Владимир Шрага, фотограф
Июнь 2019
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The life is a sequence of chances. So, by chance we’ve found two thrown away books near our house: one with vegetarian recipes and another — “Best Pasta Dishes & Sauces”. I’ve always thought that there’s nothing more boring than recipe books and especially illustrations in those books but still we’ve picked those books just for fun.

The majority of soviet people had in their houses the “Book about Tasty and Healthy Food” (use this link as a chance to get a close look at its pages!).

The front page of the “Book about Tasty and Healthy Food”

It was absolutely classical writing. It included absolutely classical images showing rich tables of hard-working Soviet people. Unfortunately those illustrations excited and at the same time frustrated.

Since I’ve also had this book in my grandmother’s library, I always hated the genre of food photography for some strong unconscious reasons.

Illustration from the “Book about Tasty and Healthy Food”

A few days ago I’ve finally opened the book on Pasta Dishes. I wanted to show it to my 2.5-years-old Sasha and to have some fun looking at the pictures.
And… Oh my God, the illustrations inside this nickel-and-dime book turned out to be simply amazing! Many of them are real pieces of art! The colors, the composition, the choice of tableware and entourage — everything is done on the highest artistic level. It’s a sort of art which simply brings pleasure. If I were a food photographer I would work in this cozy, warm style.

A spread from the “Best Pasta Dishes & Sauces” book

I don’t know if this book will somehow affect me as a photographer.

As for now I just want to share my exceptional feelings towards the works of Laurie Evans and Graham Kirk, great photographers of this book.

As for now I’m excited with the joy which one can get from creating and watching the masterpieces of food photography. A year ago I had the same feelings towards wedding photography which is traditionally underestimated as a source of artistic masterpieces.

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