So someone asked me to walk y’all through an image I shot and I thought it’d be a cool post for those people who enjoy the nuts and bolts of things :)
The photograph was shot on our second visit to Kanga. When we got the tour of the school’s property I already knew that I wanted to do something with the water there at some point. I didn’t know exactly what I was going to do because I was concentrating on not falling in with my equipment– you had to cross the water by walking over this super narrow plank of wood, ah! I’m not entirely sure what draws me to water but there’s a unique element that water and reflection does to an image. The image above was heavily inspired by two images by Mark Zibert. I saw the first image of Derek Ballantyne about five years ago in Toronto Life magazine sitting in a chair which was in a mud puddle and thought it was so cool to have that contrast of a guy in a suit sitting in a chair in a mud puddle! After finally getting to meet Mark in person (giddy screams) and watch him work, he told the story of how he photographed Hayden Christensen in a pool of milk. Ya! Crazy, Mark and his team constructed a set that would hold gallons and gallons of milk. I went home and studied those images carefully and knew that shooting a subject in water (or a liquid of sorts) was something that I wanted to do one day.
So during our second visit to Kanga, I finally had the opportunity to shoot and found myself a subject. I’m trying to find out where I scribbled down her name but the subject is Mr. Abyss, the headmaster’s daughter. I just found her face so compelling the first time I saw her. She’s generally quite shy and quiet but then she leads the entire school into singing and dancing and her presence is so unexpected! We took the image during high noon which is a horror for photographs but it was also boiling hot that day. The humidity and heat made for extra challenges. I knew I was gonna under expose the ambient by quite a bit and use it more for a general fill. I had to turn up my strobe to near full-power in order to blast out the African mid-day sun. I also had to get down low for a good angle so I crouched down as low as I could without being in the water. As with most of my environmental portraits, I used my 24mm prime and at f.2 for that separation of subject and background.
Thanks for checking in!