Sergei Maximishin

Sergei Maximishin was born in 1964. In 1982 he entered Leningrad Polytechnic Institute in the Department of Experimental Nuclear Physics. From 1985 to 1987 he served in the Soviet Army as photographer of a military club of the Soviet army personnel Group in Cuba. In the year 1988 he continued his education, combining it with work in the Laboratories of scientific and technical expertise at the State Hermitage. From 1996 till the 98th year he studied at the Faculty of photographers at St. Petersburg House of Journalists. Since 2003 he has cooperated with the German agency ‘Focus’.

A multiple winner of Russia Press Photo and World Press Photo competitions.


Web-site of the photographer


People, emotions and the question of tact

We are accustomed to that documentary photography is very often - black and white. There is even a point of view that color distracts from the drama. But you have almost no black and white photographs. Moreover, the color in your photos is always appropriate. How did you manage to achieve this?

I worked really hard. I think that bad color distracts, but good one, on the contrary, helps to develop a topic. The truth is color photography is much more complicated than black and white. Imagine if a car would have wings attached, and you’d need to manage not only the wheels, but all these "feathers". Such machine would have a greater degree of freedom; it would become much harder to control. This is the first point.

Secondly, I learned to shoot in color from the start. I honestly I love black and white photography. It has its charm, it has style, but I just do not know how to do it, I guess. I tried many times to put black and white film in my camera – but I just walk and see nothing. Obviously, I react first to the color, and then to some other things.

Moreover, I often tell my students that it is very important to learn to begin shooting in the inverse order. Avoid initially seeking the story which you will then confusedly shoot.  Do it all the way round: start seeking color, light, rhythm and other photographic attributes. And then watch what will happen in the frame. The story itself is not the most important thing in the photography. Just like a well-written script is only half of the proceess in making a good movie. In photography, a good story is merely the reason to press the button.

I too always go the opposite course: I do not shoot in places where the color and light are unable evoke a particular emotion in me. I don’t do news photography. And I don’t have a goal to shoot right here and right now. I can afford to choose the place where to take photos. That’s the secret I guess.

Translated by Denis Galushka

winperst отзывыdate of october revolutionсайт utm метка

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