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  • Writer's pictureGareth Partington

The day I got a little muddy

Updated: Jan 16, 2021

Lately all I seem to do is ride my bike and get very muddy or go for a run and get very muddy, which I admit is absolutely brilliant.

I knew I wanted to create a new self portrait but I wasn’t sure what to do so kept thinking about the mud. This eventually led me to thinking about a face covered in mud.

Something animalistic, something dark, perhaps emerging from the woods.

This was the result.

The final image was my favourite and disgusting as it was I think I will have another go as I do think I can improve upon it. I’d also like to find any volunteers out there to cover in mud as well.

Scroll down to find out the lighting set up if you a photo geek like me.

Muddy Face 1

Muddy Face 2

Muddy Face 3

Muddy Face 4

The lighting set up was very simple. The first two started off with my Nikon SB800 fired into a Westcott Orb on full power. This did not have the diffusion panel on the front so the light is harder. I then placed a gold reflector under my face to bounce the light back in.


Looking at the images I was making I liked them but I wasn’t happy as I thought they needed more shadow and contrast to bring the texture of the mud out.

The light was moved to my right hand side again without the diffusion panel on the front. Moving the light further down past my head meant that as it fired I was only in the edges of the light. A few test shots and I liked the way it was looking. The reflector again was placed just below my face angled up.


All of the images were taken on a 80mm lens and I managed to do this solo by shooting tethered into Adobe lightroom. Meaning I could see the results and adjust my pose as necessary.

Hope you liked them, I can say I was quite grateful to jump in the bath afterwards.

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