By Natalie Dybisz
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Below is a wide shot also from this session that encapsulates the whole scene as well as the full length of the tub. To create this image I shot three exposures and merged them as a HDR image in Photomatix, capturing the range of luminance across the scene and the fine detail in the wall and floor. I also cloned out a plug fitting and wire to make the floor area appear cleaner. THESE PORTRAITS DEMONSTRATE HOW A FASHION SHOOT EVOLVED INTO SOMETHING MORE INTIMATE AND PORTRAIT-LED. SHOOTING IN A ROOM IN AN OLD VICTORIAN WAREHOUSE IN LONDON, I WANTED TO MAKE USE OF THE QUAINT PROPS THAT SURROUNDED US—AMONG THEM AN OLD TIN BATHTUB.
5 BLUE (2011) Shot with the flash to one side of the model within the room. The image looked a lot more effective after some simple post-production: a simple straightening of lines and enhancing the blue of the walls. A LTHOUGH THERE WAS no pressure to directly serve a commissioning client on this shoot, the challenge of being able to work unnoticed in an abandoned location itself created a pressurized environment. We soon settled down and were able to photograph everything we wanted in a total of three outfits, shooting for 30–40 minutes in each.
I love to make my compositions as simple and striking as possible. I wanted to get in close to the seats by erecting my tripod at a high angle, but at a height that meant I could see Bella’s face without feeling as though I was looking at her from above. I also chose an angle that was tilted slightly to one side so that the chairs would move across the frame slightly diagonally, giving depth to the image without turning the portrait into a profile shot. All of these choices were made relatively instinctively and I only actually realized their importance when I tried to shoot another image in the seats during a later workshop, which didn’t work as well.