A wide shot of a rising moon, a macro close-up of an icy branch and flames dancing in the darkness are a small taste of the photos in a large collection of personal photography by Russian President Dmitry Medvedev the Kremlin has posted online.
Releasing photos of presidents, prime ministers and kings during their personal time is a practice long used to make a country feel closer to their leader. The White House updates its Flickr feed regularly with pictures of President Barack Obama with his family or playing basketball with his staff. Shots of Russia's bare-chested Prime Minister Vladimir Putin riding a horse on vacation this summer went viral, helping cultivate his tough guy persona.
But Medvedev is taking the behind-the-scenes philosophy a step farther, turning the camera around and sharing the results of his hobby with Russians as part of a larger effort by the Kremlin to make him appear open and accessible.
The "personal photography" albums are divided into Summer, Winter, inside Russia and abroad. Rolling landscapes, aerial views and walks in the forest are a central theme.