Interview With Irina Petrova Adamatzky From United Kingdom

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Irina Petrova Adamatzky

Introducing Irina, the Category Winner of the Year, who learned the ways of photography all by herself!

Interview With Irina Petrova Adamatzky From United Kingdom

Interview With The 2021 New York Photography Awards Winner – Irina Petrova Adamatzky

1Can you introduce yourself and talk about how you got into photography?

I'm Irina Petrova, an internationally published and award-winning photographer and artist. I specialize in wildlife micro-photography and science fiction inspired installations organically integrating living and artificial entities. A unique feature of my work is I prefer to use retro manual focus lenses to share the wonders of the world. I won a substantial number of awards and prizes, including BIFA 2021 in science category, winner of FEP Awards 2021 Nature Golden Camera and ND Discovery of the Year in category Nature 2019.

I can’t say that I fell in love with photography from the first sight. In the beginning I used a camera for my blog to take clear shots of insects. I found my passion for photography only after buying old soviet manual focus lenses MC Jupiter-37A and Zenitar-M. I saw the world from a very different artistic point of view. The first thing is that I love that each vintage lens has its own signature and the fact that lots of the greatest photographers of the past have used the same kind of lenses to take shots like I use today.

2Where did you study photography?

I'm a self-taught photographer.

3Do you remember your first shot? What was it?

My first shot was made in a store, where I bought my camera. It was just a test shot to check out if my first camera was working.

4What equipment do you use?

I use Sony ILCE-7RM4 and Sony Alpha NEX-6 with a various amount of a manual focus lenses, mostly retro. I also have some speedlights from Godox, because I'm fond of artificial light.

5What do you hope to achieve?

I hope to achieve the level of skill of the legendary photographers of the past, who did not have the same opportunities as modern photographers, but they still managed to work wonders in limited conditions.

6What compliment inspired/touched you the most?

Once the director of Russian department of Wikipedia said, that my photographs work for benefit of humanity providing knowledge of invisible world 24/7. That was incredibly inspiring, touching and moving.

7What inspires your unique storytelling?

I'm a huge sci-fi fan, so my greatest inspiration is sci-fi books and movies. I also love modern art. So sometimes I use it as my inspiration. But I truly believe that world is an inspiration by itself, even simple fountain water can look like the milky way or a weird shaped alien.

8What THREE (3) words describe your photography style?

Sharp, colorful, unconventional.

9Congratulations! As the winner of the New York Photography Awards, what does it mean for you and your team to receive this distinction?

This award holds a special place in my life, I'm so honored to get it. It's proof to myself that my work is worthy and it's needed by the public. This award is the greatest inspiration to work harder and create more photos. Photography changes people's life, it has definitely changed mine, like this award.

10Can you explain a bit about the winning work you entered into the 2021 New York Photography Awards, and why you chose to enter this project?

My project “Microcosmic Portraits Of The Little Earthlings” is a series of macro portraits of insects taken with two retro manual focus lenses, manufactured in 1982, connected by a filter ring adapter.

Each image was made by the focus stacking of a few tens or hundreds of shots. The purpose of this project was to show common insects from an unexpected perspective. That is why all insects were from my native South Ural, the place no one would expect to find exotic, bright species.

11How has winning an award developed your career?

It made my photos more recognizable in the photographic world, so I decided to make a photo book based on my winning series. I called it "Juxtaposition". It's on sale on Amazon now. The atlas uncovers unique and intrinsic features of the critters and plants. Unorthodox color images through the artist's eyes. "Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it" (Confucius). The art of microphotography allows us to re-think and to re-see morphological patterns of insects, flowers and arachnids.

12Name 1-3 photographers who have inspired you.

Dora Maar, Peter Lippmann, Levon Biss.

13What was the best piece of advice you were given starting out, by a mentor or your role model?

Go manual. It helps a lot. Use artificial light.

14What advice would you give someone who would like to become a photographer today?

Believe in yourself and in what you do, be honest to yourself, your audience, because people feel the fake ideas in art, they can’t resonate with something you don’t believe in yourself. Never stop dreaming and creating.

15What is your key to success? Any parting words of wisdom?

I think, work hard is the only key to success.

16How do you stay in that space of being receptive to new information and knowledge?

To be passionate in what you do helps a lot.

17Anything else you would like to add to the interview?
Please check out my site and my social media for more photo projects:
Thank you so much for your attention!

Winning Entry

Microcosmic Portraits of The Little Earthlings | 2021


A series of macro portraits of insects taken with two retro manual focus lenses, which were made in 1982, connected by…
(Read more at New York Photography Awards)

Irina Petrova Adamatzky


Introducing Irina, the Category Winner of the Year, who learned the ways of photography all by herself!

To learn more about other winners of 2021 New York Photography Awards, read this article on Sane Seven from United Kingdom.