Archive for February, 2012

Before and After — Number One

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.

Breeanna poses in the late afternoon light.

Exposure

  • Shutter:  1/500
  • Aperture:  f/4.0
  • ISO: 200
  • Camera:  Canon EOS 1Ds Mark III
  • Lens:  Canon EF 50mm f/1.2L USM

Composition and Processing

  • This shot was taken toward the end of a long shoot and the sun was working it’s way down toward the horizon.  It was still pretty bright though, and we had blocked off all the windows to the right with large 4′ x 8′ black flats.  That left one set of floor to ceiling glass and some unusual shadows being cast from exterior items:  a balcony, a half wall, and the steel frames around the panels of glass.  I spotted the arrangement in the middle of moving gear around and stuck with it to try this shot.
  • While I wouldn’t want to have Breeanna stand perfectly straight, I did want her to put as many bends in her body as possible without going overboard.  Hence the bent knee, hooked arms to push out the elbows, dropped shoulder, tilted head…the idea was to offer non-linear shapes to match the rigid internal framing caused by the shadows.

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February 29 2012 | Photography | No Comments »

Before and After — No Man’s Land

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.

Michelle More gets caught out of position in no man’s land (or rather, no woman’s land I suppose) at the 2009 Houston AVP tournament.  Although it does look like she can make a play on the ball.

Exposure

  • Shutter:  1/2000
  • Aperture:  f/2.8
  • ISO: 200
  • Camera:  Canon EOS 1Ds Mark III
  • Lens:  Canon EF 135mm f/2.0L USM

Composition and Processing

  • It’s usually the broken plays that make the best photos.   It’s the only time you’re guaranteed to get a natural reaction out of the players, because something just happened they didn’t expect either.
  • Speaking of which, you never know what you’re going to get with player facial expressions in the middle of the action, no matter what the sport.  Some yell.  Some stick their tongues out.  Some just have this glassy blank look on their face.  Those are all good.  Michelle More has a great reaction here.  But some players have the weirdest expressions, or their eyes appear to be looking in completely the wrong direction, or their mouth is twisted all wrong.  Always.  My advice is to take care when shooting to review your shots — it might be best to find another player to focus on, or if you’re dead set on your subject, to take a lot of redundant shots in the hopes of getting one that works.

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February 28 2012 | Photography | No Comments »

Before and After — SF Architecture 5

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.

Shot #5 from the SF architecture experiment.

Exposure

  • Shutter:  1/500
  • Aperture:  f/4.0
  • ISO: 200
  • Camera:  Canon EOS 1D Mark IV
  • Lens:  Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM (at 135mm)

Composition and Processing

  • I liked the contrasting patterns here.  The lines are so simple and basic, even after I rotated it, but the shadows from a nearby group of trees created a very different set of patterns on the surface.  I like that sort of thing, where the image is grounded in very stable, hard-edged shapes, but then made internally dynamic by a bunch of round and soft ones.
  • Cropped vertically, this wall looks like what it is:  a staggered set of vertical strips casting shadows on the one further back.  Rotating it created a small visual disconnect where it looks less like a wall and more like a pure pattern, closer to my goal for the image.

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February 27 2012 | Photography | 9 Comments »