Throughout my time playing around with cameras, film and negatives, I have always been astounded by the beauty that is all around us in this little dirty ball of air, water and dust we call Earth.
From things we just walk past every single day without noticing, to the plants and trees growing in our back yards, to the amazing colours of our skies and the deep, mysterious shades of lakes, rivers and seas.
Very occasionally, one or two people out of the billions living in our world, arise up and decide to think “out-of-the-box”, at a tangent to everyone else.
And sometimes, those people, who have dared break with convention, end up being labeled mad, neurotic, mental, eccentric, depending upon what circumstances they are in.
“Here’s to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes, the ones who see things differently, they’re not fond of rules…..you can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them, but the only thing you can’t do is ignore them, because they change things, they push the human race forward, and while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius, because the ones who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, are the ones who do.” Steve Jobs, CEO, Apple Inc.
But also sometimes, a few of us may look up and be amazed at the jewels brought to life. By these so-called eccentrics. Simple things.
Such is the world of Andrew Osokin, a photographer based in Moscow.
He has been quietly capturing extremely simple but captivating images of snow, but with a difference.
Like me, many of you may have glimpsed the beautiful shapes that are imbedded in any snowflake, but which are only visible for a nanosecond, and then melt away into oblivion.
I recall as a child not more than 6 or 7 years old, on my way to school one wintry morning, suddenly being pleasantly surprised at looking at a beautiful snowflake on my coat sleeve, just seconds before it melted. It had the customary 6 pointed shape (why six…Fibonacci sequence maybe….?) and stood out like some heavenly jewel from the cosmos. I rushed forward to show my friend who was with me, but alas, by the time I got near him, the snowflake was gone, and when I told him about it, he just laughed and said I was making it all up! Such is childhood.
But I digress. Back to Andrew Osokin. His work is natural beauty at it’s best, for he has managed to capture beauty created by Nature, but such a fragile beauty, that not many people have seen.
The photographs show snowflakes in a myriad of different shapes and forms, but nevertheless always conforming to that 6 pointed shape.
Apparently his shots are made that much more rare because in order to capture them, he has had to wait for precisely the right time, to the second, before the snowflake is about to melt away, and not a second before, as the full beauty of it’s form shows up just when it is about to disappear.
What does Osokin use to capture these shots? Well, here that ugly question that we photographers hear all the time, raises it’s head yet again. And the simple answer from myself is that it doesn’t matter what he uses to capture them; he could be using a professional DSLR, or a compact digicam, or a simple film camera, or even possibly a pinhole camera. Does it really matter what he uses? The fact is that he has had the presence of mind to embark on recording things that we all normally never bother with. And thence lies the gist of the matter.
To those who need to know, he uses a Nikon D80 or Nikon D90 DSLR coupled with a 60mm or 90mm macro lens.
A little hint for anyone who cannot afford a Nikon D90 (or may not want one)….I have used a reversing ring with my cameras for many years, and this method allows you to get really, really close with just your standard lens. And what’s more, you get the ability to shoot with very limited depth of field, which simply means that whatever you are trying to record will be in sharp focus, but everything else completely out of focus, giving you that great effect prevalent in Osokin’s photos.
Now let’s look at some of Osokin’s spectacular shots here:
And you can see more of Andrew’s work here
all photos courtesy http://www.stumbleupon.com unless otherwise stated