Behind the scenes - A photographer's journey from a sketch to a finished artwork (Windermere)

meet the artist

Today, we are really excited to share another one of the stories of our main photographer - Vadims Pjatrikovs.

This will be a very special one though - you will be taken on a complete journey from a sketch to a completed and refined artwork. You will get a chance to see what happens behind the curtain, what happens in an artist's soul and life and what inspires him to create such breathtaking photography. Hold your breath, and let's dive in...

"I wanted to visit the Lake District for years but never had enough time. Or that is what I was telling myself at least. My favourite part of the train journey has always been glancing over the horizon moving fast by and disappearing behind.

Sitting next to my lovely wife, sipping a cup of coffee, admiring deep green fields flying by. What else could one dream of? The start of this trip was already very promising.

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On the train to Windermere, what I felt most excited about and what I was looking forward to the most was enjoying the peacefulness of the British countryside. This is something that my soul has been longing for a real while.

You probably know this feeling too - when your every day is full of rushing, and all you want is to disappear in the beauty of a hidden-away little village for a while - to recharge your energy, to recharge your life batteries, to feed your inspiration with something that is more significant than a busy everyday life.

We arrived at Windermere just after lunch, and it was slightly raining, but I didn't really care. It was so beautiful there, I fell in love with the scenery from day one. Windermere is such a beautiful town - full of tiny little medieval-looking houses, framed with stone fences, moss, and conifer trees. 

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Despite being tired after a 6-hour long train journey from Southend to Windermere, I couldn't wait to go to the lakeside straight after we've checked in. Magnificent views from the hotel window were teasing this desire even more.

On our way to the lake, I saw a very unusual tree. It was dead inside, but it had so much life on the outside of it. Moss of all sorts of shapes and sizes was hugging its branches like a blanket. It felt like there is still some life remaining inside the tree, some sort of spirit that was coming out of the tree and giving life to the moss on its surface. I already knew that I must photograph at least part of this tree, which is why I planned to collect some of its gorgeous branches on my last day before I head back home.

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Our little journey to the lakeside was worth every minute - despite the rain, despite the tiredness. The lake looked so beautiful, so peaceful, so regal, so knowing. Framed with green bushes and stones covered with soft ancient moss, it felt so unknown but so familiar. It felt so magical and breathtaking. I was afraid to say a word fearing to spoil this quiet magic of the place.

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There were lots of other things that I enjoyed during the trip. For example, our walk to Bowness-on-Windermere, or a boat trip on the lake with an adorable scenery of hills and mountains surrounding it, each having its own shade of green.

It felt like I was breathing in every little piece of Windermere, like a sponge. I was listening to the story that this town was unfolding in front of me, feeling honoured to watch this in real-time. A story that will later form part of my still life photo. 

One of the things I really liked while being there, was our walk to Orrest Head. The path, full of mystery and its own charm. Massive ancient trees hugging each other, collaborating and competing for light. Stone alleys, turning and twisting, with thick moss following you along the way.

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Once we reached the top, we faced a breathtaking view. A magnificent lake and stretches of fields unwrapping in front of us, so spacious, so free. On our way from the top, I noticed a piece of rock that I couldn't take my eyes away from. 

A solid stone piece, weighing 16kg. I knew I will find a place for it in my composition. I knew I had to photograph it. I wasn't yet sure how exactly it would fit in my upcoming photo, but I knew it will fit perfectly, as some potential ideas were already floating in my head.

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So here I am, dragging a 16kg piece of rock from the top of the hill down to the hotel. And then all the way home on the train and on the tube. But it was worth every effort. It was even worth my split nail after all.

There were lots of other amazing places and one could probably write a book and probably already has about this wonderful town - Windermere. It felt like this town was talking at me, telling its story, begging me to share it with the world later on. And this is exactly what I was planning to do once I get back home.

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I didn't have to reinvent the wheel, I just had to tell this beautiful town's own story in my words, in my own language - in the language of still life light painting photography

I hope I will get a chance to make a still life art piece of other beautiful places in the UK and abroad, but that week my whole attention was on this little gem town - Windermere.

The next day after we've returned from the trip, I knew I had to make a start on my new photo project

My favourite kind of music for light painting photography process itself and for post-processing after is usually something spiritual, something magical.

So this is the song that served as a background while I was creating my new art piece. It really resonated with my main focus being on Windermere as well, as the song is as gentle, as kind, as peaceful and as magical as the town is.

You can hear some background noise of waves, forest and rain, which all merge into one little story of its own.

First of all, I had to put a sketch together. This is something that always happens for some of my more complicated compositions if not most of them. This is the basis of a solid piece and helps to perfect the exact composition that I am looking for.

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Then, I had to put together the composition itself. Take all the models that I brought with me from Windermere, and merge them into one single story. It took me at least a couple of hours this time before I was happy with how it all looked together.

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What follows after is hours and hours of the light painting process itself. The process where I have to lit up every single object and sometimes even parts of an object individually. The process where I use the light as my paint and the torch as my brush to paint the pieces of my composition onto the canvas of my image. This results in multiple separate photographs which then need to somehow play together. This is why it is very important to follow the order of lighting that I have in my head step by step. This is why I had to start over 4 times with this particular image. Wrong angle of light, wrong order of light, or if you simply touch the composition by chance - and you need to start again. 

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Finally, I combine these photos all together into one single artwork in Photoshop, carefully layering every individual image on top of another, blending them together, allowing the composition to come together into one and only art piece. 

Here is the resulting artwork. Can you possibly see how it has all these subtle storylines that Windermere has told me during my trip? Can you see the soul of this beautiful town in this image?"

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Hope you've enjoyed reading this magical story behind this artwork. Keep en eye on our Instagram account for the next piece from Vadims. If you'd like to check out other works in the meantime - feel free to visit our online store. Till next time!


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