“Light, the great magician, which in a second can transform the trivial into the extraordinary.”
Boris Savelev is a Russian photographer, and perhaps one of the most renowned photographers in Russia today. Originally choosing to use black and white film, he began experimenting with a variety of colour films, which has progressed throughout his work. However, like most photographers and artists in the modern day, he eventually chose to take the leap to digital format. Another interesting aspect of his work method is the fact he prints all his photographs himself, originally choosing to use more traditional methods, but eventually experimenting and perfecting the use of more alternative methods, such as platinum printing.
With the majority of his work, although the subjects and themes may seem to be based around people, he has admitted himself that he was always more interested in light and form, and how these two can alter the most trivial and simple of subjects to produce an interesting photograph. In particular, he worked with this concept around urban landscapes and surroundings.
The aspect I enjoy most about Savelev’s work is how closely I feel it relates to my theme for this module. Although it may have not been intentional, as he has mentioned that his main interest was in light and form, I love the ‘urban estrangement’ he depicts within his work. In the majority of his work, the subjects within the photographs are often solitary, “waiting figures who seem lost in an impersonal urban realm”, a similar approach I have attempted with my work. In particular with the images above, I love the composition he has chosen to use within the photographs. The way he has cleverly framed the subjects to seemingly ‘isolate’ them from their surroundings, alongside the general dark tonality of the photographs help to reiterate and reinforce the feelings of loss, depression, and melancholy within these settings.
From looking at Savelov’s work, it has helped me to reconsider aspects of my own work towards this module. Although I am still adamant on the fact I wish my final images to be in black and white, I wish to experiment with adjusting them to give them a darker tonality, as I feel this would be an effective way of reinforcing the emotions I wish to be apparent whilst viewing my work.
Howarth, S & McLaren, S. (2010). Street Photography Now. London: Thames & Hudson. 174-177.