How did I create this picture?
I created this picture using a medium format film roll camera. I took the picture with the model stood close to a wall and the window behind the model. The pale wall background plus the light from the window was to provide a light source and a contrast to the dark clothes worn by the model.
I used a reflector on the model reflecting the light under the models face making it brighter and reducing the dark shadows under the chin, and nose. It also illuminates the dark areas below the eyebrows. The reflector was positioned on the left side of the model to give an even light the face.
Once I took the picture I developed the negative film using developer, stopper and fix in the darkroom. I then hung the film up to dry in the dryer.
Once the film was dry I put it in the negative holder in the enlarger. I then exposed the photographic paper for 3 seconds based on experience from previous test strips for similar exposures. The print was developed using developer, stopper and fix.
How can I improve the picture?
I can improve this picture by making the model take a step to the left so that the window frame is out of shot, or I could have move the camera around slightly to the right and got the model to also move to face the camera.
I could have been more careful during the printing process, I have splashed some chemical that has shown up on the print, on the right sleeve of the model. This could be removed by guillotining the photograph to remove the blemish. There is also a mark on the top left hand corner of the print. This has occurred due to poor safe storage of the print.
What worked well in the picture?
The exposure, tones and contrast combined with good lighting, made the model stand out from the background, the use of a light background to contrast with the dark hair and clothes that frame the models face. The reflector bounced light effectively on to the model, if it had not worked the models face would have mostly been been a silhuette.
The face is very clear and positioned in the top middle third of the photograph, the eye is drawn to focus on the face. The overall photograph is crisp and shows subtle shades of grey.
The positioning of the model against the pale wall, the use of a shallow depth of field that focuses only the model, the background is deliberately blurred with strong natural light streaming in from the window makes the background featureless so that you focus on the face of the model.
The camera and the model is approximately at the same height of the camera so that as a viewer of the photograph you can make eye contact and connect with the model.