in photofeed •  6 months ago

| V E N E Z U E L A |

No, this is not a post about politics and economy. It's a photography blog. But to get you into the concept of the photo I have to give you a little insight of what's going on over here.

Venezuela basically went into a hyperinflation. More like a super Sayayin hyperinflation. Our highest bill was worth like 3 cents. Just so you get an idea, the bills were worth more in paper than the value itself. The "brilliant" solution the government had to the problem was taking away 5 zeros and printing new bills. No comment . . .

Like I said, I'm just a photographer and I'm not going to make a long post about everything that is wrong with my country right now, so if you are interested in understanding a bit more, I really recommend this article

So now to the concept of the photo. This was our final project to the illumination workshop. First idea of the team was to recreate a movie scene. We had movies in mind like "Inglorious bastards", "Clockwork Orange", "Pulp Fiction"...

There was a huge production and team work behind this photo. If you guys know me by now, you know how emotional and passionate I am. And to me photography has to evoke emotions. So I told my team to recreate the movie with a situation we are living as a nation. Having in mind it was a perfect excuse to send a strong message of protest. This is when "American Beauty" came in. Everything came into place with what we were living in the moment. Maduro announced the new economical measure the day before we did the photo.

You really gotta see all the details in this one, click to view in large.

The hardest part was coming up with the concept. Now we had to produce it. First thing was getting the right model. Venezuelan women don't have a stereo type cause we have a mixture of cultures that make our women so unique, but for this specific photo we wanted a dark skinned girl to contrast the bills and make it look more "latin". Second part was getting all the amount of bills that we needed. Wasn't really that hard because no one wanted worthless bills. I think that amount of cash could have probably bought you a cup of coffee.

The hard part was getting the camera on top and tightening it to the steel girder. The lens we used had a manual focus so someone had to get on a long stair, go all the way up and set the focus. After we did a couple of test shots with all the flash lights in place, we used a control remote to trigger the camera.

Obviously I had to do some photoshop to add more bills around her. Like I always say, the processing is a really important part of the end job!

And now some behind the scenes of the whole process

The team

Concept and photography:
Gaby Oráa, Natan, Xenia Mateos, Yul Terán

Teacher: Walter Otto
Model: Yelitza Veloz
Makeup: Laura Chaves
Post production: Gaby Oráa

Roberto Mata photography school

We had a big discussion into to what title to give the image. At the end, we decided to leave it without a title, cause I think it's strong enough to speak for itself. I am curious though to know what you interpret from it.

All images are copyright © 2018 Gabriela Oráa. All rights reserved.

Gabriela Borjas Oráa - Passion for Photography

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You got a 10.38% upvote from @emperorofnaps courtesy of @theghost1980!

Want to promote your posts too? Send 0.05+ SBD or STEEM to @emperorofnaps to receive a share of a full upvote every 2.4 hours...Then go relax and take a nap!

This is by far one of the best photo i’ve seen on this platform. The concept, the execution, the post production, all great. And the strong message! Kudos for you and the team. To me, this is more than beautiful.
Warm regards to you and all your friend there. You guys are amazing.


Wow thanks Gibic. You just made my day :)

ok i had to go out of the bed to the pc to see this full screen :D
you have a lot of great work but this is maybe the best i seen. this needs to be printed big :)

on the taking away 5 zeros thing, in our country they did something similar but cut a lot of 0 and it worked for some strange reason.

voted, resteemed, now back to bed, it is early or late :)


Yeah, I think this would be pretty awesome printed big. It did get viral over here. We intend to make this a series. Famous Movie scenes recreated in Venezuela. Let's see how that goes. It's probably one of the most produced photos I've done. I was really happy with the outcome :)

P.S: This is the second time we take zeros away from the bill :( In our case it's only made inflation worst.


I'm trying so hard to think of an idea to use a LotR scene...


photo looks great even if you don't know where is it taken, but when you know when and where is it taken it gives it much more.

This is absolutely stunning and powerful.

What an amazing concept and window into Venezuela today. Beautiful work @gabyoraa!


Thanks guys! It was hard work but really worth it.

I prefer this to spamming your wallet, but thanks for nominating my post for a @curie upvote! What you do means the world for small artists like me.

Have an excellent day!

~ Mako


Oh Mako, this is so sweet of you. By no means see this as spamm. Love your comment. You having nothing to thank me. Talent should always be rewarded and your stories are genius! You did the hard work, all I did was find it.

This post was shared in the Curation Collective Discord community for curators, and upvoted and resteemed by the @c-squared community account after manual review.

