How I took that shot by Mervyn Daly

In the recent group competition, 'In Costume', Mervyn Daly ran out the deserved winner with his image with the 'Tears of a Clown' theme.

Mervyn Daly

Learn how Mervyn, who is becoming a fixture on the winner's podium, put this shot together here:

"I had an idea of creating an image with a 'Tears of a Clown' theme. I convinced (bribed) my daughter, Tara , to model for me, telling her what I was trying to create and getting her ideas also".

"I began by setting up a white backdrop which was lit by a 200w Elinchrom light at half power on the left, a 400w Elinchrom light at full power on the right. I metered and got a reading of 1/125sec @ f8, ISO200".

"I got out the make-up from my wife and Tara's stash and did the face painting and, when finished, I placed a folded sheet over her head and began shooting".

"The image was cropped and levels and curves adjusted, I burned in a couple of spots on the background to remove some creases and then converted to b&w on a separate layer and selectively deleted around the mouth to expose the colour on original layer".

"I shot with Nikon D300s, with sigma 17-70 2.8-4.5. @ 20mm. I used a reflective umbrella on the 200w head and a shoot through umbrella on the 400w head. Post processing was done in Photoshop CS2".

Well done Mervyn and Tara on producing a wonderful shot.


‘In Costume’ Competition – April 2013

16 entries were submitted for the 'In Costume' competition at the Midleton Park Hotel on 23/4/13. Variety was in evidence as the members judged the projected images.

The members broke up into groups of 5 and looked through all the images quickly first so that everyone could get a flavour of the entries. They then went through them again slowly so each group could discuss the image and mark them out of 10 each on composition, lighting and creativity.

While scores were being totted up each photographer spoke about how they came to take their chosen image and how they lit the subject etc. With the scores tallied the winners were revealed: in 3rd place Vivian Lee with her image of a floating mask. In 2nd place Finbarr O'Shea with a photo of a child eating an apple, and in 1st place was  Mervyn Daly (February's third place) with an image of his daughter dressed as a Heath Ledger-style clown.

View all the competition entries in the slideshow below. Mouse over to see the photographers’ details  and to use the controls.

Well done to all the competitors.