Marianna Garmash was born and lives in Moscow, Russia. She’s a professional linguist and used to work as international cooperation manager in one of the state institutions. She also has an experience of self-employment. Now she works as a freelance translator and travel manager, spending all free time on traveling and shooting.
She participated in several mobile photography contests and became a finalist in some of the Russian contests (Moscow City Day contest, Russian sailing contest, etc.). Marianna also shoots with a DSLR camera and used to work as a photo reporter in international exhibitions. You can find out more about her photography on her Instagram account @penguincody.
On the third photo you can see the beautiful landscape of Murmansk region, Russia, or Zapolyarye, as it is called in Russia. I shot the photo staying on the hill. In the distance you can notice the road and our car, which seems small from the height.
Hello Marianna, thank you very much for taking part this interview.
How did you start with mobile photography?
I got interested in mobile photography since I had bought my first cell phone with a camera. It happened during my studying at the university. In some years I got my first iPhone – 3GS. And I was amazed at its camera quality. With time built-in cameras of cell phones improved, a lot of cameraphones appeared, Instagram and other similar applications became popular, and my interest in mobile photography got and got stronger.
What model of smartphone do you use?
Now I use two smartphones: IPhone 6S and Samsung S7 Edge. But I still have a lot of photos from iPhone 6 and Samsung S6, which I used before.
In this picture, you can see an abandoned military radar. It is also Zapolyarye, the Russian Arctic region. I don’t know why the military left it. And now only the round framework is left, because equipment has been disappeared: maybe the officials removed it, or people stole it.
What does inspire your works?
I can answer this question with one word: travelling. It is the most inspiring thing for me.
How do you describe your style?
In my opinion, my style is absence of any style. I try to be different, I try to shoot different places and different things, different genres and use different devices. As for editing I also try to change styles and apps; sometimes I want to have my photos look natural, sometimes I intentionally overfilter them, use HDR and make them dramatic. But anyway if you look at my photos, you can easily understand, what apps I use.
Do you think it has evolved?
Yes, my style has evolved. But unfortunately not so successfully as I would like to. When I look at my first photos, they seem terrible to me. Everything is wrong in them: exposure, perspective; they are all oversaturated. So in comparison with it, my skills developed much. But from time to time it seems to me, that all my photos are the same and I need to invent something new. And I try to do it.
This photo was shot in Glacier 3000 resort, in Switzerland. It is the suspension bridge between two mountain peaks. You can see great mountain landscapes, including 24 highest European peaks from here. Unfortunately during our visit the weather wasn’t clear, and we could only enjoy the view of clouds. So I made several photos of the bridge 🙂
Your portfolio shows many photos of landscape and cityscape. What are your favorite subjects and what’s your favorite genre of photography?
Yes, you are right. I prefer to shoot landscapes and cityscapes. I live in a big city, so every day I have an opportunity to make photos of cityscapes and architecture. I also travel much that’s why there are always a lot of photos from different places and cities in my archive. Sometimes I shoot food and portraits, but I am not very good at it.
This shot shows the field and the lake in Bulgaria where I go every summer. It is a mud and salty lake, famous for its healing effect, near Burgas city.
Is there a genre you’d like to start or focus on?
Now I try to develop my skills in street photography, but it is rather difficult for me from the psychological point of view. Everybody knows this shyness when you make a photo of an unfamiliar person.
This photo was shot in Adler, Sochi, Russia. It was spring and we enjoyed the walk along the embankment, which was constructed for Olympic Games in 2014.
What was for you the most exciting picture you took?
I took the most exciting picture last summer in the Russian Arctic region, or Zapolyarye in Russian. Near Murmansk you can find peninsula Rybachiy (in English it means “Fishing”). This place is famous for its beautiful nature, breathtaking landscapes and…bad roads. Actually we were able to reach our aim only on the second day: we went there by our SUV car, and we had to come back because of the total off-road, on the second day we found a guide with a huge military off-road car and he took us to the Cape. The Cape Nemetskiy (In English it means “German”) is situated on this peninsula. And it is the important place for many tourists because it the most Northern point of the European part of Russia.
There are two lighthouses there and nothing more. It was on of the most memorable moments in my life, when I was staying in the most northern point, enjoying the view of Barentsevo sea and the Arctic Ocean, saw waves, breaking against stones, and felt unity with the nature, and happiness.
Certainly, there are some other photos which make me satisfied. I feel excitement when I shoot in some abandoned places or when I am able to get a good street photo.
What is the process behind your images and how do you post produce your content?
When I started to shoot with a mobile phone, I had a tendency to overfilter my photos, now I try to avoid it. So, I often post photos with no edit or with minimal edit, just correct perspective and crop. If necessary, I correct exposure, brightness and contrast, change shadows and lights options, sometimes make my photos a bit sharper. When I want to experiment, I use such effects as HDR, drama, vintage or even grunge. Sometimes I make my photos in black and white. As for apps, the first one in my list is Snapseed. I also often use mobile version of Lightroom. From time to time I edit in mobile Photoshop, HDR Max, Photoshop Express.
Do you have any specific project in mind now?
I planned to develop my own website, devoted to travelling with an accent on mobile photography. And I recently got interested in film photography, so now I try to improve my skills in it.
The shot was taken in Bulgaria, on the beach. It is interesting for the fortified fire position, which was left since the Second or even probably the First World War. The place of cruel battles became now the peaceful beach, where people enjoy swimming and sunbathing.
Thank you very much Marianna! We look forward to seeing other street shots.