Amateur Photographer - - Technique -

1 Out­fit

The orig­i­nal por­trait was taken for Vogue in New York City. Penn was renowned for be­ing metic­u­lous about de­tail, clean lines and shape so we needed to en­sure we matched the orig­i­nal as closely as pos­si­ble. We found a sim­i­lar look­ing top for our model from www.pret­tylit­ for £5.

2 Ac­ces­sories

It was im­por­tant we sourced sim­i­lar-look­ing ac­ces­sories, as it’s the de­tails that help make this image so unique. We bought a hat, fake nails (with stick-on pads) and a fake cig­a­rette from Ama­zon and the pearl drop ear­rings came from Claire’s Ac­ces­sories. The to­tal cost came in at £45 in­clud­ing postage.

3 Styling

We picked our model, Jess, from Gin­ger­snap mod­el­ling agency. She had a sim­i­lar pro­file to Mary Jane Rus­sell. To repli­cate her clas­sic 1950s look, we hired a hair and make-up artist. The main fo­cus were the eyes, with a thick, black liner ap­plied along the up­per lash and swept out just be­yond the outer cor­ner.

4 Light­ing

We set up a white back­ground like the orig­i­nal and used two Ro­to­light AEOS LEDs to il­lu­mi­nate it. We po­si­tioned one to­wards the back­drop at full power and an­other at the front to the right of the model to light her face, which was set to 50% power. Both lights were set to the day­light set­ting of 5200 Kelvin.

5 Pos­ing

We needed to repli­cate the an­gle of the neck and pro­file, the space be­tween the chin and shoul­der, the spa­ces be­tween arm and torso, plus the an­gle of the hand, fingers, tongue and cig­a­rette. We can see in this image, that we needed more space be­tween around the arm so we repo­si­tioned our model.

6 Choos­ing the fi­nal image

Try­ing to en­sure all the in­di­vid­ual el­e­ments of the pose came to­gether in one frame took over an hour and 382 frames. While it was tempt­ing to use Pho­to­shop to com­bine cer­tain el­e­ments of one photo with an­other to match the orig­i­nal, we de­cided to pick our favourite – a shot we cap­tured to­wards the end of the shoot.

7 Open in Adobe Cam­era Raw

We shot raw files to give us greater con­trol dur­ing post pro­duc­tion and be­gan our work­flow in Adobe Cam­era Raw, Pho­to­shop CC’s raw plug-in. We started with the Crop tool and ap­plied a square crop us­ing the 1 to 1 ra­tio crop op­tion. Next we se­lected Black & White Treat­ment in the Ba­sic panel to con­vert to mono.

8 Ex­po­sure tweaks

The ex­po­sure was pretty much spot on but we did re­duce it slightly to -0.25 to tone down the skin tone on our model’s face, and in­creased the Con­trast to +29. To ad­just the tones we moved over to the Black and White Mix panel. We set the Reds to -25 and Or­anges to +14 to repli­cate the tones in the orig­i­nal.

9 Fin­ish­ing touches

We opened the image into the main Pho­to­shop ed­i­tor to make use of Lay­ers and Masks in or­der to tweak the hat. The brim of our hat wasn’t as wide as the orig­i­nal and needed to be repo­si­tioned lower across the face. We se­lected small sec­tions and copied and pasted them into place and used the Clone tool to tidy up.

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