Big Interview (Digital SLR Photography)

From Russia with Love

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When it comes to inspirational stories about photography, it’s easy to focus attention on professional photographers or those who have made a high-end career out of photography. however, in doing so, we overlook those who pursue photography as a pastime, those who have found their own value in developing the quality of their images successfully. Whether an image has made money, and a photographer's status – be them an enthusiast, semi- or full-time professional –has very little bearing on how much an image is appreciated and enjoyed, as proven by this talented photographer. moscow-born freelance digital art director and Digital SLR Photography subscriber Vadim Sherbakov is the perfect example of how often the only thing that sets an ‘amateur’ apart from a professional is a pay cheque. When he’s not building interactive websites for clients, Vadim is travelling the world with his camera, pursuing his passion for landscape, cityscape and aerial photography.

As with many amateur and professional photographers alike, Vadim’s initial foray into the world of photography was tentative. Rather than waxing lyrical about a magical instant love for photography and the start of a fairy-tale blossoming of a life-long passion, Vadim and photography really didn’t click straight away. “i remember getting my  rst canon eos digital camera,” Vadim recalls. “I photographed everything – people, daylight, travel, experimental stu  – everything. Being honest, it was all complete garbage. After a couple of years of trying to improve and seeing what other people were producing, i was very downhearted. i felt that i hadn’t got any better and was still producing the same poor quality images as when i started. i didn’t know what to do or how to improve. i wasn’t inspired by what i saw around me and, in Russia ten years ago, we didn’t have as easy access to the literature and photography magazines that we do now, so learning about photography was di cult. i was going out and buying  lters and tripods, new cameras and expensive lenses, not knowing how to use them but hoping they would miraculously help me create better images. in the end, i wrote photography o  as a failure – i put my eos 450D back on the shelf and forgot about it.

Vadim Sherbakov