June 12, 2017

Oleg Birioukov, first feature

You'll find Oleg Birioukov's work on his official site and deviantART

Written by Crina Prida,
photographer and UdA Editor

Art Model Anna

Today I will introduce you to a Toronto-based photographer with a Russian heart.

His photographic journey has started a few decades ago, back in his home country; from old Soviet cameras to the digital world, his photographic journey has stopped for quite a long time.

From the series "The Dark Hall"
"Dance I"

When I first saw his photos, I fell in love with the underlying feeling of restlessness - the female subject is never taken for granted, but looked at and presented as a work of art. Then again, apart from his love for women portrayal, Oleg has a unique and mysterious way of showing ordinary scenery - his series The Dark Hall, has been among my top favorite galleries on Pbase, and I always go back there only to like it more.

Now, I let Oleg introduce himself.

Thank you, Oleg, for your wonderful eclectic art and inspiration.

"Birthday Gift"

One of his favorite quote :

"The pursuit of truth and beauty is a sphere of activity in which we are permitted to remain children all our lives." Albert Einstein

Art Model Ava Ainsley


"Dance IX"
Art Model Polina

I was born in 1963 in Novorossiysk, RUSSIA. My father occasionally was taking family photos. Due to the lack of available photo lab services in the USSR he was processing film and making enlargements in the make-shift "darkroom" in the family washroom.

We spent many nights in that room yelling in unison : "Don't turn on the lights!" at the people trying to use the toilet.

For my 12th birthday my parents got me a LOMO camera "Smena". At the time LOMO wasn't cool (or hot) as it is now. It was a plastic cheap camera manufactured using parts unfit for the main LOMO products: optics for the Soviet military. I quickly became bored with taking pictures of friends and cats and began experimenting, trying to recreate and capture scenes from my imagination.

"The show must go on"
Art Model Polina

"Gallery II"
Art Model Heather

"Composition SH2"
Art Model Shawntal

Later, while completing my education in Marine College, I got access to the semi-professional photo lab and had a chance to advance my technical level.

After graduation I got my first SLR "Zenith" and met several members of the local photo club, who taught me appreciation of the photography as an art and shared their vast technical expertise of survival in total deficit of photo materials and equipment. I became a pro.

Being a pro in the USSR meant taking mostly wedding and funeral pictures, capturing "outstanding" (inevitably boring) events of the local social life and in spare time trying to make something... different. After Perestroika things changed a little and I had opportunities to work for advertising and fashion industry.

I think at that moment I've noticed that capturing female beauty was what I really wanted to do.


The desire was coming from a desperate attempt to capture and preserve something which isn't going to last. (80s - 90s works and another site I had built in late 90s as an exercise in web design, yet hasn't updated since then, sorry for the outdated look).

I want my images of nude models to be non erotic. I don't want women in my photos to be the objects of sexual desire. I simply don't.

I want the viewer to feel what I feel : my admiration of the form, texture, interplay of shades and colors. Nothing else.

I prefer developing ideas with a particular model in mind. Novelty attraction wears off rather fast. When I'm working with a new model I almost instantly recognize if we ever are going to work again or not.I don't have a good reaction. I'm slow. I need plenty of time to plan a photo session and even more time to post-process. I've never been and never will be a street photographer, a paparazzi or a reporter.

I'm a lab guy. My darkroom is my kingdom, even though now it's completely digital and not very "dark".

Art Model Sury

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