ViewBug community member ElenaParaskeva shares the story behind the photo "Music at the Edge". Her creative and original image made it to the finalists round in the Photoshop Week Photo Contest and believe it or not was shot using ambient light!

Music At The Edge


 1. ElenaParaskeva, where did you take this photo?

I took this photo at the cliffs of a remote beach in the town of Ayia Napa, Cyprus.

2. What time of day?

It was around 4pm on a cloudy, chilly and rainy day. In fact it was so chilly that as soon as we were done, which took a few hours I took my niece home, washed her feet in hot water, covered her in blankets and made her hot tea..I was feeling so guilty I had tortured the poor girl..and afraid her mother would kill me!

3. Anything worth sharing about lighting?

Yes, i had actually been visualizing this shoot for a while and in my thoughts there was always rain and dark clouds in the image. Well in my country it is almost always sunny and rain is a rarity even in the winter...so when a weekend arrived and it was dreadful in terms of weather I was overjoyed. I called my musician niece who was visiting from London and I asked her to come down to the resort ( a 2 hour drive by the way). I wanted to make it dramatic and sun shining upon her as she was playing the violin would not do...however that also meant I had to work faster because a cloudy day at 4pm does not give you too much light.

4. What equipment did you use?

I would have loved to have used a sped light and I did as well as a tripod for a levitation scene I did with her that same day...but she was standing at the edge of a very sharp rock and there was nowhere to put...so I just used the ambient light..

5. What inspired you to take this photo?

Music, being by the sea and smelling the sea air and holding in my hands a heavy camera are all things that make me happy...so why not combine them and create something beautiful...music is liberating and even more so at the edge,of a cliff as the waves crush on it! And speaking of waves, I got completely wet by one as I was also standing at the edge of another cliff across my model.

6. Tell us about the post-processing:

Yes, I elongated the dress, added the seagulls and merged different exposures of the music scores that were being held or thrown at me!

7. What equipment do you normally have in your bag?

My nikon d810, my 50mm 1.4, my 16-35mm lens for landscapes, a polarizer, a 3 stop ND filter so I can use flash AND have a shallow depth of field at the same time, a 9 stop ND filter, a spare battery, cleaning cloths and cleaning spray because I'm at the sea shore often and we all know what that can do to a camera!

8. Any advice for others trying to capture something similar?

I guess my advice wouldn't be on technical matters but on creative...I think there are always going to be better photographers technically ou there...what can make us stand apart is the vision in our heads...taking something beautiful and transporting it outside of its normal environment for example, if that makes sense...in other words, create something unexpected.


Music At The Edge

Enjoy some of our favorite Elena's photos and get inspired!