Stunning Spread From A 1960's Harper's BAZAAR

In 1963, American photographer Melvin Sokolsky shot a gorgeous series for Harper's BAZAAR of a model inside a giant plexi-glass bubble all around Paris. I can't say enough about these images. They are timeless and even wow me today more than 50 years later. What a spectacularly executed concept that really draws you in and keeps you wanting for more. Well done Sokolsky, well done. Enjoy!

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Noam Galai's picture



Tony Guillaro's picture

That is just Awesome!! Very well done  

David Woollatt's picture

Incredible, love it

Very cool! 

Shannon Wimberly's picture

i am trying to wrap my mind around this..... how in HELL did they do this before photoshop?  This had to be done in a darkroom with an enlarger, or creative film stripping in prepress.... help me out here.... i've worked in both processes and still left without a clue......  its amazing!!!!

okay.... honestly, i don't how it could be done without photoshop..... seriously....someone explain...its the distortion images in the bubble that are throwing me off mostly..... how was this done with darkroom compositing techniques? its a mystery to me? WAIT!!!! OKAY... I SEE THE BOTTOM PICTURE WITH THE CABLE!!! HA!!! makes sense now......

heybrooke's picture

This is amazing. Thank you so much for posting this.

Brian Boing Photo's picture

I agree....great images, but how was this done 50 years ago?

Wow! But I would LOVE to know how this was done. I know "photoshop" could be done by hand on individual prints,  but the one on the water is especially fascinating.

johnbp123's picture

I've always loved these photos. Beautiful on all levels.

Charles Owen's picture

The two smaller images show how the ball has a loop on top and hangs from a crane. The ball is actually there, it's not composited in. They either painted out the wire and loop or they overlaid a second shot without the ball in it to cover. Two shots on a tripod would work just fine. What is amazing to me is that I can't see any reflection of the crane in any of the shots. Good placement probably made that possible, since painting it out would be hard back then. Also, the thicker ring could be used to block some reflections in some cases. 

 look at the last shot, and the one above the two explanatory shots, you can se the arm of the crane if you look hard, but that doesn't ruin the shots for me.

mmmarc's picture

 You can also see the giant shadow of the crane in the shot with the little girl looking up at the model

You can see the shadow and the reflection of the crane in two of the shots which most people wouldn't notice unless they saw the overview shots of how they were doing things. I would be assuming they did the two shots on a tripod as Charles stated. Skills in the darkroom always impresses me more than in photoshop (albeit there are some wonderful photoshop artists).

Very lovely.

Mah Cuzz's picture

There are refelections of the crane in the bowl in almost every photo...! Look more closely

I'm sort of amazed at all the comments regarding how mind blowing this is.  They've been painting out stuff in films almost since the beginning of cinema.  Why would photography be any different?  If not easier?  One shot vs. a million frames.  Or two shots if it's an overlay. They're called artists.  They blend things perfectly.  If they could add realistic matte paintings/composite shots to film in the 30's all the way through to the late 80's (Sigourney Weaver's entire apartment building in Ghostbusters II was an oil painting on glass. Painted by hand) why wouldn't they be able to paint out or overlay a simple cable on a photograph in the 60's? I'm just asking….