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Goddess of Rain
1st PlaceGoddess of Rain
Haakon


Photograph Information Photographer's Comments
Challenge: Rain III (Advanced Editing VII)
Camera: Canon EOS-5D Mark III
Lens: Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM II
Location: Burbank, California
Date: Aug 2, 2013
Aperture: 4.0
ISO: 100
Shutter: 1/160
Date Uploaded: Aug 7, 2013

This is my first DPchallenge entry in six and a half years! I loved starting my photographic journey here, and after taking some time to find myself and refine my style, I thought it would be fun to make a return. I have had the idea for this shot for awhile, but when I saw that the challenge this month was "rain," I knew it was the time to go for it.

The photo was based upon an Orbit gum print ad I saw several years ago. I thought the concept was cool, but I wanted to do something much darker and more dramatic that put more of the focus on the character. A costume designer friend helped make the dress for me (which is made out of real umbrellas!), and then I just needed to figure out how to execute the idea I had in mind.

I'm worried that some people may think a lot of this image was put together in Photoshop, but the whole thing was done entirely in-camera. The only changes I made in post were to the overall color/contrast and some minor removal of raindrops from the model's face.

To get the feeling of the subject standing in a large body of water, I had her stand on top of a ladder in the middle of a backyard swimming pool. The rain was just spray from a garden hose. Finally, I wanted the background to be dark and dramatic, but here in the warm California summer I knew mother nature wasn't going to cooperate with me - so to solve this problem, I rented a large handpainted canvas backdrop and hung the bottom just slightly under the water's edge to provide a seamless transition from ocean to sky. In this exposure you can see just a tad bit of draping from the canvas in the upper left; I have chosen a different composite image for my final portfolio version but wanted to keep the authenticity of the advanced editing rules in place here so I left this alone.

The photo was lit with three strobes; a key, a backlight, and a third very low light that caught the model's legs (they were otherwise in shadow from the key hitting the dress). The backdrop itself had enough falloff exposure from the key so I didn't need to light it separately. I tried using a softbox on the key originally, but in such a wide space the diffused light was too difficult to control and I ultimately ended up running all three strobes completely bare.

I also tried using a longer shutter for more "streaky" rain (which someone will probably make a comment about), but it proved problematic as I then had white lines covering lots of the subject and I didn't find it flattering. I also love the texture on the bottom of the photo where the drops are violently striking the surface of the water, and that effect was minimized with a longer shutter.

The pool was heated but the rain was freezing and the model was an amazing sport going through different looks until we got the perfect shot. This pose is actually fairly similar to the one in the original advertisement though it wasn't intentional; she just tried several positions and this was the frame that I felt looked the best without any modifications.

I have a few behind the scenes pictures I'm happy to share once I can figure out how to link that all up to this body of text. It's great to be participating in a dpchallenge contest again and I thank everyone for taking the time to view, critique, and vote on my work.

[Sep. 8th, 2013 04:02:25 AM]

Wow, I'm speechless. Thank everyone so much for their votes of confidence in this. To come back after such a long time and be awarded a blue feels so personally validating and incredibly humbling. I made a goal when I started here to make each of my photos score better than the last. So far, I've accomplished that. Now I have a feeling that is going to be an incredibly difficult feat to continue. :P I really appreciate all of the comments that people took the time to make, and 21_N.gif tanguera, if there's ever a tag-team diptych challenge in the future, I would be honored to tackle it with you. :)

I'll leave this last image for those who are interested; a behind-the-scenes shot of the setup as I was getting it all ready:

Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_1082333.jpg

Thanks again, it really means a lot to me.

Statistics
Place: 1 out of 72
Avg (all users): 7.2658
Avg (commenters): 8.7143
Avg (participants): 6.6857
Avg (non-participants): 7.7273
Views since voting: 2653
Views during voting: 268
Votes: 79
Comments: 30
Favorites: 8 (view)


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AuthorThread
09/11/2013 04:37:41 AM
Fantastic.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/09/2013 02:47:24 PM
Great Job!!! beautiful work.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/09/2013 11:09:52 AM
Wow what a way to make a comeback!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/08/2013 08:43:23 PM
Congrats and welcome back. Wonderful effort that paid off.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/08/2013 07:18:57 PM
Congratulations on the blue! Fabulous work!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/08/2013 07:11:54 PM
Super shot... what else can I say? :)
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/08/2013 06:16:23 PM
WOW! Congratulations! I am otherwise speechless at the effort you put in, as well as the result.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/08/2013 02:56:58 PM
Very professional. Excellent in every way.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/08/2013 02:32:08 PM
Congratulations on your win, well done and welcome back.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/08/2013 01:51:42 PM
Excellent work my top pick.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/08/2013 01:24:46 PM
Cream of the crop!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/08/2013 12:14:33 PM
The tribe has spoken - blue for you today. Top grade professional work.

Message edited by author 2013-09-08 14:15:30.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/08/2013 12:08:49 PM
Fantastic shot. Congrats on the ribbon.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/08/2013 11:29:27 AM
Congrads on your well planned out and executed shot!!!! Lighting, idea, and details all come together for a very unique Umbrella and Rain shot. Love the umbrella skirt - I figure that must have taken a lot of work too given that one would have to put supports in for it to keep its shape after cutting a hole in it.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/08/2013 07:23:26 AM
Speechless and full of admiration for such a great young talent.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/08/2013 04:59:37 AM
What a superb image and back-story. Congrats!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/08/2013 03:32:09 AM
Congratulations,great image.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/08/2013 03:17:18 AM
Amazing, and thanks for sharing how you went about to get the shot.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/08/2013 02:48:36 AM
Brilliant. What a great model shot.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/08/2013 02:27:11 AM
Welcome back! You're a neighbor!!!! And congrats on what I was certain would be the blue.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/08/2013 12:26:17 AM
Dude.

IMPRESSIVE EFFORT, and what a result.

Congrats on the very well deserved win.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/08/2013 12:18:58 AM
I was pretty sure this was going to be the winner. Well done, and congratulations.
And, of course, Welcome Back!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
 Comments Made During the Challenge
09/07/2013 01:00:07 PM
Definitely in my top 3, actually for me this is the winner!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/04/2013 08:30:48 AM
An umbrella skirt - never seen that before. Very nice shot. Striking.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/02/2013 01:32:12 PM
Really very nice.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/02/2013 04:12:29 AM
I'm not sure umbrella skirts will catch on. They could be a bit... awkward. For me, they work graphically and you did well. Congratulations!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/01/2013 10:34:16 PM
Stunning
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/01/2013 08:38:06 PM
Love this one!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/01/2013 01:15:20 PM
VERY clever. Perfect use of cool tone glamour glow
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/01/2013 12:41:06 PM
Got to be a high flyer,nice image.
  Photographer found comment helpful.


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