Behind the lens

Victorian gentleman

Professional photographer and Photocrowd user Joana Kruse explains the story and techniques behind her hugely popular image 'Victorian gentleman'; the winner of our 'Victoriana' contest.

"I work as a book cover photographer, so often come into contact with work around the Victorian era.

On a misty and rainy day I went with my model down to a lake. He comes from Sicily, and so is as far from being Victorian as it's possible to be! But that didn't matter for this photo. Most book cover images are intentionally shot from behind - anonymous, to give space for the reader's fantasy. So, for the purposes of this image, it really didn't matter that he looked Mediterranean.

For the shoot, I took the top hat and a black umbrella with me as props, along with a long Victorian woollen coat. Luckily there was this street lamp which added to the atmosphere, so I placed my model next to it, facing the lake with the mist.

During post processing I added the blurred vision of an historic church in the background which fit in with the era, and after that, I desaturated the colours (even though there was almost no colour in the original photo anyway).

When I was finished, I was pleased with the result. I really liked how the dreamy, rainy atmosphere together with the props like the umbrella immediately brought to mind a foggy London in Victorian times. I was very glad the Photocrowders who voted for my image enjoyed the association, too.

So, this is how a Sicilian guy became a Victorian gentleman and can now be found on English books."

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