Beata Rydén Photography Blog

Beata Rydén Photography Blog

Creating "Void"

Creating photographsPosted by Beata Wed, May 08, 2013 00:05:49

I am very proud to share my latest work with you: "Void" for my series Finding Peace.

"Void" 2013.


I am going to write about the process of creating this photograph. I hope that you will learn something from it!

"Void" was created during the project "Roots of imagination" that I did together with Victoria Söderström. I had planned to do another picture for this series, but when I left town with Victoria to drive to the countryside (where we stayed for a couple of days to shoot together), I didn´t know how this photo would look. Me and Victoria had an amazing time, helping each other out with different photo shoots, acting as both models and assistants. Victoria had smoke bombs with her that I was happy to use in this and this picture. The smoke bombs also made me think of this picture. I thought of someone standing outside on a field with her head in the bubble, looking far away into the fog. I think fog is an interesting symbol for borders, or the lack of borders. The bubble is a symbol of integrity, our ability to find peace within ourselves. But the fog is uncertain, we can´t see beyond it and it has no border.

I knew that I wanted to use the white dress that Victoria had bought online. I knew that I wanted to photograph before sunrise, because I needed that magical light you can only get at the blue hour before the day starts.

Trying to keep warm with a blanket!

So, one morning we got up early. I put on the white dress and a lot of clothes over the dress to keep me warm. I took the bubble and my camera gear. Victoria packed some props for her picture that she was going to take after I was finished with mine, and her own camera. I wanted to use myself as a model because I wanted the color of my hair to contrast against the fog and whiteness of the picture. We tried to put a darker wig on Victoria (who´s blonde) but with that on she couldn´t fit the bubble on her head. Because of that, I decided to do this picture as a self portrait.

I knew exactly how I wanted to stand, how to hold my arms and in what direction I was going to look, because I had practiced on different positions the day before, asking Victoria to photograph me at the same time so that I could easily see what position was best for this picture.

What I didn´t know was where to stand. We tried some different spots, and you can easily see the difference between light:

Here I am turned towards the morning sky, and as you can see, the sky is brighter than my dress, which is quite dark. Photo by Victoria Söderström.

Here I am turned towards the darker forest, which allows the white dress to pop, which was what I wanted. I decided to go with this spot. Photo by Victoria Söderström.

After I knew where to stand, I asked Victoria to pose with the bubble so that I could adjust my camera settings. I adjusted the height of the tripod, the angle, shutter speed and aperture.

Getting ready to shoot.

First I took the main shot, where I would stand in position with the bubble on my head. I then asked Victoria to light a smoke bomb in order to get the foggy effect that I needed (there were no "real" fog to be seen anywhere). Victoria did a great job, running around with the smoke bomb in her hand to make the smoke spread in the air. Meanwhile, I stood still with the bubble on my head, photographing with my remote to catch the smoke in camera.

The smoke turned out great in camera, creating the foggy feeling that was my goal. In post processing I used one shot of me standing with the bubble, and one shot with a lot of fog. I combined these two images, adjusted some curves, and then the job was done :)

Here are some more pictures from the shoot:

After running with the smoke bomb, Victoria had black fingers!

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