Daily Photo – SXSW DJ

This was taken during the Texas Garage Event at SXSW this year. The top two decks of the new AMLI building were closed off for three days of non-stop music. Something like 75 bands and DJs performed at the free event, and nuisance or not, I happen to live in the building. Sometimes it’s just easier to photograph what’s right in front of you.


  • Shutter: 1/125
  • Aperture: f/2.8
  • ISO: 200
  • Camera: Canon EOS 1d mIII
  • Lens: Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM


Composition and Processing

  • I had actually spotted this composition earlier in the day and figured the sun would be dropping down just right to backlight one of the DJs. What I wasn’t sure about was whether I’d get just the right amount of flare in combination with, at a minimum, a typical DJ pose. And in fact, it wasn’t quite right as I ended up clipping a bit of the hand.
  • There’s more detail in the shot than suggested by the original, and most of that came back by simply running blacks up to 100 and the shadows slider down to -100 in Lightroom. I didn’t really care about clipping the shadows, and in fact preferred it since turning the canopy black provided a stronger background and better contrast to the sun. What really brought the detail out though was the Nik Efex bleach bypass filter. The image was already washed out anyway so I didn’t care what it did to the colors, but the somewhat high contrast filter helped shrink the flare and bring out the face more.
  • The nice colors came from a color balance layer in Photoshop. Since I wasn’t looking for a realistic rendition, I just twiddled with the various sliders until I got a combination I liked.

More from SXSW can be found here.

August 13 2008 08:30 pm | Photography

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