Seamstress Of Her Own Destiny

John Flury a photographer from Zurich, Switzerland shot this amazing conceptual photograph recently.

“This is the story of a young woman and her daily battle of working hard to become a professional flamenco dancer. As part of a project cycle called “Lichtdialoge” (dialogs in/with light), I am collaborating with people from different social/ethnical backgrounds to tell their own unique story in a conceptual and artistic fashion. The process sometimes takes months, to build the trust and understanding needed. With this photo however it only took a couple of weeks, because I had already a conceptual idea that applied perfectly to her story.

The photo was shot with three Canon speedlights: one in a Lastolite Hotrod Stripbox with a 1/2 CTB gel, a second one with a yellow gel shooting in the back of the aluminum covered lamp and a third one in a beauty dish, also with a yellow gel on it. I used tungsten white balance to shift everything, including the ambient light, towards the cool end of the color spectrum. The final composite consists of about a dozen separate exposures, which allowed me to change the angle and direction of the speedlights for each image part as needed.

The camera was locked on a tripod and remotely triggered via the iPhone “EOS Remote” app. The post-production process can be shortly described as the following steps: Compositing the 12 exposures into one image, retouching, light dynamics (darkening the background, drawing in light rays and), color & look (desaturation, some curves and selective coloring), texture (adding a little bit of wall texture to the back wall), selective sharpening. For more information about the process, please read my tutorial on http://1x.com/photo/171289/latest:tutorial.” -John Flury

Equipment: Canon 6D, EF 50mm F/1.4, three Canon speedlights, Lastolite Hotrod Stripbox, Sambesi beauty dish for speedlights.

You can view more of John’s work here:
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  • Baggl

    Fantastic! For how many shots she/they had to sit still? Just wondering since you shifted stuff around etc.

  • John Flury

    @Baggl. I think it took about 20 photos to really nail her pose (paying close attention to her body flow and negative space under her arms, relaxed hands etc.) and then maybe 20 more with the hair in motion. In the end, I didn’t even have to compose the moving hair in separately, because she still managed to land in the pose we worked on before, an impressive feat on her part. I didn’t shift any of the props around though, I only moved the flashs to light the different image elements individually.

  • Baggl

    Very nice and very impressive! That counts for you and the model :-)

  • http://www.vonwong.com/ Benjamin Von Wong

    This is beautiful John, great one

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