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» 2010 » March

Archive for March, 2010

Before and After — Lisa and Erica and Chairs

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.

Lisa and Erica rehearse at Cafe Dance in Austin.

Exposure

  • Shutter:  1/800
  • Aperture:  f/1.6
  • ISO: 1600
  • Camera:  Canon EOS 1D Mark III
  • Lens:  Canon EF 50mm f/1.2L USM

Composition and Processing

  • Lisa’s face is the focal point of the image, and a striking number of lines lead in that direction:  both her legs, her arms, her left hand, Erica’s arms and Erica’s gaze.  Erica is slightly out of the plane of focus too, providing some separation between her and Lisa.  That sort of thing can often be problematic when shooting two subjects interacting, but since the primary subject is just Lisa (Erica is a supporting element), that’s ok here.
  • The chairs provided a natural symmetry to the shot, and the subject matter is evenly distributed in all directions, so I square cropped it.  A slight bit of tilt, combined with the asymmetrical form of the dancers, kept it from getting too static and boxed in.

Original:

March 20 2010 | Photography | No Comments »

Before and After — Leslie in 9/10

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.

Leslie sits in the window on an overcast day.

Exposure

  • Shutter:  1/250
  • Aperture:  f/1.4
  • ISO: 400
  • Camera:  Canon EOS 1Ds Mark III
  • Lens:  Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L II IS USM

Composition

  • This shot is a mistake.  It normally wouldn’t make the cut due to the off center frame.  But I liked the expression, so I thought I’d see what I could do.  I considered cropping all the way in to clip the top part of the head and the right side (Leslie’s left).  That would have made everything balanced, and Leslie’s arm wouldn’t have looked chopped.  But Leslie’s upward gaze would have pushed the viewer against the top edge.   So I brought it in as tight as I felt comfortable while still leaving some breathing room for where she’s looking (the upper right).  The chopped arm still feels odd, but given it’s “support” pose, it kind of matched the “supporting” aspect of the left edge of the frame.  At least, that’s my story, and I’m sticking to it.

Original:

March 07 2010 | Photography | No Comments »

Before and After — John Moran Pass

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.

John Moran passes the ball at the MAC benefit last summer.

Exposure

  • Shutter:  1/3200
  • Aperture:  f/2.8
  • ISO: 200
  • Camera:  Canon EOS 1D Mark III
  • Lens:  Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM

Composition

  • Shooting volleyball, I usually wind up with hundreds of shots of passing, setting and hitting.  While I can control for some variables, the fast movement and somewhat unpredictable nature of the subject means sheer volume is important.  Still, I probably had half a dozen acceptable shots of John Moran passing.  So why this one?  First, he’s in motion laterally, which is less common when passing.  Second, the background is fantastic — in the sense the solid black (or blue in the color version) doesn’t distract and contrasts nicely with the subject.  Third, the sand kicking up to the left makes the shot more dynamic.  Fourth, the more upright posture of this shot allowed for a vertical composition (passing shots, but the nature of the arm angle and crouched position are better off in a landscape view;  you can see I even assumed this from the original).  Other than the background, none of that could have been planned for in advance.  Having a large selection of images of the same action increased the odds of getting all the interesting elements in one of the shots.

Color:

Original:

March 06 2010 | Photography | No Comments »