Igor Shpilenok lives in the Bryansk Forest on the western border of Russia, not far from Ukraine and Belarus. He feels fortunate to have chosen Russia’s system of strict nature reserves and national parks as the focus of his photographic creativity. “We Russians can be proud of our protected areas’ system, one of the most significant in the world for biodiversity conservation,” says Igor. A system of 101 federal nature reserves and 35 national parks span the vast country from the Kursh Cape on the Baltic coast to the Commander Islands in the Pacific Ocean. The role of Russia’s protected areas for conserving biodiversity, furthering ecological research, and promoting environmental education cannot be overstated. Yet, what attracts Igor most is the boundless beauty of these pristine wilderness areas.
Igor is a fellow of the International League of Conservation Photographers and a winner of the 2006 BBC Wildlife Photographer Competition.
Igor’s work has been published in numerous international and Russian magazines, including Smithsonian, National Wildlife, Geo, and BBC Wildlife.
Type of photography: Russian wildlife and wilderness
Favorite Camera and Lens: Nikon D3
Favorite Tripod set: Gitzo
Awards: Wildlife Photographer of the year category winner (2006 and 2009)
Category winner of Golden Turtle Photography awards (Russian wildlife photograp)
Quote: Things are a lot more fragile and complex in nature than we imagine.
Publications: Kamchatka, Wilderness at the Edge; The Storks’ Nest: Life and Love in the Russian Countryside
Product Testimonial: Not only does Gitzo make great tripods that I use daily in my work, but the company has also demonstrated its commitment to caring about the fate of the planet by helping the WWE project to document Europe’s remaining wilderness.