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Autumn Stories

Interview / Tutorial author Svetlana Melik-Nubarova
by Editor Despird Zhang
Published the 17th of September 2021


'New friend'

In my opinion, any creative ideas are born from cultural luggage - piggy banks of images. My money box I fill the best examples of painting and cinema.

Images settle somewhere in the unconscious brain. Then they mix in a strange way and arise in the imagination in a completely new form.
It is this image that becomes the inspiration for creativity.

The source of inspiration is also the models themselves.
In my case, these are children whom I know well, who are interested in me by their faces, characters, ability to convey emotions. Gradually, the idea begins to become more concrete. So, the place of shooting is the autumn park. Mood - Golden autumn. Models are three wonderful girls, each of which has a unique character. The theme of the photo session is a lyrical autumn mood, a readiness for the meeting of the new Spring. Thus, the image of the photo session was born 'Autumn stories'.

Before each photo shoot, especially the one that takes place behind the door, it is important to choose the location of the shooting and take photos of the prospective photo locations. This not only activates the imagination, but also helps in developing the image and especially the costume, since it is very important that the costumed image of the model fits seamlessly in the environment. Especially it concerns the general colour decision of a picture of a photo.

Sometimes, looking at the future location of a photo shoot, you can find something that is useful in the work. So, I had the idea of a birdhouse.


'About Hope'

I have three girls in the photo, and I need to combine them by the colour and shape of the clothes. Therefore, I decided that all three girls will be dressed in draped coats of a similar style, black pantihose and shoes. But if you perceive a coat as colour spots, they combine with each other - gray, scarlet and a cage gray with pink and red. The red hair of one of the girls echoes with the red leaves of the trees.

I think that sketches in the form of drawings, drafts or in any other form help in the visualization of the picture.

For the model, especially if it's children it's important to put a clear task. I came up with short stories that will help the girls understand what to do in front of the camera.

At the very beginning of the photo session, I told the girls about their task - about the mood they need to convey in the image, about the emotions that the viewer must see in their eyes. I said - we are seeing off the autumn, winter will come soon, and it makes us a little sad. But we know that the winter will end and then Spring will come again.

So, in life, all the sad things come to an end and warm and bright days come. I very often include in my work elements of phototherapy, especially in working with children.

We used natural light. To the desire to work with non-professional models must adjust to their schedule. My girls, or rather their parents, had only morning freedom. The sun was bright. And we used a reflector to soften the bright light.

In working with models, especially children, it is very important to establish good contact with them. Children rarely like to be photographed. Moms like to photograph their children. Therefore, I always try to motivate children in the process of photography. I constantly repeat how beautiful they are, how well they convey emotions, etc.

Now we are playing with the girls the story that we believe that Spring will come and prepare for her meeting. As attributes we use a birdhouse and wind vane.

Often during the photo session, moments of improvisation arise. So, we thought of throwing dry leaves. This is a fairly common effect, but my young models have received great pleasure from this game.


And then all three girls are already on the trip. They have with them a magic lamp and a magic leaf that will be useful to them in their adventure. Again, it is important to see each model and tell each of them the right posture and mood.

The final story of the photo session was the story of three faithful friends. They can not live without each other. I wove them together with their hair and it became a metaphor for their strong connection. We talked about loyalty and responsibility in friendship. The importance of support. Since the girls are actually friends, this topic was very close to them.

So, this is how the 'Autumn Stories' started ;-)





Correction In Camera RAW

-          Colour temperature

-          Vibration and saturation

-          Exposures

Compositional construction of the future picture.

-          Choose correct colour workspace

-          Correct/Adjust composition. Use Stamp Tool to extend canvas if not big enough

-          Figure and background, reduce the effect of background and make the subject matter

Elements of Collage (dog, leaves, etc)

-          Create a composite by introducing additional elements

-          Make the elements toning match with the main picture

Creating a depth of field in collage.

-          Create a Radial Blur to blur the background

-          Using liquefy filter to reshape subject matter and secondary elements

-          Skin refinement, removing spots

Creating an atmosphere.

-          Spot defects and remove them

-          Using linear gradient tool to reshape the lighting disposition

-          Desaturate background if it is too high

-          Darken the background if it is too bright

Final touch

-          Final colour corrections

-          Filters and plug ins (Topaz or Nic)

-          Overlays – oil painting background, etc

-          Grains

My name is Svetlana. I'm a musician, psychologist and photographer. In addition, I really love painting. I have been doing photography relatively recently - about 10 years. In photography, I especially like the portrait genre and especially the portrait of a child. As a psychologist, I also work with children a lot and therefore I am interested in children's feelings, experiences, children's emotions. I really like to take pictures of children because they are very sincere and spontaneous. As I said, I love and know the painting well. Therefore, I strive to bring my portraits closer to painting. Especially I like painting masters of the Middle Ages - Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, Vermeer, etc. This list is long enough. I am very pleased when my work finds a response when they like. Many thanks to everyone who supports me in my creative search.

If you would like to have a discussion with me regarding more about my artistic perspectives or post-processing techniques, you can reach me at
[email protected]
or simply throw a PM in the 1X site.



Congratulations for your stunning works!