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Witold

Dream of her mother



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Thomas_Knox

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1 Comment | Report
Thomas_Knox
 
Thomas_Knox January 28, 2016
This is breathtakingly cool..

Behind The Lens

Location
There was a time when our granddaughter stayed for a long time in our home, away from her parents. Although surrounded with love, she was often visibly missing her parents, waiting for their return. With every doorbell ring at our home she would freeze and listen, trying to anticipate who was at the door. This picture reflects one of those moments.
Time
Children are difficult to photograph, and they need a natural environment to feel comfortable, and to remain within a reach of the camera for the minimum time required. It was mid morning morning, and I set a small playground near the window. We were playing together for a while, and I set my camera nearby handy, waiting for the right moment.
Lighting
I was always intrigued by Rembrandts and a scarcity of light he used when painting his models. It was a cloudy day, and the window was projecting a very soft light, just what I needed. But with the light this low, it is difficult to find a right focus. I decided to set the camera focus on 'manual', and play with a distance, until my model's right eye got as sharp as possible.
Equipment
I used Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 50 mm F 1.2 USM lens. I have chosen this lens because of its ability to provide sharp focus at the full open aperture, and a narrow depth of field and soft background blur of my model's face.
Inspiration
I was always impressed with an old African proverb that the "eyes are the mirror of the soul and reflection of what seems to be hidden". I wanted to capitalize on that by focusing just on one eye of my model. I wanted to make sure that the eye comes as sharp as possible. That was the essence. And I knew that everything else in that picture had to become secondary.
Editing
I usually start the post processing in the Lightroom and move to Photoshop. But when I looked at the picture in the Lightroom, it was just an overwhelming mess; All those toys spread all over, the wall heater in the plain view, even the patterns on the carpet. And all those unnecessary details in color. All big distractions. I begun by cropping the picture, and continued making a contrast correction and eliminating chromatic aberration. I then moved into the Photoshop with a process of elimination of distractions by darkening everything around and turning the picture to black and white. I then slightly sharpened an eye and softened everything else. It worked.
In my camera bag
I often strive to produce images resembling paintings. That requires that the pictures are sharp and soft at the same time. For studio portraits I use Canon EOS 5D Mark II and Canon EF 50 mm F 1.2 USM lens, with no filters. For landscape photography I use Pentax K-1 with Ricoh HD Pentax-D FA 24-70mm F2. I carry a camera loaded with two 128 GB cards, I always have with me a Graduated Filter, UV and Circular Polarizer, two sets of batteries, charger, remote timer and USB-3 card reader with a short connecting cord, and lastly the lens cleaning kit in a dust proof sealed container.
Feedback
Whenever you wake up with an idea of a special picture, just do it. If needed, break with some of ordinarily accepted rules and push the outcome your unique way. I mean your color or black and white, your interpretation of scene, your original finishing. Feel the picture in your gut. You are the best and the toughest judge of your own work. Good luck!

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