After a small creative break (meaning that I was working and had less time for the photoblog), I am back with a new post and a new category of black and white photos. It’s of course not the first time I’m posting b&w photos, but I’m planning to do so even more often in the future and thus decided to create a designated category. Anyway, without further digressions I present you Victoria. She just turned 18 years old and is still in high school studying many different languages among other things. It took about an hour in my favorite abandoned hotel in the outskirts of Sofia to create these photos and I hope you like them.
In my quest for posting all my old half-forgotten photos from last year, here comes a short photo series with Hrisi that we made in one of the main parks in Sofia last April. The goal of the photoshoot was to somehow combine a more provocative look with posing in the park among plenty of random people. And as always, you’ll be the judges if we managed to succeed or not and whether my idea of presenting only black and white versions is a good one.
Recently I was in Paris for work and one evening had the chance to visit Palais de Tokyo, one of the major modern and contemporary art musea in the centre of Paris. Of course, just like in all other contemporary art spaces, the exhibitions can be fairly abstract and might not appeal to everyone. The particular exhibition I was lucky to catch (as I really enjoyed it very much) was called ON AIR by the Argentinian Tomas Saraceno. The main theme was interconnectedness and it was explored by a series of installations that included plenty of real spider webs, as well as interactive rooms where people could touch various objects (e.g. the photo on top) and thus actively participate in the creation of the pieces of art. Unlike usual, I won’t be describing in detail my photos in the captions in order to keep a bit of mystery (deliberately increased by my black and white choice for all the photos). I instead urge everyone interested to have a look at the official webpage, https://www.palaisdetokyo.com/en/event/carte-blanche-tomas-saraceno, or even better just go visit the place.
But before letting you explore the pictures, I have a quickquestion: while collecting the photos I realized that a recurring theme in my shots is how people watch and interact with art. So I’m wondering if it would be interesting for you to see a dedicated post where I make a short collection of shots with real people observing art pieces? Let me know, and enjoy the rest of the photos!
In the spirit of flashbacks from old photo shoots, I decided to also show you some 2016 photos from a summer bike ride in one of the parks in Sofia (yes, South park is the official name, ages before the animated sitcom was created) with Eli. She already showed up with her twin sister Nadya in a post earlier this year (https://kirilson.com/2017/03/13/eli-nadya/), but this time it was just Eli alone. Our park bike ride took place earlier, but Eli was always shy about showing her photos and didn’t want me posting them so far. I guess now she gained a little more confidence in herself and realized the photos are actually not that bad, but this is of course ultimately left for anyone’s own opinion.
After some thought on how to design it logistically, I managed to convert my apartment into a sort of amateur photo studio with the help of a piece of wire used for hanging clothes, a large bed sheet and a few fluorescent lamps. So this post marks my first (and hopefully not last) series of home-made studio photos. It is also the first post in which I decided to include only black and white photos (with the obvious exception of the picture on top) following the suggestions of several of you.
As you already read the title my first models in my new home studio were Eli and Nadya, but probably you didn’t immediately realize they are actually twin sisters. Eli has straight hair and is the more outspoken, while Nadya has curly hair and is the shy twin. So it shouldn’t be a surprise that most of the photos you’ll see are with Eli only. Here they come.
Last week in Sofia took place the “Garanti Koza” Sofia Open tennis tournament, part of the ATP World Tour in the professional men’s tennis. It was a major sport event in Sofia and Bulgaria as a whole, largely due to a single person: Grigor Dimitrov. In recent years he is one of the top tennis players, and in the last few months he’s been in the form of his life. So the atmosphere in the Arena “Armeec” sports hall was really fantastic, everyone cheering Dimitrov loudly in anticipation of his victory. And they were very much not disappointed. I am a great fan of tennis myself so I had bought tickets for the semifinals and the final game many months in advance. And of course I just couldn’t miss the opportunity to take some amateur shots from the stands, which you can see below together with my commentary about the unfolding action.
After two weeks of hibernation in the freezing Bulgarian winter it is finally time for a new post. And for a change the photo-focus in this post will be actually on a male model, Arti (Artiom). His girlfriend, Markha, wanted to have a photoshoot of both of them in a fancy hotel room in Sofia. The secret extra mission I had was to mostly focus my attention on Arti as Markha wanted to make him a birthday present by selecting her preferred photo and converting it to a nice painting. So I tried to not only take group photos of the two of them but also make Arti pose for some photos solo. I was greatly helped by my assistant in this photoshoot, Katia, who had lots of nice and fun ideas about the positioning of the objects and models.
The room Markha decided to hire for the photoshoot was in the most iconic hotel in Sofia, presently known as Sofia Hotel Balkan. It was built in the socialist period of the country and was by far the most fancy hotel in Bulgaria back in the day, hosting all the official guests of the state. It is of course right in the centre of Sofia, just next to the houses of the parliament and the prime minister and president. And the view is towards the St. Nedelya square and the old orthodox church with the same name.
And even if the hotel room was (understandably) slightly outdated for the present day standards, I think it still provided the classy look we were going after as a background for the photos which I decided to show you interchangeably in color and in black and white.
Now that I mentioned Russia, I have to tell you more about the very interesting story of Arti and Markha. They are both of Russian origin, but were actually raised and live in Bulgaria. Artiom was raised in Burgas, while Markha in Varna – the two main seaside cities in Bulgaria. Eventually they both came to live Sofia, where Arti is pursuing a career in the show business. He is actually somewhat famous already as he participated very successfully in the Bulgarian version of the X factor show (which I have to admit I only learned afterwards) – for example you can see his first performance on the show (in Bulgarian): (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uQNsE1znfdQ). And apart from his musical talent Arti clearly has the looks of a model so he was an equal match to Markha who has already posed for quite a few photographers in Bulgaria on various occasions. So now that you know their story, I hope you’ll enjoy the rest of our photoshoot.
This short post brings me back to the summer of 2015 on a scorching hot July afternoon in Torino. That was still in the first months of my photography passion and I was experimenting with various camera settings and photoshop filters and in retrospect I am quite happy how this photo came out. Together with the Chorus of the Slaves from Nabucco that I specifically chose, piazza San Carlo – one of the main squares in Torino – is a living memory of the Italian “Risorgimento”: the period in the mid 19th century that saw big changes and “revival” in the population eventually leading to the unification of Italy. As you might have noticed also my blog is enjoying a revival with its new facelift (a.k.a. WordPress theme) so I decided it’s a good moment to combine it with this photo. I hope you like both!