Owing to the harsh climate and a perpetual snow cover, the higher Arctic Tundra regions are not fit for permanent human settlements. Vegetation is also sparse with a scattered growth of certain mosses, lichens, herbs, and small shrubs. Although the number of animals found in these areas is naturally very less, the wildlife here is quite diverse, in terms of the different kinds of animals found.
Ivan Kislov, a mining engineer by profession and a photographer by passion has a very intimate relationship with these animals which inhabit the otherwise inhospitable Chukotka region in north-east Russia. A resident of Magadan – a north-eastern port city – Kislov works long shifts at Chukotka. Yet, that is not all of what he does there. Climatic factors make his job a rather tough one, but Kislov is a passionate man who, during his break time, hikes to many different remote and inaccessible spots to satisfy his love for wildlife and photography.
On his many trips into the depths of the harsh, icy tundra wastelands, Kislov has discovered and immortalized vivid signs of life on these apparently barren and dead terrains. Against the backdrop of a vast empty terrain, the great variety of wildlife photographs which Kislov has captured on his trips exhibit the exquisite personalities and spirits, as well as the simultaneously affectionate, playful, mischievous and sometimes fierce behavior of his furry subjects.
Kislov regularly captures images of a rich variety of animals ranging from rabbits to reindeers to bears to even wolves. Yet, among the many animals, he interacts with, Kislov’s favorite subjects in the region are the stunning and elegant Arctic Foxes.
Among all others in the lot, the foxes are the most willing to pose for the artist. This is because of the fact that these animals possess an immense curiosity and are in fact very bold in their approach. The other animals found in the region are either very timid, running away pretty easily – like the rabbits or the squirrels – or they are too furious for Kislov to get near them – like the bears or the wolves.
Speaking to Bored Panda, Kislov has mentioned how, owing to their curiosity, the foxes are the only animals which are not afraid to come very close to him. This allows him to take good pictures of these animals with all sorts of variations like using wide angle lenses as well as the telephoto lenses. Moreover, they allow him the opportunity to picture them from all sorts of different angles. With the foxes, Kislov is able to capture all their different moods up close and this reflects in all his works on these animals.
For Kislov, photographing wildlife, especially the foxes, is a much-needed respite from his tough and exhausting job. In our lives, we all have a lot to learn from the details of Kislov’s story and the way he never let go of his passion.
In our times, mostly, the financial returns offered by any activity dominate over any other consideration. We either do whatever gives us money or try to get money for whatever we do. Kislov is one such rare person, who is pursuing his passion for the love of it and not solely because of the money he can earn by doing so.
Moreover, most of us usually let go of our passions with the excuse that we have other important things to do or that our work keeps us very busy. That has never been the case with Kislov. Not only is his job tough and time-consuming, the environment in which he has to work is also very hostile. Yet, amidst such harsh conditions, Kislov perseveres to witness and interact with the many signs of life and lush around him, hidden under the apparent void.
In life, when things seem apparently empty of anything desirable, there are always inevitable signs of happiness and fulfillment hidden within. We experience the goodness of life only as much as we are ready to strive for them. We have to constantly keep going out to find them hidden under what seems like a harsh emptiness and when found we ought to be ready to experience them, just like Ivan Kislov.
Image Credits: Bored Panda