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Eye-Catching Portraits and Photos of the Week | Rangefinder

This month, we are celebrating eye-catching portraits and photos that were awarded in WPPI’s Second Half competition. Discover the entire gallery of winners, and take a look at our weekly featured photo series.

Martina Warenfeldt, a fine-art portrait photographer based in Sweden, saw a special spark in the girl in her photograph, titled “Autumn,” when she and her family had come in for portraits back in 2019. Warenfeldt was moved to switch into fine-art mode and do a little something extra for their session, with permission from the family. She got a few extra frames out of it, one of which Warenfeldt submitted to WPPI’s The Annual 16 x 20 print competition. At WPPI’s live judging event in Las Vegas last February, she won her first gold award. “As I have worked so hard to get that gold, it was a very special moment sitting in the judging room finally earning it.”

[Read: Why Enter WPPI’s Photo Competitions? Susan Stripling Explains]

In September 2020, the family returned to Warenfeldt’s studio for another family session. “I happened to have a basket of apples in my studio that was just used for an outdoor session, and on my morning walk, I collected some weed from the side of the road thinking I might be able to do something cool with it,” the photographer explains. She brought the sweater from home and draped brown fabric around her for the skirt. Warenfeldt wanted the girl’s posture to be strong and her hands delicate. “I threw together a crown of weed and leaves, putting an apple or two in there as well,” Warenfeldt says. “The backdrop is an actual piece of wood that I found once beside the road and even though it is bent, and has a hole in it, it is beautiful and I use it a lot. I think the wood gave the whole image that rustic feeling I was going for.”

She used a Canon 5D Mark III and 24-70mm lens at f/5, 1/125 sec. and ISO 100, along with Profoto flashes—a 3 x 4 softbox set up feathered at camera right as her main light, and a large octa softbox placed up high on camera left and spreading fill light on the scene. She submitted “Autumn” to WPPI’s Second Half competition and won third place in the Chidren + Teenager category. “I’m so very grateful to have such inspiring clients that during a normal family session, we can get to this,” Warenfeldt says. “That just fills my heart with love and joy.”

[Read: The Rule of Thirds—How to Use It and When to Break It]

Chan Kin Lok of Cooper Chan Photography, a fine-art wedding photographer based in Hong Kong, wanted to go the extra mile for a bride and groom as they left their hotel room for the wedding banquet hall downstairs. He wanted to “make use of the geometry of the building interior” in this photo, which was awarded second place in the “Couple Together: Wedding Day” category for WPPI’s Second Half competition.

“I used an off-camera flash to outline the couple, as well as that particular part of the corridor to draw attention to the subject,” Chan says. “The difficulty in taking this photo was to compose and shoot in an instant, so I had to study the environment and decide on the composition in advance. I tested the lighting ahead of time and had my lighting assistant wait at the end of the corridor. When the couple left the hotel room, I was all set and just waited for the right moment to press my shutter as they walked down the corridor.” He photographed it with a Nikon D5 and 16-35mm f/4 lens at 30mm, f/6.3 and 1/160 sec., along with his Profoto B10 lighting setup.

One of the bridesmaids walked behind the couple with a red umbrella for the bride. “In ancient times, it was a red cloth on the bride’s head,” Chan explains. “It is now replaced by a red umbrella. There are different sayings about this tradition, and one of them is to protect the bride from evils on her wedding day.”

See other honorable mentions for this week in the gallery above: Haoze Tan, who won third place for “Exotic planet” in the “Couple Together: Non-Wedding Day” category; Kirsten Summers, who won first place in Photojournalism for “Mum & dad and their beautiful daughter”; and Charles Mitri, who was awarded third place in Boudoir for “Fierce and Feminine.”

The post Eye-Catching Portraits and Photos of the Week appeared first on Rangefinder.

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