Portait Book 1 / by Dawn Webb

I know most of you have seen these images before in previous posts, mostly in monochrome.

I wanted to push out a set with a favoured editing technique I often use which was sourced from Joey Lawrence over in Canada, understandably it might be too heavy for some viewers.

Its not a technique that suits every type of image, but I feel it stands well with some of my military work and keeping with my own style.

The key to my work is in the visualisation at the "taking" stage - I know exactly what will and won't work.
I light my subjects in the field to deliver 80% of this look before I even attempt the editing phase.
Some of these shots are in Afghanistan, Canada - I work with SB900's and a Lastolite softbox, when unable to take the Quadra light set.

The SB900 setup offers me more flexibilty and deliverance of speed - military subjects don't like to sit for too long.


I set up all lighting before placing my subject to pose, this way I know I am ready to go - any final tweaks on facial shadows can then be done with minimal fuss.

I am looking for heavy shadows, I want texture on fabrics to have shadows, I want shadows to dominate my work
I want rugged facial features, I want dark skin and a masculine look.....for me this is what makes a good heavy military portrait.

I often use strobist.com as a source of lighting/imagination - its the catalyst that got me where I am today.

So please look at these and deconstruct what I was thinking at the time of taking them, look for catch lights in the eye, look where I formed shadows, texture, look at expressions, skin colour, ......and you will then be able to notice a discernible pattern to my work....this is what makes a photographer stand out, his or her ability to hold onto their own style.
EVERYTHING I do with my camera is deliberate, I am the one that makes the image, I am the one deciding how I want it to look.....I am the photographer.