To see more of Lesha’s photos, follow @leshakurbatov on Instagram.
“Inspiration is whimsical,” says St. Petersburg’s Lesha Kurbatov (@leshakurbatov). “It is important for me to breathe freely, to love my wife, to cycle, to look around.” A magazine illustrator by day, Lesha never thought of himself as a professional photographer. “A camera requires full commitment,” he says. “But my phone is always with me. This way I almost always manage to catch a good scene instantly.” Some of his work, however, is quite deliberate. Lesha manipulates his photos by utilizing unexpected elements in his environment. “I was in the middle of apartment refurbishment, the room was covered in plastic sheeting, the sun was shining through and it was just amazing,” he says. “Ever since, I always keep a piece of plastic with me. If you press it against the camera, you get a blur effect.” This layering is essential to Lesha’s creative approach: “I want to rhyme the beauty, to transform it, rather than take it literally.”