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» 2012 » February

Archive for February, 2012

Before and After — Shari and Carissa

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.

Shari and Carissa rehearse for the KDH Dance Company.

Exposure

  • Shutter:  1/500
  • Aperture:  f/2.0
  • ISO: 1600
  • Camera:  Canon EOS 1D Mark IV
  • Lens:  Canon EF 50mm f/1.2L USM

Composition and Processing

  • The initial focal point for this shot is Shari, but I’ve got her set pretty far to the right in order to give equal space to Carissa.  Normally I wouldn’t want to space two subjects evenly like this due to the tension created for the viewer (where to look first), but since Shari’s facing forward, the eye naturally travels there first.  The real reason for this choice was the identical pose, appearing head on and in profile, making that the central topic of the shot instead of the dancers themselves (symmetry in a different fashion the viewing plane).
  • I generally lean toward black and white for rehearsal photos because I think it expresses “unfinished” and “hard work” better.  In mixed lighting it also covers up other potential processing challenges.  I stuck with color for two reasons:  first, the subjects did not stand out sufficiently against the background in black and white;  and second, the mixed lighting ran front to back not side to side, making changes in lighting at least even on any given plane moving backward in 3D space, even if it was different on different planes.  That’s a much easier processing problem to deal with in post.

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February 26 2012 | Photography | No Comments »

Before and After — Paola Smile

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.

Paola poses in the late afternoon sun.

Exposure

  • Shutter:  1/400
  • Aperture:  f/2.0
  • ISO: 200
  • Camera:  Canon EOS 1Ds Mark III
  • Lens:  Canon EF 135mm f/2.0L USM

Composition and Processing

  • I’ve noticed that some models, like Paola, can look completely different depending on how you shoot them.  It’s not that they appear to be someone else;  it’s just that their entire look suddenly changes based on expression or hair or some other alteration.  I point this out because it’s easy to forget just how broad the range of emotion is in people, and it’s a waste not to explore as much of that palette as possible.
  • I let the background drift to blue in processing.  Thought that made a nicer contrast to the reddish brown cast of the rest of the image.
  • Eyes are squinting, that’s a real smile.

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February 25 2012 | Photography | No Comments »

Before and After — Dalhausser and Rogers

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.

Dalhausser and Rogers at the 2009 Houston AVP tournament.

Exposure

  • Shutter:  1/4000
  • Aperture:  f/2.8
  • ISO: 200
  • Camera:  Canon EOS 1D Mark III
  • Lens:  Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM (at 125mm)

Composition and Processing

  • It gets pretty boring just shooting serves, hits and digs in volleyball — sometimes the more interesting emotions, however subtle, come out in-between the points.  I caught this shot of Dalhausser in a rare in-game smile, with his partner just behind him in the background.  There’s not a lot going on here, but it clearly conveys how confident and relaxed the top team in the world was of their game (at least in 2009).
  • I accidentally clipped Daulhausser’s head in the original (the guy is very tall, after all).  To accommodate, I went with a vertical crop and chopped in all the sides, making his unintentional scalping normal by comparison.  I probably would have done this anyway:  the shot is personal that way, which matches the expression on his face.  There’s still the ball in hand and the out of focus net in the background to remind you he’s on the court.

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February 24 2012 | Photography | No Comments »