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Working the Scene At Chapel Falls

Deciding how to pose a Client is really important to the final image. The right pose not only flatters the subject, but is also integral to the story the image is telling the viewer. Tatiana and I did a quick image at Chapel Falls on our most recent location quest. It was getting quite dark, so I absolutely had to use my light. The light had to both be safely positioned and had to properly illuminate the subject.

So I set up my light, got Tatiana in costume and had her stand approximately where I thought I wanted her. I loved how the tree wrapped around the rock, as well as the rich textures of the rocks and roots around her.

This is the first image I took The scene is interesting, but lacks any true storytelling, and it's quite static. Additionally, the light was too far away to be of much help.

The camera lens sees things differently than the human eye. So moving around your subject and taking pictures is good idea. This gives you a better perspective of where to shoot from, as well as the final perspective and pose. The light was still too far away in this shot. And while I liked bringing the camera closer to Tatiana, I still felt shooting straight on was too static and certainty didn't add any storytelling elements.

I managed to find a flat spot right next to her for the light. This greatly changed the whole mood of the image. I positioned the bottom of the light modifier so it was at eye level with Tatiana, and then feathered the light, so it was skimming across her face instead of falling directly on it. This gave her some nice and dramatic shadows, without looking to "flashy".

I also got really low to the ground, like laying in the dirt, low! As pretty as the background waterfalls were, I found I loved the texture of the roots even more! Additionally, by shooting low, I made Tatiana look tall. I love shooting women in this pose, because it makes them look powerful while still showcasing their beauty and elegance.

This is unedited final image. Her pose is flattering and beautiful. Her hands are nice and soft, and the curves of her body leads our eyes to her face, which is the focus of this image. Her front foot is pointed, making her leg look long and elegant while creating depth to her back leg. She takes up most of the image, which tells the viewer she is the the most important element in the scene and makes her look strong and important. The bottom roots create leading lines back to the subject, which again, brings the eye to her face. The tree truck leaning in toward her creates a similar effect. The clean lines of the rock also bring the viewer back to the subject. The background trees also create leading lines that go back to the subjects face.

All these elements combined, create a visually interesting frame to the subject. and hopefully make the viewer wonder what she's doing in the forest and what kind of forest she is in!

Here is the final image! I removed the light, did extensive color toning, changed the lighting so we could see into the shadows and retouched her skin. Additionally, I added some clouds into the background. The eye naturally goes to the brightest place of an image, and I felt that the high key (very light) sky behind her was a bit too bright. I wanted to add some texture and motion, so I threw in some subtle storm clouds behind her. I added bird silhouettes to further add to the feeling of motion and added some fabric movement to her skirt.

What do you think of this process? Did you enjoy seeing the progression of images, from start to finish?

Thank you for reading! And happy shooting!

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