Little Red Riding Hood finds herself out of her element, but still perfectly placed in this Sunset Print Award winning image by Lisa Cuchara, who owns BREA Photos in Hamden, Conn., with her husband Tom. Cuchara won the Sunset Print Award at CTPPA’s 65th Annual Convention & Awards Ceremony, held March 16 in Windsor, Conn.
The Cucharas hold a number of photography workshops and Grand Central Terminal in New York City is one of their favorite locations, though the location requires a special photographer’s permit. This time around they were looking for something different and out of the ordinary, so they brought models along with them and a Red Riding Hood cape.
“We had a friend of a friend make a Little Red Riding Hood cape because she knew someone who had a wolf, so we did a photo series in the woods. Then we thought it would be a good idea to bring this cape to New York City; it’s the modern Red Riding Hood in Grand Central,” explains Cuchara. “This model took off her shoes, immediately got into the role and was just wonderful with it. She became part of the scene where it seems she was clicking her feet and wishing her way out of there. That area, to me, has a very Harry Potter feel to it, and a couple of the judges also mentioned that. Another judge commented that the shadow on the door to the right of the subject looks like the silhouette of a wolf. That’s great if I can make the judges think that far, but that was just coincidence.”
Cuchara shot seven exposures with a tripod for the HDR image using natural light except for a small Gisteq LED light to provide extra light and color on the model’s face. She used Photomatrix to combine the seven exposures, and masked the model’s face in Photoshop to zero exposure “so that she didn’t get that weird modeled HDR look you can get from too much tone mapping,” says Cuchara.
Cuchara also added the beams of light coming down from the brass lamp fixtures. “I love the gold tones of the photo contrasted to the blues coming from the windows; the juxtaposition of the two light temperatures. A lot of the areas in Grand Central Terminal don’t have the old brass fixtures, but this area does, which is one of the reasons we chose that spot. It was overall fun to execute and we were able to do something a little different, and it just kind of works,” adds Cuchara.