Johanna in Tyresö

Yesterday I went out to Tyresö to photograph Johanna Hasmats, who is into fitness and body building. I got to know her during my PhD, when I was teaching a programming course. This was a bit of a spontaneous shoot, my original plan was to photograph my cousin, but her horse needed to go to the vet so we had to reschedule. I messaged Johanna who I’d been chatting with a few weeks prior and we decided to meet up after her friend’s wedding rehearsal. I put my new 35 mm lens on the camera, and packed the 85 mm lens which is ideal for portraits in the camera bag. We met up at an outdoor gym and after doing some warmup shots there headed off to a nearby lake. It was windless, and the water surface gave us some great reflections.

Johanna has a panther tattooed on her back, so when we saw a stray cat on the road I suggested we could try and get the cat and her tattoo “interacting” somehow in the frame. My idea was to try and have the cat mirror the tattoo, but the cat turned out to have a will of its own. After a few laps I was ready to give up on the idea, when this photo suddenly materialised itself.
Diving into the water, or that is what I want to make it look like she is doing. In reality Johanna is jumping up into the air while I hold my camera rotated at a 90 degree angle.

I’m on my way to visit one of my brothers who lives in Småland. For the non-Swedish readers, that is where IKEA began. The people in Småland are known for their entrepreneurship, and being a bit tight with money, kind of like the Scots. I’ve been editing the photos on my laptop for the past two hours, and now I’m writing the blog post. Violia is kind enough to provide internet on the train, but it is a bit flaky so going to post this after I arrive. This also means that Johanna won’t see the photos until I post them. She has an obsession with pink, so curious to hear what she thinks when she sees all the black and white photos.

I had sent Johanna a few inspirational photos, and one of them was a photo taken by my friend Clara where she was tossing her wet hair creating a nice arch. We decided to do something similar. Here I have turned the photo black and white then used the Targeted Adjustment Tool in the raw importer to darken the background colours. I also added a bit of sharpening to better define the water droplets.
It is interesting how we look for different things in a photo. Johanna wanted her abs to show, so this is a photo for her. No photoshop other than adjusting the light with the curves tool, and a bit of sharpening on the face to define the eyes and hair. The side light gave some nice shadows that defined the muscles.
Last shot of the day, taken while I was waiting at the bus stop. I like the texture on the background that leads the gaze into the photo.

On the way to the bus after finishing the shoot Johanna causally mentions that she does fire eating. I wish she had mentioned it earlier. Imagine the fire reflected in the still water, that would have been epic. If I did not have the early train ride this morning then I might have stayed a few more hours to get those shots. Now we have to save it for another time.

– Johannes

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