'Impossible' Project Interviews,  INTERVIEWS,  News

‘Impossible’ Interview With Agafia Polynchuk

We’re delighted to be working closer with The Impossible Project team as we continue to branch out and expand our reach with all things related to mobile photography. Analog post-processing of mobile images is becoming more and more popular and we’re going to make sure our readers are fully briefed on this very exciting development.

The Impossible Project is in many ways leading the way, but there is also a growing community of mobile artists and photographers experimenting with other analog post processing techniques in an attempt to make their mobile images stand out even more, in galleries, magazines and the like and we have viewed some outstanding images and techniques.

A good deal of my formal photographic training (many years ago) was spent in a huge college darkroom and it is an area that I’ve always enjoyed, I think you will too. I also had a very close working relationship with Polaroid built up through my years as Technical Editor for various UK photography print magazines/titles.

Today we are publishing the fourth of a series of ‘Impossible’ articles, this time with Agafia Polynchuk. Agafia is originally from St.Petersburg, in Russia, but has been living in Berlin, with her husband and a hedgehog named Helmut, for about three years. “Photography is not my job,” she says. “It is my life.”

This is an interview that was conducted by the team at Impossible and they have given us kind permission to republish it here. We think you will enjoy this very much…

Agafia Polynchuk


©Agafia Polynchuk

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How long have you been shooting Polaroid/Impossible film?

I started to photograph with my SX70 Polaroid in 2010. I used my very first Impossible films this year.

What cameras do you use?

My beloved main camera is a Polaroid Land camera SX-70. Also I have a pinhole camera that I made from an old. broken EE-100 Land camera. It works with Type 100 packfilms.


‘Helmut’ ©Agafia Polynchuk


Where do you shoot most often?

Mostly I shoot at home. Unfortunately there are some light leaks in my SX-70 camera that make it impossible to use outside. I shoot both b&w PX600 films and color PX680 (with ND-filter).

How would you describe your work?

I visualize my thoughts, feelings and memories through self-portraits. Sometimes I make still-lifes. I love magic, fairy-tales, which you can see in my photographs. I’m inspired by nature, classical works and everyday things.


‘Madame Cheval de Pomme’ – ©Agafia Polynchuk

Tell us a little about the four works you have chosen as your favourites?

I’ve chosen very personal Polaroids. Helmut the Hedgehog and his apple. My husband’s hands, on the day he was bitten by a bee. A self-portrait with Madame Cheval de Pomme, a little white horse with black dots, my very good friend. And finally a self-portrait with Polaroid lifts – I shot and lifted 50 Polaroids for the special limited edition of my book, some are colorized, some not.

Do you have any helpful creative techniques or advice you would like to share?

My very own technique is to colorize b&w Polaroids. But there are absolutely no secrets. I make a picture with PX600 film, lift it and then I take watercolors and aquarell-pencils and colorize it. I call it the new level of children’s coloring books. Practice makes perfect.


‘Self Portrait with Polaroid lifts’ – ©Agafia Polynchuk

Do you have any upcoming exhibitions/publications?
I’m very happy to tell you, that very soon, in March, my very first book comes out! It’s a big experience for me and I’m very excited about it. It can be pre-ordered now on the publisher’s website

Who are your favourite photographers, living or dead?

There’s so many photographers, I appreciate: Lauren E. Simonutti, Boris Smelov, Russell Joslin, Joseph-Philippe Bevillard, Jacqueline Roberts…


‘A bee sting’ – ©Agafia Polynchuk


What are you hoping for from Impossible during the next year?

I hope, some day, you’ll reduce the developing time of color films from 40 to four minutes. The longer time makes it really hard to shoot self-portraits. When I see the result and want to change something or I need to correct L/D control, then very often it’s too late. The light is gone.

Joanne Carter, creator of the world’s most popular mobile photography and art website— TheAppWhisperer.com— TheAppWhisperer platform has been a pivotal cyberspace for mobile artists of all abilities to learn about, to explore, to celebrate and to share mobile artworks. Joanne’s compassion, inclusivity, and humility are hallmarks in all that she does, and is particularly evident in the platform she has built. In her words, “We all have the potential to remove ourselves from the centre of any circle and to expand a sphere of compassion outward; to include everyone interested in mobile art, ensuring every artist is within reach”, she has said. Promotion of mobile artists and the art form as a primary medium in today’s art world, has become her life’s focus. She has presented lectures bolstering mobile artists and their art from as far away as the Museum of Art in Seoul, South Korea to closer to her home in the UK at Focus on Imaging. Her experience as a jurist for mobile art competitions includes: Portugal, Canada, US, S Korea, UK and Italy. And her travels pioneering the breadth of mobile art includes key events in: Frankfurt, Naples, Amalfi Coast, Paris, Brazil, London. Pioneering the world’s first mobile art online gallery - TheAppWhispererPrintSales.com has extended her reach even further, shipping from London, UK to clients in the US, Europe and The Far East to a global group of collectors looking for exclusive art to hang in their homes and offices. The online gallery specialises in prints for discerning collectors of unique, previously unseen signed limited edition art. Her journey towards becoming The App Whisperer, includes (but is not limited to) working for a paparazzi photo agency for several years and as a deputy editor for a photo print magazine. Her own freelance photographic journalistic work is also widely acclaimed. She has been published extensively both within the UK and the US in national and international titles. These include The Times, The Sunday Times, The Guardian, Popular Photography & Imaging, dpreview, NikonPro, Which? and more recently with the BBC as a Contributor, Columnist at Vogue Italia and Contributing Editor at LensCulture. Her professional photography has also been widely exhibited throughout Europe, including Italy, Portugal and the UK. She is currently writing several books, all related to mobile art and is always open to requests for new commissions for either writing or photography projects or a combination of both. Please contact her at: joanne@theappwhisperer.com