Someone who means a great deal to me loves the painting “Flaming June” by Frederick Lord Leighton (1830-1896). Here’s the original painting:
I always wanted to do a photographic homage to the painting in honor of that special someone. At the time I had hoped to use her as the model, making it something special we would share.
At the time that I first started thinking about it, I didn’t have the skills or the tools to do justice to the painting. After time went by I gained the skills and tools I felt I needed. Sadly, during the time of waiting as so often happens, the special person with whom I wanted to make the photograph with ceased to be part of my life.
Even so, it was a challenge I wanted to take on and a concept I really liked. So with that motivation and out of love, longing and heartache I hired a model and proceeded.
This is the resulting image. I feel like it does homage to the painting without copying it. In particular, this image is constructed using conventions from photography that you probably wouldn’t see in a painting. Also, there are differences in textures and lighting that I was not able to address so I used my own creativity in those areas.
This turned out to be much harder than I expected. I’ve seen other photographic homages to classic paintings (and to this one as well) that succeed to varying degrees. I think mine succeeded but perhaps not as fully as I had hoped. I’m not sure I would want to regularly do interpretations of classical paintings as some photographers do. In this case I was motivated in a way that would not normally apply so this may be the only time that I do something like that.
Model credit: Chelsea Claire