Behind the Image: NAU Guest Blogger – Rachel Leone » You Can Sleep When You're Dead: Blog by Colleen Miniuk

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May 032015

Photo copyright Rachel Leone

This image is not only of a dear friend of mine but also one of the people that contributes to my inspiration. My goal was to emphasize mystery, accentuate the minimal features of my subjects positioning, create a balanced background with lines, and demonstrate desaturated contrast. I took this image February 22, 2015 in Burbank, California when it was extremely overcast outside from the rain the night before that was lingering in the air. It was the last day of my weekend in Los Angeles before heading back to Arizona so we spent it drinking espresso on the porch enjoying each others company and conversation pretending not be sad about parting ways later that day. I always learn something new when I am with my friend Rebecca that makes me value our friendship even more. She is full of knowledge and mystery. When capturing this image I knew wanted to illustrate a void (darkness in light). When I am feeling low or in the dark I know Rebecca is my source of light. Friendship is like the contrast in this image, you can see it as the black bringing out the white or white bringing out the black. Her face is not visible because I wanted the other features of the image to do more of the talking rather than having her facial expression do the explaining. This photograph is sentimental but it is also a fashion statement. Her elongated legs and crouched body creates an intriguing attitude to fit the overall idea of the image.

To capture this in the outdoor overcast light I was working with, my ISO was set to 200 with an aperture of f/4.5 and shutter speed at 1/50th of a second. I edited the shots from this day all in Photoshop using the crop tool and then adjusted darker areas on the histogram to get that rich black tone to really pop. Curve and contrast in post processing are tools I find myself using quite often. I chose to keep some color in her body and hands to show that there is life in this image even though the emotion may come off as grim. My own darkness inspires me and I like to implement it to my style of photography to create a more dramatic story. Playing around with colors, tones and saturation can really contribute to setting mood to a simplistic picture.

About the Photographer:
My name is Rachel Leone and I was born where film and photography originated, in Rochester, New York. I adopted a love for 35mm film photography from my grandparents when I was eight years old, which later blossomed into what I am capable of digitally producing today. I started creating a brand for myself when I was sixteen by making my own website, participating in First Friday Art Walks and photographic events. I currently use an EOS Canon 70d and my lens of choice is a Canon fixed focal length 50mm f/1.4. My style and methods have matured over the years into what it is now and I enjoy creating stories within my images of people with or without their faces visible; focusing on the subjects’ body language and structure is important to me. I am a student at Northern Arizona University but will be continuing my college career as a digital media major at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in Los Angeles this July 2015.

To read more about the Northern Arizona University “Behind the Image: Guest Blogger” project on our blog, please read the introduction at take a minute to leave your insights and constructive comments in the Comment section below – the student would love to hear from you!

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