Backstage Reality Of Russia: Atmospheric Photography Through A Skater’s Eyes

Petr Barabaka found his first camera in a Moscow dump. He described the battered Kiev-19 that he hauled out of the trash as a “Soviet Nikon, of sorts.”

More: Instagram h/t: lensculture

Regardless of its quality, it served an essential purpose: since that day, Barabaka has made a steady stream of images on a wide variety of cameras, growing increasingly connected to his photographic vision of the world. Today, his standby is a Leica M7, and he prefers black and white film.

A skateboarder since 1999, Barabaka got his start in photography with that old Kiev and his board in tow, documenting the rough-and-tumble Russian skater life.

Petr shows the backstage of Russian reality – homeless people, criminals, pub crawlers and other social outcasts. He has interest to the things avoided by other photographers. Peter says to journalists that he found his first camera in the pile of trash in Kiev. Even if this story is not true, it ideally contributes to the concept of his art.

“Nowadays, you often hear or see people drawing particular attention to their use of film, like they expect it to impart some significance to their creation. That’s complete nonsense. Poor shots won’t become great due to being shot on film. You should shoot on whatever feels comfortable to you and whatever you like best,” he writes. Personally, he said, he enjoys the tactile engagement with film. “After all, it’s nice to hold negatives and prints in your hands.”

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