Saturday, June 27, 2009

The Missing Photo

If you're a member of the Bay Area Photo Club, I hope you saw Larry J. Patrick's great body of work presentation Tuesday about impromptu portraits at festivals that he and I did during the fall and winter of 2008. He's been posting some of those images on his blog recently, and at the meeting he presented about 25 portraits from the Texas Renaissance Festival and Dickens on the Strand. In these images, we would take turns as photographer and lighting person --approaching a subject, asking to take their photo, then positioning them and lighting them with a hotshoe flash shot through a small softbox connected wirelessly with Alien Bees triggers. It's not studio light, but it's far better than on-camera TTL flash - very mobile and very flexible, and suited our needs very well. Anyway, in his presentation he mentioned that we photographed this very attractive young girl in gold, and in his infinite wisdom, Mr. Patrick decided to move her into a very brightly lit background. There was something about the reflections off the gold sequins and the blown highlights in the background that we thought pretty much destroyed the shot. Both he and I agreed that we never did get a usable image there, and regreted it considering we had such an attractive model. So, I went back into my files and discovered maybe I did have a workable image. The photo above is that "missing photo" -- the one we thought was lost and gone forever - missing from his body of work presentation and now shown here for the first time. I feel like I've raised the Titanic or something. Seriously though, as it turned out maybe it wasn't as bad as we both thought. Despite the lost highlights and hard light, I did have a good, sharp exposure on the face -- so armed with the recovery slider in Camera Raw, some vignetting, and a textured edge to further knock down the bright background, here's my addition to Mr. Patrick's body of work.


  1. Where were you when I really needed you? You are right (as usual). This one really does work. You have a great pose and I must say, your light man did a fantastic job putting just the right amount of light from exactly the right angle.

    But most importantly, your post processing could not be better. It fits the subject perfectly.

    Really fine work, VAL Steve!

  2. How could you mess up a shot of someone that pretty? I think you over think sometimes.

    The highlight in the flower doesn't hurt anything. Her eyes pop out at you. She has a smile that could melt your heart.

    Great job in getting this one in front of us. We would have missed out on a great shot if you hadn't.


  3. I agree with both commenters. You and your light man work well together interchangeably as evidenced on both your blogs. The model is the focus and the background is not as bright as you may have thought. Probably a result of the edge. The photographer knows my feeling about the use of edges, but it works well in this shot. Good job guys!

  4. Stunning! Really beautiful Steve! Well done in all aspects!