Idea for this shot came spontaneously. One day, while going through my girlfriend's old jewelry I found this necklace made of beads of different sizes. It inspired me to create this cosmic, romantic shot by multiplying this necklace and creating a web-like pattern in post-production. I went downstairs and tied it up between tree's branches and shot it using various lens from different angles. By using Canon L-series 16-35mm f2.8 lens I distorted the beads at the sides of the frame while shallow depth of field of Canon L-Series 85mm f1.2 lens added the blurry, less visible beads. I bought my girlfriend flowers and asked her to pose for me in the park nearby. For her portrait I used the same 85mm lens. Besides using available sunlight i also positioned her against a snowdrift that reflected some light on her face and softened the shadows.
Following are the shot's parameters: f.1.2, shutter speed 1/100 sec, ISO 100. I used Canon 5D Mark II camera. To compose all elements in one single image I used a combination of 6 layers of beads with different blending modes in Photoshop CS4 and one layer with a portrait.
From top to bottom the blending modes of the layers are as follows: Multiply - Multiply - Soft Light - Screen - Screen - Screen – Normal (the portrait layer). Layers set to "Multiply" were used for darker beads, while those set to "Screen" filled most of the frame. Soft Light layers added bright spots at the corners of the image and barely visible pale beads. I brushed away unnecessary parts of each layer using regular layer mask. To cool down the colors I applied my favorite color correction tool called Exposure 3 by Alien Skin. It's a plugin that simulates colors and characteristics of various negative and slide films. It has every possible preset from classic to to most extreme cross processed films shot on Lomo cameras. For this particular image I used a basic setting of Polaroid 669 and added more cyan to it's shadows to make the whole photograph more blueish.
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