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» 2009 » April

Archive for April, 2009

Daily Photo – The AVP in Color (Ty Tramblie Gator)

The Daily Photo 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.

Ty Tramblie with the gator at the 2008 Dallas AVP Tournament, part of my series on professional beach volleyball.  The rest of the series, so far, can be found on my flickr account.

Exposure

  • Shutter:  1/5000
  • Aperture:  f/2.8
  • ISO:  200
  • Camera:  Canon EOS 1D Mark III
  • Lens:  Canon EF 70-200 f/2.8L IS USM

Composition and Processing

  • Here’s how I capture a player digging the ball in sand volleyball.  First, I line up near the net and point the camera at the shorter player (95% of the time he’s not going to be the one at the net blocking).  Then I listen for the sound of the ball being hit (at the net).  At that moment, I press the shutter.  I’ve found it’s the best way to capture the ball heading into the frame as well as out.  Sure, I’ll wind up with some empty frames if the ball is hit where the defender isn’t.  But trying to track the ball or even just waiting for the defender to move is almost always too late.
  • If you shoot a sporting event with lots of players, I’d highly recommend taking a few photos of all of them in action before settling down to focus on a specific game or individual.  That’ll give you time to see who looks good on film and who doesn’t.  Even if they’re great athletes, why waste time on players with bland facial expressions or boring movements?  Better to spend all your time on a couple individuals to get the great shot, instead of being comprehensive but universally dull.

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April 27 2009 | Photography | 1 Comment »

Daily Photo – Stephanie All Done

The Daily Photo 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.

Stephanie rests at the end of a long shoot.

Exposure

  • Shutter:  1/125
  • Aperture:  f/1.4
  • ISO:  800
  • Camera:  Canon EOS 1Ds Mark III
  • Lens:  Canon EF 50mm f/1.2L USM

Composition and Processing

  • Steph and I had been shooting for a couple hours at this point, and this is the second to last sequence of the shoot.  I’d taken so many shots with her hair getting tossed around that by this point it was pretty frazzled.  We’d gone through a number of poses in this spot without much luck, so when I told her to take a break for a moment, she relaxed into a pose similar to what you see here.  From there it was just tweaking:  making the pose symmetrical;  lining it up off center; getting her to slouch a bit more;  bringing the hair forward.  The arms look a little goofy, but they complement the vertical lines that lead to the face and her completely drained expression.
  • I used Nik’s bleach bypass filter, which gave the whole scene a more yellowish cast.  The background was already that color to begin with, but the filter kind of glued everything together and made Steph part of the scene.  That is, instead of the rocks being background material, they’re almost part of the subject now that they’re closer in color (the shallow depth of field helps too, since the rocks and Steph are the only things in focus).

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April 26 2009 | Photography | No Comments »

Daily Photo – How To Look Good With A Polaroid

The Daily Photo 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.

First, make sure your name is Dagny.

Exposure

  • Shutter:  1/1000
  • Aperture:  f/1.2
  • ISO:  200
  • Camera:  Canon EOS 1Ds Mark III
  • Lens:  Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L II USM

Composition and Processing

  • I originally wanted to show Dagny shooting Stephanie directly in the foreground, with a shallow enough depth of field to make it solely about the photographer and not the subject.  I changed my mind later though, and decided to crop horizontally.  I pushed Dagny to the left of the frame, leaving space for her dress and hair (both of which were being blown to the right by the wind).  If I’d had more room I would have moved her even further left.
  • I picked this shot out of the set largely because of the contrast between Dagny’s pose and the implied movement around her.  The intensity of her grip on the polaroid, how she’s holding it to her face, the shoulder posture– all these suggest she’s pushing against the wind blowing past her (or at least trying to hold still against forces that would have it otherwise).  A static subject in a fluid environment.

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April 25 2009 | Photography | No Comments »