Daily Photo – Lauren in Black and White

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.

Here’s a very simple shot of Lauren, isolating only the relevant bits of the composition against an all black background.


  • Shutter:  1/250
  • Aperture:  f/1.4
  • ISO:  50
  • Camera:  Canon EOS 1Ds Mark III
  • Lens:  Canon EF 50mm f/1.2L USM)
  • Lighting:  SB800 behind camera and slightly left, firing through a 42″ white reflector.


Composition and Processing

  • I really wanted to take everything out of this frame except the face, arms and coffee cup.   It helped that she was wearing black, but I also removed the leg and let the hair drop out too.  In addition to keeping the composition extremely simple — there’s absolutely nothing extraneous to distract from those elements — it also made her eyes stand out far more than in the original.
  • The crop is a bit atypical for me.  It feels a little weighted to the right, but pushing it left interferes with the lower hand (and would probably require a less rectangular crop, something that wouldn’t match well with the mostly vertical lines).  The lower hand itself is a bit disembodied with the dress completely black, but I was willing to live with that lacking any other obvious alternatives.

February 01 2009 11:05 pm | Photography

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