Daily Photo – Jen

The Daily Photo 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.

Last month Janus Anderson and I shot with Jen, a local model working on her portfolio.  I’ve shot with Jen before at a local photographer gathering, but I hadn’t been thrilled with the results.  That wasn’t Jen’s fault, who is very easy to work with — it was just the nature of the shoot.  This time around I thought I could do better.

  • Shutter:  1/250
  • Aperture:  f/2.8
  • ISO:  50
  • Camera:  Canon EOS 1Ds Mark III
  • Lens:  Canon EF 50mm f/1.2L USM
  • Lighting:  Zeus head in a beauty dish up high and to the right;  large gridded softbox almost to the floor, also on the right;  white reflector to the left.


Composition and Processing:

  • This was one of the last shots taken after a couple hours of shooting.  With the outfit Jen had on, I wanted something that was all black, with the hair and clothing blending into the background (this is similar to my approach with this shot of Brigitte, where the subject is defined by the visible portion of the skin, and everything else is negative space.)   However, I was getting a bit lazy at this point in the day, so rather than switch lighting and pull out the paper more, I simply threw down a 4 x 8 foam core sheet and had her sit on that.  I then made minor adjustments to the lights from previous setup and just went with that.  In hindsight I should have pull the roll out, because there was some added photoshop cleanup later that was a nuisance.
  • Model poses usually look a bit stiff and forced to me.  Which isn’t to say they aren’t interesting, but I often tend toward more casual looks.  For this shot I asked Jen to just relax as if she were hanging out, talking to someone, but to leave the arms on her right leg (comfortably).  That brought her head and body forward a bit, and the only further direction needed was to raise the chin (all of which changed her expression from “staring” to “interested”).

January 06 2009 06:38 pm | Photography

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