Wordy Wednesday #453 “The Femme Fatale”

“The mystique of the Femme Fatale cannot be perfectly translated into make terms.”—Camille Paglia

Black and white is a wonderful media for making portraits because the lack of color simplifies the image, causing you to focus on the true subject of the photograph instead of their clothing or surroundings.

As I mentioned in my book Joe Farace’s Glamour Photography, I didn’t start out as a people photographer. Some-times I’d make a business portrait or headshot but people were really Mary’s game. When she took an extended sabbatical from the studio’s operations, things changed and I started making and enjoying making portraits.

This portrait of Megan is from one of the first sessions that I did with an aspiring model that was sent to me by a local modeling agency. It was made with a Canon EOS 60D with the late and under-rated EF 22-55mm f/4-5.6 USM lens with an available light exposure of 1/50 sec at f.5.6 and ISO 400.

Back in the not-so-old days the only way to make a black and white photo-graph was by shooting black and white film. Now digital shooters can have it both ways: Most digital cameras give you a choice of shooting color or black and white—even at the same time—or you can capture a color image and convert it later to monochrome using some of the basic methods available in Adobe Photoshop. But sometimes you just need more power and that’s when it’s time to put down the manual tools and pick up a power tool like Silver Efex Pro that I used here.

The final black and white version has a 1940’s femme fatale look. Whereas the original unretouched color image (above) was OK, the monochrome version is dynamic and graphic. But hey, if you like the color version, that’s OK too.

You can see more of this model in my book Joe Farace’s Glamour Photography that’s full of tips, tools and techniques for glamour and boudoir photography. It’s available from Amazon for $18.84, with used copies selling for less than $10—a pretty good deal.

Author: Joe Farace

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