Niamh (Stranger #17/100), Venezia Arsenale

Update: Such is the weight of hugely appreciated opinion/discussion, I’ve decided to replace the original post here with a re-edit. Please see the comments below for the original and SOOC components. Thanks to everyone for their commentary – fantastically enlightening.

Like so many of my strangers, Niamh was racing to work when I interrupted her day with a request to take her portrait.

Niamh’s from Toronto, currently enjoying an internship at the Peggy Guggenheim. That sounds amazing.

She had a little way yet to race to get to work, so after taking a handful of shots in the shade at the end of the Via Giuseppe Garibaldi, I felt I’d intruded enough.

Unfortunately the best of the series by far, with her amazing hair drifting in the breeze off the lagoon, was kind of wrecked by a poorly composed background. I’m not sure what I was thinking, but having thought long and hard, I composed an alternative angle on the background, matched exposure and shot a backing plate.

The image above is a composite of that new background and the best of the series. Both images are in the comments.

I’ m not sure if that’s entirely in the spirit of the project, but I wanted the best shot possible. Having made a mistake, I hope this puts it right to some degree. Clearly the perspective/scale is a little broken in the end result. I’d really appreciate people’s feedback on this front; I can kind of see a few sides of the argument, and some extra angles would be of huge interest.

Niamh – thank you so much for stopping. I really hope you like your portrait, and can forgive me for messing up the background! Have an amazing time in Venice – it sounds like an incredible opportunity you have there, and was no doubt very hard earned.

This is portrait #17 of my 100 Strangers Project – check out the group page and get involved.

Have a great week!

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