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Beata Rydén Photography Blog

Creating “Void”

Creating photographs Posted on Wed, May 08, 2013 00:05:49

I am very proud to share my latest work with you: “Void” for my series Finding Peace.

“Void” 2013.

I am going to write about the process of creating this photograph. I hope that you will learn something from it!

“Void” was created during the project “Roots of imagination” that I did together with Victoria Söderström. I had planned to do another picture for this series, but when I left town with Victoria to drive to the countryside (where we stayed for a couple of days to shoot together), I didn´t know how this photo would look. Me and Victoria had an amazing time, helping each other out with different photo shoots, acting as both models and assistants. Victoria had smoke bombs with her that I was happy to use in this and this picture. The smoke bombs also made me think of this picture. I thought of someone standing outside on a field with her head in the bubble, looking far away into the fog. I think fog is an interesting symbol for borders, or the lack of borders. The bubble is a symbol of integrity, our ability to find peace within ourselves. But the fog is uncertain, we can´t see beyond it and it has no border.

I knew that I wanted to use the white dress that Victoria had bought online. I knew that I wanted to photograph before sunrise, because I needed that magical light you can only get at the blue hour before the day starts.

Trying to keep warm with a blanket!

So, one morning we got up early. I put on the white dress and a lot of clothes over the dress to keep me warm. I took the bubble and my camera gear. Victoria packed some props for her picture that she was going to take after I was finished with mine, and her own camera. I wanted to use myself as a model because I wanted the color of my hair to contrast against the fog and whiteness of the picture. We tried to put a darker wig on Victoria (who´s blonde) but with that on she couldn´t fit the bubble on her head. Because of that, I decided to do this picture as a self portrait.

I knew exactly how I wanted to stand, how to hold my arms and in what direction I was going to look, because I had practiced on different positions the day before, asking Victoria to photograph me at the same time so that I could easily see what position was best for this picture.

What I didn´t know was where to stand. We tried some different spots, and you can easily see the difference between light:

Here I am turned towards the morning sky, and as you can see, the sky is brighter than my dress, which is quite dark. Photo by Victoria Söderström.

Here I am turned towards the darker forest, which allows the white dress to pop, which was what I wanted. I decided to go with this spot. Photo by Victoria Söderström.

After I knew where to stand, I asked Victoria to pose with the bubble so that I could adjust my camera settings. I adjusted the height of the tripod, the angle, shutter speed and aperture.

Getting ready to shoot.

First I took the main shot, where I would stand in position with the bubble on my head. I then asked Victoria to light a smoke bomb in order to get the foggy effect that I needed (there were no “real” fog to be seen anywhere). Victoria did a great job, running around with the smoke bomb in her hand to make the smoke spread in the air. Meanwhile, I stood still with the bubble on my head, photographing with my remote to catch the smoke in camera.

The smoke turned out great in camera, creating the foggy feeling that was my goal. In post processing I used one shot of me standing with the bubble, and one shot with a lot of fog. I combined these two images, adjusted some curves, and then the job was done 🙂

Here are some more pictures from the shoot:

After running with the smoke bomb, Victoria had black fingers!

The creating of “Stuck” and “Own atmosphere”

Creating photographs Posted on Tue, January 15, 2013 18:36:24

A saturday in december, it was snowing in Gothenburg. My boyfriend was out of town, and I decided to spend the whole day alone, in my apartment, creating a new photograph. Here are some pictures from that day!

View from my window. The snow fell all day and it was perfect to stay inside 🙂

Here are some different sketches for the photo. I´ve had the idea for very long that someone would be stuck with her head in the clouds. I believe it´s very important to dream, be imaginative and try to feel hopeful about life, but it´s also important to keep your feet as down to earth as you can. Only dreaming won´t take you anywhere. Dreams won´t feed you, or pay your rent. I believe that we need both. We need to be realistic, in order to understand our circumstances and see what we can do with our lives. We need to take care of ourselves, both the body and the mind. And our soul needs the creativity and dreaming so that we will feel alive. In order to cope with reality, we need to dream. Sometimes it can be hard to find balance between these two worlds, at least to me. Sometimes I get the feeling that I´m “stuck” with my head in the clouds. But I have to say, I like that feeling more than the other one: to feel stuck in reality, or in boredom.

