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Susan 1

By stevesloan
Hi Folks

Well after a truly awful 2 weeks of family health scares ( they say things come in threes, we have had 3......) first submission for a while .

This comes from a little oasis in the recent chaos, a photo shoot with a local woman who is working to rebuild her portfolio. As a young woman she split her career into two as a jockey and a model. She then suffered a horrific attack by a drug addict, a case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time . She experienced severe head injuries and a crushed hand and multiple breaks to her shoulder. Many operations and two careers finished she settled into family life had a child and is now seeking to follow up on her career as a model again.

She is an exceptional talent and it was a real joy to work with her.


Tags: Black and white Portraits and people

Voters: morpheus1955, nonur, uktruckie and 15 more

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nonur Plus
8 17 12 Turkey
18 Dec 2013 11:11AM
Hope everything gets better soon, Steve. V1 is quite different, V2 is excellent.

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18 Dec 2013 11:15AM
Thanks for the kind words Nezih. Susan wanted some striking " out of the box" portraits hence the treatment of V1, but as something of a traditionalist I prefer the tones in V2 as well. Steve
Irishkate Plus
7 41 111 United Kingdom
18 Dec 2013 12:27PM
Sad but inspirational story - best wishes to Susan.
I like the reflective feel to both images and especially like V1.
Eyelashes, earrings and painted nails - all feminine and delicate.
I just want to remove the lower bit of the stray hair - not all of it.
Kate GrinGrinGrin
18 Dec 2013 12:36PM
I know what you mean Kate but not easy in post processing, it would have created other issues. It is one of those " why didn't I see that when I took the photo!" issues which often crops up in portraiture!

woolybill1 Plus
11 22 70 United Kingdom
18 Dec 2013 3:17PM
Sad stories that have turned out well in the end . . . .
I can see what V1 is aiming at but the hand/face tonal contrast jars. The composition pleases, however, but my preference is for V2.
mrswoolybill Plus
10 1.1k 1767 United Kingdom
18 Dec 2013 4:49PM
I prefer the pose of V1, the processing of V2.
I am difficult to please...
scrimmy Plus
9 388 5 Scotland
18 Dec 2013 5:10PM
V1 lovely portrait...I don't mind the hand/face contrast focus's my attention on the face I feel....but that distraction to the left has to go Smile
18 Dec 2013 6:17PM
As you can probably tell I am quite invested in V1 so taking comments into account I have uploaded more versions, including a colour original, I'd be interested in your views

woolybill1 Plus
11 22 70 United Kingdom
18 Dec 2013 7:27PM
V3 and V4 both work better than V1, Steve, in my view. While the composition remains dramatic the skin tones are more even; also what appears to be a cluster of lights floating in the air on the left of V1 is explained as the studs on a wrist band. The more you vignette the background (as in V5) the stranger this looks, until the complete disappearance of the arm in V1 removes all explanation of what it's doing (and it is clearly not bokeh so it looks rather awkward). In the vignetted versions it might be better to remove this object all together.
I meant to mention this originally but was distracted and forgot BlushBlushBlush
Returning to V1, I suspect that the darker tones on Susan's left hand emanate from vignetting anyway.
I can't think of any more offhand, except that I'd love to see more of your work with Susan.
Hope this helps.
19 Dec 2013 12:17AM
All are suberb, but for me V2 and V5, work better.
mrswoolybill Plus
10 1.1k 1767 United Kingdom
19 Dec 2013 9:10AM
Sorry I didn't get back to this last night, other matters intervened. V5 works best for me, it has a cold aloof quality. V4 is almost there but lacks a sense of luminosity in the skin tones.
In both I would paint out the arm, bangle and bit of basketwork on the left.
Thanks for adding the new versions, this is an image worth working on.
Irishkate Plus
7 41 111 United Kingdom
19 Dec 2013 10:10AM
V5 works best for me too but without the cuff for simplicity I think.
The skin tones in V1, although pale do look like porcelain and give Susan a Madonna like purity.
you could play with that idea again. Purely a personal opinion.
I'd like to see more work with your new model too and good luck to you both.
Kate GrinGrinGrin
19 Dec 2013 4:30PM
Thanks everyone for your really helpful comments, they are really very much appreciated - Steve
dudler Plus
14 620 1170 England
26 Feb 2014 6:00PM
Intriguing background, and I wish her very well indeed.

I like the treatment in V1, as I tend (still!) to use very grainy film for this sort of effect. It works so well for emphasising the delicacy of a model. Too bad David Hamilton got the technique a bad name with very young models (what DO you do with copies of his books? Legally sold in the Seventies and Eighties, but highly dubious now!)

The only thing is that I reckon the processing is slightly overdone round her eyes - a touch of the Panda Effect... Too much burning in? Other than this, it's lovely, and V1 is ahead by a mile.

Afterthought: is it possible to clone out that bright bit on the left, in the background, or at least burn it in to reduce its prominence?
Franko59 6 3 2 England
21 Apr 2014 6:05PM
Great images subtly done with thought and care for the model! I hope life improves for her and yourself! Regards Ian

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