<<< o >>>bodygraphia #8 6 comments + add yours

Of the three 'caged' shots of Iva that I've posted (here and here), this is my favourite by far: mostly because I think it's simply a better shot, but also because the cage seems to serve a different purpose here. In the second shot I posted (and to a lesser degree in the first) the cage was something that contained Iva, and as I previously mentioned, caging women, even for the purposes of conceptual photography, isn't something I'm especially comfortable with.

In this shot though, it looks like the tables have been turned, i.e. the cage is there to protect us from her: she looks powerful, possibly dangerous ... while in the previous two she seemed more of a victim.

Anyway, given that all three share the same theme, let me know which you prefer and, if possible, why.

In other news ...

The winners of our weekend competition to win a subscription to our Photoshop tutorials are as follows:

Ronan Palliser won the 12 month subscription.
Martin Bornack won the lifetime membership upgrade.
John Cavacas won a signed copy of one of my latest books.

And the answer to the question - "what was unusual about the post-production (beyond the normal contrast adjustments, black and white conversion, and so on)" - is that this the final image was a composite of three originals: one for the majority of the image, another for her right eye (and eyebrow), and a third for her left eye (and eyebrow). The problem I had with this one is that I really liked the overall feel of the main image but, because I inadvertently back-focussed, both her eyes were soft (in this case, too soft to sharpen). I didn't much like any of the shots where her eyes were sharp - well, I didn't like them as much as this one - so I decided to blend three images. I should add that this isn't a technique I'd recommend - it took ages to align her new eyes (mostly using the Warp tool) - but it was the only practical method I could think of that would rescue this image. Well done to everyone who managed to work this out (or get reasonably close).

Anyway, if you weren't one of the lucky winners you'll be pleased to hear that we're offering a 25% discount on our Photoshop tutorials to celebrate the August Bank Holiday weekend. Click the following link for more details:


PLEASE NOTE that this offer ends at midnight, Pacific Standard time (i.e. UTC-8) today.

focal length
shutter speed
shooting mode
exposure bias
metering mode
image quality
RAW converter
12.39pm on 16/8/10
Canon 5D Mark II
EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM
3x2 + people [portraiture] + show the original
comment by Martin Bornack at 07:56 AM (GMT) on 30 August, 2010

Thanks a lot Dave! I'll try to put your tutorials to good use. ;)

As for the caged images - I think I prefer this third shot, because it has the strongest expression and perhaps because I prefer the cage as protection. :)

comment by djib at 08:09 AM (GMT) on 30 August, 2010

Nice, I love the very intense look in her eyes. Good idea about taking that shot slightly tilted, it works very well.

comment by Chris at 02:58 PM (GMT) on 30 August, 2010

Iva has a very Jack Nicholson look about her here - definitely dangerous. I think #2 is more powerful: I get hit with the sense of a spider far more quickly and I feel like I'm in much more danger than I am in this one. That said, when I take the spider analogy further, I find some more disturbing connotations that I'm not comfortable with either. There can be provocative value for those images, I guess; but I think it's probably hard to know when the poetry they have does more harm than good. Tough ground.

comment by Dan McNab at 03:21 PM (GMT) on 30 August, 2010

I love it Dave! Definately my favorite of the caged series. It's a strong image to start with, and your work in post brings the madness out in this shot. Beautiful work!

comment by Annalisa at 03:46 PM (GMT) on 30 August, 2010

I love this picture, nice shot!

comment by djn1 at 01:44 PM (GMT) on 31 August, 2010

Thanks everyone.

Chris: I agree, and as I'm shooting Iva again at the weekend I'll bear it in mind.