If Only in a Dream – Dreamy Ethereal Photography
The second phase of my winter 2018 passion project is complete. The name ’Flight’ was chosen to depict freedom, weightlessness, joy. On second thought, what I should have named it is, ‘If Only in a Dream,’ for the way this series came together. I could never have planned it; both the shoot and the design process seemed to arrive out of nowhere.
The shots were taken at Watts Hall in Thomaston, Maine. Built in 1890, the building has been a central figure in community life in the Midcoast for more than a century and was the place where my daughter’s wedding reception was held. It was perfect for a shoot; plenty of light, space, freedom to move. The white pillar, red stage curtain, and black backdrop proved to be key elements in the final product.
Give a woman a length of tulle and some music to move to and wonderful things happen! Annie brought elegance and grace to the shoot. I shot the scene straight on, from the floor, and a couple of steps up on a ladder. Each angle brought a different feel and perspective. Several images were shot with a piece of crumpled clear plastic waved in front of the lens, something like what you get for a flower sleeve, a bit stiff so it will stay taught. The result was dreamy, dappled light filtering the scene in a way that left me speechless. The idea was inspired by photographer Jessica Kobeissi. You can find her video here.
The stage was lit with one large window on the right side of the subject (left in the images). This natural light was the only light used. My camera settings were similar to a dark and moody still life scene. Low ISO in the 100-400 range, low F-stop approximately F 3.2 and a shutter speed to create just enough light contrast.
Below are three of the 14 edits. But they are not just Lightroom edits. Not sure what to call them yet. I am painting with textures. Putting them in, taking a bit away, layering and merging much like I do in a painting or collage. The process is described in this class. I have given you the before crop, one of the textures used, and the final image.
The image below was edited with two distinct processes, very different results. In the darker image, a grunge texture and a scratch texture were incorporated. In the lighter image a Pure Light fabric overlay was incorporated and then the whole image was colorized.
The remainder of the series can be found in my portfolio under If Only in a Dream and for sale as digital downloads in my shop and my Etsy store. The textures and overlays can be found in both stores as well.
By all means, leave a comment or send me a note if you have any questions about the shoot or the process.
Get your free mini master class!
How to use Photoshop Overlays in Conceptual Photography