Archive for April, 2012

Before and After — Breeanna in Light

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 sun.

Exposure

  • Shutter:  1/250
  • Aperture:  f/4.0
  • ISO: 400
  • Camera:  Canon EOS 1Ds Mark III
  • Lens:  Canon EF 50mm f/1.2L USM

Composition and Processing

  • We had a lot of hard sunlight hitting most of the room by this time of day, so I wanted to find some way to soften it a bit and create an interesting gradient in the background.  So I pulled the window shades down to act as a background scrim, then placed a large white translucent panel directly between the sun and Breeanna.  That softened things quite a bit and made it look more like artificial light than the sun.

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April 24 2012 | Photography | No Comments »

Before and After — The Set

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.

Tim sets the ball at the MAC benefit tournament a few years ago.

Exposure

  • Shutter:  1/2000
  • Aperture:  f/2.0
  • ISO: 200
  • Camera:  Canon EOS 1Ds Mark III
  • Lens:  Canon EF 135mm f/2L USM

Composition and Processing

  • Another example of the benefits of shooting at f/2:  great bokeh from the light coming through the trees.
  • I took a lot of shots at this tournament using this background, but in this particular one the shape of the trees created a subtle circular pattern that mirrors a similar pattern formed by Tim’s bent arms.
  • One other benefit I got from this shooting angle is that the trees are acting as a black backdrop, but with the sun shining in from above and behind, it’s creating a nice back light that further helps separate the subject from the background.  Not a common situation, but worth looking for if you find yourself shooting into the sun.
  • You have to be careful when cropping shots of volleyball players:  if you cut things off above the waist they end up looking naked.  Best to leave at least part of the shorts (or swimsuit) in, however little.

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April 23 2012 | Photography | No Comments »

Before and After — Cheesy San Francisco HDR

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.

A fairly typical HDR shot of San Francisco and the Bay Bridge.

Exposure

  • Shutter:  various up to 15 seconds
  • Aperture:  f/22
  • ISO: 100
  • Camera:  Canon EOS 1D Mark IV
  • Lens:  Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II USM (at 16mm)

Composition and Processing

  • I cropped this as a panorama to emphasize the subject matter itself instead of the subject’s relationship to the larger scene (too much space on the top or bottom made that a factor in the shot).  I also cropped for a couple other variables:  to get the building/bridge intersection off center;  to get the clump of buildings at the right entirely in the scene so the image would feel slammed against the right edge (compared to the less heavy bridge on the left);  and to get the first bridge upright as far off the left edge to give it the same breather room (and to make it feel more like a bridge than an on-ramp to a bridge).
  • In case anyone’s wondering where this was shot from, there’s a pedestrian pier near the Ferry Building that affords some nice views back at the city.

One of the originals:


April 20 2012 | Photography | No Comments »