Photographer Yevhen Samuchenko’s love letter to his Ukrainian homeland

Photographer Yevhen Samuchenko’s love letter to his Ukrainian homeland

Written by Oscar Holland, CNN

In Snap, we take a look at the facility of a single {photograph}, chronicling tales about how each fashionable and historic pictures have been made.

In a drone {photograph} by Yevhen Samuchenko, Lake Lemuria, the so-called “Useless Sea of Ukraine,” takes on a surreal, otherworldly high quality. Its waters turned pink by algae, its shoreline streaked with white salt deposits, the physique of water may simply be confused for an summary portray had been it not for the presence of two tiny figures and their close by automobile.

“I needed to point out the dimensions of the panorama, as a result of whenever you see the very small folks, you perceive how huge the placement is,” stated Samuchenko, through a translator, on a video name from his residence within the Ukrainian metropolis of Odesa. “However I additionally need the viewer to see themselves as being like these folks — to ask them into the photograph.”

The photographer’s mission to showcase Ukraine’s pure magnificence has taken on new urgency following Russia’s full-scale invasion in February. Since Samuchenko captured the picture, titled “White Automobile & Two Individuals,” in 2019, the area wherein the lake is situated, Kherson Oblast, has been partially occupied by Vladimir Putin’s forces.

When Samuchenko visited, nevertheless, the lake was a peaceable spot — one reachable solely through “very unhealthy roads” and with little or no vacationer infrastructure, he defined. The figures standing face-to-face within the picture are two of Samuchenko’s fellow photographers, although he says the second shared by his two buddies was spontaneous, not posed.

Samuchenko's photos of Lake Lemuria have been recognized by several major photography awards.

Samuchenko’s photographs of Lake Lemuria have been acknowledged by a number of main pictures awards. Credit score: Yevhen Samuchenko

“White Automobile & Two Individuals” has since been shortlisted for the celebrated Earth Picture 2022 competitors, whereas the photographer’s wider collection on Lake Lemuria, titled “On the Pink Planet,” has been acknowledged by Sony World Images Awards and Journey Photographer of the 12 months competitions.

‘My frontline’

Samuchenko just lately donated his drone to the Ukrainian navy, and he says it’s at the moment unimaginable for him to function as a photographer. However in a battle that will hinge on the help of sympathetic allies, he hopes his work can nonetheless contribute to the battle effort by interesting to hearts and minds. “It is my frontline,” he stated.

Over the summer time, Samuchenko printed a ebook that includes virtually 150 of his photographs, together with many from areas devastated by battle, reminiscent of Mykolaiv and Zhytomyr Oblasts. “The Great thing about Ukraine,” which was shot over the course of two years, acts as a survey of the nation’s huge and different geography, spanning each pure and man-made landscapes.

Like his pictures of Lake Lemuria, the painterly photographs reveal hidden symmetries, patterns and shapes. Canyons, riverbeds, forests and farmland burst with shade and tackle a surreal new magnificence when seen from above.

Samuchenko's new book shows Ukraine's vast and varied landscapes.

Samuchenko’s new ebook exhibits Ukraine’s huge and different landscapes. Credit score: Yevhen Samuchenko

Samuchenko’s ebook was already in manufacturing when the battle started. A number of the locations depicted have since been broken, in response to writer Lucia Bondar, who wrote the accompanying textual content.

“Even nature has suffered due to this horrible battle,” she stated, including: “It is crucial to point out the world now the opposite aspect of Ukraine. Day-after-day, the entire planet sees these dramatic footage on their screens, in actual time. They see this ache and these tears… In our ebook they will see the opposite aspect of Ukraine — of our folks, of our lives and of pure magnificence.”

The Great thing about Ukraine: Panorama Images,” printed by teNeues, is offered now.

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