Incorporating a stock photo shoot and with the use of Adobe Photoshop dominatrix is created.
Ever since I began working with computers I have had a love-hate relationship with them. At times I even feel, well, dominated by technology. It was this paradoxical concept that I set out to illustrate for a stock photograph with the Dominatrix image.
It took a photo shoot, some stock images, and digital manipulation, but as you can see the effort was worthwhile.
Finding a Model for the photo shoot
The first problem…where to find a model? Should I shoot a “real” dominatrix? As I discussed this image with several friends I was surprised that at least two of my women friends volunteered to be the model…and a woman acquaintance not only volunteered but went on to say she had taken dominatrix classes! With the sudden interest of various females in posing for the shot my wife Dianna, suddenly became interested…and amazingly enough got the job.
The first thing we did was head down to a leather shop not too far from my studio. As we worked with the sales woman on what the costume should be we learned a number of things that I don’t need to go into here. We finally did emerge with a good costume, though it cost me nearly $900.00…and you can’t return that stuff! If I ever need them again I now own a nice pair of handcuffs, some really tall-heeled boots, a fine leather corset, and a whip even Indiana Jones would be proud of!
I decided that the concrete floor of my studio would make a good surface for our shoot. I wanted a dungeon feel for the shot so I looked through my files for a background that would work. I settled on another stock image I had shot in Spain years earlier. It was the exterior of a building that was weathered stucco. That decided, it was time to shoot.
I laced Di up in the corset and boots, gave her the whip and handcuffs and told her to get into the spirit of the character. I knelt on the floor with a wide-angle lens on my Hasselblad and began to shoot. By choosing a low angle and shoot up it made her look taller and more imposing. As I directed Dianna through various poses I continued to suggest that she get into the character. "Tell me to crawl you pathetic loser! I suggested. She replied “Hurry up! I can’t breathe and I am about to fall over!” So much for the romance of a photo shoot! After shooting a few rolls of Dianna (this was shot back in the days of film…) I used my Leaf back to capture one of my computer monitors. Back then the leaf camera used three exposures with a filter wheel to capture color…obviously not well suited to shoot a living breathing human being…and that digital back (fit on the back of the Hasselblad) was $48,000.00!
The first step in putting the image together was to create a clipping path around Dianna, using the pen tool, and convert it to a selection. I then pasted the Spanish wall behind her. The Hue/Saturation controls were used to change the color from pink to olive. I then duplicated the layer, darkened it and created a layer mask “show all”. Using a large, soft brush I erased a central diagonal area giving the impression of a shaft of light from an unseen window. I next selected (another path to selection) the monitor and copied and pasted it over Dianna’s head. I selected the layer of Dianna and “painted” in the shadows from the monitor over her shoulders. To create the bluish light on her chest I duplicated the Dianna layer again, used the color balance controls to change the color towards blue, then used a layer mask to reveal the layers just where I wanted them to show the “light” from the monitor. The burn and dodge tools allowed me to bring out highlights in the leather. I created a new layer between Dianna and the floor and used a small soft brush to add the necessary shadows…presto…a techno Dominatrix in a dungeon!
I am still amazed at the stock photos that can be created in Photoshop…with minimal tools! The pen tool, Hue and Saturation, layer masks, Burn and Dodge, and Color Balance…nothing fancy or esoteric…just the basic Photoshop features. Over the years that stock image (on file with Corbis) has brought in thousands of dollars. I also used the same image to create a funny animal photograph…a cat dominatrix. Some weeks after the shoot Dianna, who is a diminutive 5'1" and 97 pounds, was talking to a male model in my office. The model saw the Dominatrix photo and turned to Dianna and said "Man, would I like to meet her!" My only disappointment is that I could never get Dianna to wear the outfit again!