I would guess you shot this on film? The square frame makes me think of a Rolleiflex or perhaps another medium-format camera, is that right? If you didn't use film, you did a good job of simulating it. Again, if I had to guess, I would say it looks like an expired film that was tinted, or tinted at a later point in post processing. At any rate, I can't think of anything to critique about your technique. The framing, composition, colours, textures, posing, styling, etc. all fit together beautifully. Nothing feels overdone or heavy-handed, and it feels very balanced. The only suggestion I could think of is that, if you wanted to, you could try distressing the image, adding water stains or burns, for instance; the photo doesn't need it, it works really well as is, but it could be a fun thing to add and would probably fit well with what you've done already.
Whatever you did to create it, the result is a photo that feels wrapped in mood and mystery. The sepia/bronze toning (that's what it looks like to me, anyway), which isn't as commonly seen on colour photographs, I think, combines with the graininess to give a sense of age, of viewing something from the past. The girl's shy sideways glance, half covered in shadow, feels mysterious and, perhaps, haunted. The pale but intimate lighting, the blooming red flower, the yellow dress, and the youngness of the girl hint at innocence—which only heightens the haunting quality. What is happening? Why does she look that way? Is she frightened? Unsure? There's a sense of a story written, a scene captured, but only a glimpse can be seen. A haunted fairy tale. It makes me want to know more.
I would love to see a series of images like this one, perhaps fitting together into a more complete tale. Well done
“Hey Sweetheart! We’ve got 5 minutes left. How about we throw in one of those ‘pretty girl sniffs flower’ shots? They are always popular. We can warm up the colours and throw in some antiquey-looking grain … the punters will love it!”
How can this image be so very far away from that scenario. Why do I stop breathing as I look at it?
It’s easy to explain …. it’s extraordinary. But it communicates so powerfully that the ‘why’ detail is a more difficult to pin down.
The very tight framing, that slight closed-shoulder posture, the half-turn of the face into the shadows draw us right into her world. It is as though she is just about to lean forward, move the flower and whisper something to us … a secret. She is cosseting the flower … it embodies the secret somehow.
She is not timidly hiding behind that flower. Her expression, painted by the glow and that wonderful gold colour palette, is one of confidence, ready-to-tell, maybe even passion.
The depth-of-field gives enough definition to her delicate ear and clothes that it adds to the …. not fragility … refinement? … even elegance?
This is the part of the critique where I am supposed to add value by suggesting something that maybe could be different. Sorry, I can’t this time. This one is perfect.
I have to go now … it’s time for me to start breathing again.
This image is really quite brilliant. Thank you so much for posting it.
A dutch school alike painting , both dark and dim coated by a master of the light ! Who cares then between the brush and the lens ? No tool without a sight : here i see a young and tender blossoming desire torned between innocence and an held back sensuality , like the blood and the spines of this blossoming rose ! Marc Acquaviva