Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Communist Cinderella

After being influenced by the inspirational photography of Annie Liebovitz, I decided that I wanted to take a stab at a concept that I had been thinking about for quite some time.  Living in Bulgaria has provided me access to an amazing group of people and monuments that are scattered around the country.  After interacting with many Bulgarians it is clear that they are struggling to leave their past behind and embrace a more democratic future. This has proven very difficult, with a corrupt government stubbornly occupying the country for many years.  The Bulgarian people are strong though.  They are fighting to free themselves from the legacy of dirty money and corruption that has gripped the country since the days of communism.  You need to go no further than the parliament buildings in downtown Sofia to witness this David and Goliath-like battle.

The current struggle of Bulgarians inspired this most recent photoshoot.  After seeing Annie Leibovitz's Cinderalla I came up with the concept of a communist Cinderella trying to escape the throws of post-communist corruption in Bulgaria.  I shot these images at The Bell Tower, in Sofia, Bulgaria and used Photoshop to merge multiple images together to create the effect that you see below.

I created all of these images in a very similar way.  I started by taking a photo with large softbox directly beside the model in an attempt to mimic the natural light.  I took one exposure with the softbox in place and then asked the model to pick up the softbox and walk out of the scene.  I then took a second exposure without the softbox and model.  Afterwards, I used Photoshop to blend the two images, first aligning them and then masking the softbox out of the scene.  After a little more dodging and burning along with some color adjustments, I arrived at the images you seen in this post.  I would be happy to provide lighting diagrams if they are of interest to anyone.  Thanks for reading and enjoy!