To discover more about the living life behind a lens we started portrait interview series featuring 500px photographers. This time we have interviewed Oleg Oprisco a.k.a. oprisco, young 24 year old film photographer whose work is much beloved by 500px community. His style is distinct and his photographic narratives capture the heart. Next time when you’ll see Oleg’s work, without hesitation, you could guess “That photo is by Oprisco!” Keep reading to find out Oprisco’s photo tips and details of his journey.
How and when your photographic journey began?
My journey began in Lviv, Ukraine when I was 16 and just started working at a photo lab.
Why film and why medium format cameras?
This is very special choice for me. I see film photography as a game in a casino. You can win big or lose it all. I press the shutter release button and then I have to wait to find out the results when the film is processed. The game doesn’t end there. I spend a really long time waiting. Only after scanning and post processing I can see the end result. It's a very cool feeling, addictive like a drug.
Many of your photos have been shot outdoors. Do you rely on natural light or do you use other light sources?
I rely on natural light only.
Each of your photographs tells a story of its own. How do you come up with the narratives?
Each of my photos is a scene from real life. That is the perfect source of inspiration for me as there is so much beauty to it. Perhaps today on your way to work, when you were observing the world around you, that was the scene to inspire my next photograph. Of course there are my own changes that I add to the reality, such as characters, props, location, and light... I am constantly involved in a search for inspiration and ideas.
Your photos look carefully planned. Are there specific rituals that you go through when preparing for a shoot?
I work alone, so I spend lots of time preparing. The most important part of getting ready for the next shoot is finding the right concept and the right characters.
Do you shoot for insurance?
On a very rare occasion. Usually, for the entire photo set all I use is 12 to 15 frames.
What is your favorite camera and equipment to shoot with?
I use Kiev 6C and Kiev 88 cameras with 90mm/2.8, 180/2.8, and 300/4.0 lenses. My favorite lens of all time is 300/4.0 by Meyer Optik Orestegor.
Do you have a film preference (brand, type, etc.)?
Yes, I only use Kodak. Their film is much more saturated in colour and has more warmth to it than the other films I tried. My favorite ISO sensitivity is 160 and 400.
Tell us about your colour palette. Did it evolve over the years to a specific range of colours that you are attracted to or is it spontaneous?
The basics of my colour palette began at the age 16. When I was working at a photo lab and watched hundreds of photos a day trying to understand what the client needs and prefers. Warmer, richer, brighter pictures always had better success. So that dictated my choice and I worked with what was best. Nowadays I am constantly experimenting. Before shooting I plan the overall colour scheme; and according to the chosen palette I select clothes, props, location, etc. Making sure that all plays within a single colour range.
What are your thoughts on post processing and its relationship to your photographs?
No amount of post-processing can make a bad photo into a good photo. That’s a good rule to know. Hence, in my photos there is colour correction only. Other problems which may need editing are solved during the shoot.
In your opinion, what is the secret behind a good photo?
Good idea + Preparing + Originality.
Have you ever felt creatively exhausted? If so, what kept you going and how did you recharge?
Diana, I am constantly in the game. Now everything is simple in my life and depression does not happen. Earlier it helped me when I changed the city of residence. When I lived in Ukraine I moved from Lviv to Kiev to Odessa, then relocated to Russia Moscow and now I reside in St. Petersburg. It's always a new experience. I'm only 24 so I'm just starting.
Can you share a memorable story from any of your photographic experiences?
There are many, many stories. I promise to share all of them when you (500px) have a TV channel.
Tell us 5 things about you that are unrelated to photography, which would introduce us to the person behind the lens.
What advice would you give to beginner photographers?
Shoot, shoot, and shoot some more. What else to say? Drop your job and shoot ... if you feel that’s what you want. Freedom, happiness, money... all will come after you let go and just shoot.
Thanks Oprisco for a wonderful interview and thank you for reading! To find out more about Oprisco’s work visit his 500px profile. Let us know in the comments below if you have questions for Oleg, feedback, or suggestions for future interviews. We are open to your ideas :)
Inspiration is a mysterious creature and it can come from the most unexpected places. This guest post is by Karissa Hosek, young & talented U.S. photographer. Read her story of inspiration that has lead her to creating unique and alluring photograph series...
When the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico happened I was living in South Texas fairly close to the coast. This disaster had a massive impact on our coastline, sea life and contaminated our waters. Seeing images of the affects from this drastic event was horrifying but from aerial view the oil was fascinating. Color, form, and shape became one large beautiful natural abstraction. I was inspired by those images and decided to revisit macro photography to recreate oil spills. Using X to describe Y, I used nail polish and other household liquids to symbolize the beauty within oil spills.
Add Karissa to friends, vote and comment on her work by visiting her 500px page. To see Karissa’s entire oil spill series head over to her website. Feel free to experiment at home with ink, nail polishes or food colouring and a macro lens to recreate this photographic look.
Karissa, thanks for sharing and thank you for reading! Do you have a photo series to share or exciting photo content to contribute to our blog? Let us know, we are always on a lookout for great talent and fresh ideas - email firstname.lastname@example.org.
With Halloween only one week away let’s get into All Hallows' Eve spirit. We have gathered twelve photos to fuel your costume ideas, excite your pumpkin carving skills and get you spooked. Want to share your love for Halloween? Send one of these photos to your friend, family or co-worker. All you have to do is...
We love Halloween at 500px, so make sure to monitor our Twitter on October 29th for a Twitter contest announcement. You’ll get a chance to win free memberships :)
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Each year Time scours the internet to review and select best blogs of the year. We are honoured to announce that the 2012 list features the 500px blog. According to Harry McCracken, Time technology reporter and creator of the Technologizer blog, “Toronto-based photo community 500px is bursting at the seams with stunning imagery from around the world.”
Thank you Harry for your kind words and thanks to everyone from Time for making us part of the 25 hand picked blog gems :) I also want to thank you, our readers, for your continued input and support. Let us know where we can take it from here.