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Writer and Historian
The Writer and historian Igor Pykhalov was born in St. Petersburg (former Leningrad) and still lives there. Igor has been studying controversial moments in Russian history which took place in the first half of the XX century. There are different points of views about this period of Russian history. Sometimes Igor’s point of view differs from the common public opinion.
Igor is the author of the book “The Great War slander” and he also wrote some other books that reflect his point of view on various events of Russian history.
Photographer and Programmer
When and why Alexander began taking pictures of the Soviet era:
“I have been taking pictures for a long time already since my school time, when my dad let me take his camera. I always liked nature – woods, trees, grass , flowers, birds.
But it is mainly in warm seasons.
But what to do in winter time?
My first works (photo still life) I made with old cameras. I had a collection of such cameras (it is my passion to collect anything). When my dad came back from his vacation, he spent time in the Stavropol region in our dacha. So to say at my request he brought a few old everyday objects from there: jugs for milk, wooden spoons, a pot, oil lamp, an old shaving razor …
And then there was a ” significant ” moment – as I understand now – I found myself – it happened when I got an old bright red, cotton string bag (Soviet bag).
I remembered in a flash all old things that i saw on the internet.
I realized why I liked them: memories … a time when we were free, loved, beautiful, cheerful, when our parents were young and beautiful as well, when everybody was well.
When the greatest problem was a note in your diary saying, “talking at a math lesson.”
This is is Alexander’s story.
“I am shooting only authentic things, but as for vegetables, fruit, bread, etc they are from the present. No photocopies, installations etc. That is why I need time, sometimes much time for my next shooting.”
Photographer, Naturalist, Research Officer
In his photos Igor tries to depict the beauty of wildlife to involve people in protecting nature. He wants to take photos in all National parks he visits in Russia. During his long trips the naturalist discovered for himself the Kronotsky natural park in Kamchatka. It attracted him much, as well as another Russian natural park “Bryansky Les”, Igor spent much time to save these parks and the park “Bryansky Les” became his second Motherland so to say.
Igor has got four sons. Two of them are already help Igor in his activities. And the younger children are already dreaming of hikes and photos.
Igor is married to Laura, She shares Igor’s interests – they hope to protect Russian nature. Laura was born in the USA, her childhood was there but at present she lives in Russia for almost eleven months. It is Laura who selects pics for different photo contests and photo exhibitions.
Photographer, Traveler, a Health Centre Activist
Andrey Grachev was born in Moscow and still lives there.
His hobby started as not a big deal. During holidays Andrey took photos of himself with popular tourist sights in the background. Soon he realized that some photos were quite impressive.
For several years Andrey was trying his hand in landscape photography and was examining the works of the best landscape photographers. Finally, he achieved certain progress.
“I take photos of Russia because I believe it is the most beautiful country in the world. Unfortunately, not everyone is aware of its beauty. The Kamchatka Peninsula and Lake Baikal are well-known all over the world, but many unique places in Siberia, the Kola Peninsula, the Far East and southern Russia remain neglected even by Russians themselves. For instance, no one knows about Lake Elton in Volgograd Oblast, but its salt water is equal in quality to the water of the famous Dead Sea in Israel. Moreover, there you can see really astounding dawn. All of it is mere 100 km (62 mi) away from Volgograd! I can provide much more examples.”
Andrey tries to show the beauty of Russia and draw public attention to the preservation of its unique nature.
Andrey is an avid traveler. He regularly travels through Russia and takes four or five trips a year.
“Out of all the places I have been to, I am most impressed by the Kamchatka Peninsula and its unearthly landscapes. I am equally bewildered by Altai and its fantastic mountain sceneries.”
Computer Programmer and Photographer
Alexander lives literally in the mountains, in Pyatigorsk.
“He got obsessed with mountains when he was in the 10th grade at school, when he visited Cherek gorge. Then there were trips to Dombai and Elbrus area.”
Alexander belongs to a group of like-minded people who make regular trips to different parts of the North Caucasus and beyond.
A photographer and a writer
Ekaterina was born in Sudak, Crimea.
“I am so deeply interested in its history and nature that I try to convey my adoration through photos”.
“… my Sudak is not a mere town but a whole universe. It is a place, which is not restricted either by time or space. It is a place where every stone reminds about the hands of its Greek, Italian, Turkic or Russian craftsmen… Ancient mountains remember the light of Tauric bonfires, while bare hills keep in memory the thud of Scythian horses. Cliffs can tell the stories about the time when they were the floor of the Tethys Ocean. Local forests are still filled with whispers of partisans…”
Computer Programmer and Photographer
“In the evening I can simply drop everything and drive the distance of 200 km to admire great sunrise, and in the morning I will be at the office. The same goes about my foreign tours. For me it is a common thing to buy a plane ticket and leave in a few days. At the same time I am quite cautious in more mundane things and I always try to asses all possible risks.
I drove from Vladivostok to Moscow when the road connecting Chita and Khabarovsk was more like a mud path. In Siberia I spent a night in the station master’s room on the railway station “Erofei Pavlovich”.
I think I am perfectly capable of living in the mountains or on a deserted island.”
Anton lives and works in Moscow. His specialty is computer networks and business process automation. Earlier Anton was keen on yachting and geological expeditions.
Anton is currently interested in photography.
Photographer and Banker
Todd was born in Brooklyn, New York, just a ten-minute drive from the Russian-speaking neighborhood of Brighton Beach. Curious about the country his new neighbors came from, Todd later moved to Russia, where he first worked as a journalist and then a banker. He has pursued his interest in photography since 2009 with most of his work focusing on everyday life in Russia. Todd enjoys traveling around Russia on weekends and holiday because the country is so diverse and so scenic, yet not extensively captured by foreign photographers as are other countries. The Far North and Altai regions are among his favorite spots to date. Todd’s choice of photography subjects – especially those in his portrait project – are often guided by the questions he is asked back home by friends and family about life in Russia. Todd’s Russia landscape and cityscape photos can be found at toddprincephotography.com while his Russia portrait project can be found at shadesofrussia.com or on instagram @shadesofrussia.
Historian and Writer
Jimmy was born in the UK to Chinese parents. His interest in Russia was first sparked by listening to powerful melodies of the Soviet era which remain popular in China. This interest later spread into all aspects of Russian culture and he began to self-study the Russian language. At university he studied Government and History and is hoping to establish a career as a freelance writer and historian. His research interests involve the Russian Empire and Russia’s relationship with western countries.
Candice is currently 15 years old, and she lives in Toronto, Canada. Candice listens to Russian music on a daily basis. She first discovered Russia when she was researching about the Soviet Union. After researching, Candice found out many facts about Soviet Union and how it collapsed. Russia fascinated her: from the mysterious history to the media. Candice thinks that Russia is always stereotyped as the antagonist, and she wants to change perspective on it.
Traveler, photographer and blogger
Sergey graduated from the Russian State Geological Prospecting University. He’s a professional traveler with 30+ years experience, guide, photographer and blogger. In the very beginning of his traveling activities Sergey had been engaging in speleology for ten years.
As a member of the Russian Geographical Society and the Artists’ Union of Russia, Sergey aims to show hard-to-reach and little-known places mostly located in Russia.