<<< o >>>on waking from a dream 26 comments + add yours

First of all, thanks for all the thoughtful comments on yesterday's shot of Rhowan.

As for the very different views you all expressed:

I think that some images require a greater interpretive effort than others, and that this is especially true for images that break with convention in some way. The shot of Rhowan, in my opinion at least, broke two conventions.

First, it was processed in way that isn't often associated with child portraiture – dark, moody, and so on. Second, even without the processing – in the absence of an understanding of the context – the scene appears to be rather odd ... a child, part-buried in the sand, eyes half shut, with a rope at her neck. Not exactly a 'happy child at play on the beach' shot.

Given the mismatch between expectation and reality there's a strong temptation to fill in gaps. And in doing that some of you chose a mythical story, some a more sinister one. Either way, I'm pleased ... not that you thought it sinister, or mythical for that matter, though that would be my interpretation too, but that it provoked a considered response. I don't mind the "nice shot" comments, but I would much prefer to create images that foster debate and engagement. At least that's my thoughts on the matter: let me know what you think.

As for today's shot, it was taken moments after yesterday's, and tells a slightly different story :-)

Oh, I should also add that I amended yesterday's shot, by removing a bit of the edge blur and lessening the depth of the shadows. The old version is here:


focal length
shutter speed
shooting mode
exposure bias
metering mode
image quality
RAW converter
3.02pm on 4/6/07
Canon 5D
EF 24-70 f/2.8L USM
aperture priority
C1 Pro
1x1 + children [portraits]
comment by Ronald at 09:44 PM (GMT) on 5 June, 2007

Love the processing on this one .
"I am Tuff", or maybe "Angry", better...both!
Great expression, very usefull tight square crop.
I just briefly viewed yesterdays photo...
Truely unconventional, and eerie...
But that is also what interests me on that shot.
Turning onto new untreadden paths (is that proper english?) takes a very creative mind and quite a dose of guts.
Did a distantly similar thing some time ago...my daughter was also the subject...scary photographs in the dark with one little spotlight...refreshing!
Will post a few on my blog one of these days...
Love your work. Take care..

comment by joanium at 10:41 PM (GMT) on 5 June, 2007

I like the detail in the sand. I'm not sure about the tone -- it's too red for me.

comment by Ash at 11:18 PM (GMT) on 5 June, 2007

Very, very different from yesterday's shot. Nice title too.
I'm also very impressed with your ability to handle criticism and discussion regarding your photos. More people could stand to learn from your example.

comment by Stewart Bywater at 11:27 PM (GMT) on 5 June, 2007

I like this shot a lot. The colours and composition are great, and the slight softness of the eyes adds a mysterious effect. Great work.

comment by Christopher Holland at 11:43 PM (GMT) on 5 June, 2007

I'm really digging this shot. Her eyes are really engaging and your treatment of them has pushed that even further. This has a more playful mood, but also one of power and self reliance. The eyes tell the whole story here.

comment by andyshon at 12:48 AM (GMT) on 6 June, 2007

Much prefer the less blured version of yesterdays shot, though I still find the blend of sharp sand to soft sand at the bottom of frame quite distracting. Like you say, interesting debate, which is after all the point of art, music, literature. To make people re-evaluate. Very well done and my compliments to the model, she knows the camera well.

comment by Nervion at 12:54 AM (GMT) on 6 June, 2007

Beautifull portrait, incredible eyes...
great job

comment by Tor H. Eriksen at 01:05 AM (GMT) on 6 June, 2007

The only thing I would've changed in this picture is her lips, making them a little colder than they are in this one. Not much, but a very slight touch. Very good work in getting the eyes to stand out from the rest of the photo like this, and an excellent cropping! Splendid work!

comment by andyshon at 01:19 AM (GMT) on 6 June, 2007

Perhaps, given yesterdays comments, I should clarify what I just said about the model. Correct me if I'm wrong but these two photos were not just your creation. Rhowan is an active creative participant in these pictures. She is as much responsible for these images as you are, and she's pretty good at it. Like I say, correct me if I'm wrong?

comment by Laura at 07:09 AM (GMT) on 6 June, 2007

I prefer this picture over yesterday one. I think yesterday's one is a great shot, i kind of like the misterious way of it. The reason I prefer one of today is because she looks more alive (and that's how i like to see childeren) and because of her great great great and beautifull eyes!

comment by Jennifer at 08:55 AM (GMT) on 6 June, 2007

Like the processing on this shot, but prefer yesterday's and probably the amend one slightly more. I thought is had a poetic quality, rather than a disturbing one.

comment by thomas mueller at 09:51 AM (GMT) on 6 June, 2007

excellent processing and i think you are right, with the opinion about childimages.
i ike the cold mood and the setup with the sand. it looks like a model shot and that's the point.on the one hand you show us a child and on the other it's like an advertisement image. beautiful!

comment by Keith De-Lin at 12:31 PM (GMT) on 6 June, 2007

intense stare.

comment by jelb at 01:19 PM (GMT) on 6 June, 2007

Original shot..Diiferent of usual portrait..Chromasia's Style..Rare..Bravo!

comment by Nathan at 01:46 PM (GMT) on 6 June, 2007

Beautifully done. Amazing toning and a great expression.

comment by birgit at 03:50 PM (GMT) on 6 June, 2007

what a difference to yesterdays pic! I like it now!

comment by djn1 at 08:39 PM (GMT) on 6 June, 2007


Ash: after doing this for over three years I've learnt a lot about criticism and discussion ;-)

andyshon: yes, Rhowan is very good with the camera.

comment by Alexandru Savu at 08:46 AM (GMT) on 7 June, 2007

Lovely photo.

comment by cy at 04:08 PM (GMT) on 7 June, 2007

love the intensity in her eyes. the coloring is really lovely. you would never guess that she had been modeling for the camera before.lol. look out future catwalks.

comment by mikelangelo at 05:30 PM (GMT) on 7 June, 2007

Cool! i really dig the eyes in this shot. Intense stare! With the sand on her chest/neck, I'd say someone woke her from a nap by dumping a bucket of sand on her... hence the look.

comment by Adam James at 06:43 PM (GMT) on 7 June, 2007

One thing I've learnt with Chromasia - despite some lulls (not that there's really ever been any?) David will always eventually post us an image that will dazzle. Here's one - it's the eyes amid sand.

That's why we always come back.

comment by m at 09:59 PM (GMT) on 9 June, 2007

This on the other hand is fantastic (see comments on previous shot). I love it. Awesome eyes.

comment by hoveeto at 10:01 AM (GMT) on 12 June, 2007

very beautiful portrait. she has a fantastic eyes, very good looking

comment by Remember to vote for the crazy republican environmentalist who will slash taxes at 04:07 PM (GMT) on 12 June, 2007

How do you process in the sand? Is there a photoshop action I can download? Also, what camera takes square photos like that? There's no way that was post processing, it's like a polarizing filter, you just can't recreate that stuff.

cul stuff!

comment by Kerly at 12:32 PM (GMT) on 27 June, 2007

Amazing eyes!!!

comment by olivier at 02:41 PM (GMT) on 11 July, 2007

Just GREAT !!!