Paulacook144 Jan 29
Beautiful portrait image.

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Jan, 2018

The Little Matchgirl 6

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Submitted to Photo Contests


Won Staff FavoriteJanuary, 2018


Peer Award

Peer Award
Top Choice
Absolute Masterpiece
Superb Composition
Outstanding Creativity
Superior Skill
Magnificent Capture


Behind The Lens

This photo was taken in the sunny Whitsundays, North Queensland, Australia, which made it a challenge to create a cold feeling to fit the theme.
The photo was taken in the late afternoon, to take advantage of soft window light.
The lighting was all natural, coming from the large window only a metre away from the subject. I added a glow in post-production using a curve to give the impression of a glow coming from the match.
Taken on my Nikon D3300, no flash or tripod was used, although I did use a large silver reflector to help with the lighting.
The recent Viewbug competition Fairytale Portraiture inspired me to take this photograph. I have always loved fairytales and The Little Matchgirl was one I loved as a child, despite it being a very sad tale. In the story, the little match girl is alone in the cold and lights the matches she sells in an attempt to keep warm, sadly it isn't enough to save her.
Yes, I did quite a bit post processing, adding shadows and highlights. I added the match glow and also the snow was added in post. I also sharpened her eyes a little bit.
In my camera bag
My normal equipment is a basic camera, Nikon D3300, a 70-200mm lens, also a 35mm lens, a tripod, spare batteries and sd cards. I also often use my large silver reflector for portraits.
Think about the appropriate costume, I whipped this one up on the sewing machine quite quickly. Also, I talked to my model about the story and the kind of picture we were trying to make. In spite of only being 7 years old, Persia did a wonderful job of portraying the Little Matchgirl, exactly as I envisioned her. I utilise large windows as lighting as much as possible, and I would say having great equipment is secondary to having a bit of an inspired idea. Thanks for the Award, it is truly appreciated.

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