Hello, guys!

This is Phoenix with you today, I would like to introduce you with the new project that was launched a week ago – “The Citizen of the World”.

As mentioned, we will publish the interviews of the most vivid and inspiring users of MAPALA.net (blockchain start-up).

The first guest was really nice and agreed for an interview with me was… (a drum roll).. – SHARKER!

You will be also excited (as me) to discover the ‘true’ story of the most post popular ‘blogger’ of Mapala.net. Get some snacks, sit back & enjoy reading! :)

Phoenix Good afternoon, Denis! Thank you so much for accepting our invitation. When we started this The World Citizen project, you were the first invitee who came to our minds. It’s very well known that your are the most popular author/blogger not only in Golos but also in Mapala. For those users who are not aware of you yet, could you briefly tell about yourself - who are you, where are you from, what are you up to.

@sharker Hello! I am Denis Uliankin, I was I was born in the capital of Adygea – Maykop city. Back in Soviet times, I was roaming around; in childhood times, I lived sometime in Uzbekistan, then moved back to Adygea. As for now I settled down in Moscow (capital of our motherland). I am a designer, working with outdoor advertising for about 12 years. In my free time, I am traveling the world as much as possible.

Phoenix Denis, can you share about your unique account name- “Sharker”, please?

@sharker In childhood, I got the amazing sharks photo album, I guess I was really impressed by them so in the moment of choosing the account name – I chose “Shark”, however, in our fast pace world, this account name was already existing, and I just added the last “er” similar to Starcraft game’s character – Lurker. So, this is how the “sharker’ was created. I got used to this account name and never have thought on changing it. But once, at one finance forum I got the letter where someone was calling me a speculator and they were hoping that this is how my nickname is translated. The funny fact is that, in Russian it means an “illicit dealer” or a “trader”. And I think it is exactly the right nickname for the financial forum (laughing), so let it be so far.

Phoenix When I was reading your background story, you mentioned that during your advertising campaign for “Moscow City Advertising” you have got involved into photography. Ypu also added that you used to have an old "Olympus" camera, and a little earlier – the "Smena" camera. So I think every single Mapala.net user will be interested to know what kind of camera are you using right now and what is the reason behind?

@sharker Some of my photos are shot on the Canon 5d mark2 since I did not have my own lenses other than the cheap Canon 50 / 1.8, and the camera is not so light – so it was already sold. Currently, I'm not having my own camera yet - I am using the corporate one - the Olympus OM-D E-M5, two fixes of the lens - Olympus Zuiko 45 / 1.8, Olympus Zuiko 12 / 2.0 and Olympus 40-150mm F4.0-5.6 ED.

What about an old “Smena” camera, only two films were shot, this cannot be even considered (laughs).

Phoenix Last year you visited Himalayas in India, surely it left a strong impression on you. At the same time you tried a paragliding. For me personally, this is something incredible, I can admit - I do have a phobia of heights (laughs). Can you tell us about your feelings? Overall about your trip and about that flight, in particular.

@sharker To be honest, I also have a fear of heights but I am regularly trying to overcome it, and it’s happening quite successfully. From my early childhood, I was jumping from high altitudes,for example, from such waterfalls as “Shurok” in Adygea ..

Phoenix That's unbelievable!

@sharker Yeah, later I have tried a skydiving. The landing was not very successful though - but I decided to try it again. And in the Himalayas, I got into the Bir village, which is a favorite spot of paragliders for the powerful warm vertical air streams that raise the paraglider. This allows you to fly literally for hours. Some people fly for 150 km a day without landing. So in Bir, we met Oksana Chekulayeva – a two-time freeride champion, who also enjoys paragliding. With no doubt, she had brought her own paraglider, and at that moment I realized that I wanted to try it too.

Phoenix Denis, as far as I know, you were self-learning the art of photography . I think for many Mapala.net users this will be a discovery of a new side of you since your photos leave a deep impression. Personally, I started to ‘follow’ you when I firstly encountered with the articles about Olkhon Island trip. It has absolutely fantastic views ... Can you share with us how difficult it was for you to start photography self-learning from the scratch? And what would you advise for those who are just starting to do it?


It is very difficult. It was the time when there was a scarcity of photographers, who could contribute. But at the same time there is the Internet and you have to think for yourself. The most important thing is the practice. I photographed a lot, and now after each trip, I am taking many of different photos; The current technology allows you to do it cost effectively, and you do not have to purchase many ‘films’ for that. What to advise? It is important to shoot endlessly, do not be afraid to wake up early in the morning - Sleep less, move more. From my own experience, the most beautiful shots are the dawn and the sunset. Usually people sleep at this time, but you have to be awake and shoot (laughs). It is essential to read a lot, there are so many books written by famous photographers – all what you need to do it’s to try to repeat.

