Ruslan says: Directing and painting are two of my professional backgrounds that I always try to bring to my photography. Here, I wanted to convey a story and leave it open to the viewer to decide on the narrative. The hardest part of this shoot was making the light look natural and soft as it was taken in low light and the lanterns were quite dim.
Dan says: Examining Ruslan’s image, it’s clear that a huge amount of thought has gone into the scene – it’s absolutely packed with subtle details. The textures are sublime, from the gnarled bark of the enormous fallen tree to the model’s smooth velvet dress.
This image uses the orange and teal colour toning method to make it look more cinematic. The warm tones come from the lanterns and the model’s hair, while the cooler tones are found in the dress and earthy woodland greens. The hot and cold colour palette works brilliantly well, though some additional pools of light could be added to make the lanterns appear as if they’re kicking out more light. This adds some wonderful dramatic lighting and you’ll see how you can do it in the Photo Fix panel below.
There’s a lot going on in this image, so in our version we’ve smoothed out the water, enlarged the fish to make them more prominent, and removed the mirror, replacing it with some trees to make the composition less cluttered.
BEFORE Canon 6D | 85mm | 1/250sec | f/3.2 | ISO 800