Before and After — More Cowbell at the Lucky Lounge

The Before and After series focuses on the two or three key creative choices, in terms of composition and processing, that go into creating an image.  Specific technical details about the shot have been left out — you won’t hear me talking about tone curve adjustments and whatnot unless it was a key component of the end result.

The guitarist for More Cowbell at the Lucky Lounge in Austin.

Exposure

  • Shutter:  1/125
  • Aperture:  f/2.0
  • ISO: 3200
  • Camera:  Canon EOS 1D Mark III
  • Lens:  Canon EF 50mm f/1.2L USM

Composition and Processing

  • I could have cropped this a little tighter, but wanted to leave in the slight arc in the background light, since it seems to wrap around the subject’s head, drawing more attention there.  Also, if it was just a white background in that part of the frame, it would have felt a little empty and lopsided given all the other darker elements in the rest of the shot.
  • The expression is what counts here — without it this doesn’t make the cut.

Original:


May 17 2012 | Photography | No Comments »

Before and After — Shari at Cafe Dance

The Before and After series focuses on the two or three key creative choices, in terms of composition and processing, that go into creating an image.  Specific technical details about the shot have been left out — you won’t hear me talking about tone curve adjustments and whatnot unless it was a key component of the end result.

Shari rehearses for the KDH Dance Company.

Exposure

  • Shutter:  1/500
  • Aperture:  f/2.8
  • ISO: 3200
  • Camera:  Canon EOS 1D Mark IV
  • Lens:  Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM (at 115mm)

Composition and Processing

  • This shot is part of a series I did just after getting the Canon 1D4.  I wanted to see if I could get crisp, quality shots at ISO 3200 and above because I wanted to use the 70-200mm lens more with this subject.  It seems to have worked ok with this shot, but over time I’ve found that the drop in image quality from ISO 1600 to 3200 isn’t worth it (I’d rather shoot at f/2 and ISO 1600).
  • I probably should have gone back and lightened Shari’s face a little in this image.  You can see how it’s slightly red and darker than her skin and the background (due to the exertion of the rehearsal).  The color is really just fine, it only stands out because the rest of her skin is paler.
  • I’m also beginning to wonder about the right backgrounds to process images against.  I usually use a medium gray in Lightroom, but that makes image backgrounds like this look white by comparison, only to appear light gray against a whiter background (like on flickr, facebook or this blog).  The right lesson here is to check it against multiple backgrounds to make sure the appearance is what’s intended.
  • I’m getting a bit of a catchlight in Shari’s eyes from the windows behind me;  that’s keeping the eyes from turning into black dots at this distance.

Original:


May 16 2012 | Photography | No Comments »

Before and After — Rick Qualifies

The Before and After series focuses on the two or three key creative choices, in terms of composition and processing, that go into creating an image.  Specific technical details about the shot have been left out — you won’t hear me talking about tone curve adjustments and whatnot unless it was a key component of the end result.

Rick checks his height before attempting the 5 mph go-karts.

Exposure

  • Shutter:  1/400
  • Aperture:  f/4.0
  • ISO: 400
  • Camera:  Canon EOS 1D Mark III
  • Lens:  Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM

Composition and Processing

  • Most of my shots place a strong emphasis on either the shape and form of the image, or the expressions/emotions of the subjects.  Sometimes though a shot is simply about the content, as in this case of placing Rick (who really isn’t that short) next to the minimum height sign at the kart track.

Original:


May 15 2012 | Photography | No Comments »