The Dark Rooms of... Evgeny Bondarenko
The Dark Rooms of... is an interview series in which a photographer talks about his or her darkrooms, the digital and the mental, or technical and inspirational. What makes you click?
In this second episode of The Darks Rooms of… the focus is on the Ukrainian streetphotographer Evgeny Bondarenko.
Here we go.
Who are you?
My name is Evgeny Bondarenko, 40 years old, I live in Ukraine. I have worked in heavy engineering for most of my life, but now I work in a print shop. I’ve been into photography since 2007. In 2009 I learned about the work of Japanese street photographer Daido Moriyama, since then I have been fond of black and white street photography, but I had a break from 2011 to 2018, during which time I did not photograph.
Do you think technique is important?
I don’t think technique is important, but different kinds of cameras can reduce post-processing time.
What equipment do you use?
From 2007-2019 I used Olympus SP510-UZ with Marumi 0.5x wide (focal length 19mm), 2019-2022 - Ricoh GX100, 2022 - Nikon Coolpix S7000 + Ricoh GX100
And what software?
I only use Lightroom + 2 presets
How do you edit your photos?
It takes about 2-3 months from the time the photo is taken, to processing. I apply a “High Contrast” preset for all photos from the photo walk, then individually for each photo small adjustments or apply a second “Medium Contrast” preset if the first doesn’t work. The processing and selection process takes about another 1-2 months.
Where does your heart lie?
Тhis is some kind of lightness in photographs, ease of obtaining them, I don’t understand how other photographers do it, but this is what you need to strive for. Half-day reflections on photography led me to the following conclusion: the equipment, artistry and value are not important, the resulting photograph is not important - only the path...
Do you have your own style?
I don’t have my own style, I use the “are, bure, boke” style
[Editor: are, bure, boke - Japanese phrase meaning 'grainy, blurry and out of focus'. This refers to a photography style that became popular in Japan in the late 1960s, affiliated with the work of Daido Moriyama.]
Where do you get your inspiration from?
Reading articles about photography, watching YouTube videos, looking at photos on Instagram, browsing photo books in the library, talking to photographers. But there is still some constant desire to walk around and take pictures.
Does your project start with an idea or with a loose image?
I don’t take photos as part of any project, I usually take photos in my spare time at the weekend by myself or with another photographer, walking around the city without a specific purpose, where the road will take me.
I am currently involved in the ROZOU project, which was founded by Japanese street photographer Tadashi Onishi - I show my work and that of other street photographers in the city street using a projector.
When is your project finished?
I have no plans to finish the ROZOU UKRAINE project, but maybe that will happen when I run out of photos and have nothing to show. You can check out previous ROZOU UKRAINE volumes via my Instagram account.
What is your favorite photo and why?
I don’t have a favorite photo, I have a few that show the stages of my own development in photography
What do you want to achieve
I want street photography to develop in my country and increase the number of people who are passionate about it.
What would you like to know from others? You may ask one photographer one question. What would that be?
Question for Daido Moriyama - Do you press the shutter button when you are experiencing your own emotional peak or do you somehow understand that at a given moment in time the place itself is at the peak of its emotional impact?
Where can we see more of your work
All my photos are on the website: lblfoto.blogspot.com
On my Instagram account https://www.instagram.com/b_strt/ you can see recent work and stories. Next to that you can also see all the previous ROZOU UKRAINE volumes.
Evgeny is featured in the first issue of Darkrooms Magazine with his project ‘This is the way’. You can read the magazine here:
Do you like this interview? Do you want to see more? Send my some suggestions for photographers you like to see interviewed at Darkrooms. Of course you can suggest yourself if you have an interesting story to tell.
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