In the 21st century the creation of subtle fantasy, a dreamlike state captured for eternity, is at its most flexible and open stage than ever before. Living in an age where technology is deeply integrated into the world, art, too, has stretched its boundaries even further – particularly with the abundance of digital manipulation within photography. And whilst I stay in constant awe of digital creations and their boundless versatility, there is something inexplicably special about an artist who works from the ground up to create scenes of wonder before your very eyes. No digital manipulation, just limitless imagination and a lot of patience. And so Oleg Oprisco takes centre stage.

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When he isn’t delving through flea markets for future props and ideas, Oleg Oprisco continues to capture exceptional shots in between hosting workshops around the world. His guidance as a teacher is as highly sought as his work, yet Oprisco respectfully keeps himself a grounded idol. So what makes Oprisco such a highly rated photographer? It’s not just his use of colour and light or his ability to create atmospheric and ethereal shots, capturing a perfect moment as if you’ve stepped into a story. It’s not just the surreality of each scene that draws you in to try and understand more. Nor is it the purity of his models, use of rich textures or effortlessly fashionable undertone. It’s the fact that Opriso picks and creates everything you see single handedly: colour scheme, location, concept, props, clothing, hair and make-up directed. Each dreamlike picture set firmly in real life as he uses the beauty of reality as a main inspiration. Setting up a shoot can take days. Using a Kiev 6C and Kiev 88 camera and medium-format film, digital manipulation afterwards is out of the question so preparation is key – the most that can be done is colour correction and dust retouching. The true magic, he describes, comes from never truly knowing what will occur each time the button is pressed.

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‘Lazyness is your worst enemy…go out and shoot, shoot shoot!’

Starting from modest roots, Oprisco got his first taste of photography when he became an operator in a photography lab at the age of sixteen. Although not the most exciting job, Oleg learned: A lifetime of weddings and birthdays went by within two integral years, and though the inevitable autopilot set in, he learned key elements of photography that he still uses to this day. The sixteen year old operator grew, working as an assistant to an advertising photographer and eventually becoming one of the most highly respected film photographers to this day. Some may envy his skill but he openly admits it all came from hard work – something he stresses to all budding photographers to take on board. The desire to create must overcome sloth.

To buy prints of Oprisco’s work you can visit his site here.

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