This is Novosibirsk, my hometown, capital of Siberia.
The Chapel of St. Nicholas, originally built in 1915 to commemorate 300 years of Romanov rule, destroyed in 1930 and rebuilt in 1993, gleams in the middle of the photograph. The plaque on it said: "This is the exact geographical center of Soviet Union." I always wondered how exactly they measured that. To me, as a kid, this had seemed like the center of the known world, the axis of intersections of trans-Siberian railways extending across Ural mountains to Kamchatka.
I returned to Novosibirsk during my Siberian trip in summer of 2007, to shoot this image during a thunderstorm, from the inside of a car standing in traffic. If you're wondering- the sign on the building literally translates to: "Russ-government-fear", it's basically a humongous insurance company. I find the name rather inspiring and amusing either way.
This place, where I had lived for 9 years, had inspired my dreams and many of my paintings, as cloudscapes tend to be quite beautiful in Siberia. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The sky is dark thanks to HDR photography- 1 over-exposed shot for ground and 2 separate underexposed shots for sky combined into one image.