The location for this photo is the magnificent pergola at the Mezhyhirya Residence in Kiev, Ukraine. The estate was once the home of Viktor Yanukovych, former President of Ukraine. It is now a museum dedicated to his corrupt and opulent lifestyle.
I didn’t realise how enormous the pergola was at the time of the visit. It was only when editing the photos that the enormity of it struck me. I initially thought it was just the low camera angle that was making it look larger than reality. However, it is actually massive. Look at the two women in the distance to get an idea of its size.
- Camera: ILCE-7RM2
- Focal length: 27mm
- Flash fired: yes
- Shutter speed: 1/100s
- Aperture: ƒ/5
- ISO: 125
The photo was taken with a Sony A7RII camera with a Sony FE 24 – 70 F2.8 GM lens. Off-camera flash was used; a Godox AD200 with Godox AD-S17 shade diffuser. Lili normally works as my assistant but on this day was modelling. I was lying on the ground with the flash gripped between my knees to get this shot.
Initial postprocessing was carried out in Lightroom. In Photoshop Lili’s skin was smoothed using frequency separation. There was also some dodging and burning to bring out her facial features.
The final touches were added in Exposure X2; a Technicolor Process 4 film emulation preset was applied.
I also like this photo in black and white. It was processes in Exposure X2 by adding a Agfa APX 25 preset.
The location of Mezhyhirya Residence can be seen in the map below.