mercy

The story behind “Mercy”

Written in 2011, this is how a simple shot (and this was just a test shot really) can transform into a prize winning image!

Today I feel I created something special, not just because the three wonderful kids are my family. But because the moment I was finished, I was filled with a certain sentiment.
The photo made me feel something…and I thought I could share how I accomplished the finished result.
The light was set up by 4 lights:
- 1 on the white background
- 1 main light (deep octa)
- 2 softboxes as backlights from each side
This is straight from raw (1/160 f8)

unreal_-85-2

Step one was of course twisting the raw file, reducing saturation and adjusting temperature/exposure/fill light/recovery/blacks until I was happy with my vision.
After converting, croping was necessary to get rid of the elements that had nothing to do with the essentials of this photo. After all, this is all about their faces and expressions, as well as the great work by stylist Vidar Graven.
A little softing was applied, but not much as these are children. Too much would just look unnatural.
The fun part was experimenting with textures, and I used two different ones, which I have used several times before:
lomofilm1stainedpaper5
I played around with these, adjusting tones, opactiy and applied gaussian blur to all, and ended up with one layer of the “old paper” set to soft light, and two layers of the “grunge” texture, also set to soft light.
When happy with the transitions, I flattened the image, and started working in a color software, adding several layers of “low key” toning, as well as lighting the center/darkening the surroundings. This is a test of patience, as you never get totally happy…but in the end I just had to save and see what happened.
And this is when I realized I had something here! Slowly working the edges, adding some contrast, and then removing some, I got to the final stage of color adjustment. This is where I finished, and got this:
mercy

And finally, the awards

  • Bronze NFF Landskonkurranse 2013
  • Photography Masters Cup Nominee 2013 – Fashion
  • Silver NFF Laugskonkurranse 2012