Marina Lystseva : I studied architecture; yet after my graduation, it was not possible to work in my own field as the other professions were popular in the ‘90s.
In 2000, by coincidence, I worked for “Aviation and Space Magazine" and Sergey Skrynnikov, regarded as one of the top five aviation photographers in the world, was the chief editor of the magazine. Skrynnikov constantly brought photos from the exhibitions of aviation shoots, and I was responsible for selecting them for the slide show. In this way, I gradually started to figure out the ways to take a good photo. I worked with Skrynnikov for over two years until one day, he did not return from a business trip, he had passed away in an An-140 crash in Iran (23.12.2002). There were nearly 50 people in this unfortunate incident and most of them were Ukrainian experts flying to Tehran for the promotion of the airplane. The magazine was left with no chief editors, photographers and writers and filling Skrynnikov’s place was impossible. Still, the magazine had to be published, so I started to attend various events and took photos. My colleagues from other magazines noticed that I was good at this and started to ask for my help. With the savings I made in a few years, I bought my first digital DSLR camera. Before that, I used to take photos with a Zenith or a Nikon that I had borrowed from a friend.
Since 2005, I have been in collaboration with Russian News agencies that are buying photographs of aviation and other fields.
Self-development… One needs to strive to exceed the level they have reached. We should endlessly look for new angles and new approaches for photoshoots. Sometimes, new ideas emerge throughout the shooting and sometimes you maintain the ideas at hand for many years. For instance, in addition to airplanes, I like taking photos of the moon and the sun with any background. Here is an interesting story, I calculate the time and spot of the moonrise and its background. For example, a short while ago, I recorded a video of the moon where it switched its location over the Iver Gate at Red Square and an airplane crossed over the moon. This indeed was a great opportunity. A classical photograph…Taking a photo of an airplane in the moonlight…Yet, to do this one needs a good lens and a properly selected location. I still have not yet been able to capture the best frame shot with the moon.
Marina Lystseva : I help when I am asked for advice, but I do not wish to impose anything on anyone. I attended a few presentations where I told the stories of certain photos. Then again, usually, a good photo is almost all the time an outcome of chance and sometimes of good estimation.
A couple of times I gave some advice via aviation magazines and to friends who wish to be published without fees. You may ask for fees in the aftermath when you start to be known with your name in your profession. Still, I may claim that aviation photography hardly brings any income in the Russian Federation, it is rather regarded as a hobby here.
Marina Lystseva : In the Russian Federation, you may come across the misconception that a person with a camera particularly around the airport is thought of as an agent. This is a misconception that we have since the Soviet era. This perception which remains from the past still continues in certain regions and people may get suspicious about the spotters. Therefore, in my opinion, it is still quite challenging to hold events for spotters outside the major metropolitan cities. The airports in Moscow and various airports across the country are regularly holding spotting events and they are organizing certain competitions, and this is really wonderful. Here, aviation photography spotting is usually executed at Domodedovo and Sheremetyevo and twice a year in Vnukovo. Also, the Zhukovsky airport invites us from time to time. It is possible to attend aviation photography spotting events in the cities of Ekaterinburg, Sochi, Novosibirsk, Vladivostok, Tomsk, Simferopol, Krasnoyarsk, Tyumen, Kaluga, St.Petersburg, Habarovsk, Kurgan and Ufa, located in various regions of the Russian Federation.