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A photo shoot in VDNKh

Updated: Feb 23, 2020

This weekend I decided to produce some works in ВДНХ (VDNKh), an area located in the northern region of Moscow. This spot of Moscow is mostly remembered because of the Cosmonaut Center (Музей Космонавтики), a museum opened here in the beginning of the 80's that shows in general the history of space science in Russia and consequentially the remarkable journey of Yuri Gagarin around the Earth in his spacecraft. It's a very beautiful area, specially now during autumn.

I'd been thinking on creating some images, featuring models and traces of Moscow and VDNKh came to mind. To come here you need to reach the metro station also named after the area. The way to the park on which I shot the pictures is right next to the metro exit. The first noticeable attraction once out of the tunnel is the Cosmonaut Alley, a monument at the center of the park that symbolizes the success of Yuri Gagarin in the space. It's impressively high and honestly I loved using it as an element in some of the shots.

Coming closer to the monument you get a better sight of the city all around. Some other important buildings of Moscow are visible from here such as Ostankino Teleradio Tower. Looking carefully at the details of the memorial object you can see the typical sculpting style used also in other statues all over the city. It is a clear reminder of the Soviet pride for having achieved such technological advance.

It was a pleasant and challenging experience to create a work using such this idea. I invited a friend of mine that I've met here recently to help me out with it. She's been a very helpful model. I've tried to create a contrast between her presence and the traces of this place. The wind was blowing a bit and every time we would need her hair to stay in a certain way, I'd need to be quick in shooting. The posing was purely thought out. For every shot I swear that I stopped and checked in my own mind how it would look best and that was quite fun, specially for my friend. I didn't use any flash, only daylight, so to make all the process quicker.

This project helped me see even clearer how much important it is, when possible, to look carefully through your viewfinder and watch the best frame you can make out of your subject, that is, to give yourself some more time looking thorugh the camera to see what you'll get, it helped me a lot. I didn't bring many lenses as well, only my usual 15-85mm, which was pretty enough for all the shots, including the skyline ones I made before starting to photograph the model.

As result, we managed to get beautiful images, I really appreciated working on each of them, from the capture to the very final post processing, through which I decided to blend some textures and effects, in order to add some more artistic touch. I loved producing all of them but I'd like to say that the one I love most is the headshot from close, creating a nice contrast between the model's skin and the wall in the background. Fantastic in many ways.

Soon we're gonna have here more works such as these ones, trying to use the best this city offers to produce art. You can see a short video about this production in the video attached to this post. Besides, some of these pictures and other posts are available on my Instagram.

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