The local 6th graders have been learning about the history of the ship Titanic, and its fateful voyage. The daughter of one of my friends participated in this class, and shared some of her adventures with me.
The day approached when the students, now known as passengers, would take their final meal in the grand ballroom of the luxury ship. Crystal, silverware, china and linen set the scene. Portholes evenly spaced along the walls showed a blue sea with clear skies.
The elegance of the dining courses was met with cultured conversation, sartorial splendor, and possibly some nervousness. After all, each passenger had a real name, and a real fate. After the meal was concluded, announcements were made as to those who could climb to the upper floor to exit by lifeboat. As each name was announced, what a shiver of dread or reprieve must have been felt by every one of them. Would you weep for regret? Scream in frustration as others went to safety? Bravely hold up your chin knowing your meal had turned to lead in your belly?
Luckily, my friend's daughter survived. Back at my shop, she allowed me to photograph her in all her finery, for posterity's sake. As I combed through all the photos I took, the one above caught my eye. I might have discarded it, but for that fine hand.
This photograph also held promise. That pensive look seemed about right.
Using Photoshop, I combined the two photos and came up with this.
There was a gap where the hat let light shine on the left side of her head, so I used the clone tool some more to cover that up.
I wanted something like 'age' so I added striations and yellowing, filtered in some old paper for texture, made some black outlines too. Maybe this is over-done. The beauty of saving each step along the way, is that I can go back to the unvarnished, untouched image, and follow my nose down another path.
As a final touch, I cropped it once again. I liked the way the black made a definite corner, the way her hand competes with her eyes and cheek and mouth for attention, and the space between her arm and face, which gives the eyes a rest before going back to look around again.
I appreciate that Taylor (with her mother's permission) lets me photograph her and play with the images. I am happy to share the pleasure of looking at such a beautiful girl with you. I expect I will work on some more of the photos I took, and will use one to illustrate her poster for this year's end-of-school program.
If you are interested, you may want to see her poster from the previous year here.
images © diana ani stokely 2011
all rights reserved
* reposted from May, 2011