f/5.6, 1/200, ISO-100, 50mm

I’m sure some sharp-eyed follower will be quick to point out that this antique farm implement isn’t really a thresher. Although I’ve lived all my life in rural Iowa I have no idea what this thing really is, but it isn’t really important either. What matters is the young man with the bright smile I made sit uncomfortably atop it while I encouraged him to “look natural,” whatever that might mean in this context. Well, what it means in this case is exactly what you see here.

It’s terribly, abnormally cold for this late in the year in Iowa. We’ve only had a couple of days above 60 degrees, and the ground is still brown and trees are still without a bud. Parents and their seniors are getting desperate for attractive outdoor scenes for the most important portraits most of them have had so far.

This day was one of the nicer ones we’ve had so far, but there was still not a patch of green to be seen. I assured the anxious mother that this would be fine. If people are paying attention to the scene, then I haven’t done my job as a photographer.

Conversion to black and white, a bit of sepia, and tonal contrast via Silver Effects really brought out the trees in the background but nothing can distract from this young man’s brilliant smile and easy demeanor. I complimented the natural light from the left with a diffused flash to the right to bring out some definition in his face, hair and coat.

Thresher by Anthony Bopp is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

5 thoughts on “Thresher

  1. Wonderful shot. I think the black and white conversion is perfect. I’m hoping the weather warms up back there. I’m headed to MN in about 8 days to visit family and I’m sure hoping they don’t have a snowstorm while I’m there. :-)

    • Thank you! I knew right away that I liked the pose but I wasn’t sure how to best post process it for awhile. The color of his coat was great with the background, but when I saw the stark contrast in b&w, the detail of trees not distracting from the subject, I just new I had found the best way forward. I still wonder if I shouldn’t have cropped I a little closer around him and taken out mor of the thresher, but I really ecstatically happy with this one as it is.

  2. I don’t know how good your selection skills are but you may find a slight defocus of the background will help separate your model and the rig from the background – the only difficult area looks to be the demarcation between his hair and the background – everything else looks like a pretty sharp interface. Maybe a dodge of vignetting to the top.
    I applaud your choice of prop and the fact your model seems to be dressed ‘in keeping’ with that sort of subject. You clearly have a rapport with this model.

  3. Pingback: Rework Wednesday – Stephen G. Hipperson Day | Visual Journey Photography

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