© Vitaliy Popkov, The Syngenta Photography Award 2013
"Energy Carriers" was taken in the Kirovograd region of Ukraine. The image depicts a woman treading through the snow with an armful of gathered brushwood that will help heat her home. This occurs against a background of high-power transmission lines. What I saw struck me, because Ukraine is a net exporter of electricity, and this area is powered by gas, but nevertheless, the energy resources are insufficient, or they are not available to the rural population. A dancing blizzard leant a special dramatic expressiveness to the photo, presenting it even more vividly.
Vitaliy Popkov was born in the Ukraine and has lived there all his life. Having worked in a variety of occupations in many different places, he has always remained committed to photography. When he 16 years old, Popkov witnessed what he describes as the mysterious ritual of photographic dark room development. He described this first encounter as real magic’. Since then Popkov has been enchanted by the art of photography.
Currently Popkov works as an art teacher at his own Photo Studio for Children, founded on the basis of the City Culture Center.
For the last few years Popkov has been greatly involved in many different photography based activities. He participated in more than 50 National and International Photography Contests and was awarded the National Society of Photo Artists of Ukraine (NSPAU) prize and with the International Federation of Photographic Art prize (FIAP).
On photography, Popkov says, ‘I can hardly imagine my life without photography now. It is more than a wonderful hobby; it has become an integral part of me.’