John Jānis Šteins

:: Artist ::

Soviet Era Video Store Clerk

Here’s a photo taken with a Sigma DP2 and the amazing Foveon image capture chip. I try to do everything manually on this camera since it’s pretty bare bones anyway being the poor man’s answer to the Leica X1 rangefinder digital, but I’ll bet the DP2 takes better pictures.

This is my friend and local animator/filmmaker Kerry Barber doing night shift at the local video outlet. Out of the batch that I shot recently this one looked the best in terms of expression and composition but ended up being a bit too over exposed. I made an alpha channel using the blue information to composite this image resulting in a retro Soviet look that is reminiscent of the strange colour photography that was commonplace in Soviet Russia during the Cold War era. I hung the Lenin poster in the background so that “comrades” can feel patriotic to the Motherland when renting Hollywood videos and dvds.

Who knew they had video stores during Cold War Russia?

(Click on image for larger view)

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  1. Kath May 3, 2010

    This is great John! i was thinking the poster in the background really adds to it!! Such a simple photo made into something quite amazing!

  2. John Steins May 3, 2010 — Post author

    Thanks Kath, it’s kind of a strange mood isn’t it?

  3. florian boulais January 11, 2014

    Oh wow!!! That is such a shot. Do they have anything else than communist propaganda pornography?

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