How I Got That Shot – An Uphill Battle

Beyond the Lens.

How I Got That Shot – An Uphill Battle

The story behind the image

Fitness Bodyscapes: An Uphill Battle. Photo by Alina Oswald.
Fitness Bodyscapes: An Uphill Battle. Photo by Alina Oswald.

Every once in a while people ask me how I got one shot or another. So here I’m going to share the story behind a particular image—the technical and not-so-technical side of it.

For starters, let’s look at an image I called An Uphill Battle. This image came to be while photographing fitness editorials in my home studio, working on a bodyscapes series, which, by the way, is still a work in progress. For those who might wonder, bodyscapes are scapes created by the human body.

For this particular image, I knew I wanted a closeup of my model’s arm or thigh, but a closeup that would resemble a certain scape or something that could be interpreted as a “scape” or shape. So, I started out by photographing headshots, portraits, and full-length and three-quarter-length portraits, while working my way to the shot I had in mind.

My model applied some kind of lotion–don’t remember exactly, but one could use suntan lotion, shea butter type of product, or anything in between.

In order to emphasize the scapes of my model’s body, and, for close-ups, to capture texture details in the skin, I used side lighting. To make the image more interesting, I thought of asking my model to spray some water on the skin. But the water didn’t quite seem to work for what I had in mind. In the spur of that particular moment, while trying to figure out how to enhance the texture of the skin and in particular the skin hair, I remembered I had a spay bottle filled with perfumed water, like a perfumed spritz of some sort, and I asked my model if it was ok to use that. The sprayed droplets did a great job sticking to the skin hair, thus enhancing the effect I was after.

I cropped and then rotated the image to form a diagonal line traversing the image frame. As I kept looking a the resulting image, I thought it resembled a hill…hence, An Uphill Battle title.

Happy photographing!

And, as always, thanks for stopping by!

Alina Oswald

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