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Left field life in Leningrad. I live in Russia. I am not Russian. This is often amazing, but can also be difficult (especially when you have the vocabulary of a one year old) . My way of coping is walking the streets and taking photos. I photograph anything that takes my interest, but broadly my work can be categorised into black and white, industrial, street photography & soviet architecture. Oh, I take a lot of photos of Ladas too...

Dvor

If you visited St Pete and only stuck to the pavements and roads, you would be missing the best part of the city. Dvors are the open internal spaces formed between apartment blocks and are a treasure trove of photographic opportunity. They are entered from the street through wide arch-like tunnels that look slightly foreboding and can often be blocked by an electronic security gate. However, the majority are still open access, and as long as you have the confidence to walk right in and look as though you belong, what lies beyond can be jaw-droppingly wonderful. What you find depends on where you are. In the city centre, where dvors are usually small spaces that are enclosed by walls up to 5 floors high (big enough say for 7 or 8 residents to park their cars), the main discovery is usually graffiti or an abandoned car. While in the suburbs, where the spaces behind apartment blocks can be vast, you can find old Soviet playgrounds or old furniture or exciting walls or things that you could never have imagined existed. Practically every photo on this blog has been taken in a dvor somewhere in the city, and what makes them so exciting to me is not only the fact that they are hidden (usually just out of sight of main roads) but that you have no idea what you are going to find when you enter, and that makes every dvor an adventure.

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