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The surprising and slightly disturbing world of Radoslav

by Editor Michel Romaggi in collaboration with the author Radoslav Penchev 
Edited and published by Yvette Depaepe


Strange beings, half machine, half animal, populate Radoslav Penchev's images in surrealist landscapes.  He kindly agreed to explain how he imagines these images and how he creates them.


'First walk in the mountains'


First of all, can you tell us a bit about yourself, how did you get into photography, what place does it have in your life?
My interest in photography fired up when I was a teenager. There was an old analogue camera Zeiss Ikon in my parents’ home. At first I looked at it as just an object with a very weird and interesting shape. I gradually got carried away and started experimenting. I changed several analogue cameras, but back then my interest remained at the amateur level. With the advent of digital photography and editing, it gradually took over an important part of my life. My art education and ability to draw facilitates my work as a graphic designer and photographer.


What led you to choose this surrealist genre? What are your sources of inspirations?
Since I was a child, I have been fascinated by fiction, both in literature, cinema and visual arts. Surrealism has always attracted me with its incredible worlds and images, sometimes scary and misunderstood, but always magnetic. From the old master painters, I adore Pieter Bruegel and Hieronymus Bosch. I also like the incredible Dalí, but my biggest influence comes from the Polish surrealist Zdzisław Beksiński. The books of Frank Herbert, Clifford Simak, Bulgakov's The Master and Margarita and many others. I find inspiration in movies like Blade Runner, Dune, Star Wars and all the works of David Lynch.




How do you get these amazing pictures?
The path I follow to assemble the surreal collages is various and unpredictable. First of all is the creation of a solid base of details, which I subsequently combine into a whole. Sometimes I spend hours looking at hundreds of photos that I have taken at different places. Usually these are strange and interesting to me objects abandoned around roads or small towns. Whenever I travel I scan the landscape looking for something strange. Another source is antique markets, where I find oddly shaped objects.


'Double Team in the world of darkness'

What equipment do you use?
The equipment I shoot with is different. Sometimes it is not convenient to use a large DSLR and the smartphone camera comes into play. Over the years I've shot with Olympus, Canon, Nikon and Sony without sticking to a particular brand. I am very impressed with the quality of the Xiaomi 10T Pro in good light.


Can you tell us about your workflow to achieve Desert Convoy?


'Desert convoy'

I finished Desert Convoy in about a month, but collecting photos for the details took a year. Traveling on a family occasion, I noticed strange objects on the outskirts of a town. About 5-6 crawler tractors were abandoned outside the road. I didn't get a chance to stop and take pictures, so I just
memorized the place with the idea of coming back. Months later, I was passing by again and managed to photograph these iron monsters. The second stage of the work is to select a suitable frame and remove the background from the desired object. Looking at various details, the idea takes shape. In this case, I imagined a strange metal flying machine over the desert, controlled by ugly but not dangerous creatures. I used details from many other photos to assemble this fantastic machine. Once the main object is ready, I start working on the secondary and finally assemble the background. I've never gone to a desert, so I edited some of my photos from the Black Sea coast taken on a sunny winter day. For the flying secondary object I used a photo of an ostrich that I took in a zoo. Finally, I added the necessary amount of fog, smoke and dust on the objects. In a nutshell, this is the process of building surrealistic collages. I never use third party photos or 3D generated objects. I don’t do commissions. I create images only when I feel and have the desire to create. I agree with my acquaintance who described my works as "Surreal worlds of details photographed in the real world”.


Thank you, Radoslav.


Great surreal and artistic interpretation can't image the time involved.
Unbelievable creativity and dedication. Kudos!
Love your work , Rado !
Creative and masterfully executed photographs! Congratulations, Rado!
Beautiful and fascinating work ,congratulations Radoslav
Wonderful imagination, Radoslav! Flawlessly made collages, perfect artistic technique! A real delight! Keep up your great work!
Thank you for sharing your creative experience. They are eye-opening art work and I appreciate them very much!
Hello Radoslav, with your photographs I entered the world of cinema that I love. Congratulations on the explanations of how you go in search of pieces to compose your fantastic visions. Thanks Michele and Yvette for introducing us to another artist from the large 1x family
Thanks, Francesca!