«All the energy of the artist should be drawn to two forces: man and nature». A. Chekhov.
Majestic forests of Northern Russia was the inspiration for the photo session «Lumberjack». I wanted to combine the power of untamed nature with the fortitude of a real man.
It didn’t take too much time to think about the image of the portrayed. I borrowed it from the noble-savage, bearded North American lumberjacks of the time of the English-American war. Autumn cap covering half-bold head from the meningitis, and all the time trying to eat the visitors of the forest insects; woolen shirt (30 years old) with red-black checkered pattern; worn leather belt holding the pants wood color; army ankle boots, which became a real salvation in a swampy area; and all this was underpinned by a 4-month training model – by growing the beard.
The tool for the lumberjack was a sharp ax of 1959, with looks reminiscent of wallach — traditional axe of Carpathian highlanders.
The shooting took place from 9 A.M. to 13 P.M. The weather was calm, 21 degrees Celsius, but the forest was wet. The day before was a torrential rain, and the trails of the mushroomers turned into small swamps. We had to blaze a trail independently, making the way through centuries-old forest. The air was particularly clean, due to the tight neighborhood of the coniferous giants, and cleaning the mind from the daily routine, gave energy, which I forwarded to work.
Anton and I were incredibly lucky: we immediately found a suitable place for shooting, as though the nature had created a scene for a photo session. On a small lawn inside the thicket of the forest lay a huge old tree which became the main assistant in creation already presented here shots.
To get good bokeh, I opened the aperture. The shooting was carried out with hands, so the exposure time had to be short. I had to increase the ISO value, because pines were high, causing the sunlight to penetrate weakly on the improvised by nature of photoscene.
The most complicated episode of the shooting process – when the model was standing on the fallen tree. The pine tree was wet and slippery. Boots found no grip, and the model had to balance at a height of about 3 meters.
During the creative process everything constantly was trying to interfere us. Hungry mosquitoes, for the first time saw the men and decided to summon all their tribesmen to the feast. Periodically I had to hear for the small squeak of «vampires» in my ears, not to mess up the shot with awkward movement.
«Man can not help taking by nature, he is related inextricably with it by thousand threads, he’s it’s son». I. Turgenev
P.S.: During the filming all the trees and bushes remained intact. The strokes of the axe were on the dried, or earlier (before our arrival) fallen lifeless trunks.