The Beauty of Ukraine: landscapes that are even more poignant amid the Ukraine war

The Beauty of Ukraine landscape photography photo book
(Image credit: © Yevhen Samuchenko / teNeues)

A large-format coffee table book titled The Beauty of Ukraine from publishers teNeues will soon be released. The photobook will showcase the stunning beauty of numerous Ukrainian landscapes as captured by talented photographer, Yevhen Samuchenko, and narrated by author Lucia Bondar. 

The images featured in this book have a painting-like aesthetic and share with viewers the enormous variety and incredible beauty of Ukraine via spectacular landscape photographs with superb compositions.

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With a total surface area of around 600,000 square kilometers and a population of over 44 million people, Ukraine is situated in the heart of Europe and is almost twice as large as Germany. Photographer Yevhen Samuchenko shows us unique perspectives such as Lake Lemuria in southern Ukraine captured from the air – which are even more poignant given the current crisis the country is facing.

Book cover of The Beauty of Ukraine (Image credit: © Yevhen Samuchenko / teNeues)

Since February 24, 2022, Russia has been waging a war of aggression against the Ukraine, and sparked global outrage resulting in companies banning their sales and services in Russia to act as a deterrent and stance of solidarity with Ukraine. The entire world has since been offering support, medical and financial aid as well as refuge to citizens of the Ukraine, particularly those residing in its capital, Kyiv, hit hard by Russian troops. 

Born in Odessa, Ukraine, Samuchenko became interested in film and photography at 12 years old and today specializes in travel photography and aerial drone shots. The photographs by Samuchenko, presented for the very first time in The Beauty of Ukraine were captured between the years of 2017 and 2022, with some taken during the earlier period of the ongoing war. 

His work aims to show the fragile beauty of our planet and creates an opportunity for dialog through the interactions between man and nature. Samuchenko is said to be currently residing in an active war zone taking place in Ukraine.

(Image credit: © Yevhen Samuchenko / teNeues)

The pink color of Lake Lemuria makes it appear as a land-sea piece of fine art that could easily pass as an abstract painting. Photographer Yevhen Samuchenko transforms central Ukrainian quarries into abstract structural photography; using the uncompromising colors and elements of poppy and lavender fields to create an enchanting aesthetic masterpiece of different colors and shapes. 

Samuchenko uses his photographic talents to make a gorge near Kherson resemble a graphic amidst a rich green landscape, while his images captured of vast winter landscapes reveal Ukraine’s expansive and exquisite stillness.

Lucia Bondar is the author of the first Ukrainian series of design books, available from the Kyiv-based CP PUBLISHING, which she founded herself. Bondar was said to be in Western Europe with her children at the time of the war breaking out, and has been unable to return to Ukraine since as a result.

(Image credit: © Yevhen Samuchenko / teNeues)

This illustrated love letter from Samuchenko and Bondar to their homeland was created in these dark times to allows us to see the true beauty and vulnerability of the Ukraine, beyond the daily horrors and photographs of war that the media are obliged to present. 

A very welcome reminder of the country's delicacy and a distraction from current affairs make this photo book not only a stunning look into Ukrainian landscapes but offers reassurance that things will again return to this pleasant and calming state. 

Program Director of publishers teNeues Verlag, Berrit Barlet, has commented that “We think we should not merely, as American writer and publicist Susan Sontag puts it, ‘regard the pain of others.’ Especially now as war rages, we want to show Ukraine, a country many of us know little to nothing about, in all of its unique, breathtaking pre-war glory.”

(Image credit: © Yevhen Samuchenko / teNeues)

COO of teNeues Verlag, Stefanie Penck, adds that “By working with Yevhen Samuchenko and Lucia Bondar, we aren’t just helping people directly affected by this war of aggression". 

She continues, "As a globally active publishing house, The Beauty of Ukraine also gives us the opportunity to show the world that this country is so much more than the current images of war. We’re showing people something that is in danger of being lost forever because of this war: the culture.”

The Beauty of Ukraine will be available from September 2022 and priced at £39.95 ($48 / AU$69 approximately). The book will be hardcover with 192 pages, 132 color and b/w photographs, and text in English, German, and Ukrainian. 

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Beth Nicholls
Staff Writer

A staff writer for Digital Camera World, Beth has an extensive background in various elements of technology with five years of experience working as a tester and sales assistant for CeX. After completing a degree in Music Journalism, followed by obtaining a Master's degree in Photography awarded by the University of Brighton, she spends her time outside of DCW as a freelance photographer specialising in live music events and band press shots under the alias 'bethshootsbands'.