Interview With Alexander Petrosyan

Recently I wrote a post about magnificent photographer Alexander Petrosyan. I was very impressed with his work, so I wrote him an email asking for an interview for my blog. And guess what? He kindly agreed!

Everybody, please welcome Alexander Petrosyan.

Click on the photo to enlarge.

Tell us a little about yourself. What is your occupation,  how did you get interested in photography?

My introduction to photography was terribly banal: as well as many of my peers back in those years, I was presented with a camera named “Smena” on my birthday 🙂 Since then I periodically quit and came back to photography many times. Currently I am a full-time photojournalist for publishing house “Commersant”.

Photo by Alexander Petrosyan. Click on the photo to enlarge.

How many of your shots were initially conceived in your mind and then “materialized”?

I don’t have many such shots. Much more often happens the following scenario – I have an idea in my mind, but according to the situation this idea transforms into something else, which in turn on the photograph again looks different, and the viewer sees what he sees.  That’s why the title of my blog is “In reality things are somewhat different than in real life… ”

Photo by Alexander Petrosyan. Click on the photo to enlarge.

What is the story behind your shot titled “Graduates” ?

Photo by Alexander Petrosyan. Click on the photo to enlarge.

This photo was made in the most ordinary way – I saw this couple, which was very different from the rest of the crowd of graduates, and I just ran in front of them shooting continuously. Technically it wasn’t an easy shot to get using Canon 20D, because its max ISO was 1600 while I had to shoot hand-held, running backwards in front of the girls. I nevertheless managed to get a fairly sharp shot.

 

How do you manage to be in the right place at the right time?

It doesn’t happen too often, at least not as often as I would like… in simple cases what helps is the analysis and prediction of the situation. In more complicated situations I just hope to get lucky.

Photo by Alexander Petrosyan. Click on the photo to enlarge.

Isaac Newton once said, “If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants”. Who are your giants?

The saying, which is actually closer to my perception is “Do not make yourself an idol”. There are not a lot of key figures in photography, and they are known to anyone interested in the subject. But to narrow the circle and take for example my colleagues from St. Petersburg, who I have met in person, I would name an urban photographer Boris Smelov, and photo-essayist Sergei Maximishin.

Photo by Alexander Petrosyan. Click on the photo to enlarge.

What are your thoughts about Cartier-Bresson’s work?

What do I think about Cartier-Bresson? Well, that’s like asking, for example, physicists, what do they think about Newton or Einstein 🙂

Photo by Alexander Petrosyan. Click on the photo to enlarge.

What equipment do you use and why?

I use whatever equipment is available to me. Currently it is a DSLRs from the publishing house where I work with a standard set of glass:16-35, 24-70, 70-200… nothing special, but it is sufficient for most of my work.

Photo by Alexander Petrosyan. Click on the photo to enlarge.

And last but not least my traditional question: if you could give just one piece of advice to a beginner photographer, what would it be?

My advice for beginners is not original, but it comes from my own experience: look at the works of masters, and shoot as much as you can experimenting a lot… and of course do not be embarrassed by critique or its absence and show your work to lots of different people… But, perhaps the most important thing is to shoot what you really love!

Photo by Alexander Petrosyan. Click on the photo to enlarge.

Thank you Alexander for your time, your knowledge, and your photographs!

If you liked Alexander’s work and want to see more of his great photographs check out the links below:

Here are the only two links to English resources with Alexander’s photos

Link 1 (Alexander is also known as Yan Petros, so don’t be surprised to see this name here)

Link 2

You can also see Alexander’s photos on his LiveJournal stream, where he adds new photos as they come, and also on Nonstop Photos website. These two last resources are in Russian, but everyone understands the visual language of photography.

 

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