Today we go east, to Ukraine, Lviv, and we meet a very young and interesting streepher: Taras Bychko. Let’s start and let’s make his great pictures talk first!
1.Hi Taras and first of all thank you for being “here”. Some months ago it was a great pleasure to discover your work. I was really impressed by the use of colour and light in your photography. When you go out shooting, what are you “looking” for?
Thank you, I’m really pleased to hear those words from you. I was interested in the topic of playing with light and shadow, so I decided to start a project called “365 Days of light and shadow”. That’s why many of my pictures are “about” this topic. When I finished the project, I started to pay less attention for this aspect. Now, when shooting, I look for “situations” first.
2.I can clearly see some good influences in the way you shoot. Who are your personal masters from which you get inspiration?
I have several masters, for different reasons: Alex Webb for the play of light and shadows, Harry Gruyaert for the use of colours, Daido Moriyama for his narrative, then Trent Parke and so on…
3.Some time ago, i didn’t like “flash” photography. Now i understand it can be a very creative way that creates light, and of course creates shadows. What is your approach with flash? When and why do you decide to use it?
Flash is just a technique for me. I don’t use it very often, I use it just when I remember that I have it with me. But this technique is interesting for me and I plan to improve my skills about it. Maybe in the next future I’ll do a series using it.
4.Tell us a little bit about how you do approach a scene. Looking at your pics, i would say that you look mainly for a great light, expose for the highlights, and then you wait for a good subject. Is it true?
I can say that I also use this kind of approach, but most of all I take the pictures in those gaps when I go to work and come back home. I think that if I had more time I would have to wait and actually finish all those scenes. Therefore it is different – i can’t wait much time!
5.”Street photography” is a controversial name. Do you think that street photography actually exhists? If so, what is your personal definition of it?
For me street photography is about the whole photography world. I came to the conclusion that I don’t care much about “genres”. I think that street photography is photography of life in all its manifestations: it’s not important what you shoot, but the way it is presented.
6.Talking about street photography, do you find it is compatible with long term projects? I had an idea of street photography as a “casual” shooting while walking around…for you, is this approach compatible with a “project”?
Today it is very difficult to express themselves. I think that the “single photograph” is totally dead. A series or projects allow to stop the viewer’s eye and tell him a story. Although I often shoot just interesting moments, i must say that when i’m working on a series it allows me to focus and work smoothly and effectively.
7.I really admire your “family work”. I think it is really interesting to see a street photographer’s eye “applied” to a family contest. I really liked this approach when i first saw the Trent Parke’s Christmas tree bucket and i can see some similarities in your work. How did it started for you to “shoot” your family?
Street photography has taught me many important things: composition, light, moment. I try to use all those elements in my series “Family Album”. Those pictures are very special for me because I show my family and myself. I’m glad that I am into this project. It started very simply: I was shootinh project 365 and I didn’t have any photo in one of the day. At that moment I was at home with my family and I understood that I needed to go out to shoot on the streets. I looked up and saw a wonderful scene with beautiful light and color. I took the camera and pressed the shutter. It was the first picture I made for the series “Family Album”. From that moment I started watching even closer to what was happening around me not only outside, but also at home. By the way those are probably the best pictures I have done yet. I’m really happy with them.
8.Are you passionate about gear? Do you think that gear is important in street photography? And most of all, which camera/lens combo do you use and why?
For me it’s important what camera I use for shooting. The technical characteristics are not very important, i rely more on the feeling you have while shooting. I often change my photo equipment, but now I mostly use the Olympus Pen F + 12-40mm lens and Ricoh Gr II.
9.Let’s go deeper and personal: what does photography mean to you?
Photography is my whole lifestyle.
10.To finish, tell us a photography book we shouldn’t miss.
I would say Alex Webb – The Suffering of Light, Robert Frank – The americans and many others from Harry Gruyaert for example. Those are the first names that came to my mind.
Please follow Taras via: