In the early days, photographic images were sometimes called “waking dreams.” There seemed to be a certain magic involved, and some even believed the camera to be capable of capturing the soul of the subject. When photography became more commonplace, people came to regard photography as an accurate depiction of reality, with special appreciation for technically perfect pictures, “just like real.”

But in real life things are rarely still and perfectly arranged, and our visual experience is rarely as focused and precise as a “perfect” photograph might suggest. A moving object, bad weather, poor lighting or obstructed view can be a challenge or an opportunity to bring the magic back. Creating mysterious dreamlike images that do not necessarily reflect objective reality, whether by intent or by a lucky accident in the process, has become a special interest of mine. In these vague images, I endeavor to capture fleeting moments, barely visible, ambiguous or disappearing things, gradually descending into oblivion.

- Sonia Melnikova-Raich

I was born and grew up in Moscow, in the former USSR. There I was trained and worked as an artist and architect. Later in life, when I already lived in San Francisco, I turned to photography, but schooling in painting and architecture remains present in my work. I exhibit locally and nationally and have been a winner in many art and photography juried exhibits. I have had several solo shows and some of my photographs have been featured in professional art and photography magazines.

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