Luka Trajkovic

Cinematic Scenes in Serbia

Inspired by the greatest film directors and DOPs, Serbian photographer Luka Trajkovic creates images that appear to be taken right out of a film. Using the X1D II 50C with the XCD 45P, Luka crafted a set of photos as individual movie frames with the help of a small film crew to plan out locations, casting, production design, and film lighting. With help from the famous Serbian set designer Sanela Spajić to scout locations around Belgrade, they found environments that exude a cinematic atmosphere, creating scenes that spark curiosity about these characters who have been frozen in time.

I tried to make each photo like a short story that the viewer can interpret in their own way. As the project unfolded, I wrote short biographies of the characters or descriptions of each scene – the events before and after that one moment – so that the actors would seem truly authentic. I also have the idea to send each photo to one screenwriter or writer and get their interpretation of the photo.

Each element of a frame was planned out before the shoot with a lot of layers so that all the images had some context. For the photo of the guy lighting a cigarette next to the car, we waited for the exact moment of the blue hour, with added haze to create a gloomy and foggy atmosphere. We rented a car that was the same color as the newsstand and Belgrade license plates from the ’90s to fit the environment.

Lighting setups were very simple. I tried to emphasize the atmosphere of each location and I mostly used smaller HMI sources and bounce frames, as well as tungsten lighting fixtures in combination with Asteras and practicals sources with LED bulbs, as well as haze machines.

The XCD 45P is a lens that gave me a special look for this world and made me think in a different way while looking for these shots. It is very sharp, even when wide open. If I would choose only one lens for this system, I would probably choose it; it’s a very good piece of glass. It’s suitable for landscapes as well as for portraits, and in combination with the X1D II, the whole kit is very portable, which makes it a fantastic partner for everyday snapping and travel, as well for big production shoots.

The X1D II is a very interesting camera with an incredible amount of detail in such a small package and it’s very comfortable ergonomically. I fell in love with its medium format sensor and its beautiful separation between sharp and unsharp parts of the image. The design of the camera is something that inspires me to use this camera as a tool and create with it. The color rendering is fantastic and very precise.

Crew:

Production manager: Vanja Lozanović

Costume: Suna Kažić

Costume assistant: Ana Petrović

Mua: Marija Stošić

DIT: Relja Simić

Gaffer: Veljko Jovanović

Assistant: Matija Đukanović

BTS: Gianluca Bartoli

ABOUT LUKA TRAJKOVIC

Belgrade based, Luka Trajkovic used to be the kid who always carried a camera with him. At the age of 15 while he was still in high school, Luka started volunteering as a photojournalist for a daily newspaper. Influenced by the photography editors and photographers he was surrounded by and inspired by documentary photographers and Magnum agency, he began working on photo stories that won awards in photography contests and were exhibited in galleries. During and after his studies at the Faculty of Dramatic Arts, he shot a number of short feature films, music videos, documentaries and commercials. Many of those films were noticed at international festivals and received international acclaim. Nowadays his work is inspired by the cinema and the greatest film directors, created like segments of different film scenes. See more of his work here: @lukatrajkovic and on Vimeo.

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