December 22, 2009

Dickens on the Strand #2

Meet Kelly. Steve and I took her photograph last year, and to be honest, in spite of having a really great subject, we did not do a very good job. What was the problem? Well, we did not do a very good job controlling the background. In my photo, I had tent supports growing out of Kelly’s head. I changed the background and ended-up with a very nice photo of her, but, the original photo was just not that good. You can see the post of last year’s photo and the altered background here.

When Steve and I saw Kelly at this year’s Dickens on the Strand, we both rushed over to her to make amends. We immediately started looking for a background that would complement her and her clothes. Steve photographed her in landscape mode and included very little of her clothing. You can see his portrait here.

I wanted to show more of her so I photographed her in portrait mode and included enough background to establish her position relative to a building. I really like the vanishing lines of the background and thought that they played well off of Kelly.


Camera settings: Nikon D3, Nikon 28-70mm f/2.8 at 50mm shot at ISO 200, f/6.7 and 1/250th of a second with a SB800 with softbox attached right and left of subject and set to ½ and ¼ power and triggered with AlienBee radio triggers.

Post Processing:

Lightroom—Set white and black points, added mid-tone contrast, added clarity.

Photoshop—Cloned-out part of a sign in the upper right corner and used nik Color Efex Pro soft focus filter at 35% opacity to soften Kelly.


  1. This is a lovely portrait of a beautiful woman. She seems so relaxed and looks quite graceful. Good use of the complimentary background.

  2. Looking at yours and Steve's portraits, it looks like the basic coloring of photographs are different and that Steve's had a lot more Photoshop work done to it. I cannot say which I like better. Steve's photo is more a glamour look while yours is more of a portrait of your daughter. It is amazing how different two photographers can make the same person look. Liked the reference to Steve's photo for comparison.

  3. Nice easy to look at portrait. The red of the hat complements the background nicely. Very pleasing smile. Seems like someone that you would like to know.

  4. Very nice portrait. I like yours more than Steve;s.
    Charles M