very quickly: the weather, architecture, landscape, people. Everything that happens in our lives is a unique source of inspiration. So there is no point in using other people’s work as inspiration - there’s no sense in stealing someone else’s ideas!
I think artists of the 18th century and 19th century would be jealous of what we have now. We can live anywhere and create anything and show it around to world. We have the world in our hands.
Each of my pictures has a unique story and my models are heroes and I love them for it. My photos require many complicated props and outfits and I always try to do everything myself. I collect clothes from flea markets or old studios and then learn how to adapt them. Same with the props.
I have a notebook where I keep a lot of ideas for photography.
If everything turns out as I imagined, preparation takes two to three days.
It is a question of weather, people or mood. Sometimes the work does not yield the result I wanted. Therefore, the more experience and reflection I devote to the shoot, the better.
I only use medium format film. It’s hard to explain in a few words why I do this. It’s a different system. I shoot for 12 frames and enjoy the importance of each frame. I carefully work on each frame. This is a fantastic process. You press the shutter button but do not know what happens.
This is real magic.
I often hold workshops and it’s very funny sitting in front of many photographers with $2000-$3000 cameras and lenses, and on my table is an old Kiev 6C, which is worth about $50.
Oprisco’s website can be found by using the following link, it contains a comprehensive collection of his work - Oprisco on 500px.
I have represented Oleg's work on this site in two ways.
The first is to provide observations which link in with the sources of his inspiration - the activities.
The second is to use his photos on some pages which require a gentleness of touch - empathy.
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