Anastasiy Mikhaylov/Estergom:“I was born at 1966 in a soviet military man’s family. Most of school years I spent in Moscow, Russia, but high school years I was in Hungary not far from Esztergom town. In memory of those wonderful years of my youth I chose my nickname.
After soldiering I entered the camera man faculty of Cinematography Institute in Moscow, Russia. After graduating I was working as a camera man for German company making documentary movies and TV programs for leading German TV companies like ARD, ZDF , ARTE, RTL, Pro7, SAT, MDR, etc. and colaborating with many well-known west companies – BBC, NHK and others. After I was working as Director of Photography (DOP) for several TV shows on Russian TV channels. I was making TV series, music clips, commercials. At present I am still working in the cinema and TV industry in the commercial advertising field as Director of Photography (DOP).
“My interest for painting lead me to the photography. My first strong artistic impression was a brochure with reproductions of the Hermitage museum art collection.”
I was spending hours looking into the most famous nudes works of great masters of the past like Rubens and Rembrandt. As I had no opportunity of taking draw classes I decided to use my dad’s camera Zenit to make photos and than make a painting of the photo.
Also I was under great impression of Dostoevsky’s novels and movie “Stalker”, A. Tarkovsky at this time.
During my school years in Cinematography Institute I felt in love with such directors as Michelangelo Antonioni, Lukino Viskonti, Wim Wenders, Kshishtof Zanussi, Vadim Abdarashitov. I was impressed by Helmut Newton’s works, which was exhibited first time in Moscow.
Lately I discovered works of Armenian painter Akop Akopyan. His works charmed me with their graphics, meditativeness and internal moderation.
“My passion for photography was with me during all my director of photography career. But I start to shoot serious when the new digital technologies took the market.”
As a follower of classic black & white photography I am gladly using innovations of modern technologies. I think that disputes about film and digital photography are meaningless as I think that the Subject of photography is more important than the Method of it.
“The most important thing for me in photography is a liberty of artistic choice, that why I am not very interested in commercial projects.”
I just like to shoot and get satisfaction from the process, from communication with the model and photo retouching. The difference between working on movie where you are just a part of the team is that photography is giving me almost full liberty of self-expression.
My photography style is formed from several factors:
Love for horizontal format as a tribute to cinematographic frame. I consider that as the most convenient for the viewer. It allows to insert some (noise) in the composition creating the effect of spying and leaving a lot of free space, stripping person’s loneliness or confrontation with external world.
I think the color is distraction. The ideal photo for me is the one without any needless or odd details. I am consciously seeking simple, primitive, inaccurate or studiedly accurate compositions. I am using only day light or tungsten light. The only reason of this choice is my directors of photography habbit and also I think that flash is a little disturbing for a models. Because of long exposures people on my photos have to pose. I usually ask the models to look into the camera, I like when not only the viewer examining the person on the photo, but a model is examining the viewer. That creates a dialogue.
As for me I prefer not to classify Nude photography as independent genre. Many works of this genre I would refer as portraits, sometimes even as still-life or landscapes. Nudity for me is one of the ways to create a character. I consider my works more likely to be a portraits or movie stills. I am trying to express model’s individuality and singularity but at the same time I understand that photo for me is an attempt to create collective character of ideal woman, the one you can only dream about.”