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

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May 152016

“Something Wicked Comes This Way” || Photo copyright Kiely Sutton

“Something Wicked This Way Comes “

The way the photo turned out was exactly how I pictured it in my head. When I heard of the assignment to produce a photo using off camera flash with a modifier, I was ecstatic. Knowing that I would need an off camera flash in order to be in the class, I previously decided to go all out and buy not one- but two off camera flashes as well as four umbrellas, two flash stands, and an awesome new camera bag to carry all of my equipment. Because I had all the equipment I needed handy, I gave my neighbor Noe a call to utilize her beautiful face (and first floor apartment). I wanted my photo to give the viewer a sense of mystery, something more than just the average portrait. In order to achieve this, I set up an off camera flash with an umbrella about four feet away from the window. I wanted the lighting on the subject to be completely different from the lighting outside the window. While I was trying to get the light on the subject how I wanted it, I started to notice that as I corrected the light in the foreground, the red hues in the background deepened. The eerie feel that the deep orange lights gave was the icing on the cake.

After setting up the flash outside the window, I set the flash to 1/125 so the flash did not overpower the photograph. I then set my Nikon d3100 on a tripod and adjusted my settings so the camera was at a shutter speed of 1/100 with an aperture of 7.1. I kept my ISO rather low at around 200 due to the crisp flash that would give light to the subject. I was at a focal length of 24 while using my 18-55mm lens; I did this so I could get enough of the background while still having a strong focus on the subject. After I finally captured this stunning image, it was time for the post processing. I used only Photoshop to edit the photo and because I shot in RAW, I was able to complete more advanced adjustments. I retouched the skin and decreased the saturation slightly while increasing the vibrancy slightly. There was not much to edit after that as I successfully captured the image with the right tones and clarity that I envisioned.

About the Photographer:

My love for photography sprouted when my father and I went on a road trip to Las Vegas when I was fourteen. He showed me around the strip; the lights at night, the beautiful people, everything excited me… And I took photos of it all. The photos that I took while in Vegas sparked my interest and from that moment on, I was a photographer. I took photos of anything and everything— whether that was people, landscapes, objects, whatever I could take a photo of, I did. I slowly started to develop a love of on location portraiture. This love has guided me to so many amazing experiences including interning with fashion photographers, shooting high school graduations, and most importantly working towards a Bachelor’s degree in Photography. Taking these photography classes has advanced my skills concerning post processing, camera operations, and much, much more. I am so grateful to be at NAU amongst these incredibly talented photographers.

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 thoughts and constructive comments in the Comment section below – Kiely would love to hear from you!

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