Favorite Photo, February 23

Sami Lynn with rose petals, Columbus Ohio. February 23, 2007.
Sami Lynn with Rose Petals, Columbus Ohio. February 23, 2007.

Sami Lynn and I were creating portraits for her model portfolio. With her on the floor, I arranged her hair to get as many curls as possible at the ends of the strands of hair. The rose petals were my idea. I knew the Valentine’s Day roses in a vase were about done so I plucked all the petals and dropped them on the floor and on Sami Lynn.

I used two studio lights to create this image. The main light is close to the floor and to the upper left. The fill light is to the lower right.

The original image was in color. She picked a bold shade of red lipstick to match the red tips of the rose petals.

I took the original image and de-saturated everything but her lips and the rose petals.

I did that by making a duplicate layer of the original color image and turned the duplicate into a black and white layer. I created a “layer mask” so I could erase and un-erase parts of the B&W layer so the color layer would show through. Then I erased only the parts of the upper B&W layer where the rose petals and her lips were, revealing the color layer underneath. The beauty of a layer mask is if I erased too much of the upper layer, I could go back and un-erase the part I didn’t intend to erase.

Not only is this is my favorite photo for February 23, this is one of my all time favorite portraits.


Series: Favorite Photos by Date – all about this series