Kirsti Näntö-Salonen  

The Birth of Venus by Kirsti Näntö-Salonen

November 2023 - The Birth of Venus

November 2023 - Kirsti Näntö-Salonen


About the Image(s)

”The Birth of Venus” is a lighting exercise for the creative photography course I am attending this fall. A couple of years ago, half a dozen concrete statues mysteriously appeared along a small gravel road in our neighborhood. The classic mythological characters dropped in the Nordic forest make an oddly surreal scene that is my constant delight. The Birth of Venus is my favorite - under the garden gnome kitsch she still seems to carry the charm and mystery of the Botticelli original. For the night image, she is lit with a powerful flashlight from the side in a low angle. I tested a variety of settings to keep her white surface from overexposure but still showing some of her background. Fuji X-T4 on tripod, 55 mm, f/16, ISO 160, 4 s. Half of the time I kept the beam on the statue, and for the other half, I moved it around. I tried a lot of different presets for finishing touches: this is Photomatix Pro 7 Balancer filter that seemed to bring out extra details from the background. What do you think?

This round’s discussion is now closed!
5 comments posted

Dom Mignone   Dom Mignone
Nice image. However, I have been told quite a few times, "If it doesn't add to the image, it is actually taking away from it. That's how I feel about the trees on the left side. I think they split the image into two separate images. My suggestion would be to crop the left side up to the trees that are barely visible in the middle. I think that crop makes the statue really stand out. Just my 2 cents.   Posted: 11/10/2023 22:52:06
Kirsti Näntö-Salonen   Kirsti Näntö-Salonen
Thanks, Dom! I will certainly try that crop. My idea with the present one was that the gap framed by the trees would add to the mystery of her appearance and bring depth to the stage.but you are right about shifting the attention.   Posted: 11/10/2023 23:17:35

Jeff Manser   Jeff Manser
Hello Kirsti - I like the setup you have for this image but to my eye the lighting on the ground and trees could be reduced. An alternative to Dom's suggested crop might be to bring up the shadows a bit in the darkest part of the left side to show detail that might help achieve your goal of having that area add to the mystery.   Posted: 11/12/2023 18:10:49
Comment Image
Kirsti Näntö-Salonen   Kirsti Näntö-Salonen
Thanks Jeff, I like the dark portal effect so much, and would hesitate cropping the image. I made a print which turned out very much like your version, and it looks very good!   Posted: 11/21/2023 07:41:50
Jeff Manser   Jeff Manser
It does look great!   Posted: 11/21/2023 12:22:14