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Challenge: Magic & Mystery II (Expert Editing)
Collection: Artworks
Camera: Nikon D7000
Lens: Sigma 10-20mm f/4-5.6 EX DC HSM for Nikon
Date: Feb 1, 2012
Galleries: Emotive, Digital Art
Date Uploaded: Feb 2, 2012

[Feb. 9th, 2012 07:18:06 PM]

Larisa was a orphan. She lost her parents when she was 15. They were Ukrainian farmers and during the last famine they starved to death. All their provisions were for Larisa until they were too weak too survive. She was only a little girl when she remained alone. They lived in a small house, very far from the nearest village. Winters are very cold in Ukraine and even a small house can be quite big for a small, lost, girl. She used to cry at night after waking up haunted by creepy nightmares. Most of this nightmares were about the house, a horrible anthropomorphous thing that phagocytized her parents. During the days she tried to stay away from that place, trying to forget the nightmares, but each night the house came back during her sleep. And to make the things worse there was the hunger. She needed more food and she was thin like a scarecrow. One day, at the beginning of May, she decided to sleep outside, on the field. Spring is very short in Ukraine and nights are still cold, even in June. She was trembling with cold. She couldn't sleep and gusts of wind shook her body. But finally she fell asleep and that night nightmares disappeared. In the morning she was cold, she was still trembling but had a smile upon her face. When Larisa woke up she was hungry, as always, but soon realized that something had changed: she was surrounded by a couple of little plants that didn't exist the night before. She didn't know which kind of plants they were, but she was sure, absolutely sure, she could eat them. In their tasty leaves she could feel the warmth of their parents, their hugs, their love. She knew that something different was coming up there. Larisa realized that her red hair was extending... she could even see the growth through her own eyes. She knew that her past life didn't exist anymore. Larisa was ready to meet again their parents.


This is the story behind this image. Hope you liked the shot or the story or both ^_^

The actress is not a child but a grown woman, Agrafena, model for the first time for me.

I needed 4 shots to create this image: one studio shot for Agrafena, the field with the house, the tree and the branches.

Some of you were not sure of the red hair against the sepia tone of the rest of the image - well that was what inspired all the image so I couldn't change it. In my view the strength of image was in that detail.

Thank you for commenting this artwork. This is my favourite work so far and I hope the beginning of many images of this kind for me :)

Last but not least I wanna thank Agrafena for being a very patient model, Edmondo who was with me to shoot the field etc. and Emilio who borrowed me his D700 when the triggers didn't want to work with my D7000 :)

Place: 5 out of 55
Avg (all users): 7.3082
Avg (commenters): 8.5333
Avg (participants): 6.8684
Avg (non-participants): 7.4463
Views since voting: 2804
Views during voting: 436
Votes: 159
Comments: 31
Favorites: 8 (view)

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06/14/2012 10:38:56 AM
This is a remarkable image. A great idea expertly executed.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/12/2012 02:11:29 AM
Like the image; captivated by the story. Wow to both the story and image. Congrats on the placement BTW.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/11/2012 05:38:37 PM
This is awfully, awfully good. From my perspective, a more interesting image than several that finished ahead of it. But then, I'm a very literary, writer-type guy, so that makes sense. Anyway, great work!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/10/2012 10:55:11 AM
Just reading the word 'creative' beside my name, makes me happy - Thank you so much :)

Message edited by author 2012-02-10 14:50:50.
02/10/2012 10:23:43 AM
Oh my how great.
I like the fact that I don't completely understand it - leaving room for the imagination.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/10/2012 10:11:40 AM
Alessandro-I did not guess this was your work, but I knew this would score at the top somewhere. Wonderful story and work, congrats on HM! (and yes, keep up the creativity!)
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/10/2012 09:51:38 AM
That's a very interesting one, great concept and work. I also loved the story :) Keep up the great creativity!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/10/2012 07:27:05 AM
And wow! Love the story!!!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/10/2012 07:25:31 AM
Congrats on the HM and the awesome score!!!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/10/2012 01:36:51 AM
great story, Alessandro, to go along a superb image. It was on my short list as being yours, but then I didn't recognize the model.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/10/2012 12:28:36 AM
Great story explaining why she took root where she did. Thanks for sharing that!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/10/2012 12:18:38 AM
Great result wd!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/10/2012 12:18:04 AM
Love the story. And your dedication to this shot. Congrats on the HM
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/10/2012 12:05:27 AM
I thought this was the blue for sure! Oh man. Well, blue in my books.

I LOVE the name Agrafena. That just made this shot more complete for me. :)
  Photographer found comment helpful.
 Comments Made During the Challenge
02/09/2012 11:17:39 PM
This is magnificent
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/09/2012 01:46:44 PM
Voted earlier coming back to comment now.

A very interesting take on the dryad/tree nympths mythos. I like how you have a house off in the distance for it is a subtle visual clue that this is "home". The color red is vibrant - symbolically it makes me think of 'life's blood' - and indeed the hair or roots are this creature's life blood. It is her connection to mother earth. There are two things that I think would make the composition more stronger. First the blending of the tree base to the ground doesn't look well integrated or seamlessly connected to the ground. I would try selecting that tree base from the original image and feathering the selection more ....100 pixels or so. Or using the clone tool with an opacity of 60 -90 (trial and error), choose the spot you want to clone, and with a curved downward motion 'brush' the corners into the scene. Lastly, I think her arms are in an awkward position. The palms of her hands are up towards the sky when I think it would be more effective if they were pointed down towards the earth. That is where her 'roots' are so to speak, so she should be reaching in that direction rather than the sky. Still, a well done composition and I think it should do well.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/09/2012 12:25:37 PM
Like this very much in my top five for sure.Boost.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/09/2012 11:43:44 AM
a weird cinematic eerie quality from the lighting mixtures. I like the red hair, but it might have looked more archival in black and white.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/09/2012 06:25:51 AM
Liking this.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/09/2012 05:39:59 AM
so cool 10
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/08/2012 08:28:13 AM
I like the concept a lot. I can't help wondering how it would look if the whole image was in sepia tones. The tonal contrast helps conveying the idea of transformation, for sure.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/06/2012 10:37:26 PM
This is well done and full of mystery.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/06/2012 06:05:08 PM
love this shot! - 10
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/06/2012 10:46:36 AM
This is really cool. Way to embrace the competition. 9.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/04/2012 12:22:41 PM
Wow... very weird...but also very special. 10 :)

For some reason when I saw this photo it reminded me of a film entitled The Ring.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/04/2012 02:04:12 AM
very nice
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/03/2012 12:34:01 PM
Eerie, and well-executed. Interesting that she took root out in the middle of the field instead of close to the (presumed) family home in the background.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/03/2012 11:01:08 AM
Excellent portrayal of wicca.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/03/2012 10:54:57 AM
Eerie! Well done, although the tone of the hair doesn't quite go with the rest of the image.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/03/2012 09:04:39 AM
Terrific edit!!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/03/2012 12:05:38 AM
this came out great Alessandro!...love the mood..
  Photographer found comment helpful.

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