A very important thing for photography is a tripod. Yes, sometimes it is inconvenient to hang around with it, but it allows you calmly (with no hesitation) to fully get the notion of the shot (of the image), it also allows you to do it correctly, in order to avoid the perspective distortion. You can make two photos – the first one of the clear sky, another one of a nice architecture, and then to combine them both.


As for our project, we are aiming to discover the person from the different sides, not only just as a traveler and photographer. I'm sure that users will be interested in learning about other aspects of your activities. About two years ago, you joined a “Search Group/Community” that is looking for the remains of The Second World War missing heroes. I also read that recently you were donating blood already 10th time.

Those facts clearly state that you are the person who is willing to “give”. Could you tell us, what has inspired you to do such things?

@sharker I was not very interested in the war topic before…until the moment I have not been at those battlefields with a man who was really into this topic. Then I allowed myself to experience those feelings: when you walk through the woods where the battle took place, and until now the remains of deceased could be found… it's creepy ... and it's bitter that they are still lying there. Therefore, when the life brought me to the right people, I realized that I truly want to participate in it. For instance, in May 2016 in the area of Ugra where the “IL-2” plane crash happened, and subsequently the remains of the pilot-stormtrooper Mr. Sergeant Yevgeny Filippov were found. The remains were sent to relatives and buried, and “IL-2” became a monument.

And regarding the donation - I have a very rare blood type, (O negative), it can work in favor for all people with all blood types. You can donate every two months, which I try to do on a regular basis.


Unfortunately, Mapala.net users did not have the opportunity to check your design works. While I was preparing for this interview, I carefully studied not only your portfolio and your travel stories but also your design works, in particular, "Vector" line, the T-shirts depicting wild animals. A Very fascinating art! Can you tell me, is this just a hobby?

@sharker In general, yes, this is a hobby. I hope that one day it will bring some revenue (laughs). Currently those art-images are being sold at photo-stocks, I hope we will produce the real T-shirts soon.

Phoenix Thank you for sharing it with us. Could you let us know about your future plans? Any travel plans? Any new photos of the new destinations are coming out soon?

@sharker I will be happy to share the Lake Baikal Winter photos with you soon (laughs). I have been to Kamchatka this autumn; therefore, you will be seeing more interesting shots from there too. For example, there was an ‘hiking’ to the three extinct volcanoes at Kamchatka, an experience of the Pacific Ocean, a meeting with a real bear, and so on ...

Phoenix (delightfully) Uh, that's great! ..

@sharker Yes ... But then I would still like to write about the Himalayas. I have already started to do this, but I have not finished it yet, I do not have enough time though. We had a pretty long itinerary, I think the story will turn out to be exciting. Europeans are rarely visiting those remoted places. In addition, in June we are planning the hiking to Fishcht Mount in the Caucasus, this is 2800 m above the sea level. And a hitchhiking trip is planned for Iceland in August.

Phoenix Have you ever planned to climb Elbrus? .. and Kilimanjaro ...

@sharker Yes, but at the moment the plans have changed to Iceland.

The rest plans will probably be moved to 2018, however, in 2018 there are plans to visit Nepal ... to pass around Anapurna.

Literally yesterday I was at the Roerich exhibition, I really love this artist ... and again it took me back to the Himalayas, I realized that I missed those places.

Phoenix I'm sure that Iceland also has a lot of interesting spots for the shots (laughs).

At the conclusion, I would like to ask you a question about our project. As you know, mapala.net is a young promising start-up, and its’ goal is to unite worldwide travelers into one large family, and create favorable conditions for a comfortable travel and mutual support during the trips. What would you recommend to our project in terms of development?

@sharker I really believe in this project. I really want many people to start traveling.

One of the main purposes I am doing the photography is - I want people to get out from their couches and go & travel to see the real world. The more people start traveling, the better world is going to be! Undoubtedly, Mapala will greatly contribute into it. Mapala unites people not just to earn money for their photos, but it unites for the mutual support... you help one individual, the other helps you back. And this mutual support will help us to make a step forward.

Phoenix Well, I would like to express my gratitude on behalf of the entire Mapala team, from the editorial board of the Mapala blog and on my own behalf, for agreeing to be a pioneer in our new endeavor. I wish you a fascinating journey, we are looking forward to your new reports and stunning photos ... I do not even know how to say ... they are really fantastic.

@sharker Thank you, very glad to get acquainted. Success and prosperity to Mapala! Good bye!

Phoenix Thank you, goodbye!

This is what we call The World Citizen - Denis Ulyankin aka Sharker!

I hope you enjoyed the interview, friends!

Write your comments, whoever you would like to read the next - after Denis in our next releases.

Until next time!

Sincerely yours Phoenix