This is a series of posts with translation of my interview published in Russian at http://landscapists.info/vitaly-prokopenko. The question from the interview: “How do you prepare for taking a photograph? Do you see you image in your mind’s eye first and then wait for the right light, or take a photograph immediately as you see something?”
This differs from time to time. Sometimes I have an images in my mind’s eye even before I see it and take a photograph. And then I search for a place where I can make that photograph.
Sometimes, after studying a location at home, I imagine a lot of different photographs I’ll be able to take. Then when I arrive to the destination I find it looking completely different from what I have imagined. That is often disappointing. The important thing is not put camera aside. I almost make myself to start photographing in that case and after a couple of days I start seeing photographs around me my own way. Still after the first trip to a location I rarely bring good photographs, more often I use them to study the place at home and be clearer vision next time.
Sometimes I find a beautiful place but the light is not right. I take my compass out take a not of how the sun is moving across the sky, where I’d like it to be to get better light and most importantly when it is going to be there. Sometimes it means that I need to wait for a summer or winter.
Sometimes a place is beautiful, the sun is where I’d like it to be. It is just covered with clouds. I’m watching how clouds sail across the sky, how light and shadow moves across the land. And I wait until a sun breaks thru the clouds and shines on a particular rock, hill or tree. Here a spot of light is getting closer, it looks like in just a moment it will light up your subject. But not – a miss. Next. Again a miss. It seems like the light plays with you, does not let to catch itself. I can spend an hour like that – observing light and shadow. When finally a ray of the sun falls on that rock, hill or tree it is such a joy – here it is what I have been waiting for.
Sometimes everything looks dull, the sky is filled with clouds so thick they form one big cloud. Everything around is grey and flat. It seems like there is no chance there’ll be any sunset. Then suddenly just before sun drops below horizon, the last ray of the sun finds a tunnel in the clouds, breaks thru and lights up the sky in unbelievable hues.