Homage to Flaming June

shane thousands pattern palette painting Simon Q. Walden, FilmPhotoAcademy.com, sqw, FilmPhoto, photography


I am a huge fan of the pre-Raphaelite painters and their immediate successors in the latter half of the 1800's. I like their sense of story and meaning that they want to imbue in every image. They developed new techniques in painting that allowed soft, gauzy layers of near transparent colour to be built up on a painting. This worked especially well for representing materials and skin tones.

Lord Leighton's most famous image is "Flaming June", painted in 1895. It shows a girl asleep wrapped in sheer orange shift. This layered technique hints at the figure beneath the translucent materials.

While this image is not strictly in that style, it does echo Leighton's colour palette strongly.


This is just a batique throw over a sofa. The strong oranges throughout the material dominate the colour palette. The circular darker pattern then creates a powerful frame in which to position Shane. She is contained within the circle, but more than that. I have tweaked pose and camera position so that:

(a) the hair line just breaks through the circle, but is in line with the outer arc both on the outside and inside edges.

(b) the curve of Shane's back is echoed by the curve of the dark lines within the pattern and the outer edge.


When you see me shoot, it will not often be obvious that this kind of detailed positioning is happening. To be honest I would say at least half the time I am not consciously aware of it.

I might have asked Shane to pull her head in a little to match up, but the actual camera position would have been moving around until it was "right".

Knowing intuitively what is "right" is the difference between being a casual shooter and viewer and being immersed in photography, shooting thousands of images and reviewing tens of thousands of images, my own and importantly others.

shane thousands pattern palette painting Simon Q. Walden, FilmPhotoAcademy.com, sqw, FilmPhoto, photography

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