Photographer Creates Paintinglike Scenes Using Lighting and Layers

Photo by Mike Haffeman. Courtesy of Mike Haffeman

Kayla Desroches/KMXT

One local photographer will display his work at the Frame Shop this month.

Mike Haffeman’s photos have a painting-like quality. They’re posed and purposeful, with lighting that seems to come from no particular direction.

They take hours of work. Haffeman says he walks around the scene and takes different photos, many of which he layers into the end product after a lot of editing.

“I’ve tried several hundred photos and several hundred angles just of these small areas of the image. Later, I come through and use only the photos that I need and only the portions of those photos that I need to produce a balanced, smooth looking, lit subject. So, there are no reflections, I can fill in the dark tones and the shadows, and it’s completely exposed.”

Some of his work features scenes from around Kodiak, like people making beer in the Brewery’s backroom, or a scene showing members of the Coast Guard preparing a C-130 Hercules at the Air Station.

Haffeman says he spent months planning the photo on the Coast Guard base.

“Visiting the location, moving things around, stacking boxes, positioning people, scheduling, time of day, and everything, and it all finally came together, and it took us about seven hours to shoot that photograph with extras, lighting, set-up.”

Haffeman also uses light in his landscape photography.

He says he does most of his work during the winter months when it’s darker and there’s more opportunity to play with the times of day.

Haffeman is the artist of the month at the Frame Shop. His work will be up for display until the end of August.

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