GET TO KNOW ME: LENA RODIN BRASLAVSKAYA

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My name is Lena, I’m 27 years old, I like to think of myself as a citizen of the world since I have lived in many places and tend to move around a lot. I was born to a Russian/Jewish family residing in the tropical concrete forest, Panama City. I was raised in a multi-cultural environment and I owe my polyglot prowess to my upbringing. I am fluent in 5 languages.

Although I have a burning passion for languages and dialects, my second most beloved past-time is photography. I must say I have always had an interest in photography, since my teenage years. I always had a compact digital camera with me till I turned 17 and bought my first SLR. Ever since then I have been learning and mastering my visual perception of the world. Despite shooting digital for the longest time (and I still do) I first stepped into the world of analogue photography almost a year ago.

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It has been a very wonderful and entertaining journey, full of self-learning and dedication. My very first camera was a Canon AE-1 I bought off Etsy for very reasonable money. At first, I had no idea what to expect; I still remember holding the camera in my hands and noticing immediately how heavy and armour-plated it felt. The next step was figuring out how to use it and whether film could still be processed. Internet was my best ally, as I took baby steps into what I do today.

 

I have not yet defined my photography style; however, I always take a picture for a reason. To some these scenes may be seemingly mundane, but to me they express powerful emotions, sometimes even nostalgia. Simply put, I look for the extraordinary in the ordinary.

As a camera collector, I do not have a go-to camera, I swap cameras every other month. Yet there is something about analogue photography and the gear that I cannot quite explain. I love the way film feels, I like the mechanical aspects of loading up a new roll and advancing the film. I absolutely adore when my pictures get light leaks, dust or scratches because somehow there is a beautiful aspect in imperfect pictures. Moreover, shooting with this medium has helped me to slow down and think more precisely about composition since I have a limited number of frames.

 

I am a bit a bit a globetrotter, however, since I’m based in Europe, you will often see my interpretation of the mundane things happening in this side of the continent. Furthermore, you will often find some commentary on the pictures which tells you a story about my experiences from my past and present and my impressions of the very diverse European culture. Last but not least, my personal quest is to create a colour palette with all the film rolls that exists out there, whether it’s colour film, slide or black and white.

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