I can only imagine how difficult the lighting situations would be for the work that Andrey does. He’s an underwater photographer which I came across and immediately thought he would be a great addition to the RAW interviewees. English isn’t his native language but I think he has done a fantastic job.
Tell us a little about yourself?
My name is Andrew Narchuk and I live in the Russian capital, Moscow. I am a programmer and working in the field of railway transport. Photography is my main hobby which I hope will soon become my primary activity. It takes all my free time, already. There are numerous trips around the globe, including Russia of course. Over the past few years, I won quite a number of national and international photo competitions, including the title of the best wildlife photographer in Russia.
What made you get into photography?
As a child I was drawing, but my technique did not allow me to display what I want. And maybe I was too impatient to spend hours on imprinting of the image, which was born in my head almost instantly. So as soon as I saw in a magazine review of the earliest digital camera – I understood that is what I need(in film photography was a significant drawback for me – too much time and manipulations required between pressing the button and getting the photo).
How did you get started?
It all started with a trip to the Red Sea. First look beyond the surface of the water has left unforgettable impression. I spent in the water all my free time – 6-8 hours a day, swim away for many miles. Just a few days after returning, I bought a newly released underwater case for my camera. At the first opportunity I went to sea again – and again spent all my time in the water, this time with the camera. Breath-hold dive and shoot at the same time was not quite easy, but nothing could stop me.
A few days later the sea made me a present for my perseverance – directly to me from the depths manta rays swam, it was wonderfull. We swim together for almost half an hour, and other people seemed to not see us.It was a sign – since then my heart as a photographer belongs to the sea.
It was impossible to stop – trips, new appliances, new pictures.
What sort of photography do you mainly do?
There are mostly a natural and underwater art photography. And I prefer to combine these areas. Nature – creates the most amazing works of art. And I can only find them and shoot it. Sometimes it requires a strong magnification to see some of them – so the fact that almost half of all my photos are macro shots is not by chance.
What gear are you using?
Description of my photographic equipment can be divided into two parts – surface and underwater. Surface – a set based on Canon 5d mk2 and backup camera 5D with a set of lenses from 15mm fisheye to super-tele 500mm. This allows you to cover the whole range of subjects.
Underwater equipment is included Nexus housing, a set of ports for different lenses, “wet” macro-lens, several strobes Inon 240 plus additional accessories for their remote control.
Whats your favourite lens and why?
Macro. At the moment it is Canon 100mm, which I use with a lot optional lenses, rings and extenders. It allows me to find amazing and unusual things very close. With it you can take a trip into the magic world, look into the eyes (and therefore into the soul) most different creatures, with enough to make just a few steps.
How are you marketing yourself?
In Russia, art and nature photography at the moment does not bring any income. And to get away from the non-photo work, you need to seek contacts with foreign publications and galleries, cooperate with big photobanks. Taking part and win in major national and international competitions helps me. Also can be useful placing photos on the major online photo portals.
Whats your favourite photo you have taken?
It’s hard to make choice. There are a few photos which I love very much, but they are too different to compare them.
“The Mask” for me is a symbol that we can do extraordinary photo with minimal cost – the main thing is an idea that is born within you.
“Sonata” – This is a fantastic moment of harmony and beauty of wild nature, and unfortunate fact that the most of humanity is losing it during all his life.
“Make Up” – a view into another world, the colors and expression of wild-art hidden from our eyes.
I can give more such examples of natural shooting – range is very wide – and you can always find something for yourselves.
Advice for new photographers looking to go pro?
Maybe this sounds corny – but I think the most important thing is to look your way and your own Photography. Never lose self-confidence – and then luck will be on your side. Of course your technical level must be high enough to allow you to not distracted during the shooting.