Mikhail Korotkin started to take photographs as soon as he was given a camera by his parents. Around the age of 12 he went on vacation with his parents to Europe and while his parents were reluctant to hand him the camera they eventually did.
This opened up a whole new world for Mikhail. While his shots from that trip are 10 years old now they represent his first real encounter with the world of photography. After that trip he would ask for the camera on every family vacation thereafter. After several years he realized that he really loved to capture the natural landscape in which he ventured. Having received no formal training in photography Mikhail at the age of 15 decided to submit a photo into the Orange County Fair. Not only was his photo accepted but he also got a 2nd place ribbon for it. Needless to say he was completely amazed that someone appreciated his work. The following year he submitted once more and this time he received a 1st place ribbon! He realized now, that not only did people appreciate his work but his work was starting to show a part of himself. The 1st place photo was taken on a hiking trip in Glacier National Park. Around the age of 14 Mikhail developed a very serious passion for hiking, which eventually turned into an unrelenting desire for to go backpacking. His love of nature not only caused him to explore areas that were beautiful in their own spectacular rights but now he had a camera to capture them in a medium he could share with others. His senior year Mikhail took a Black and White film class at his high school. This class catapulted him into a love for the traditional darkroom photography.
At the age of 20 Mikhail had taken all available traditional black and white photography courses at his community college in Tahoe. He was soon offered a position as a darkroom technician where he helped incoming photography students create their first prints using traditional black and white film. After transferring to UC Berkeley he accepted a position in the Graduate School of Journalism as the photo department assistant. Soon, he became the personal printer to Ken Light, a renowned documentary photographer. Mikhail's true passion is for black and white traditional photography using film. Yet, he will shoot in digital color and black and white. After backpacking the past 4 summers with several cameras around his neck Mikhail has definitely developed a style and flare for landscape photography both in color and black and white. For Mikhail photography has become a way of life. It is as he says: “Photography is an extension of myself. It is the way I can communicate visually with the world not only in terms of reality, but also by altering reality. My images tell a story of what I felt at that moment in time. While I may not be able to capture reality literally I can certainly try to do it figuratively using my imagination. Because photography is not about the camera, the lens, the film, the megapixels…it is about seeing and learning how to see the magnificent and beautiful world in which we all have been given a chance to live in.”
© Mikhail Korotkin