A guide to the New East
Photography

Street view: a virtual tour across Russia by remote camera

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The idea for Yandex. Street Photographer came to Daniill Maksyokov on a Friday night, while he was surfing the internet at home. He was planning a trip to the countryside using Yandex.Maps, the Russian equivalent of Google Maps. “In Yandex.Maps there’s an analogue of Google Street View called Panoramas but it only has views of Russian cities and some former-Soviet countries rather than the whole world,” say Maksyokov. “What’s more, faces, labels, registration numbers of vehicles and other personal data are not blurred … As a result you have a complete sense of presence and can see everything from a fresh perspective.” Maksyokov began his virtual journey in Gorodets, a small town in the Nizhny Novgorod region, which he had visited a couple of times in his childhood. He quickly stumbled upon an interesting discovery. “I saw an amusing situation: three smiling boys on bikes near a typical country house,” he says. “I’m a big fan of street photography and found the scene fascinating. Plus the camera angle and viewpoint were so unusual. So I found it funny to think that a car with a camera had passed by these strangers and as a result I could now see their gestures and facial expressions. I instantly wanted to save this story.” Since then Maksyokov has used Panoramas on a daily basis to explore cities and villages across the country from the unique angle offered by street level cameras. His project stands alongside Jon Rafman's 9 eyes and The Camera in The Mirror, but with a distinctively Russian twist.

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