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Eastern Europeans really seem to know how to pump out shots that have what it takes to make it to the Firing Squad Champions gallery. Last week, we inducted another foreigner in Alexander Atanasov. However, we though maybe he’d been kidnapped when we didn’t hear back right away. It’s dangerous over there, right? As it turns out, Alexander had a better excuse. “Our internet supplies went dry and the government summoned the UN for assistance as things were going out of control. Now we have a regime – 5 minutes per person twice a week — what do I do first — check my facebook or twitter 20k images. Nah bullshit. It’s 10 minutes 3 times a week.” Now that everything is back under control in Bulgaria, here’s a little bit more info about our latest Champions Gallery inductee.
Tell me about this shot. Who is the rider, when and where was it taken?
It’s the young, very talented and all around nice person Lozyo Dimitrov, a local Ashbury am, doing a fs wallride on the support columns of an overpass on 9th February 2010. It was a pretty warm day after a week of minus 20 Celsius and was our last chance to hit this place. We went for a double kink but ended up doing the columns of the overpass as a wallride. It was a sketchy feature and snow was pretty slow and melting fast. You needed a lot of speed to get across the columns and not fall between them and at the same time get as high as possible for a legit photo. We pulled it off good though.
What’s the camera/flash set up you used to take it?
Just a 5d with a 15mm fisheye. No strobes, just natural light, as much as there is in the shade of a bridge.
Once I started setting up my flashes I realized all my batteries were drained dry. We were shooting the whole night before at minus 20 tryin to make use of the snow and the cold must have drained them. There was no time to get new once so I just improvised. I noticed the lines on the ceiling and how they merged with the columns.
If you took this shot again, is there anything you would change?
This one has to be one of my favorite shots of last season and in general. I really like plain black and white graphical images. Im pretty pleased how it came out in the end. I had an exhibition about a month ago and this was one of the highlights. It’s pretty impressive once you see it printed on 150cmx100cm.
What was your favorite moment during your time in the Firing Squad? Any especially retarded comments you’d like to call out?
Nah nothing special. I’m pretty used to reading all sorts of bullshit from all kinds of forum gangsters/photographers/snowboarders so it has to be something very special to win me. I liked the google translation though. I thought America was gonna go crazy to try to defend it’s children against the ex commie wannabe.
What’s the snowboard scene like in Bulgaria?
Well it’s a small scene. Far from the level and possibilities you’ve got over there, but I don’t think that’s a bad thing at all. Its pretty exciting to be here now. Everything is still pretty pure. There’s no big money involved and people are doing it for the fun and love of it. We’re still discovering shit you’ve done ten years ago — but that’s what’s good about it — its fresh and new and we’re having as much fun as possible. We’re still late on the triple corks but we’ve got a couple of haldors that kill in urban surroundings and could step on many peoples toes..
You can check Rene Eckert’s video about Bulgaria which he shot last season here — In Equilibrium at http://blickinsfreie.de/
What is your background — how long have you been shooting, what do you shoot the most, etc?
Its been 5-6 years now that ive been dslr-ing. A bit more if you count cheap digicams. Got into it coz none of my friends was willing to sit in the snow and push buttons, while the others were disco handing and Michael Jackson-ing. There’s been progress since then both in my ball freezing experiences and their high five-ing the air.
I shoot snowboarding gladly and skateboarding from time to time. I like long exposures, sunspots, light leaks and female curves. I like powder on bluebird weekday and a first chair. I enjoy playing with timelapses and crappy collages as well. Iv’e been shooting a lot of film lately mostly experimenting with old Russian cameras — middleformats, panoramas, halfframes, 35s in a middle format and a lot of cross processing.
Anything you’d like to share with people trying to get into shooting snowboarding?
Dress warm, drink a lot of liquids, carry spare batteries, keep nuts in your pockets in case you see a squirrel, shoot as much as you can and write less in stupid ass forums.
Do you have a website where people can see more of your work?
Still working on one but heres a flickr account I use from time to time: http://www.flickr.com/photos/23650997@N04/
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