It Takes Time

I’ve been busy remaking the kitchen and although I haven’t achieved a lot, I’m satisfied with the result so far.

This can also be said about what I’m doing photographically. I don’t seem to be progressing very far, but I’m very happy with the current results. With the knowledge I’ve attained over the last few months I have been able to transform pictures which are technically perfect but boring into images that reflect more on what I wanted from the image.

When I shot this photograph the intention was to accentuate the strength of character in this woman, whose job was working as a domestic, cleaning other people’s houses. This is achieved in this picture, but not in the original . The manipulations force the viewer’s eye to look directly into the eyes of the woman, who looks back at us with confidence.

No matter where you look in this picture, the action is in the face, and it’s the eyes which dominates this part of the frame.

The original is a nice studio shot, as interesting as a bowl of porridge without any sugar. It was shot about three years ago and it’s taken this long to find the key to unlock it, which is why I constantly revisit and rework old photographs.

The lighting set up for this shot was interesting. I placed the woman about a meter away from a corner in a smallish room. A small studio flash faced the white wall behind the model, then a large piece of white foam board was positioned both in front of her, and on camera right side. The light was metered for the face. This setup blasts the back wall, overexposing it and making it very white, as well as giving rim lighting to the back of the head, which accentuates the cheeks and gives even lighting on the face. It’s normally used when you want a slightly blown out dreamy-looking beauty photo, particularly with blondes.

70-200mm, f6.3, 1.125sec, ISO160, 80watt flash head on stand


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