Wildfires are sadly an almost common sight in Mediterranean country’s during the hot and dry summer months.
In mid September 2016 during a dry thunderstorm another fire started on the island of Thassos, as if it wasn’t bad enough there ware several places which ware hit by lighting , igniting rapidly expanding fires due to the strong winds that blew that day. Over 140,000 acres of the island had been burnt by the end of the 3rd day on witch the situation got under control.
For me ,it was the first time to witness such a big wildfire, I could only describe it as a pretty overwhelming experience. Seeing a huge wall of fire whose heat can be felt from over a hundred meters away while ash is raining from the sky, combined with the choking stench of smoke felt like standing right at the gates of hell. But without any specific reason I could think of at the moment I kept documenting as long as I still had some little light left from the setting sun.
INTENSE SITUATIONS CAN CREATE INSPIRATION
Some might understand, and some might don’t. But after helping firefighters and the other volunteers for the next couple of days until the situation got under control, I felt like I had to do something more, to create something more…
About a week later I had a rough idea of what I wanted to do, and again my friend Fotini (Just like in the Black Light Project) without much hesitation agreed to be my subject, while also bringing her own ideas and feelings into the project. So together we refined the final vision for the shoot, found a dress, decided for the rundown makeup look and found a location which was a forest area near the village Kazaviti, which had been evacuated during the fire and suffered some damage by it.
From there on everything was pretty strait forward. I wanted to keep it simple using only natural light since the whole environment was already so surreal. So we drove to the location and started shooting, it was an overcast day so the light was already really defused by itself, making it really as simple as having Fotini face in the general direction of the sun for a nice soft light on her. After a couple of hours and some minor rain we ware done and on our way back.
I really had a hard time sorting out the images since there ware so many interesting shots, but after that the post processing was again pretty simple, using curves and the HSL panel in order to get the most out of the RAW files and bring out the desolated and dark feeling of this surreal environment.
In spring I might do a follow up shoot to this one. Below you can see the images I selected and edited !
Thanks for the read !