Beach portraits Rineke Dijkstra

One of the assignments in the second year of the Fotoacademie is to shoot a beach portrait like Rineke Dijkstra. Rineke has become famous with her beach portraits of adolescents. She uses a simple lighting scheme where she underexposes ambient light by about one stop and uses flashlight to expose the model correctly. After trying this myself I think she uses a bigger camera because the horizon is more out of focus and the transition from sharp to out of focus is better with Rineke Dijkstra.
The most important in her work is directing though, Rineke has the adolescents expose themselves to the viewer of her work, their bodies become a significant vehicle of their insecurities, it seems. Photographing them in beach wear enhances their vulnerability of course. For this assignment I shot some adolescents in their bathing suits already, even though the winter weather is not very accomodating to the models. But today it was just too much with the temperature hovering around the freezing point (of water). So we shot a parody.

Beach portrait
Beach portrait (parody on Rineke Dijkstra) – photo Joeri van Veen 2017

2 thoughts on “Beach portraits Rineke Dijkstra”

  1. hey 🙂 what light source did you use for this setup? I like rinekes style but can’t figure out what light.. is it just a hard light from slightly above?

    1. Hi Chris, thank you for commenting! I believe the ambient light is underexposed about one stop and the light was a flash into white umbrella to the right side slightly above indeed. I confess I edited out the shadow of the flash a bit by using a non-flashed photograph for masking. The key to Rineke Dijkstra’s work is obviously the way she poses the models, which is less apparent in this fully clothed version of a beach portrait…

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