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Sweet Innocense
Sweet Innocense

Photograph Information Photographer's Comments
Challenge: Duotones II (Basic Editing III)
Collection: Family
Camera: Nikon D70s
Lens: Nikon AF-S DX Zoom-Nikkor 18-70mm f/3.5-4.5G IF-ED
Location: Home
Date: Feb 18, 2006
Aperture: f/9
ISO: 200
Shutter: 1/200
Galleries: Family, Studio
Date Uploaded: Feb 18, 2006

Many have asked how I achieved this photo, so I figured I'd better add it here too, for any who would like to know in the future.

Most of this effect was achieved in-camera, with very little post processing. I simply set up my home studio with a white paper roll for the background, one strobe and one reflector to fill in the shadows. I added anywhere from 2-4 stops of exposure compensation during shooting to get the high key effect. I did shoot in RAW to have more control over the final image.

Next, in Photoshop, I converted to JPEG, did a channel mixer adjustment layer to switch to b/w, then changed the mode to duotone and used a blue preset built in to photoshop. After resizing for the proper dimensions, I converted to Lab color and did a USM on the lightness layer, and then converted back to RGB color. And that's it!

Hopefully viewers will find this information useful. And as always, if any more information is desired, just PM me!


This is my 2-year old daughter. I originally started out trying to do those "high key" photos, in our makeshift studio, and then thought that I could probably make these work really well for a duotone image also.

I know I will get hit up on it, but yes, the flower is definitely fake. It's hard to find some nice flowers outside when there is snow on the ground and the temperature is around 5 degrees.

I did have tons of fun with this one, so even if it doesn't come near the top, it is one of my best in my eyes.

Here is the original photo. And here are two outtakes: Outtake 1 Outtake 2

This photo took first place in the advanced amatuer division of the Utah State Fair photo contest in 2006!

Place: 12 out of 631
Avg (all users): 6.5654
Avg (commenters): 8.7778
Avg (participants): 6.5691
Avg (non-participants): 6.5600
Views since voting: 2526
Views during voting: 460
Votes: 306
Comments: 28
Favorites: 12 (view)

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05/06/2006 01:38:37 AM
This is so nice! I love the gentleness and the beauty of this image. This is definitely a keeper for her :) Great job on this one!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/03/2006 12:02:15 PM
from the Critique Club

Being the vindictive soul I am, I ought to tell you about how much I dislike so much of the stuff going on in this shot - I mean, how twee do you want to get? And not only have you submitted one of the dreaded photographs of your children, you've even managed to include the equally-dreaded flower in it, and gone for a particulrly flattering approach too! What's even more annoying, you scored damn well with it!

You see, there's a difference between this kind of nearly-perfectly executed attempt to understand a style, and the kind of guff that lacks any self-consciousness that is so often submitted. I have to applaud you for trying, and succeeding so well. After a quick look around your portfolio and challenge entries I find it hard to believe that this is your highest placed shot - unless you're deliberately trying to achieve the remarkable feat of collected every place from 11 to 20 before breaking in to the stars, HM's and ribbons world ;-)

There are a couple of things I would have considered; firstly, should this really be a landscape format shot? Certainly it works, and even lends a strength compositionally, but would that necessarily be lost with a change of format? I'm unsure, but it would have been my first approach (not that I'm any great shakes as a portrait photographer). Secondly, for all the high-key-ness of it, I wonder if you might happily have taken the shadows a little further to shade? I feel it might have served to emphasise the smoothness of complexion a bit more, bring a touch more depth to it all. I'm not talking about all the way to black, but just a little further ...

There seems, on a minor technical note, to be something not quite right around the eyelashes; but it isn't enough to spoil a very accomplished photograph. I would think you'd be very pleased with the outcome. I'm looking forward to seeing more from you in future challenges ...

  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/03/2006 08:35:46 AM
Lovely image. What sort of lighting did you use?
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/01/2006 02:43:52 PM
It's one of my favorites too! Beautifully done! A photo that will be treasured long after the challenge is forgotten! Your little model just couldn't be more adorable!!! Congratulations on 11th place!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/01/2006 01:28:54 PM
Congratulations on your top 20 finish with this delicate and lovely study. Very good work!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/01/2006 08:00:55 AM
congrats on a fine photo and great finish. this was one of my ribbon picks for the challenge... thought you captured just the essence of the subject, her expression perfect, the hi key treatment added to the soft dreamlike feel.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/01/2006 12:43:03 AM
Beautiful work. I love the composition. Nice job on such a high placement amid tough competition.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
 Comments Made During the Challenge
02/28/2006 02:08:54 PM
I really like the high-key effect. This is excellent
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/28/2006 09:07:49 AM
I love this one!!!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/27/2006 07:29:05 PM
Amazing picture, 10
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/26/2006 04:02:16 PM
A beautiful picture,This should win it for you!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/26/2006 01:30:17 PM
Lovely high key! 7
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/26/2006 03:07:00 AM
Beautiful!!! I love this kind of high key white light. 9
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/25/2006 05:27:37 PM
Amazing effect you got at this picture !! Congratulations.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/25/2006 11:54:01 AM
How pretty. The high key really works on this. Great job!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/25/2006 11:10:48 AM
Very nice shot - a technique my wife has been trying to master and is just about there so I know the hard work that has gone into this - well done you should win with this.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/24/2006 12:26:14 PM
Great super-high key shot, the cool blue works well. In my top 5 for the challenge.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/24/2006 10:11:46 AM
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/23/2006 07:29:18 PM
Beautiful portrait. Looks like a charcoal sketch. I love the artistry on this one, and the tones are gorgeous. 9
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/23/2006 06:31:44 PM
Too washed out for my taste.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/23/2006 12:45:07 PM
Beautiful composition and editing. Love the soft tones.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/23/2006 09:06:18 AM
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/23/2006 06:39:11 AM
I love this...maybe a little too bright.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/23/2006 12:52:11 AM
Neat effect. Sort of looks like a pencil rendering. Like how light and airy it is. 8
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/22/2006 05:40:54 PM
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/22/2006 04:49:09 PM
for me, everything about this shot works...the little girl has delicate features, the petals on the flower are delicate... the color/tone of this photo is delicate..... very very well done
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/22/2006 12:11:52 PM
Very well done!!! I love this photo! Wish the flower could have been real or more real looking. Great color choice! - 10!!!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/22/2006 03:04:28 AM

Message edited by author 2006-03-01 00:28:57.
  Photographer found comment helpful.

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