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"You can not force to shoot for money"

"You can not force to shoot for money"

Sergey Gorshkov


The famous Russian naturalist photographer Sergei Gorshkov told about the role of Kamchatka in his life, the eruption of Tolbachik and how important it is to have patience to get a good shot.

- Sergey, the Far East is so colorful that it seems that any person, having picked up a camera, can become a photographer. It's true?

- This is a misleading opinion. Yes, in the Far East, everything is really beautiful and filmed and re-filmed, so it is difficult to show something new - something that people have not seen before. The tripod can be placed anywhere, but the question is what happens. I love working on a project. I always return to the same place several times, shoot from the same points at the same time, and then summarize the footage and select those that, in my opinion, reveal this particular place.

- Why did you stop in Kamchatka?

- Kamchatka is my first project that I did in the Far East. I spent seven years there. In 2003, I came to Kamchatka to photograph bears for the first time. And when I started photographing them, I realized that, in addition to bears, there was still something to work on: foxes, wolverines, eagles, volcanoes. Accordingly, closing the theme of bears (in 2004-2005 S. Gorshkov was the first in the world to photograph a brown bear under water -, I switched to other animals. I explored almost all of Kamchatka, I was in different places at different times of the year: on average, I spent six months in the region. As a result, I have published several books ("Kamchatka Odyssey", "Bear" "Kamchatka - The Elusive World" -, passed dozens of exhibitions, presentations. Kamchatka has become a launching pad for me. However, many passed through it - she opened the door to the world of photography for many.

- What feelings did you have when you hit Kamchatka for the first time?

- There is no such person who, having arrived to Kamchatka, was not fascinated by it. Kamchatka is one of the few places in Russia where, as soon as you get out of a helicopter or plane, you immediately fall in love. I still remember Kamchatka with warmth. And I do not make a secret of the fact that I am very grateful to her for the lessons she taught me.

- Sergey, as it turned out, that as a hunter, you became a photographer?

- Every person has a turning point in life. I already forgot when I took a carbine and I do not go hunting for fifteen years. One day I just put aside the carbine and started taking pictures of animals. And suddenly I realized that it was much more interesting for me to shoot them than to shoot them. I get much more pleasure from this.

- And now a photographer is your profession?

- No, it's a hobby. I have never considered my hobby as a profession, because I will lose the lightness, the feeling of freedom with which I am shooting now. It is impossible to make you love for money, and it is also impossible to make you shoot for money. That's all. This is my principle and my philosophy. However, I spend most of my time on my hobby - I am on expeditions, I shoot all over the world. Now I'm doing a big project in the Arctic - I want to film the entire Russian Arctic from east to west.

Today at the festival "Primordial Russia" I present two exhibitions. The first is the Media Project of the Russian Geographical Society “Russian Arctic. Wild World of the Putorana Plateau and the Taimyr Peninsula. The exhibition is called “Waterfalls of the Putorana Plateau”. "Mountains without peaks", "Country of lakes with steep shores" - this is how the indigenous peoples called one of the most inaccessible and at the same time picturesque corners of our planet. There are many waterfalls here and you will not find two that are alike. The highest waterfall in Russia, 108 meters high, is located on the Kanda River.

The second exhibition - another project is called “Perfect Look. Perfect World ". The basis of our cooperation was the interconnection of two themes - nature and health.

I shot a lot on the island Wrangel, but in Kamchatka was the last time in 2012 year, when volcano Tolbachik erupted.

- Tolbachik eruption, presented by you, strikes realism - beauty on the verge of danger. Was it scary? How did you capture such a living picture?

- When you photograph what you are passionate about, you often don’t think - scary or not scary. After that you begin to understand how it all could end. The trip to Tolbachik was indeed somewhat extreme: lava pieces fell in all directions, volcanic bombs flew, burned tents, a nightmare froze, a strong wind blew that carried the tents. But all these difficulties were worth one shot!

I was at the eruption in December 2012 twice for two days. My friend Alexey Maslov was with me, as well as the director of the park and volcanologists who advised me. Without their help and invaluable knowledge, it would have been very difficult for me, since I first witnessed such an eruption. We were standing practically in the very center - several tens of kilometers from the crater. This is perhaps the biggest impression in my life that I will never forget.

- If you have visited a powerful volcanic eruption, then bears probably will not scare you?

- Bears are also dangerous because they are predators and it is impossible to predict their behavior in the next moment. Therefore, you should always think about your own security and behavior, so as not to provoke the bear to aggression.

For example, when you shoot on the Kuril Lake - there are no problems: the bears come up on their own - some animals pose, and some get scared and run away. It's important to choose a bear that, roughly speaking, will be your model. And already to work with him. The main thing is to clearly define his personal space. On the lake, bears are used to people and are quite loyal to them. Their main task is to accumulate fat for hibernation, so they pay little attention to a person: they come, as in a dining room, for fish - and eat, eat, eat.

- And how long are you ready to sit in an "ambush" for a good shot?

- There are shots that take one-two-three, and there are those for which you have to "hunt" for a day, two, a week ... The biggest problem of a photographer is to learn to endure and wait. Only then will the result be obtained. Very rarely, pictures come out by accident. As a rule, everyone will have to work hard, wait a long time for the light, the moment. When all this happens, you need to have time to press the shutter button and correctly focus the frame. Although in nature it is difficult to plan something. Observing animals, you see that something is constantly repeating itself - you want to capture these moments, you start to catch them and only from your own experience you understand what and how.

Once I photographed wild white geese on Wrangel Island - the only colony of these rare birds in Russia. About 150 thousand white geese arrive there, forming a colony. Their nests are located at a distance of 2-3 meters from each other. In late June-early July, chicks incubate and hatch. They hatch on the 23rd day. And it is very easy to shoot chicks on camera. You just need to make sure that the goose is not very scared. And don't harm - that is, take a shot and leave. If the mother flies far away, then the nestling can be stolen by the Arctic fox, for example. I tried not to shoot the chicks at all, as the human influence factor is great. I tried to get away. This is perhaps my only shot when I took a picture and immediately left (shows in the photo presented at the exhibition "Primordial Russia" -

- Sergei, and now what place will you fly?

- Ahead is the continuation of the Arctic - a large project that is designed for several years.

The All-Russian Nature Festival "Primordial Russia" will last at the Central House of Artists (Moscow, Krymsky Val, 10) until February 22.

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