Where there is no law, but every man does what is right in his own eyes, there is the least of real liberty
Henry M. Robert

“I’ve been photographing ‘Swan Lake’ for 19 years”

Rivne-based photographer Oleksandr Kharvat on a lake that does not freeze even in the hardest frosts and on its inhabitants
6 March, 2018 - 11:02

Oleksandr KHARVAT is a well-known Rivne photographer and author of art projects that have become a tradition and an internationally-recognizable brand. He is a noted traveler who has photographed in many exotic nooks of the world. Meanwhile, in Rivne oblast, too, there are places Kharvat has been photographing for years. One of them is “Swan Lake” near the village of Lidavo, Zdolbuniv raion. This is the way the author of pictures calls it. He is sure the lake can be considered unique, for it does not freeze even in the hardest frosts. This is why swans gather here year by year. Kharvat had been photographing this lake for 19 years on end.

“You can see this place if you drive on the Rivne-Ostroh highway, before the turn to the village of Lidavo. I’ve been coming here for many years to see how the swans live. I have a lot of pictures of this landscape that I took in various seasons. To tell the truth, these beautiful creatures usually don’t occur here in the summer. Winter is a different thing. Interestingly, this lake doesn’t freeze even in severe frosts because of thermal springs. That’s why swans fly here. And local residents feed them up.

Every time I go there I take a loaf or two of bread for these birds. Yet, apparently, there have also been some ugly incidents, when somebody tried to harm the swans. I can’t even imagine that this can be done,” Kharvat says. “I took these pictures when I was going to attend the opening of an exhibit at the Ostroh Academy. When I posted them in Facebook, many users began to ask where this place is. As a matter of fact, we often do not notice beauty around us and do not turn our heads in the right direction. I am perhaps more attentive to such things because I photograph. In general, I first photographed ‘Swan Lake’ back in 1999, still using a film. I managed then to photograph the sunset. And it was rather cloudy yesterday. You can notice this on the pictures. But shots taken under various conditions may be of interest. Swans winter here every year. Maybe, a dynasty of birds has chosen this lake.”

By Tetiana ILNYTSKA, Rivne