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Thread: The Snow Queen

  1. #1
    RustBeltRaw's Avatar
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    Lex

    The Snow Queen

    An actress I've worked with for portrait and figure work was recently cast as the Snow Queen in a children's production at one of our local theaters. I saw some crummy shots of the costume and immediately dropped her a line to see if I could come by and shoot the make-up and dressing process.

    My favorite shot follows. Facebook stripped the EXIF data, but I believe my settings and equipment were as follows.
    -Hand-held Canon 60D with 20mm f2.8 USM prime (manual focus)
    -ISO400, f11 at 1/15th
    -Ambient light plus a 580EX II on TTL at -2/3EV with a half-cut CTO gel and FlashBender bounce panel, hand-held just out of the frame's upper right corner.

    The Snow Queen

    The hardest part was cramming myself against the wall to get my reflection out of the mirror. To my eye, there are a few things I could have done better, but I'll save my opinions until I hear yours. C&C encouraged!

  2. #2
    rpcrowe's Avatar
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    Re: The Snow Queen

    I love the composition of this image. My eye starts at the performer and then is drawn to her reflection in the mirror. I think that this a a really nice image but, could become, IMO, a really great image, with some editing. Please don't consider my suggestions as anything but personal suggestions...

    I wish, however that the partial reflection of the second person in the center mirror pane could be cloned out. I would also like to see a closer crop on the entire image which would eliminate the third mirror pane and part of the clutter on the dressing table. Additionally the tighter crop would eliminate portion of the ceiling which doesn't contribute to the image. Along that line, I would clone out the fire extinguisher piping above the center mirror pane and finally, I would select the vibrant red object at the image bottom right (after cropping) to make it less vibrant so it would not attract atention away from the principle subjects which are the performer and her reflection...

    Again, these are just suggestions on how I might work with the image and are not meant to demean a really nice shot...

  3. #3
    RustBeltRaw's Avatar
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    Re: The Snow Queen

    Quote Originally Posted by rpcrowe View Post
    Again, these are just suggestions on how I might work with the image and are not meant to demean a really nice shot...
    Your tact is appreciated, but I assure you I have enough spine to listen to any reasonable critique. This goes for everyone - if you think it could improve the shot, I want to hear it.

    Quote Originally Posted by rcprowe
    I wish, however that the partial reflection of the second person in the center mirror pane could be cloned out.
    Agreed. I did some twisting and reframing to try to remove the actress and her hairdresser from the shot, but couldn't do it without ruining the composition I was after. I'll see if I can clone them out - need to work on that skill anyway.

    Quote Originally Posted by rcprowe
    I would also like to see a closer crop on the entire image which would eliminate the third mirror pane and part of the clutter on the dressing table. Additionally the tighter crop would eliminate portion of the ceiling which doesn't contribute to the image. Along that line, I would clone out the fire extinguisher piping above the center mirror pane and finally, I would select the vibrant red object at the image bottom right (after cropping) to make it less vibrant so it would not attract atention away from the principle subjects which are the performer and her reflection...
    I need to give these suggestions a try. I tend to believe that an excessively clean photo stops looking real, but there are definitely some elements that could go away. Personally, I like the dressing table full of makeup and little gifts from cast and fans, but the red paper rose is rather too attention-getting. I tried a crop closer to her head to reduce the amount of pipes, but it looked cramped to my eyes. Maybe another good opportunity for cloning practice.

    I'll edit and re-post sometime tonight. Keep it coming, gents.

  4. #4
    shreds's Avatar
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    Re: The Snow Queen

    I think it is a great attempt and mirrors always throw up these problems.

    (Rear Album cover of the UK group 'The Only Ones, Baby's Got A Gun', is what it reminds me of, but that was a long time ago). Basically cleverly executed to exclude the photographer as you have tried here.

    The arm of the hairdresser is the most distracting element to me, the clutter actually aids the shot and gives it 'placement'

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