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» 2009 » May

Archive for May, 2009

Daily Photo – Breeanna in the Window

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.

Breeanna poses in front of a window in the late afternoon sun.

Exposure

  • Shutter:  1/500
  • Aperture:  f/2
  • ISO:  200
  • Camera:  Canon EOS 1Ds Mark III
  • Lens:  Canon EF 135mm f/2L USM

Composition and Processing

  • I don’t usually shoot with the 135mm in my home — the focal length, even on a full frame body, doesn’t leave a lot of room to work.  Lately I’ve been thinking more about soft backgrounds though, and how different apertures and focal lengths combine to alter the texture.  I used to just toss on a lens and crank it open as far as I could if I wanted to separate and soften everything around the subject.  But go too far and it becomes a big smudge;  too little and it’s distracting or identifiable.  In this case I liked the colors in the distance but wanted to insure they were abstract.  I also wanted some pattern to it.  The 135mm was the perfect match at f/2.
  • I chose to cross process this shot because of the greens and blues in the background.  While it also added a yellow cast to the whole image, it matches the other colors and goes with the original color of the low afternoon sunlight.

Original:

May 29 2009 | Photography | 2 Comments »

Daily Photo – Shari at the Wall

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.

Shari leans against a wall in the late afternoon light, part of the promotional set for KDH Dance Company in Austin.

Exposure

  • Shutter:  1/500
  • Aperture:  f/4
  • ISO:  400
  • Camera:  Canon EOS 1Ds Mark III
  • Lens:  Canon EF 50mm f/1.2L USM

Composition and Processing

  • The color version is stronger, but I like what’s happening to the dress in the black and white copy.  By turning the green to white, the relationship between the dress, skin and wall tones changes, making the white dress the most important component in the frame (a more normal black and white processing would have left the dress gray and inconsequential, blending with the wall to some extent).  The dress stands out prominently in color too, but the other elements are brighter and you’re drawn to the shape rather than the dress first.  The white dress also suggests more innocence or purity (which aren’t absent or present in color).
  • This shot was intended for use to promote KDH’s 10th anniversay performance in June.  But the pose itself is highly unlikely in an actual performance (making use of a blank wall or other background for support).  When I have control of the lighting and the composition, I try not to let the subject’s normal environment constrain the creative options.  With dance, for example, there’s a tendency to want to replicate rehearsal or stage performances (but with better lighting control and camera position).  That’s a mistake that leaves little room for variety.  If I have the option, I always prefer to change the setting (if for no other reason than to provide a fresher look).

Color:

Original:

May 27 2009 | Photography | 2 Comments »

Daily Photo – Boombox

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.

Zion dances to the iPhone beat.

Exposure

  • Shutter:  1/250
  • Aperture:  f/2.8
  • ISO:  400
  • Camera:  Canon EOS 1Ds Mark III
  • Lens:  Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II USM (at 16mm)

Composition and Processing

  • For this shot I wanted to show the implied relationship between the audio device and the subject.  An iPhone doesn’t look like a stereo in any sense of the word, so I placed it closest to the camera to suggest it’s importance (I would have preferred to get it in the plane of focus, but it’s close enough).  Zion, out of focus, is dancing to something, and given that there’s only two other objects in the entire scene, we assume they’re the source (shoes aren’t very good at generating music, but they do help tie together the iPhone and the barefoot Zion in terms of both content and positioning).
  • I like vanishing points that…vanish.  Even in cases like this, where there’s still a small part of the stairs suggesting an end to the walkway, the complete lack of information at the horizon de-emphasizes it so as not to drag the eye away from the subject.  An actual end point, even if it all converged on a dot, would be to distracting (unless it was one of the subjects itself).
  • I shot this wide to capture Zion’s range of movement.  But it’s a better vertical crop given the way the lines run.  I also tilted it to emphasize the dynamic subject.

Black and White:

Color:

Original:

May 26 2009 | Photography | No Comments »