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Success Often Teams With Grit and Grime by Johanne Brunet

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Success Often Teams With Grit and Grime by 

Success without hard work and determination does not happen very often in real life. Sweat, frustrations, sore muscles and achy bones usually get rewarded in the end…

Conceptual shot made with my 13-year old nephew, as part of a photoshoot to test a 90mm Tamron lens before buying.

RAW files processed in Lightroom and Photoshop CS4, converted to black and white and given an urban gritty treatment with various layers and filters adding grain and serious sharpening by contrast. Some dodging and burning applied as well.

Focal length 90mm
Aperture f/5,6
Shutter 1/60 sec.

Nikon D60
Tamron SP AF90mm F/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 Model 272E

Shot handheld, in manual mode, no flash fired. Lit with twin head halogen work lights (500w each) behind a large homemade diffuser , plus a silver reflector.

Featured in The Art of Intrigue on January 5, 2010

Featured in Model Beginnings on January 7, 2010

This is the original image, as is


dirt, boy, urban, basketball, blackwhite, hands, teen, concept, antoine, black and white

Freelance photographer specializing in pet photography as well as maternity and newborn portraiture.

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  • Anna Shaw
    Anna Shawover 4 years ago

    How original and great this is – and what a super message for us all.

  • Thank you Anna! A message that we have to remind our kids once in a while in this easy world of ours…

    – Johanne Brunet

  • Wendi Donaldson
    Wendi Donaldsonover 4 years ago

    Amazing what a little PS & LR can do. Fabulous B&W shot…I love hands!!!

  • Thank you Wendy! I doesn’t really show in this image, but those hands are actually quite large. Antoine will probably measure over 6 ft tall (like his dad), and he already has the hands and feet to prove it! LOL!

    – Johanne Brunet

  • Squealia
    Squealiaover 4 years ago

    Nice work Johanne, I have just bought a flash and umbrella set, but seeing this I may try and make my own constant light set too!

  • Thank you Celia! I think that the flash and umbrella would be easier to work with, and allow you to use a faster shutter speed with lower ISO. The Strobist is full of good tips on how to work with external flashes to create beautiful lighting.

    – Johanne Brunet

  • Tania1403
    Tania1403over 4 years ago

    Great shot and the treatment seems to have bought the pores way up!

  • Thank you Tania! Yes the skin texture has been much emphasized with this treatment, a bit like with the Kragan effect.

    – Johanne Brunet

  • nadine henley
    nadine henleyover 4 years ago

    love the b&w version – so gritty!

  • Thank you Nadine, I’m glad that you like it! :-)

    – Johanne Brunet

  • George Parapadakis (monocotylidono)
    George Parapad...over 4 years ago

    Great technoque, but also great sports shot!!!

  • Thank you George! My nephew absolutely love sports. He started playing basketball this year at school and he loves it. But his real love is soccer (football) and he would like to make a career out of it. :-)

    – Johanne Brunet

  • Squealia
    Squealiaover 4 years ago

    Thanks for the link Johanne

  • PeterBusser
    PeterBusserover 4 years ago

    Love the processing! The ‘before’ picture isn’t half as interesting as the final result. A touch of magic using the layers, filters and so on. Well done!

  • Thank you Peter! This is one of the shots that I made with the final results and the process I would use to get there already in mind. This seems to happen more and more lately… ;-)

    – Johanne Brunet

  • Jean M. Laffitau
    Jean M. Laffitauover 4 years ago

    Great bw shot!

  • Thank you Jean, I’m glad that you like it! :-)

    – Johanne Brunet

  • Fordham
    Fordhamover 4 years ago

    fantastic. i’m a former basketballer and this struck a chord with me. well done.

  • Thank you for your kind words! :-)

    – Johanne Brunet

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