I’m writing this blog post while seating at the Vienna International Airport waiting for my plane to Berlin. This is the first opportunity for me to sit down, exhale and get into writing. Life has been hectic the past days, but let me first tell you about my portrait studies.
Пишу цей допис, поки чекаю на свій літак до Берлінa у віденському аеропорті. Це перша можливість присісти, видихнути і взятись знов за писання за останні декілька місяців. Життя було трохи хаотичним останні декілька тижні, але давайте я вам перш розповім про свої портретні студії.
I had to sit down and finally write this post otherwise I wouldn’t get a restful sleep. I decided to combine it with the so-called Enjoyments (totally stolen from Charlie McDonnel’s video) and share things I liked and/or discovered in January. Since I haven’t done much photography, I thought I would be a good idea to fill this post with something more informative.
My dad asked me once, when I came back to my hometown for Christmas holidays: "Would you like to go on a training with me?" At first a regular human-girl voice within me said: "Nah, not interested", but then a photographer's voice woke up: "Wait a minute, I can shoot that". I wish my photographer's voice would always wake up first.
There is no better time to write a December wrap-up than sitting in café 4 hours before boarding a plane, am I right?
Quite frankly, I can hardly remember what I did in December, except going to school, taking pictures and going to church on Sundays, hence the lateness of this letter.
One of these December highlights was hosting my dear friend from Berlin - Varya. We haven’t seen each in other for a year, and God only knows when we will meet again, but she and her husband played a huge role in my dream-coming-true of studying photography in Vienna, and they continue supporting and encouraging me through this journey, which I really appreciate.
Last year was my first time experiencing Christmas market in Hamburg and I was amazed. Somehow Christmas markets are not very common in Ukraine, while in Austria it's a really big thing. Lots of lights, all kinds of decorations, mulled wine and punsch everywhere, cheerful kids with parents and very festive atmosphere in general. I was really happy to share my first Vienna Christmas market (am Spittelberg)-experience with Varya, my friend from Berlin who was visiting me at that time, because otherwise I wouldn't enjoy it. In places like these I get homesick, maybe that's why after that night I haven't been to any so far :) Anyway, no matter where you are in the world, what kind of weather is around or whether you celebrate Christmas or not - I hope you'll get a cozy and festive feeling after reading/watching this blog post.
November was incredibly warm and sunny weather-wise, but still quite stressful. Despite that, we'll try to focus on the positive here and reflect on all the good things that happened in my life this month. I would be very curious to read about your November experiences in the comments below!
We all love experiencing the first snow - the beginning for a new season, the excitement of upcoming holidays and a new color addition to our routines. I love waking up and seeing snow outside, especially the first one - because then I feel like Kevin from “Home Alone” and I just want to scream “It's Christmaaaas!”. When I was in Ulm, Germany, I woke up early and went for a walk with my camera to depict beautiful peaceful streets with a slight snow later and cosy private porches. These pictures remind me of that morning and make me feel so warm and peaceful, and I hope you will feel the same way.
Yesterday I arrived in Ulm, Germany, to visit my dear Ukrainian friend Oksana, who has moved here little more than a month ago to work as a volunteer, just when I moved to Vienna. It's the first proper weekend for me in a while, and it feels so-o-o goo-o-d. We climbed the highest church in the world, which is apparently situated in Ulm, and is called Ulm Münster - definitely the highlight of this year for me. And today I went for the most beautiful morning walk to shoot the first snow, but the pictures from this one you'll see in the next blog post.
Recently I began a little photo series about my friend Hoa's place as a part of my school assignment, which slowly transitioned into a story of her daily life in Vienna. Hoa is from Vietnam, she moved to Vienna 3 years ago and is currently working for Vienna's news channel W24 as a video journalist and editor. She likes traveling and using Couchsurfing as a way to find friends and hosts all over the world. She says that she doesn't like Vienna because it's too clean and neat for her taste. She prefers Paris.
She is also very creative and independent. When I was sipping a fruit tea in her room, she took a hammer and started redsigning her room and putting ornaments of the wall, because why not? She said: "It's so hard to do it on my own, because while putting stuff ob the wall I can't see whether it fits well together."
This month has been one of the most challenging and life-changing (obviously), as it has been almost a month since I moved to Vienna. There were a lot of unpleasant moments, to say the least, but let us just focus on the positive here and reflect on all the great things that happened in October of 2016.
Warning: This post does not bear any artistic value, may include pictures from my phone, pocket camera, dslr as well as a lot of rambling and useless information.
GETTING RESIDENCE PERMIT
Oh, I can feel a smile on someone's face seeing that title, if s/he went though this kind of process. In order to give you some background, to get a residence permit (as a student or pupil) in Austria for a year, you need: an invitation from the corresponding authority, where you're applying for RP; a passport; a health insurance for a year; a confirmation of enrollment; a copy of your visa D and a statement from your bank account, that proves you have enough money to live for a year - should not be older than two weeks! So I had around 5 days (including two weekend days) to collect that and apply, otherwise my bank statement would expire and things would get complicated. Praise the Lord I made it in time!
You might remember that last April I traveled to Austria from Ukraine to take en entrance exam at Graphische school (Höhere graphische bundeslehr und versuchanstal). Six month later I'm in Vienna, I wake up at 6 am every morning to go to classes at Graphische. Studying photography abroad was something I started talking about in high school, and now it's so weird and surreal to be on the other side of a dream.
A month ago I helped to shoot a wedding of my close friends back in Lutsk, and for the occasion I decided to test my new lens (I was able to buy through my crowdfunding) and shoot the whole event with Nikkor 24-85 mm 3.5-4.5. There were moments when I regretted not taking my 50 mm 1.4 with me, but after editing the pictures I realized 24-85 mm did a pretty good job. It is one of the cheapest, if not the cheapest, lens in Nikon zoom range and it's totally worth the money.
Here're some pictures from the wedding, I hope they will give you some perspective on how the lens performs.
There is a huge variety photography magazines which you can buy or read online, but most of them focus of technical side, macro, landscape and equipment, which are the topics out of my interest zone. I'm always looking for websites/resources where photography is skillfully combined with storytelling and photographer's personality, where you can learn photography and current news, get inspired and motivated to pursue personal projects. So here are my top ten websites which I would highly recommend to all my friends interested in photography. 1. ISO 1200 is an amazing video blog which has everything you could ever need - from backstage cover shoots videos to tutorials and DIYs. I've been following it for years and I refer to it every time I need an inspiration kick.
2. Fotografia Magazine has a great monthly selection of photography competitions and grants you can apply for. Also, fantastic photography articles from all around the world.
You would become a clown art fan if you had seen the perfomance of "Clowns without borders Sweden" a few days back in Kyiv. I feel like these guys have the best job ever; not in terms of easiness, but in terms of feedback. Seeing all those kids' smiling faces must feel like bliss, especially considering their current life circumstences - "Clowns" were performing at the biggest childrens hospital in Ukraine and also for temporarily displaced kids in one of the Kyiv theaters. Before Kyiv the artists conducted 15 perfomances in different cities of eastern Ukraine, where military actions are currently taking place. UNICEF Ukraine kindly invited me to shoot Kyiv peromance of the "Clowns" for them.