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Copyright: 2006-2023 "NoGa" CU

Created by - FantasyDesign
Design by - Maslennikov M

Alexander Shchemlyaev




        I hate photography. And these days I hate it even more. At the beginning, while in the army, I took pictures for the troops. Lost my sergeant rank slides two months before the discharge for taking pictures for the demob albums, and for not spilling the location of the photo lab spot. Then I was made to serve out last month of the service with privates. This is Photography for you. I took pictures at university and worked there part time as a lab assistant, adding to my school stipend. Mandatory "volunteer" work on potato fields and in construction crews. (Study? What study?) And even under this tyranny I still photographed. Took pictures in "hot spots": was beaten, choked with my camera strap, taken out for execution. Brought back amazing coverage. But back in Moscow, at the editors office was told that Im back too soon. This wasnt shown at the 1st TV channel yet, so it cant be run. Maybe later. One picture at a time.
        And then what? The whole life is about compensations. Got an advance, bought film, chemistry. Printed the material. Submitted. Got another assignment. And that how the whole photographic life was. All of that only so that I could escape this megalopolis, this Moscow, which I cant stand even today. Ran away to join the likes of me, unpretentious people. To be with them, and to take pictures. And when I would return, the only joy was to develop the film, to look at the result: this is it, this is the shot, a good shot. Print it, take it to the editor. I recall getting on the bus, and there someone was looking at the magazine spread, and a little farther another one, at the cover. And on the cover my name, my picture. Bus stops, I get off. Joyful, happy. And the compensation, what is 3.6 Rubles (TN: about 7 USD now) per day? You spend all you get. You pack a 700ml jar, an immersion water heater, bread crackers, and off you go on another mission. Thats what Photography is. To see your pictures somewhere in someones hands, and to go away as far as possible. Met an acquaintance of mine, a photo editor, and he told me he bought an apartment after just 5 years of work. And what did I get? Some shoes, some suits, a bunch of camera lenses. Thats it! No car, no home this is my Photography. What is there to love? Except maybe looking at my shots, the printing process, which is beautiful by itself, and seeing someone hold my pictures in their hands. And thats it, there is nothing else. And what now? Nothing good. In the next life I wont be a photographer for sure.