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iPhoneography Artist, Ukrainian Yuriy Leskiv, in conversation

by Melanie Gow

Yuriy Leskiv was born in Ternopil, but now lives and works in the capital of Ukraine, Kyiv. His father was the first person to teach him photography, he started with a Zenit  film camera when he was 10. It took many years before photography really became his passionate hobby. I met him through his iPhone Art on Flickr and became completely entranced with what he does with his images.

Image after image he surpises with what he achieves in the moments he captures, his memories are elevated to vivid and emotional scenes that you can see with your eyes shut after looking at them. Thank you Yuriy for giving me your time ..

Why is Photography important to you?

I travel a lot and like to leave in my memory the most interesting places, people and facts that I’ve seen on my trips.

Your photography is more like photoart, who or what influences you?

I always say that there are a lot of professional artists with cool cameras, but iPhoneography is really like special kind of art where you show your own vision. You have real possibility for your fantasies to fly …..with the needed software :)

I’ve bought my first iPhone one and a half years ago and after seeing some beautiful iPhoneography work in Flickr groups I tried to do the same and finally joined to this beautiful world of iPhoneography.

I’m delighted with street shots of Sion Fullana, abstracts from Souichi Furusho and  Carlein van der Beek, beauty landscapes of Hans Borghorst and works of many others great iArtists. I think the creativity of these people affect not only my work, but all the world of iPhoneography.Why is Photography important to you?

Your work can often be abstract or at least removed from real, what inspires you, where do you get your ideas from?

I like abstract art, photos, forms and try to do the same with my works.

I prefer the unfinished pictures, where fantasy paints the missing details.

And my best stories for the pictures I take in my life – this is the best source of my inspiration.


“Despair” for example, it is exquisite can you tell me the story behind this image?

I was in the store, where sales were closed. And all the mannequins were huddled in the corner. But, this one stood alone.

And indeed it seemed that it was very sorry to say Good-Bye to all familiar things, in which it had sat in the window with during a couple of weeks.

I could not resist taking the shot. And the result was what you see now ;)

What makes a good image in your opinion?

The most important thing in the photo is photographer’s fantasy. I’ve seen so many perfect pictures (I mean ideal exposure, composition, color, etc.), but unfortunately, they had no soul.They are really beautiful, but completely “empty”. I rather prefer imperfectly made pictures, even the fuzzy pictures, where the photographer is trying to show what he saw with his own eyes, adding a piece of own heart.


What do you think makes photography an art?

Fortunately, photography is now for everyone with the principle of “Shoot & Push”. Therefore, we are able to see a lot of pictures and virtually visit the places where we have never been.

But mindless clicking the shutter does not create a beautiful picture by default. Only those photos, which have a spark of photographer’s soul, creating a space that we call the Art of Photography.


What motivates you to do what you do?

It’s really a very pleasant stay with the flight of own imagination, when you sit with your own photo, remembering where and under what circumstances it was made, and you try to do something you’d like, and maybe… someone else likes.


Finally, which one image of yours would you take to the proverbial “desert Island’ and why?

I’d prefer to take to the “desert island” my iPad :) But, if one image only…it’ll be “Real talent should go hungry always…”

This shot was done during one of my trips to Cracow in Poland. I was shocked by the talent of this young man. It was a really magic aura in Old Cracow Square: evening lights, first burning trees, leaves under your feet… and those enchanting sounds of the strings. It was really one of those days which will always live in memories.

And now, looking on this photo – I can go back to that wonderful evening again and again.

Thank you so much Yuriy for talking with me and showing me a glimpse of the world through your eyes.

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