Russian artist Anatoly Sokolov is a photographer who creates stunning and dramatic scenes of stark, lonely landscapes. This series, entitled Fairy Forest, is a collection of moments captured in the extreme cold along the Karelian Isthmus, a wide stretch of land in northwestern Russia. By focusing on isolated trees and houses, and excluding people from his images, Sokolov creates ominous, captivating moments of isolation. His extreme lighting and sharp contrast give each natural, wintery spot a dreamy and mythical appearance.
To get these effects, he says he depends on “special lighting and a special state of the atmosphere at a particular time,” as well as some post-processing, Photoshop, and what Sokolov calls “computer tricks.” It's quite easy to get swept away by each breathtaking photograph. The contrived environments create feelings of uncertainty and unpredictability, where dramatic scenarios could potentially unfold at any moment and lead to magical adventures. There is an eerie sense of wonder about what will happen next in Sokolov's scenarios and he leaves much to the imagination where viewers can invent all kinds of imagined stories, with no boundaries and with no rules.