AmericaDnaAnatomy of a photograph by Patty Maher

The image is part of a series called "The Infinite Universe" and this particular photo is the first in the series and is also named "The Infinite Universe". 

Patty Maher is an internationally recognized, award winning artist based in Caledon, Ontario, Canada.  The inspiration for her art comes from an exploration of the feminine in the context of both natural and urban settings.

Working primarily through staged portraiture and self-portraiture Maher is widely known for hiding or obscuring the faces of her subjects often only using only posture, gesture, symbol and colour to convey emotion and story.  Maher explores the inner worlds of her subjects while at the same time considering notions of personal space, identity and the relationship of the individual to the larger world. Her goal with each photo and series is to create pieces that disrupt the boundaries between real life and the otherworldly;  the surreal and the commonplace.   In the telling of visual stories she invites the viewer to become a co-creator in meaning, leaving the stories open ended but touching on basic and universal emotions.[Official Website]

Can you tell us a little about yourself?

I am a fine art photographer from Ontario Canada and I began shooting photos 9 years ago. Most of my shots are digitally manipulated and I consider them in many cases to be digital paintings.

Can you explain us the idea or the story behind this image?

The image is part of a series called “The Infinite Universe” and this particular photo is the first in the series and is also named “The Infinite Universe”. The series itself is an homage to great artist Yayoi Kusama who uses polka dots as a metaphor for giving up personal identity and becoming one with the universe. This photo pictures the character in a polka dot dress with a polka dot suitcase – ready to travel to the far reaches of the universe.

© Patty Maher

Can you explain us what equipment you used for its realization?

I used my camera which is a Canon 5D Mark III, a 50mm lense and photoshop.

Tell us how it is taken from the most technical aspect.

This photo is actually a collage of a few different photos. The picture of the model was taken separately and then photoshopped onto a different background and sky. I wanted it to look both surreal and minimal and this was the best way I could find to achieve that.

What problems and challenges did you face when you took the shot of this image?

I’m kind of a perfectionist when it comes to my photos so I can spend hours going over every last detail of a shot to make sure it is perfect. When I superimpose a model onto a background I spend the most time making sure that all the edges are perfect so that is very challenging. I’ve learned to be very patient.

We are talking about the postproduction process. How do you get the final result?

After I layer everything together I usually spend a lot of time tweaking colours and sometimes use lightroom to get the smooth effect on the final photo.

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