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Megan as "Jean" in Stage Door

Megan as
Photo Information
Copyright: Larry A Brechner (brech) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 543 W: 135 N: 1111] (3045)
Genre: People
Medium: Black & White
Date Taken: 2012-01-05
Categories: Experimental, Mood, HPP [Heavily Post-Processed], Portrait
Camera: Canon EOS 5D, Canon EF 24-105mm f/4 L IS
Exposure: f/8, 1/60 seconds
Details: (Fill) Flash: Yes
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version, Workshop
Date Submitted: 2012-01-07 19:51
Viewed: 1751
Favorites: 1 [view]
Points: 24
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
In preparation for our next theatrical show, Stage Door, we shot a series of publicity images. The period of the play is set in 1930s, and the young actress pictured here is Megan, playing the role of “Jean.”

We also needed a separate image of the lead character “Jean,” who is an aspiring actress with an aloof manner. As part of a plot point in the play, Jean, brings a portrait (painting) of her into the rooming house that she shares with other young aspiring actresses to hang on the wall. The color image would serve as the basis for this simulated, color, painted portrait (the color version will appear in a gallery exhibit during March 2012).

We did hair, make-up and “pulled” a costume that would be formal from the 1930 period for Megan. We placed a bench and small table covered with the blue swirl material on which Megan could pose. I used a multi-flash monolight set-up with a front 24" softbox for front fill, a side 60" umbrellas for side key, another 86” umbrella for side fill, and a top small hairlight 12" softbox. These shots were shot against a chromakey backdrop,

The image was first PP in PS RAW, for color balance, clarity, and slight exposure adjustments. In PS5, I made minor corrections for any blemish, whitening eyes, etc, and next used NIK for slight noise reduction and sharpening. I then made a layer selection of the blue swirl material, using transform to enlarge this layer for use as a background to match the front and merged these layers. Then in NIK Viveza I made other adjustments to color, added structure, and shadow/highlights. In multiple layers I used both NIK HDR and PS Artistic effects to create various “painting” versions of the image one of which will be selected to be used for the final 20x30" portrait sized enlargement.

For my own experimentation, I thought this image could also make a classic monochrome portrait. I further processed by going back to the basic (non-artistic) color image in NIK Silver Efex adjusting shadow/highlight, structure, finally finishing the image in a Duotone color.

chrisJ, KurtPop, Teresat, Fortuna, daisydaisy, jan515 has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • fransx Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2973 W: 139 N: 7397] (41704)
  • [2012-01-07 23:51]

Hi Larry,
This is really outstanding the 30s era is beautifully depicted by this photography!
It looks like a very old fashioned portrait with the heavy make-up and the hair style. The sepia treatment is excellent. Light is perfect with all the shades and shadows clearly visible to enhance the presentation.
Very neat studio work.

Francis Xavier

  • Great 
  • chrisJ Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4436 W: 640 N: 9631] (55122)
  • [2012-01-08 7:16]

Hi Larry

The first thing I thought of was 1920's or 1930's judging by the style of attire. The flappers wore shorter skirts to the knee: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flapper

so I was leaning towards 1930's. Not bad for someone who wasn't born until 25 years later! I like the silky satin texture & the sepia tone. Good sharpness & wavy bg helps. Tfs!


A very well done portrait of Megan. Your PP work really makes this picture look like one taken in the 1930s.
Excellent PP work and nice background choice.

Awesome job!


  • Great 
  • nicou Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 2777 W: 0 N: 5194] (50772)
  • [2012-01-08 8:49]


Fantastique compo nostalgique sueprbe quel charme quelle compo avec les longs gants et ces tons doux, sueprbe grâvec, fantastique.

Bravo et amitié


Olá larry
Beautiful portrait with a good B/W choice.
Good work with good presentation
um abraço

  • Great 
  • sela Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 634 W: 11 N: 1379] (8213)
  • [2012-01-08 13:53]

Hi Larry, what a most beautiful portrait of a very charming lady.Perfect PP work.
Regards Rose

Hi Larry...excellent retro portrait...very well done with excellent pp work. Interesting how good the HDR looks in a portrait. You have a good sense of how far to go but not overusing the software..nice work.


Good choice of color to make this awesome portrait more authentic. Good lighting and sharp details. Very well done, tfs.

Hello Larry,

Very good work with this elegant lady.
I like the POV and light.

Hi Larry
A nice old fashion portrait of this pretty lady
The mono color tone added to its oldness!
well done :)

What a moddy portrait, Larry, very effective and excellent worked!

  • Great 
  • jan515 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2792 W: 58 N: 4702] (20934)
  • [2012-05-02 6:03]

Hi lab,A wonderful admission such as im30 years, wonderful colors and thus also the contrast. Congratulate.
Best regards.

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