This is ordinary cotton that I thought about using at first, but then I choose to use pillow stuffing because it´s more fluffy.

The dress for the photo.

Filling the bubble with clouds while drinking tea!

Change of clothes!

First shot!

This is the shot that I used for “Own atmosphe”.

Finished photo, “Own atmosphere”.

The shot I used for “Stuck”.

Final edit of “Stuck”. What I mainly did in the edit of the two photos was crop them into a square frame, make the blacks brighter and the contrast and tones more soft. I also added some gradients in different pastel colors. I was very happy with the result, as I felt that I took a step in a direction that I really like!

An image that I did recently, that deals with the same theme. The title is “How to cope with reality”. But I´m not sure that this is the best way to cope with reality 🙂

The making of The edge of itself

Creating photographs Posted on Wed, December 12, 2012 00:00:23

Since last year, I´ve been working on a series that I call “Finding Peace”. The series is about integrity, and about the importance of finding your own place in this world. To symbolize this I use a big bubble. In November, my class exhibited at the Stockholm Photo Fair, and for this I wanted to create a new bubble-picture. Here´s a short resume of the making of that photograph!

I went to my families house in the country, where there are great fields to shoot in. I got up around 7.30 the next day, before the sunrise. I took my bubble, my tripod, camera and a thick jacket, and walked to the field below the house. Before I put the camera on the tripod, I looked for the best spot to take the photograph. It is a great idea to walk around with your camera before you put it on your tripod, so that you can take test-shots without being bound to wherever you´ve set up your tripod. Once you know exactly where you want to shoot, you can adjust your tripod after that. Never adjust your image after how you set up the tripod!

I took some test-shots with me and the bubble.

The fogging inside the bubble was the result of a very cold morning, and I left the bubble standing outside while I set up everything, so it would look like that. I thought it was perfect for this image. Ooh… and that´s me aiming for the camera with my remote 🙂

After I was done with shooting myself wearing the bubble, I shot the environment so I would be able to extend the frame and make it bigger and turn it into a square format.

I took several shots of the sky, which looked different in every direction I looked. This is the shot that I used to replace the original sky in the finished photograph.

This is a screenshot of what the photo looked like when I had worked with it for a while. Here you see that I´m extending the whole canvas by mending together photographs from the environment. The cold, blue tones were there from the beginning. I´ve also replaced the sky with another shot.

Detailed screenshot. I later replaced the lower part of the dress with another shot of the dress that I thought had a better movement.

On this screenshot you can see that I have replaced the sky, and created a new horizon. I´ve also started to work with the colors. I knew that I wanted everything to be more dramatic than it was from the start.

Here I´ve achieved the colors that I wanted, but the sky is still the same.

Here I´ve replaced the sky again, and this time it felt right. But as you can see, the horizon isn´t as dark as in the other screenshots above.

Here is the final result, with perfect sky and horizon!

I hope you found this interesting!

The making of The Guardian of Dreams

Creating photographs Posted on Mon, November 05, 2012 14:41:33

In march this year I got an idea for a photograph. I did a sketch of how I wanted the photo to look like, and called it The Dreamkeeper. I wanted a woman to stand in white in a never ending field, holding clouds in her arms.

I bought cotton stuffing for pillows, to use as clouds. I packed two white curtains in a bag and drove an early morning with my boyfriend to a place I thought would be perfect for this image.

We took the tram to go and borrow my mothers car. We did some hot tea to take with us, which was a good idea as the weather was cold, especially in the early morning!

To my huge happiness it was a lot fog that morning, which as perfect for my concept!

Here is the beautiful field where we stopped.

Tomas holding the bags with cotton stuffing, the tripod and some other things. My perfect assistant!

Tomas was also the one who stood behind the camera. First, I asked him to stand where I wanted him so I could compose the image, then I changed into my white dress and walked out into the field to take the actual photo. I tried to use my remote, but as I was too far away I had to ask Tomas to push the button!

Then I set the focus to manual, without moving the camera, and took two extra shots of the ground and the sky. I did this because I was going to expand the frame with those shots to get a square image.

As I edited the photograph, I felt that I needed a more dramatic sky, or at least a sky with more clouds. So I used this one that I shot earlier and have in a folder called “Skies” on my computer. It worked perfectly for this photo.

The final photo, now with the title “The Guardian of Dreams”.