This brief project was carried out in the area between Moscow and St. Petersburg in late February 2012. The leitmotif of the shots is not the location or nature of the photographs, but rather the temperature.
Indeed, the series emphasises the prohibitive weather characteristic of a Russian winter, and it does so through references to humans, showing how people react and interact with extreme temperatures.
On arriving in Russia, I was careful to avoid the places most frequently visited by tourists. I spent a few days in a small apartment in Tushino district, in the north–west suburbs of Moscow.
In this way, I was able to get a better idea of the everyday life of the people who live there. My stock phrase, можно сфотографировать? (May I take a photo?), was usually uttered in the midst of unremitting snow and with the temperature stuck below -15 °C.
From the outset, I felt that the shots should be in black and white – this helps the human figure to stand out against an external background – with the snow conferring a soft fogginess on everything.
The faces and the portions of the image where the action takes place were edited using masks, modifying the luminance of the single original colours, the brightness curves and the clarity.
Russian Winter uses the language of street photography; the action takes place within the frame, although it depends on dynamics that originate and end outside it. A borderless solution is best: with no border or frame delimiting the unfolding of the action, the viewer’s eye is drawn, in his imagination, to what lies beyond the picture.
Glossy metallic paper best preserves the areas of bright light and deep shadow. The light portions, where no ink is applied, recall the shimmering reflection of the sun on snow.