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In Focus

Multiple winner of the photo contest "The most beautiful country" Dmitry Utkin told EastRussia, than life on the island of Bering differs from life in Monte Carlo

In its lens there are mountains supporting the blue sky, the shine of sea water, hungry arctic foxes in search of fish, islanders with a piercing gaze, vertebrae of the whale under the rays of the northern solonetz and endless icy expanses. We take the liberty and appoint Dmitry Utkin the main photographer who celebrates the wild nature of the Commander Islands. On his page in LJ it says: "I want to tell about people, the animal world of the island of Bering. After all, not everyone can get here, but you can see here. " Thanks to Dmitry we know what they are - the islands in the Bering Sea, full of beauty.

In Focus
- You live on the island of Bering, in a region where thousands of tourists from all over the world are dreaming. What is it?
"Live on the Commanders?" Can! But there are complications, but how not? There are few suns, dampness, a storm wind, expanses of the Pacific Ocean, naked hills, autumn tundra, strewn with mushrooms. Near the village are bird markets, partridges, arctic foxes, sea mammal rookeries - northern fur seals, sea otters, seals. In the mornings crows gulls nesting right on the roofs of houses, Japanese SUVs and ATVs on the street, a wonderful museum. New houses are being built, part of the village roads has been concreted. Handsomely? Yes. Interesting? Yes. But expensive. The flight from Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky to Nikolsky, if I'm not mistaken, is 35 thousand rubles one way. Residents of Kamchatka can get for 13 thousand with copecks. There is also a cargo-passenger vessel, the ticket price for thousands of 15 along with the food. Get it to the island in 36 hours. Schedule - according to the weather. The Pacific Ocean can delay the exit for a couple of weeks. Problems with food: vegetables, fruits, eggs, much of what can be freely bought on a large land, here even in the summer period becomes a deficit. And about the winter and not worth talking about. Therefore, residents of Nikolsky make food supplies; for this in every family there is not only a refrigerator, but an additional freezer. Agriculture in the past decade is not available at all - transportation of animal feed and electricity is too expensive. Rarely, rarely, someone grows cucumbers and tomatoes for their own consumption in greenhouses, keeps a dozen chickens. Not Monte Carlo - that's for sure, but you can live.

- Do you often travel on the islands?
- I managed to ride and walk along the Commanders from the heart. The Copper Islands, Ariy Kamen, Toporkov visited often for work — we guarded and counted the marine mammals on the islands. Now I no longer work and am only on Bering Island. The rest of the islands have become unavailable to me. Now it is the territory of the reserve.

- According to statistics, the number of tourists visiting Kamchatka is growing. And in life, it feels?
- I do not know how in Kamchatka, but on the Commander, in my opinion, the number of tourists does not grow, but, on the contrary, decreases. Many photographers would like to get here. Those who came here want to return not for a couple of weeks, but for months. But, again, this is difficult to do because of the cost of travel. Even if you do not take into account the high cost of tickets, the obstacle for tourists remains Commander weather. Personally, I had situations when, trying to fly from Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky to the island, I had to live in the hotel for two or three weeks, and some "lucky" were stuck and for a month. And this is in the summer. About the remaining seasons and say nothing. In winter, there are no tourists on the island at all. Although on snowmobiles it is much easier to move around with the Commanders than in the summer. Yes, there is still a terrible Internet, and that only in the village, as well as telephone communication. It's sad, because we are in the XXI century!

- You have been living on the Commander for a long time, do you notice serious changes?
- Of course, there are changes. In the last year, to the 275 anniversary of the opening of the island was built a hotel, but it does not work for reasons unknown to me. The population began to hand over to tourists and seconded apartments, provide transport services: they are taken to rookeries or to go fishing by boat. But this is oh-oh-oh-very expensive pleasure.

“Thanks to your photographs, some tourists make the fateful decision to visit the Commanders.” What is the role of the photographer in the development of tourism today?
- As there in the song from the cartoon "Flying Ship": "... the most harmful of people. This storyteller is a villain. That's really a liar ... "About the photographer's song! He chooses the right light, time, weather, looks for the point of shooting, uses cunning lenses and filters and waits, waits, waits. Winter and summer, autumn and spring, in any weather. As a result - a beautiful picture, looking at which tourists hope to make the picture even better. And so they go, go, fly. If luck happens, she pushes for further trips, already with friends, relatives. And then it turns into a disease - you can not stop, constantly strive for unexplored territories. So, photography is a dangerous virus that infects and charges people for the eternal search for new places.

About the photographer

Dmitry Utkin was born in 1955 year, he has been engaged in photography for more than 20 years. He is the winner of many professional photo contests, the main and favorite heroine of the shooting is the wild nature. More than 10 years live on the Commander Islands.
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