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30 A glimpse on Dina Belenko and her Still Life Photography and Food Photography


Dina Belenko was always keen in photography right from the high school graduation. She was not passionate about photography, it was a mere hobby. She began shooting her friends portraits,
landscapes, flowers, and anything that she saw. She tried all the genres in photography and like the shutter sound.

With some time passing, she unknowingly took photography seriously and started to plan shoots, drew sketches and began paying attention to small details. She started loving it and realized that she likes creating her tales and the simplest way is to take control over the objects you shoot. She understood still life photography is the spot she could come with as her profession.

Dina says the narrative opportunities in still life photography are in large amounts. Each object has an inside story. In everything, there is a human presence and some are invisible. She likes to capture the portrait of a dreamer, an adventurer, or someone over a coffee lover, no matter, what is his or her age, name or occupation is. She thinks she can do it with still life better.

She focuses on finding her passion and not any style. She says she gets quickly bored and cannot do in a row more than 5 pictures. She shoots something new, and this impatience makes her see interesting things around and to come with creativity.

Dina Belenko narrates stories with mundane objects bringing them alive. Her work is playful and colorful. Her photographs are edited creatively and she is a talented visual narrator. She likes sugar cubes, paper cities, and moon made using polymer clay, broken cups, dolls miniatures, repainted puzzles, cardboard dragons, wire trees, and spilled coffee.

She enjoys still life and still life photography, besides loves animation of any kind, Japanese to Western. Everything brings a great joy to her. She is a fan of Gravity Falls show. She says her childhood memories are the books, TV shows, and video games. The Lord of the Rings mesmerized her; she also liked the Fairies and Elves, Dragons, Magical Beasts and most videos and shows that have spellbinding artwork. It was the time in the 90’s in her town, no one had access to internet, books were introduced to art, and these books were treasures.

She confirms she is not an observer, but always liked capturing reality as it appears. She does not use photography as some memory tool. She translated stories of inanimate things and conveyed to human language.

She tells her work process begins with:

  • The idea is the first step and she used it to make a sketch, finding motivation in the scene with each object. Inventing a coherent story with each photo and capturing a point.
  • The next is the props and she says it takes few hours to days depending on her subject.
  • Shooting involves setting lights and making a shot. For her, if items are ready she can make a composition, and if not it may go from 1 to 4 hours.
  • Post-processing work requires 2 hours to process and convert her image. She used Photoshop to make something simple.
    She uses Nikon D800, has a nice tripod, 500mm lens, a large Wescott’s 43” Apollo Orb softbox,
    spare batteries for flash and camera, a reflector, and two speedlights SB-910. She uses
    Lightroom and Adobe Photoshop. She never steps out without a double-sided tape, tweezers a
    pair, stationery clips, cotton swabs, and masking tape. She believes they are the lifesavers for her working style.

She is working on a Book project and it is about outer space, coffee, chocolate cookies, cupcakes, interstellar flight dreams, and aliens meeting. She believes in still life photography and believes food and science are perfect combination as themes. Cooking is like alchemy for people who do not cook and alchemy has chemistry that is magical and fantastic, making it close. Enjoy Dina, a sparkling personality and learn about her.

Dina Belenko Photography

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