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"Hold Him to the Light now..."

Photo Information
Copyright: Larry A Brechner (brech) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 539 W: 135 N: 1111] (3045)
Genre: People
Medium: Black & White
Date Taken: 2011-11-16
Categories: Event, Decisive Moment, Mood
Camera: Canon EOS 5D MKII, Canon EF 70-200 f/2.8 L IS USM
Exposure: f/4, 1/50 seconds
Details: Tripod: Yes
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version, Workshop
Theme(s): Friday Theme 25/11/11 'See The Light' [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2011-11-24 22:30
Viewed: 1603
Points: 19
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Never have I posted to a theme before, but using an image from my recent musical production of “Into The Woods,” I thought this one may just fit in both visually, and in the context of the scene being portrayed for the See The Light theme.

Every character has experienced a loss of someone important to them near the end of the musical. The Baker’s wife was killed, and the Baker wonders how he will raise is infant son alone. She appears on stage behind him both lit by single followspot light while the other characters on stage are frozen in dim stage light. She reassures him in the lyrics of the song:

Hold him to the light now,
Let him see the glow.
Things will be all right now.
Tell him what you know…

The Baker holds their baby (represented by the doll) up into the light prompted by his unseen wife (what we nick-named “a lion king” move). He begins to tell the baby their story as the Witch character appears singing the next song,
"Careful the Things your say, Children will listen..."

This image was taken under existing stage lighting (I also did the stage lighting design) which here consisted of a mix of color gelled tungsten lighting and one HMI (6000K daylight balanced) followspot gelled with a Rosco #33 "No Color Pink" gel. In this case the primary light source is the single followspot coming from the left-front of the subject, with fill provided by other dim stage lights.

Shot in RAW at ISO 1600 using a 1.4x extender the camera was set for tungsten lighting and was tripod mounted about 40-feet (12m) from the stage in the aisle of the house. Being also a theatrical lighting designer, stage lighting is not always ideal for photography, because the human eye is a much better camera and stage lighting is done for people, not cameras.

PP in PS5 RAW and PS, did only some basic adjustments without altering the look of the stage image. Cropped much tighter, and ran the image through NIK Define (noise reduction). I decided to render this in monochrome for a more dramatic lighting effect and used NIK Silver Efex to acomplish this PP.

The wider, color version is a Workshop.

Hope it meets the Theme requirements for this Friday, "See The Light."

corjan3, CSP, VicZik, fumaretue, Dai, KurtPop, Teresat, jacquest, mushtaqhussain, chrisJ, gaillarde has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

Hi Larry,
What an excellent photo and interesting note. And very appropriate for the theme. Good choice of monochrome. Well done.

  • Great 
  • CSP Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 65 W: 0 N: 69] (145)
  • [2011-11-24 23:07]

Nice tight crop with excellent clarity on the baker and child.
B/W combo works well here to fit the mood.
PP work loos great and it fits the theme well.


Hey Lab,
Amazing shot you've captured here and an outstanding choice for niks silver efex plug in.
Very well composed and great walk through on your PP process.

P.S. This black friday work schedule is going by very fast, but things are actually starting to slow down now.


Hello Larry,
Interesting decisive moment of this musical production. I like the choice for black & white in order to convey light.
The balance between dark and bright areas looks well handled, with sufficient detail throughout the entire photo. Personally though, I'm less convinced by the shadows casted by the nose and the lips on the left part of the actor's face. These shadows (even if impossible to avoid with this particular pose) do not really look aesthetic to me and somehow "disturb" the face. Maybe you could have softened them PP-wise. I also would have wiped out the tip of the bonnet (?) still visible at the left of the actor's cheek. It pops out against the dark backdrop and still reinforces the less aesthetic shadows I mentioned above.
Just my personal opinion, of course. Feel free to (dis)agree ;o).
TFS & kind regards,

  • Great 
  • fransx Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2938 W: 134 N: 7397] (41704)
  • [2011-11-25 4:23]

Hi Larry,
A nice B&W shot to show the beauty of light which creates contrast and details in every aspect of photography. I like this simple posture of this actor showing this doll in the light available.
A perfect moment in this presentation.
Well done for this spontaneous shot!

Francis Xavier

Hello Larry,

This is a really good entry to today's theme. The expression of the baker is well caught and he appears to be really seeing the light that shines on him and the doll. The B&W gives the image a special mood. Thank you for the interesting note,

Best regards


Trying to imagine this in color...I think I like it better in B&W and good entry to today's themem. Great pov and dof with nice contrast. Well done, tfs.

  • Great 
  • VicZik Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 528 W: 82 N: 950] (4812)
  • [2011-11-25 10:11]

Hi Larry,

Another nice shot for, your “Into The Woods,” production... Sharp contrast and good B/W image... You could have used fill ligt or reflector to soften the shadow on actor face... Other wise the image is good, and I like it, TFS


Hello Larry
An interesting pose of this girl carrying the doll captured with high key.
Best Wishes

  • Great 
  • chrisJ Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4430 W: 637 N: 9632] (55124)
  • [2011-11-26 20:18]

Hello Larry

I can see what Eric means with the shadows on the man's face but think it's only a minor point. To me, the small portion of the man's ear looks like a boil on his cheek at first glance, so I would clone it out. A little oe in the dolls attire, but a well composed shot overall. Tfs!

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