Hello Alexander Dragunov and thank you for participating in this interview! Would you like to introduce yourself?
My name is Alexander Dragunov, I’m from Saint-Petersburg, Russia but for the last few years I work and live with my family in Stockholm, Sweden. I’m not a professional photographer, I work in IT as software architect but photography is my hobby and my passion.
How and why did you become a photographer? Did you go to a college to learn photography?
I guess as many others first I’ve owned couple of digital point and shoot cameras, but at some point I realized that I was not able to make good photos of my family and especially fast-moving kids using it. So at 2007 I’ve bought my first DSLR camera Canon 400D. And quite soon photography became my passion. I have not attended any courses, just learning from others looking at their works.
Could you tell us about one of your favourite projects you have worked on? and why you loved it so much?
Due I’m not professional photographer it is hard to select any special project I’m working on. Probably my favorite series (for me it is better word than “project”) is Stockholm subway. I’ve traveled through all stations with my tripod and tried to show the architecture, beauty, emptiness and special mood of Stockholm underground.
What do you enjoy the most of being a photographer?
Is that I can quickly see the results of my work and continuously improve skills. And I feel very happy when I’m able to be in the right place on the right time to catch something interesting that I can show to the others.
In your opinion what is the most important skill of a good photographer?
What kind of networks do you use to get clients?
As an amateur photographer I do not have any clients. But few months ago I decided to publish my best works on my own web site (that I developed myself as well). And because I’m now giving this interview looks like the idea had worked.
Could you tell us what’s in your personal “toolbox”? for photography ie. Software, hardware, books.
Currently I own Canon 7D camera and several lenses. My favorite one is ultra wide angle Canon 10-22mm for the architecture and landscape photos. For post-processing I mostly use Lightroom and also play with plug-ins from Nik Software.
Is there one Photographer or Individual who inspired you to become a photographer?
Not really, no one inspired me. But before buying my first camera I have studied www.dpreview.com articles and forums for a couple of months trying to figure out what camera to buy. And on the forums I’ve seen hundreds of great photos that inspired me that I’m on the right way to the world of photography.
Where do you get inspiration and ideas from for new projects?
Is there any photography website or blog you visit often?
500px.com, it is community of great photographers where you can get ideas of photos and improve your skills. I very much appreciate when photographers share the technical details of the photos, the post-processing steps. Before travelling to some new place I always look what others are taking pictures of, what is worth to see.
If someone reading this is interested in getting more involved with photography work, what sort of advice would you offer them?
Keep shooting, keep learning, select and publish your best works. In order to improve your technical skills try to find the someones photos that you like and try to make same ones by yourself.
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