What you need to know about this photograph...

I remember sharing this photograph on Facebook after taking it but I don’t believe I shared the story behind it.
When I saw a photograph of this costume on Instagram I definitely wanted to create an image with it. After later seeing subway photographs by a photographer in New York I thought I should explore the subways of Los Angeles. I spent an afternoon riding the subway around LA, trying not to inhale the crack being openly smoked on a subway train. There were three in the car I had stepped onto. On the plus side, the end of the line was near Philippe French Dip Sandwich shop downtown so I indulged. As it turned out, the station where I had started my adventure was the one I ended up shooting at, Hollywood and Highland.
I shared my idea with Elena Anishchenko, one of Lindsay’s favorite pole instructors, and she said yes. She ordered the Android costume and when it arrived we scheduled the shoot.
We met at the Kodak Theater and made our way to the subway station. Elena’s hair and makeup were perfect and the costume was made for her.
While this wasn’t our first photo it is probably my favorite. Everything about it turned out just as I imagined, even better than I imagined. To start there were NO PEOPLE when we got into position for this shot. It was unbelievable. During our entire photoshoot, there was never more than a small handful of people, and it was in the middle of the afternoon! We created a lot of amazing and fun photos during the hour and a half we were there.
Now for the “What you need to know about this photo…”
I chose this spot for the photo because I wanted all lines to lead to Elena. She has very long legs and I knew she would be able to straddle the bench. At first, I had her lined up perfectly with the pillar behind her, while it looked great I decided I wanted her to be more engaging. I asked to be more aggressive in her pose, to lean forward like she was contemplating her next move… how she was going to get me. She clearly understood my intent and gave me exactly what I had in mind. So now her head is slightly off-center and it was instantly more engaging.
This pose draws me into the image more, it makes me ask questions. Before it was a cool shot, now it was a very cool engaging shot!
As you can guess the lighting in this situation was a challenge. With most of the light above her, I need to use my on-camera flash for fill. As many of you know, I hate the look of on-camera flash as it looks so “not real”. In this case, I did what I normally do when faced with the last resort, I bounced it off of the grey cement pillar behind me. And wow, it was perfect! I checked the image on the back of my camera and let out a squeak! It was fantastic, exactly what I had hoped for! I shared the image with Elena, while she didn’t squeak, she really liked the photo as well.
This type of composition came easy as I wanted all of the lines to lead to Elena, so viewing the image through the viewfinder I could see when the lines converged on her. I wanted her center to be in the center of the frame. I chose my height to make her feel somewhat imposing.
The settings for the shot were: ISO-1250, Canon 16-35mm f/2.8 L series lens shot wide open at f/2.8 and zoomed all the way out to 16mm, shutter 1/60 sec. and my Canon Speedlite 600EX II-RT set to ETTL +2 overexpose.
The saturation, colors, and tones were chosen in a post in Adobe Photoshop. I also used Topaz DeNoise AI software to remove some of the noise for shooting at ISO 1250. Topaz Labs Community makes some really brilliant software that I highly recommend.
I hope this was helpful. Grab your camera and go create!