Contender: Jeff Nadler

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Copyright © Jeff Nadler

Photographer:
Jeff Nadler

Where are you based?
Oceanside, California

When did you take the photograph?
1981

What equipment did you use?
Nikon F2 SLR, Nikon MF Zoom-Nikkor 43-86mm lens, Kodak black-and-white film

Please describe how you got this photo?
The photo was taken in my hometown in southeastern Wisconsin. The model, Lea, who was 24 at the time, is the sister of a high school classmate. I chose to shoot the three-hour session in her second-floor flat above a butcher shop in an old building because of the effect of the natural light flowing through the classic wood frame windows. While I also shot a roll of color film, I knew that black-and-white would be preferable for taking advantage of the sunlight entering horizontally through the large windows.

For this photo, I purposely positioned Lea in a corner where the window behind her would highlight her hair and outline her face, while the indirect light through the window in front of her would subtly light her facial features. As we always needed to do in the pre-digital days, I bracketed extensively, taking over half a dozen images at various exposures to hopefully capture the effect I desired. The negatives from this shoot were stored in a box until earlier this year when I started scanning my film portfolio. Lea, who is now a grandmother of five, was very happy to get a disc of her photos from this long-ago shoot.

Did you use any special techniques?
During the shoot thirty years ago, I purposely underexposed Lea in this pose to create the desired silhouetting effect. While editing the photo in June of this year, I primarily used the Nik Software Complete Collection plug-ins for Lightroom to add some highlights to her curls and to slightly brighten her face, along with some other subtle adjustments.

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