Archive for June, 2009

Daily Photo – On Hold

I’m putting the Daily Photo series, and the blog, on hold for a few months.  I’ve reached a creative impasse with photography, so I’m going to turn my attention to projects in other media for a bit.

Many thanks to those who have been following the blog the past year.  I’ll be back in the fall (or winter) with new material.

June 17 2009 | Uncategorized | 6 Comments »

Daily Photo – KDH Question

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 in mid-movement during a KDH Dance Company rehearsal last fall.

Exposure

  • Shutter:  1/500
  • Aperture:  f/2
  • ISO:  800
  • Camera:  Canon EOS 1Ds Mark III
  • Lens:  Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L USM

Composition and Processing

  • When shooting backlit subjects, I find that shape and form figure more prominently in the composition.  Even in cases like this where the foreground has been pushed up a couple stops, the detail isn’t very strong and the shot relies predominantly on Shari’s “question mark” shape in transition.
  • It would be tempting to blow out the background completely and let the floor vanish into the distance.  That may have worked here, but often times it leaves the shot unbalanced due to the remaining floor.   So I left in faint elements of the wall.  If the fade is in the shorter dimension though, it’s less of an issue and can work well (as in this other KDH Dance Company shot).
  • Backlighting can sometimes help in mixed lighting situations.  If you look at the original, there’s window light and overhead flourescents in the scene (along with tungsten track lights that are off).  At this angle, the window light is overwhelming everything else, but the subject is being lit more by the flourescents (or a mix of flourescents and back wall bounce).  That nicely separates the lighting types though and is a bit easier to deal with than shooting with the windows to the side.  In that circumstance there’d be an ugly transition of light from natural (as it falls off) to flourescent, with the latter varying in intensity and color as it cycles.

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June 15 2009 | Photography | No Comments »

Daily Photo – Leslie and Bricks

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.

I’m back after a brief hiatus:  my apartment flooded about a week ago.  Nothing of note was damaged (read:  camera equipment and photographs), but I was displaced for several days, and it took some time to get computers and whatnot hooked back up.

This shot:   Leslie poses in front of the east wall of Lambert’s in downtown Austin.

Exposure

  • Shutter:  1/250
  • Aperture:  f/2
  • ISO:  200
  • Camera:  Canon EOS 1Ds Mark III
  • Lens:  Canon EF 50mm F/1.2L USM

Composition and Processing

  • This was supposed to be part of a composite shot using an out-of-focus background subject against the wall with Leslie in the foreground.  I wanted Leslie facing the camera, but with an awareness of the other subject.  To achieve that, I asked her to give me a more whimsical, light smile and to act like she knew the other person was there but was ignoring them (which led to the head tilt and shoulder posture).   There wasn’t anyone there, of course, either in the original take or the final result.  I wasn’t happy with the distance of the second subject, so I ditched the composite.  I did like Leslie’s pose though, and since the background texture was interesting enough I thought the single shot worked by itself.  Since a composite shot requires each shot to turn out well, it’s not unusual for the individual components to be good photographs in their own right.
  • The slight tilt to the right in post made the shot more dynamic and even added a hint of implied motion to Leslie (she was perfectly still for this shot).  It also helped enhance the the bend in the neck and hips relative to the original.  Tilting right made the most sense since her head is leaning left, balancing the shot.

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June 14 2009 | Photography | No Comments »