“Inspired Series No.22… Flower Child” by Olga Baldock

The original photo was taken in 2016. At the time I was mostly a landscape photographer and this genre was new to me.

The question that niggled me was: Who is this person that comes to a stranger’s home, knowing what is required of them.

I didn’t want to take cliche images, I wanted the woman behind those shots. I eventually did a small portfolio on “Who are we really?” and the rest of the images have sat on my hard drive, not to be resurrected till 2021.

I think COVID lockdowns are responsible for most of my experimental and creative images. I came across the work of Danny Bittencourt who expressed human emotion through Hybrid Photography. I was also aware of contemporary photographer Chris Friel whose portrait multiple exposures brutally exposes human frailty. John Stezaker and Hannah Hoch, Dadaist photographer and artist, used appropriated images and fused them to make a new identity with new meaning, commenting on social/human conditions.

This was a challenge to me. How do I tread the same path of other conceptualists and still retain my originality/identity. We know nothing is new in photography. But this is new to me. Firstly I rarely shoot in monochrome and secondly I was exploring the concept of perception … mine, what the image elicits and that of the viewer. How can I make the viewer stop long enough to engage with the image beyond the obvious/recognizeable?

In the image “Inspired Series No.22… Flower Child” I wanted to conceptualise “fragility”. Using the hybrid method (the act of rephotographing) allowed me to materialise a story and build a more meaningful image. Her eyes showed sadness, maybe an acceptance of the situation and I emphasised this by photographing through a magnifying glass positioning my camera in a number of ways, taking a number of shots.

Looking at the image on the computer I knew it still wasn’t telling the story I envisaged. I’ve been thinking about how to incorporate landscape with portrait photography so I layered it with a multiple exposure of daises – fragile flowers. I tried a number of blend modes and subtract mode combined with the flowers helped to complete my conception. However what the viewer elicits may differ.

What do you think are the TWO most impactful features that make your image a good photograph? Don’t be shy!

The use of the hybrid method to rephotograph her face by using a magnifying glass and the layering of the daisy image to further the concept of fragility.

If you would be able to make this photo once again, what would be the ONE thing you would like to do better or different?

I couldn’t rephotograph this again. I had many attempts at photographing through a magnifying glass and they were all different. Double exposures in camera never come out the same in retakes.

Olga Baldock shared this photograph in the FRAMES Facebook Group.


Olga Baldock, Australia


Equipment and settings

Portrait: Fujifilm X-Pro3, XF35mm f/2, f/5.0, 1/160sec, ISO640
Daisies: Fujifilm X-Pro3, XF50-140mm, f/2.8. f/8, 1/4000 ISO 640, double exposure in camera.
Editing: Nik Silver Efex Pro 2

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