Lindsay Robertson

As a photographer who appears to delve amongst a variety of subject matters, Robertson covers both equines and canines in her portfolio. However, it was her equine photos that attracted me to her work.

The style within the majority of her horse-based portraits is simplistic, typically using black and white or reduced saturation in order to dramatise an otherwise insignificant image. This, however, is an efficient technique, since the sharp focus on her subjects draws them out of their background, in which a blurred effect is achieved using a shallow depth of field. With location based shoots, a natural background such as that below, is often filled with vibrant tones and hues, which detract from the overall image. Lindsay’s use of greyscale creates a balance in colour, without allowing her subjects to dissipate into the background.

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With such a shallow depth of field, it is to be assumed that the subjects were based a distance away from their backdrop. Whilst the photographer may have also used a zoom lens, since her primary fields appear to be baby, family and wedding themed shoots, it is likely that her equipment is prioritised in the direction of those career paths. Furthermore, it appears that post-production techniques are frequently used within Robertson’s photographs, as indicated by the use of colour and lighting, such as Photoshop or Lightroom.

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The images below are especially relevant to my final piece, as my installation will require a substantial number of photographs that have the ability to connect in a formation to create an overall picture. Whilst these images may not completely connect, they are close enough that, if presented correctly, the audience could view them as an overall image. This is achieved here using an individual model, whereas my project is intended to feature a variety of equines in order to demonstrate a high level of diversity. Despite this, I endeavour to create a similar effect to that shown below, using well executed photographs that demonstrate tonal differences and sharp details.

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Whilst browsing Lindsay’s website, I discovered her pet portraits. Whilst brighter, giving a light-hearted feel, I felt that they were much alike that of Catherine Dashwood whom I researched previously, using a low saturation and vignette to increase the impact of each photograph. This effect appears to be common within pet portraiture, as it is frequently demonstrated within my themed mood board.

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Lindsay Robertson Influenced Experiment

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When responding to Robertson’s work, I concluded that the most effective technique throughout her photographs was the desaturation matched with the soft vignette, creating a border for the subject matter which flattered the focus and depth within the photograph.

In order to replicate this, I used the ‘vibrance’ tool in Photoshop to reduce the saturation, which I found drastically reduced the distraction of the stable door as it lost much of it’s distracting saturation, as well as the yellow sign in the background losing it’s brightness. I proceeded to use the burn tool to add a vignette, which I decided to use more forcefully than that seen in Robertson’s pieces as it appeared to frame my subject better when used in this way.

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In conclusion, I believe that this experiment was very successful as the final outcome has a much stronger impact than the original image. Although the door remains sharply focused, I feel that the muzzle’s definition is enhanced with the reduction of distracting hues, and that the eye can simply be drawn to the focal point rather than to an array of colours. This is reinforced by the use of a vignette, as the dark edge draws the audience into the photograph rather than toward the negative space.

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