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Interview | Grigory Sergeenko | Photography is my passion

Our lecturers have many passions, and we support them in their following. Dr. Grigory Sergeenko's hobby is photography. He's exceptionally good at it, that is why we decided to interview him about what he enjoys about it the most.

Dr. Grigory Sergeenko is a Chief Executive Officer of Stronghold s.r.o. The company also consists of a global team of quants and software developers. He is also a lecturer of Financial, Risk Management, and Project Management. If you'd like to see some of Mr. Sergeenko's work, check out his website

What or who inspired you to get into photography?

When I was a kid, I was fascinated with professional photos of African animals. I guess that was the first impulse to start learning about film photography and later digital photography. 

What were your starts? Any funny stories from your first job as a professional photographer?

After years of self-education and trying, I decided to receive professional education and went to Fotoinstitut. There were great professionals from FAMU. I got to learn from names like Kamil Varga or Robert Vano.

And funny stories? Well, they are all from the area of making nude or/and glamour photos, but I signed an NDA, so I can't spill the beans in that area. 

What equipment do you use?

I tried different equipment, including Minolta, Sony, and Canon. But in the end, I stuck to the full-size DSLR Nikon. Mine is already a bit outdated model, D750, but it works like a charm. Most important are optics, of course, so I have a set of 35,50 fixed lenses and some zooms like 70-200.

It is a never-ending battle, but I have to ask. Do you prefer a Canon or Nikon camera?

Always Nikon. And there are three reasons for that. First, better optics, second it's great for photographers, not for marketing, and third, it's my personal choice. But way better is Hasselblad, which is a simply different league.

Do you prefer working with natural light or with a flashlight?

It depends. Soft, glamour portraits are better with the use of natural light. Working at a studio, you always must have at least two lights. It is a much better five with different diffusers, like softboxes, etc. If you work as a reporter inside, there is no other choice. You almost always have to use lights, but you have to use so-called bounce-light. If you want that dramatic feel, you use sharp light. The Lights are the most complex subject, and they are the one thing that will make the photo different.

Who are your favorite photographers, and how are they influencing your work?

There are many, but the ones that had the immense influence on my work are:

  • Helmut Newton - emotional, sexual, imaginable
  • Sergei Proskudin-Gorsky - pioneer of color photography (one of the inventor actually) who made the famous album of the Russian Empire before the revolution

How much retouch is too much retouch on the photograph?

I shoot in RAW format and always adjust the coloring. The retouch process itself depends on the client's wish. But I personally like the natural look of photography. 

What is your biggest passion in photography? What fascinates you the most about it?

I love the idea of freezing the memory of beauty. I guess that is what fascinates me the most. 

Do you prefer working with people or taking photos of nature?

I enjoy doing both. There is no preference in that area. 

Do you use raws or jpeg?

Always and forever RAW only.

 

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