Again and again, Russian nature photographer Igor Shpilenok felt the pull of Kalmykia's wide-open steppe. Few other places in Russia have this hold on him.
For five years running, as each spring drew near, Shpilenok packed his truck and headed south toward Kalmykia from his home in the Bryansk Forest. His photographic mission was twofold: to capture the saiga antelope giving birth to their young and to photograph the steppe in bloom with thousands of wild tulips.
After several spring expeditions, Shpilenok finally photographed the rare saiga antelope and their young (see Russian Life, Sep/Oct 2003). The wild tulips, however, continued to elude him.
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Russian Life is a 29-year-young, award-winning publishing house that creates a bimonthly magazine, books, maps, and other products for Russophiles the world over.
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