The name of Alexey Kljatov became a sensation around the unique macro photography of snowflakes, which he managed to shoot on his own balcony with advanced camera by his own hands. You can find his impressive creations on Flickr, where he has an account with the strange but memorable name "Chaotic Mind". How much are chaotic his ideas for the best way to make innovative photography we will learn personally by himself in his exclusive interview, which he had given away especially for the readers of the "Art Manager 7” magazine.
How you get the idea to advance your camera to make all these unique pics of the snowflakes?
This is a widely used technique. For shooting macro photography is used a reverse lens macro. This technique of work was described in many professional sources. Because I have several lenses of old film cameras "Zenith", I decided trying to use them to focus the image by simply holding my hand in front of the camera lens.It worked perfectly at the first attempt.The zoom was significantly more than that of the standard macro mode;chromatic aberration was surprisingly low, and the sharpness even in the corners of the frame was much better than could be expected to be by the combination of two lenses, which are not designed to work together.Even the auto focus of my camera works well regardless of the changes I made in its optics.In that state, with the lens "Helios 44M-5” placed in front of the camera I even managed to shoot some insectsbut it was too uncomfortable for work, so I came up to idea and applied that pretty simple design. I took a board with a length of about 30 cm, I mounted on it inverted "Helios"(the back of the lens to the snowflakes and the front to the camera), I’ve drilled on the board bolt hole to enter into the tripod socket on the camera. I put the camera on the boardin a way that when the zoom is maximum extended the lens to touch the "Helios" and to "watch" in the front lens. I made some additional improvements and things worked out much better. The design proved itself to be quite stable; it remains upright even in downward lens. I just put it on the glass above the selected snowflake and shoot at the maximum optical zoominstead of the macro.I am convinced that a good photographer greatly increases his chances for making unique photosif he has technical skills and abilities. My innovative approach and the improvements of my camera have helped me to realize the unique shots of the snowflakes which had widely promoted my work as a photographer.
When did you get started working in photography?
It wasn’t long ago - before 10-11 years.It was around the time when had appeared generally the available compact digital cameras. My first camera was with a very good for its time a macro lens. The following cameras I’ve selected based on their wealth of manual settings even when it comes to cheap models, as well as for the lack of any obvious disadvantages in them. Later came the alternative program CHDK, which means “Canon Hacker's Development Kit” foramateurs. I think there isn’t any better alternative to this set. The camera with CHDK possesses such characteristics which have neither mass compact modelsnor even the far more professional SLR models. The most - important and necessary function of CHDK for the photographer is the ability to make RAW records. Without this function it is quite difficult for me to imagine my work as a photographer. Of course this set has other important and useful functions which help me to make memorable picks.
How did inspire you the snowflakes, which you’ve sealed in your unique photographs?
The snowflakes are unique on their own way. They are not like any other objects that may become the subject of macro photography.Using the significant zoom they become more - interesting. The most common large sized snowflakes can be examined in details by anyone even with the naked eye. But the most extraordinary and astonishing forms we can find among the snowflakes with medium and small size - those between 1 mm and 4 mm. The diversity of forms there is quite impressive. When I look uttermost forms of snowflakes and their incredible diversity, it fills me with reverence and respect for Mother Nature!
Which is your favorite subject for photographing?
I currently workin three main areas: macro photographs of snowflakes in the winter and of insects in the warmer months of the year; and HDR photography which means high dynamic range photographyin which the main objects I capture are mainly nocturnal urban landscapes and still lives in technique "light brush".
What do you plan in your work as a photographer for the next year?
I'd love to try an infrared photography, especially that one which uses HDR technique. I believe that the New Year will bring me many wonderful opportunities to make exciting and beautiful photographs.