Sunday, March 6, 2011

Part I: Girl with a Pearl Earring - The Photograph

Photograph on right © Rick Sammon. All rights reserved.
One of my favorite paintings is, "Girl with a Pearl Earring" by the Dutch master Johannes Vermeer. The painting has been referred to as, "The Mona Lisa of the North." Hey, I like it even better than the Mona Lisa.

One of my favorite movies is "Girl with a Pearl Earring," starring Scarlett Johansson.

Both the painting and the movie inspired today's shoot. I wanted to recreate the lighting and look and feel of the portrait with my digital camera and bit of Photoshop work. I made the portrait in my office – I don't have a studio.

I'm kinda jammed right now, but tomorrow or the next day I will show you some behind-the-scenes shots from the shoot. I'll also share the tech info on the making of the "Girl with a Pearl Earring - The Photograph."

Okay, a quick tip: I used the Portrait Smooth effect in Topaz Adjust to smooth out the model's skin. For more on Topaz Adjust, click here.

Stay tuned.

For now, try this type of "self assignment" at home.  After all, it's Sunday, a day off for many folks. Find a painting that you admire, see the light, note the props, and try to make a photograph that looks like the painting.

Another idea is to find a photograph that you like and . . . :-)

I teach stuff like this on some of my workshops and at my seminars. Join the fun!

Explore the light,
Rick

P.S. If you like photographing people, you might like my book, Face to Face:



11 comments:

Pedro Bananas said...

Really like this, great idea too

Trudy said...

Your interpretation is interesting because though it is close, the slight difference in the positioning of her face gives off a different emotion. The painting implies more uncertainty than yours. I love your work!

Amy Pospiech said...

Your photograph almost looks like a photograph! Beautiful lighting indeed and I am impressed by that head wrap ;-)

GTS said...

Nice work...

{kate} said...

Lovely interpretation! Thanks for the inspiration.

Ted Johnson said...

Rick, you are an artist. If your second challenge is to find a photograph and turn it into a painting, I'm ready. Just loaded Corel 11 and Topaz Simplify 3. They are passing out magic wands.

Larry said...

Girl With A Pearl Earring is one of my favorite paintings also, and like you I also really like the film. I am fascinated with your idea of copying a painting.

Ted said...

Very Very cool!

Dick Zakia said...

Rick,
Amazing similarity and you do not have a studio but you do have an eye. I tried "cloning" a photographic portrait some time back and failed miserably. It looks easy but it isn't, as I found out. This is a great learning exercise in may ways. Makes me want to take your workshop and learn how.
Dick Zakia

Troy Breidenbach said...

You should try the Oil Painting filter in Photoshop Pixel Bender...

Theresa said...

That is awesome!