Daily Photo – Lauren

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 fall I took part in an advanced lighting workshop hosted by Christopher Ferguson and Steven Noreyko.  The workshop was a bit of a free for all — students chose the lighting, composition, pose, and so forth;  the instructors simply acted as assistants and would help only if we couldn’t solve a particular lighting problem.


  • Shutter:  1/60
  • Aperture:  f/2.8
  • ISO:  50
  • Camera:  Canon EOS 1Ds Mark III
  • Lens:  Canon EF 50mm f/1.2L USM


Composition and Processing

  • This is one of those rare cases where I completely changed my mind about the crop during processing.  It would have worked as intended (horizontal, with Lauren at one end looking into the frame), but removing the black beam from the wall and reconstructing the uneven gradient sounded like too much work.  In the vertical crop, I still had a little room to push her to one side of the frame, but I mostly think it works because of all the lines running top to bottom (arms, legs, barstool and even neck are oriented that way).
  • Fellow student Gordon McGregor had just finished a nice profile shot of Lauren and I didn’t want to do anything that required too radical a change in lights.  Gordon’s shot was nice and relaxed;  I wanted something that had a bit more tension to it.  So I had Lauren sit on the very edge of the bar stool, leaning into the light and straining to keep her chin up as high as possible without actually looking up (in hindsight, I probably would have had her tilt her head away from the camera and close her eyes, to give the impression of pushing against the light itself).  I couldn’t get the light low enough on the stand to prevent her chin from casting shadows on her neck, so I simply lay the stand on the floor, with the light resting on a chair.
  • I processed this more on the cool side;  that matched the hard light and strong contrast better.

January 10 2009 09:25 pm | Photography

One Response to “Daily Photo – Lauren”

  1. Gordon McGregor on 17 Jan 2009 at 4:33 pm #

    I like how this, and your shot of Samantha turned out – for me it is interesting to see what you did with essentially the same light and models in both cases, coming up with very different images.

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