Photographer Aaron Huey shares one of his favorite pictures from an upcoming story in Traveler magazine.
Hands down one of my favorite sites in the world is the Buzludzha Monument in central Bulgaria, which was built by the Communist regime to commemorate the organizing of the Bulgarian socialist movement in 1891. It opened in 1981 on the 1,300th anniversary of the founding of the state of Bulgaria, but the building was abandoned less than 20 years later after the fall of communism in Eastern Europe. From a distance the building looks like a giant spaceship of concrete on a hill, and it is boarded and chained to bar entry because its has fallen into ruin.
After searching for a place to scale the walls, my translator and I found a small hole that we could squeeze through, over a deep chasm, scraping our way into the giant meeting hall. From the center, sound travels in a way that requires no microphone around a 360-degree tile mosaic depicting Communist leaders, farm laborers, and victorious soldiers. My translator was scared of the rotting ceiling and strange sounds, but I was obsessed. I think I was planning what kind of party I would have in the space. Can you imagine?! A Communist spaceship rave in rural Bulgaria? I can.
Photo Tip: Be willing to climb or crawl to get your shot. Also, carry a 16-35mm lens. A wide-angle lens can often be the only way to get a subject like this.