The Man and the Myth: Oleg Oprisco and His Ethereal Photographs


All images taken by and used with permission from Oleg Oprisco.

As photographers, I think we all have that single photograph, or this series of photographs, or even that artist that moves us so greatly, it influences, sets the tone, and opens the path for our future work. For me, it’s Ukraine photographer Oleg Oprisco’s early work – delicate, intricate, and ethereal – that made me really aspire to be a better photographer.

But it’s not just me he’s inspired. Oleg has influenced an astounding number photographers, medium format shooters and digital snappers alike. And looking at the utterly beautiful and surreal images he painstakingly creates and captures with his trusty Kiev 6C and Kiev 88, this comes as no surprise. His photographs, vibrant with lovely hues and colors, are celestial yet earthly, whimsical yet corporal, and ever so exquisite.

I had the immense pleasure of having an insightful, albeit short, chat with Oleg recently about his work and I’ve come to find out that the man behind the lens is just as stirring as his wonderful photographs. Read our short conversation after the jump.

Phoblographer: Your shots are perfectly executed and clearly take a good amount of preparation. How do you usually come up with a concept for an image and how much preparation do you normally do to execute it? Where do you usually get the inspiration for your concepts?

Oleg: Each one of my photos is a scene from real life. That is the perfect source of inspiration for me as there is so much beauty to it. Perhaps today on your way to work, when you were observing the world around you, that was the scene to inspire my next photograph. Of course, I make some changes and I have my own additions to that real life scene such as characters, props, location, and light… I am constantly involved in a search for inspiration and ideas.

Phoblographer: I find it amazing how flawless and how delicate your photographs are, especially knowing that you shoot with an old Kiev camera. I’m sure a lot of our readers would be interested to know this – how do you make them so? What’s the secret to these wonderful images?

Oleg: I do not think it makes a difference what camera you shoot with. Cheap film camera or the latest digital… photography available to everyone.

I’ve found it ideal to do everything myself. I come up with a concept, create the clothing, choose the location, and direct the hair and makeup. When I was working at a photo lab, I would look at hundreds of photos a day trying to understand what the client wants and needs; warmer, richer, brighter images always had better success. So that dictated my choice. I worked with what was best. Nowadays I am constantly experimenting. Before shooting, I plan the overall color scheme. According to the chosen palette, I select the clothes, props, location, etc, making sure that all of them plays within a single color range.

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