Before and After – Tyra at Rest

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.

Tyra Turner waits to serve at the 2009 Houston AVP tournament.


  • Shutter:  1/2000
  • Aperture:  f/2.0
  • ISO: 400
  • Camera:  Canon EOS 1D Mark III
  • Lens:  Canon EF 135mm f/2.0L USM

Composition and Processing

  • I like the grit in this shot, further enhanced by the somewhat contrasty bleach bypass filter in Nik Color Efx.  Turner may be calm and patient in this photo, but she’s clearly been playing hard:  you’ve got sweat and sand everywhere, the sponsor tattoo is smudged, and even the kinesio tape suggests injury or some other wear and tear.
  • Profile serve shots are great at f/2.0.  A lot of other actions on the court you risk losing part of the player out of focus.  That’s sometimes ok, but can be a bit weird if they’re moving (since the movement doesn’t visually match with the nature of the softness in the image).  But a profile shot of the serve, even if in motion, is always directly parallel to the camera.  At the distance you need to shoot with this lens, that keeps the subject in focus while really isolating them from the background.

March 29 2012 05:29 pm | Photography

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