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Living Pictures! Amazing Photography

Tableau vivant is French for “living picture.” The term describes a striking group of suitably costumed actors or artist’s models, carefully posed and often theatrically lit. It is used to describe photography that draws on the traditions and conventions of either the theatre or painting.

Creating a Tableau has been part of my photography class for many years.  It’s one of the student’s favourite assignments, that allows them to understand light, colour, exposure and many other important concepts in a really fun and creative way.

I would like to share with you some examples of the amazing work created by my talented students over the past couple of years. Please take a look at some of their creations and feel free to share your thoughts on the comments section :)


From costumes to posture students must study the images to the smallest detail in order to recreate them


Digital retouching is a tool but not a substitute. Students are allowed to retouch light and colour as well as do some image cropping, but they are not allowed to replace fundamental elements of the background.


It’s interesting to observe the differences between a painting and a photograph. Students often find that poses that look very natural in a painting can be hard ro recreate in real life.


No matter how much digital retouching is done to the image, it is really important to get the poses and proper lighting correct since the start in order to obtain good results.


Sometimes students will choose not to use digital retouching at all, such as this case, where the brave students created everything by hand, hand-painting the costume, face, and flat foam board hat.

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2 Responses to "Living Pictures! Amazing Photography"

  • Cody Campbell
    September 28, 2013 - 9:09 pm Reply

    Wow, impresionante! Natalia, these are beautiful. I think this is the first time I’ve seen your students art. Mi favorita es la una con las tres chicas.

    • Natalia Delgado
      October 3, 2013 - 9:40 pm Reply

      Thank you Cody :) My students really love this assignment. I’m glad you liked their work too :)

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