Thanks guys :)

There is so much to say about this photoshoot!

First of all, I am sorry to hear about the situation in Venezuela. It is always sad to see that such a beautiful country goes in such a bad direction. So much cash can buy a cup of coffee? I can't even find a word which would describe how sad this makes me.

Now to the photo : Great idea that tells a story! I love the model. She perfectly represents what you were looking for. The contrast between her and the money is strong.

I love the photo with the team! That is so cute and cheerful. I wouldn't expect that so many people are needed for the photography. I would love to see such photos more often to appreciate people behind the scenes more.

Thank you for sharing!


Oh thank you!!! Well, you had to have someone place all the bills, direct the model, another one moving the lights, while a 3rd one was on the stairs testing the manual focus. So yeah, it was a team work. It took us around 1 hour to get it all right, it was really a single shot, once everything was in place it didn't take long. But the concept itself took us days.

Amazing photo, and great post that covers the background of the photoshoot, gaby!!! I love this very much !!! :D


Thanks Spidey :)

Wow Gaby how did I miss this post! This is truly an amazing photograph and it is that much better with the story behind it. Awesome!

I know I should be thinking about the concept and how it's a commentary on the economic situation in your country, remarking on the huge production you were involved in, with so much work and thought going into a single image, and complimenting you on the final result, but I'm still stuck on trying to figure out how you seamlessly cloned in a bunch of bills to fill out the background without it looking weird! How long did THAT part take you? :p


Jajajaja. Ok, so I'll tell you my secret. I outlined a bunch, and made a layer with it, and just copied pasted it in different angles and added a tiny shadow to it since it was outlined. Does it make sense? Took me around 4 hours to edit the photo.


Yes it makes sense, and I wondered if it was something like that. Well done!! I noticed the copies but didn't know how you went about copying them.

Okay, now you can have my thoughts, remarks, and compliments on the rest of the production. :)

¡Hola! Me encantó el concepto, tal como dices, la obra habla por sí sola. Por supuesto como fotógrafa, me encantó el manejo de la luz, el revelado, y obviamente se nota un gran trabajo en equipo, ¡Que gran equipo! El mensaje es claro y conciso, que gran imagen.


Que lindo gracias! Es la idea que la imagen hable por si sola.


Thank You

We want to invite you to read our post: Mascotas de Venezuela


Bien, pero les doy un consejo. Los invito a primero dejar comentarios de calidad e interactuen de manera genuina en la plataforma y verán que sus amigos y followers incrementará y tendrán todo el apoyo que necesitan. Mas que "pasa a ver este post". No es reclamo, entiendo la razón por la cual lo hacen :) es consejo solamente. Saludos.

This is amazing. The lighting is so great.

Wow. Superb. The effort that goes into this is type of photography always seems to make me feel inadequate as a photographer. So sad about the situation.

Why don't you play Monopoly or a Roulette (or maybe Poker) with the stacks of real money and film it then put it on DTube or Youtube?

howdy from Texas gabyoraa! wow this is such a strong and powerful message about hyperinflation, this should be put on billboards! Great job, will you be doing more photos concerning the politics of your country?

Yo vi estas instastories, muy genial todo! Cuando vuelva a Venezuela me envias los billeticos para dibujar jajajaja

Hey, @gabyoraa.

First off, great concept and image, and kudos for pulling it off with the camera overhead.

I think you're right. It doesn't need a title, but the one you gave this post, Hyperinflation would work splendidly, too.

I think in the end you picked the best movie to use. I've never seen the movie, American Beauty, but I have seen the movie poster where the woman is lying in roses. I think having your model lying in the paper bills speaks volumes. This is not meant to represent wealth, but a protest against the economic policies that has led your country to where it is.

Is there any chance you could get in trouble for this photo? Do you have plans for it? In a prominent magazine, or a gallery somewhere? And just how much did this image cost to produce?


No plan to be honest. It was featured in our school's webpage and social media. Didn't cost much. Like I said, the cash was about the amount for a cup of coffee haha. The model was a friend, and so was the makeup artist. So, it was pretty much the time invested. Don't know If i'll get in trouble, I'm still here so that's good news :)


Okay, well, cool. No expenses and so far, still there. :) Glad to hear it. Well, at the very least, I hope you get some recognition for a great concept and photo shoot. And if something else comes of it, even better. Political statements can be pretty rough and tumble, but hopefully, people will recognize it for what it is, an observation on what's happening in your country and maybe they will take pause. Who knows? In the meantime, there's always the next idea to go to.