Our Friends to the East

COLUMBIA, Mo. – Jan Brykczynski’s collection of photos in “Boiko” were taken in Karpatskye, Ukraine. The images closely follow the village in Karpatskye with their culture, customs and every day life.

Brykczynski says that since he grew up in a big city, he was attracted to small cities, which leads him to photograph in the smaller cities. His collections are seen here. His works have been published in New York Times International, Der Siegel and Le Monde. Meet him here.


This is the first picture that caught my attention. It tells a story even when the subjects are posing. The pig shows the action of hunting without showing a freeze frame of the actual action. The lines of the river bring your attention to the central part. The subjects are in the rules of thirds. The males are not completely in the rules of third, but they are enough to be off-centered. There is a large depth of field that shows the creek and housing. It is hard to tell the shutter speed since the subjects are still; however, it can be implied that the speed is fast due to the cat looking as if it is moving but shows no visible movement like it would with a slower shutter speed.


The first two things I noticed about this shot was the colors and the use of light. It seems as if this house had a lot of windows because it is very lit. This must have presented a challenge for Brykczynski. There is a window behind the man in this photo, but the photo was set up and aligned to where his body covers any bad light that may shine through. The exposure is quite bright, but again it comes back to the lighting of the windows. Secondly, the table that surrounds the couple acts like a frame and also lines them.

Here are a few other photos I thoroughly enjoyed.


While this last one can be seen to have a shallow depth of field, I believe the purpose of having a shallow depth of field worked here. It shows the lifestyle of this man. The man is also slightly to the left, not perfectly centered. Rules of third are not correctly followed, but I do believe it works with the way the white background creates a rectangle. The stove would be covered up if he shifted left or his body would be cut off to the right. He also is in action with holding the rabbit and the cigarette. The shutter speed had to be fast because the bunny is not blurred in any sense. The man is also making a nice facial expression that helps form the picture.

Brykczynski’s personal decision to focus on one subject per photo is expressed through his use of depth of field, lines, exposure and framing.


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