Hi ho friends.

In the past couple of weeks, I found Brooke Shaden’s YouTube channel and she has a series called “White Wall Wednesday”. The premise is simple: stage your photo in front of a white (or other neutral background) wall and create your story using minimal Photoshop tools.

The most recent video in the series was “Create a Portal,” so naturally, I was hooked. I purchased a Canon remote trigger for my Rebel, set up my tripod and set to work.

I have a lovely blank wall in my studio, however, the room is not wide enough for me to capture a full body image.

Plan B: set up the white sheet I bought just for photo shoots and try again. This took me about a hour to figure out, using materials I could find around the house. My suction clothesline would not adhere to the texture walls. I attached a picture hook on the opposite wall found some tape, an S hook and binder clip and hung my sheet. Here is the setup and one of the shots.

“Crossing the Void” is part of a series of images I’m working on, based on good ol childhood trauma. Mom used to say she would run away from home. My memory is she said this whenever dad and mom had been drinking and fighting. They drank and fought a lot.

“Crossing the Void” by L. Anne Thompson for Tenukihandcrafts

I’m happy with the overall composition, but I may reshoot because the figure is not quite in focus. I played around with manual focus but I’ve never had very good luck with it (my eyes are not the best).

I got the settings from one of the first shots of the day. I typically use all auto settings but when I got to the 3rd shot, the camera made an odd choice and the image was too dark, prompting me to look at the shot I liked and using those settings: F 5.6 and shuttle speed of 1/80. ISO was auto. The only source of light is from my large, south-facing studio window.

It is a cloudy day today so the light was not a harsh directional light. I like there are shadows but they are soft-edged.

I did a wee bit of tweaking to the model, here and there, but not much. There are 13 layers in all, 2 textures, 1 of the figure and then various color shifting and vignette layers.

I considered changing the color of the dress, but since it’s a series, it would be a pain to try and match the color in all the images. So far, the series has 4 images, but there needs to be at least 1 more to complete the crossing, so to speak.

All the images for “Crossing the Void” are my own.

I’m enchanted by Brooke’s style because it is dreamy and a touch surreal, things I love. It is a much more minimalist style than my usual visual density, but I’m finding there is a way to convey a complex image through the texture and the message I’m trying to convey.

The Canon remote trigger works well. My only complaint is that is set for a 2 second delay. That’s not much, but I’m sure I’ll get the hang of it.

I love the idea of White Wall Wednesday because in addition to building my Photoshop skills, it is challenging my photography and story-telling skills. It’s win-win!

How are you challenging yourself? Leave a comment and link; I’d love to stop by and see what you’re up to.

Happy creating!