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Bortnikau

Interview with Andrei Bortnikau

Interviews

24 February 2017

Posted by Sally Hart

Hi Andrei! Tell us about yourself in two sentences - who are you?

I became interested in photography about 6 years ago. I'm not one who dreamed of becoming a photographer even as a child. I was educated as a civil engineer and I worked as a designer but then the economic situation in my country began to deteriorate. I had to take on new work including delivering fast food in the neighbouring country. Over the past few years I have completely departed from different jobs in favour of photography and writing articles for blogs.

QWhat's the weirdest situation you've found yourself in while taking a photograph?

AA funny thing happened this year in Georgia. Me and my friends decided to climb a hill to take a pictures of an ancient Jvari XVII century church on a nearby rise. The path led us to a fence and a gate, where there were watchmen, and the best view of the church. As soon as we got our cameras, the guards ran and started yelling at us in the Georgian language, which we do not understand. They pointed us away from the site and we decided that we would be advised to go for a more favourable viewpoint. As it turned out, the road which the watchmen suggested did not lead anywhere, it was just an excuse to send us away.

QWhat do you shoot on? What's your favourite set up?

AI have a Nikon D7000. This is my first camera and it is quite bad. I have a set of 3 lenses: Sigma 17-50 / 2.8, Sigma 70-200 / 2.8 and Nikkor 35 / 1.8. I confess that I'm now saving up for a new camera, because, for example I could not take photos when visiting the dark Armenian church interiors due to poor quality pictures at high ISO.

QWhat's your number one tip for an aspiring photographer?

AMy main advice is that to get a good picture, it is necessary to take pictures! Sitting at home, surfing in the internet and discussing the theory of photography in forums does not produce pictures. I was one of those people who was amazed at the situations captured by famous photographers. I thought it was a natural talent, and I would never take photos like this. But everything began to change when I started taking more and more pictures.

'This is actually a self-portrait. I set up the camera and asked a friend to take the picture I wanted by specifying the position of all the things in the frame. So this photo -... Read more

'This is actually a self-portrait. I set up the camera and asked a friend to take the picture I wanted by specifying the position of all the things in the frame. So this photo - is credit to my friend. In the picture I'm looking at the village Stepantsminda (Georgia). It was from there early in the morning we went to Holy Trinity Church, which is located at the foot of Mount Kazbek.' Read less

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Andrei

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'I'm not one who likes to take pictures of cats, but in this situation I could not resist. On the streets of Tbilisi there are lots of cats. When we approached these kittens, t... Read more

'I'm not one who likes to take pictures of cats, but in this situation I could not resist. On the streets of Tbilisi there are lots of cats. When we approached these kittens, they drank milk from their mother, and then one began her escape. I got to shoot the moment.' Read less

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Andrei

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'Old Town Nessebar impressed me. Its architecture is different to any architecture of old Europe. Well, the trick to this photograph - soft sunlight.'

'Old Town Nessebar impressed me. Its architecture is different to any architecture of old Europe. Well, the trick to this photograph - soft sunlight.' Read less

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Andrei

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'Everyone knows the Indian cow - a lone animal on the street. Before a trip to Goa, I mentally prepared that I would meet all the cows. But in Morjim village, where we lived, I ... Read more

'Everyone knows the Indian cow - a lone animal on the street. Before a trip to Goa, I mentally prepared that I would meet all the cows. But in Morjim village, where we lived, I did not see any cows. I met them in a different place and was glad, the photo is taken on Baga beach.' Read less

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Andrei

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'This picture captures my girlfriend and her parents. Near their house is a pond, where there is ice-skating in winter. After the Christmas holidays we had sparklers, which we t... Read more

'This picture captures my girlfriend and her parents. Near their house is a pond, where there is ice-skating in winter. After the Christmas holidays we had sparklers, which we took with us. At this moment the family is playing with the sparklers as they are skating on the ice.' Read less

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Andrei

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'All say that the sunsets in Goa (India) are never repeated. It's hard to argue with that when the beach is home to stories like this. Local children playing soccer beside the w... Read more

'All say that the sunsets in Goa (India) are never repeated. It's hard to argue with that when the beach is home to stories like this. Local children playing soccer beside the water in spite of dusk.' Read less

Camera outline

Andrei

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'This was taken on New Years Eve which we celebrated with my girlfriend in Vilnius (Lithuania). 10 minutes before midnight, we went out to celebrate this event with all the resi... Read more

'This was taken on New Years Eve which we celebrated with my girlfriend in Vilnius (Lithuania). 10 minutes before midnight, we went out to celebrate this event with all the residents and guests of the city. Opposite me, a group of young people are very intently lighting sparklers. I took a picture of it.' Read less

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Andrei

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