Conceptual Photography

Original Image
Afterlight editing




For this project, we were required to draw a verb, an adjective, and a noun from a bowl at random and create an image based on these words + 2 other words of our choosing. The words I drew were “Inspire, Nocturnal, & Flower,” and the 2 words I added were “light and forest.” I wanted to create a fairytale-like image of a woman in the forest. I wanted her to seem as though she were a fairy or something similar.

I’ll be the first to admit I was not excited for this project. I figured it was one that required a lot of time and planning, and having only a few days to take the photos and edit them made me nervous. I had very few ideas that I thought were actually doable, and the weather has been so nasty lately that I didn’t even know if I would be able to manage a photo shoot. The icing on top of the cake was that I had a good idea, but didn’t have anyone available to model for me.

What I ended up doing was modeling for myself. As soon as there was a clear day with nice lighting, I gathered up all of my gear (& my husband) and headed down to the Ricks Gardens to take some shots. I had my husband stand in while I adjusted the settings, and then switched places with him and had him hit the button on the camera when I was ready. We took the photos at around 8 pm and as soon as we finished, it started to rain and a tornado warning was issued for the area. I thanked the storm gods for holding off as we headed home.

Once home, I loaded my photos in Adobe Bridge, sorted through the images, and chose the best one for my concept. I then loaded that image in Adobe Lightroom and did some edits (see above). The main thing I did in Lightroom was use the brush tool to adjust the temperature and exposure of the subject (making her brighter) while making the background cooler and darker. After that, I adjusted colors to make certain colors pop while others were more muted.

I then exported the image into Adobe Photoshop. While in Photoshop, I made the photo a little brighter and added the light orbs using the lens flare filter. Finally, I added in the fog at the subject’s feet using some custom Photoshop brushes and a lot of patience.

Overall I am extremely happy with how the image turned out. I went in having no idea what I was going to be able to actually pull off and managed to create something much better than my original ideas. I had a lot of fun creating this image, and I was able to learn a lot in the process.

After Critique:

I didn’t receive too much critique while in class, but I did make the image a little warmer and sharpen the image to make the smaller details pop. I really like how the image looks printed and mounted on foam core.

Here is the edited image for print, notice the differences?


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