Mothers Day – An American Portrait of Casondra Seim

Mothers-DayMy wife with slender features and long flowing hair is like a Renaissance beauty. Simple grace is suited to a silver image. I made just two frames on 4×5 film, working on controlling the light and the almost Mona Lisa style of pose set in the kids room. I just love the long hair here and the context that the surrounding elements offers.

I made this Mothers day weekend. And a great mother Sondra is. She wrangles our three kids every day like nobodies business and gets things done. This exemplifies why I love environmental portraits. It’s classic in pose and light, but implements a real scene and the items that reflect what a mother deals with every day. Did I mention Sondra cooks too and makes a great model for my projects? I hope you enjoy… Gav

For Photographers. How it was made…

Technical Notes: Linhof Technica IV, 150mm Fujinon @ f5.6, 1/30, HP400 4×5 Film, Induro Tripod
Std Development, Epson V700 Wet Scan, Lightroom 4, Photoshop, Seim Effects tools.

I placed highlights around Zone 7. After scanning I spent a good bit of time on tone control basics like toning down the background elements and making sure the emphasis was on the subject. Good tone control and often burning and dodging is key to mastering an environmental portrait. It’s something we discuss in detail in my EXposed series.

I also did some pixel level painting on this, mostly with the hair, fixing a few shadows that it cast. Slightly different placement of the LED light panel which sat at about four o clock might have prevented some of this this. Lights are a subtle thing and these type of projects help me exercise the sense of detail and watching for every element that effects the image.


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