Surrendering Control

the sun machine is coming down and we're gonna have a party!

The Sun Machine is Coming Down

Edited by Someone Else

This week's 52frames challenge was an interesting one; to take a photograph but then have it edited by someone else. As a photographer who always edits her own work, this was an interesting exercise in surrender. I chose Lindsay Morrison as my editor because, like me, she is approaching all of the 52frames challenges as self portraits and I love her creativity.  What was more difficult was deciding what to photograph. Lindsay specializes in Fashion photography and requested vintage style portraits if possible so I let that guide my choice of subject for this week. 


My inspiration was a mix of "If you're going to San Francisco, be sure to wear a flower in your hair" and a kind of Summer Festival, late 60s/early 70s style vibe. My favourite musical artist of all time has always been David Bowie and one of my favourite songs of his is a lesser known track called "In Memory of a Free Festival" (play video to listen to the track).  This photograph is meant to capture that sensibility and mood. I shared the track with Lindsay Morrison and she told me she listened to it as she edited the image. (Let me note right here that this is one of the songs I want playing at my funeral.)

Style, Posing & Lighting

I am wearing a vintage dress that was handmade by my mum in the 70s. I shot my photograph   against  a grey seamless in the studio. I also purposely set the shutter speed a little slow (1/80) and swooshed the dress around to get a feeling of movement and motion and dancing.


• I used two strobes. One positioned above with a strong yellow gel to light the grey backdrop.

• A second strobed placed a little behind me and feathered to provide a warm side light. It was gelled with a quarter stop CTO to further enhance the warm summery feeling.

• There is a bit of ambient soft interior daylight (from windows and skylights)  in the mix too which provides a bit of top rim light in the mix.

Check out the behind-the-scenes timelapse video of the shoot:

(note - I am controlling the focus and camera settings and reviewing takes on an ipad paired with  a camranger device attached to my camera). 


Focal Length • 50mm

Speed 1/80

f 2

ISO 400

SOOC Before Edit versus After Being Edited

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  • The Sun Machine is Coming Down

Editing Notes

The edit was completed by Lindsay Morrison:

For Lindsay's Instagram Profile Click here

For Lindsay's 52Frames Profile Click Here

I gave Lindsay free rein with the edit. She told me "It's fairly simple because the photos were already incredible! I edited while listening to the song you sent over - the original photo you sent me fit the energy of the song the most!" Lindsay warmed up the colors and lessened the  lens vignetting artifacts.  She enhanced the catchlights in my eyes, removed some stray hairs, removed a distracting bulge in the dress and overall evoked the kind of magical summery mood I was hoping could be achieved in this image. I wouldn't have done it better myself, this exceeds my expectations.

She made the image sparkle. I am grateful. Thank you Lindsay!

+ My edits for other 52 Framers

Lindsay Morrison's "Rosie the Covid Fighter"

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images copyright Lindsay Morrison.

Editing Notes:

Lindsay  gave me the following instructions for the edit:

As for the edit, I apologize as this one won't have a ton of room for creativity. I think the most important thing is matching the colors (specifically the yellow) to the original. I'm also hoping to have the bandage stand out a little more - if you end up dodging and burning, maybe just add a little dimension since it's so close to my skin tone. And if possible, to minimize the look of the shadow right below my very teeny tiny victory roll. I kept moving the lights and I couldn't get my forehead completely free of shadows. I'd also love it cropped similarly to the original so there's a little room up top that I can overlay text for IG stories. Anything else is fair game!

This is a link to the copy of the original poster I used for reference when creating the edit.

SOOC (RAW) Before Edit versus After Being Edited

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Happy 'Client'

This is actually the kind of editing work I love to do. I had clear reference and so the direction I needed to head in was unequivocal. I have a background as a commercial artist - I am used to being directed, so working this way is natural for me. I'm super proud of this edit and Lindsay was delighted too. She told me:

"The edit is incredible - I'm completely blown away!  Thank you again for putting in the time and energy to make this photo come to life! It's so much better than I ever imagined!" – Lindsay Morrison

Aleksandra' Brokman's "Revival"

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image copyright Aleksandra Brokman

Editing Notes

Aleksandra  shared this  about her concept before she shot her images:

"My idea is something around the theme of "Revival" - I want to do some adventurous, colourful make up and try to capture how I was afraid to stand out from the crowd and suppressed my self-expression but at some point decided I was tired of it and broke through my shell a bit. I'm thinking of using either some old, a bit run down wall as a background (to stand for breaking away from something) or to go for something cheerful and vibrant (I'd like to find a still flowering tree). Ideally, I'll photograph myself in front of both and see how they turn out. If you have any tips or suggestions, I would appreciate them!"

I suggested Aleksandra shoot for both and I would see if I could somehow incorporate them into one image to signifty  breaking out of the old/broken wall and opening up to growth and adventure.

A Summary of the edits:

• Straightened the wall to remove the perspective

• Removed the drainpipe and the window

• Did some retouching on the face to remove a few pimples and stray hairs and to remove the shadow that was falling onto the cheek.

• Tweaked the pink and yellow on the eyeshadow to make them more vibrant.

• Enhanced the lighting on the face.

• Mixed in the crumbling old wall into the lower part of frame and reduced its color saturation to help with the symbolism of opening up to a more vibrant way of living.

• Overall made the rest of the image warmer.

SOOC (RAW) Before Edit (x2) versus After Being Edited

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Happy "Client"

It was such an honour to be trusted with such an important and personal  image and I want to thank Aleksandra for giving me the opportunity by choosing me to be her editor. 

"Thank you so much for the edits, I love it. I think now it really captures what I wanted to capture." – Aleksandra Brokman


As a photographer, are you precious about your own editing? I've tried a bit of professional  editing for other photographers but find it can be challenging, especially given that we each have different standards and levels. I  would find it very difficult to give up my own editing work, indeed I have never sought to outsource my editing but given the great result I received from Lindsay, maybe I should?!

Any thoughts on the subject or this post you'd like to share? Let us know in the comments!

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