Daily Photo – Stephanie at the W take 4

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.


  • Shutter:  1/125
  • Aperture:  f/2.8
  • ISO:  400
  • Camera:  Canon EOS 1Ds Mark III
  • Lens:  Canon EF 14mm f/2.8L II USM

Composition and Processing

  • One of the strengths of a super wide angle lens lies in it’s ability to capture a massive scene and connect it to a more intimate foreground element (even if that’s just the ground receding in front of you).  When shooting people we often fill the frame with our subject, which can be counter-productive at this focal length:  various parts of the body recede into the distance, turning them into some sort of weird alien monster with disproportionate limbs.  One way to make a portrait to work in this context is to shape the body to complement the lens.  In this instance, I put Stephanie’s head in the center of the frame (pre-crop) and had her stretch her arms and legs such that all lines flowed to the middle.  It’s still an odd shot, but it doesn’t feel like the subject is being mangled by the lens.
  • I decided to use the Paper Toner filter in Nik Efx.  I haven’t used that before, and it really just looks like a noisy sepia.  I almost certainly could have gotten to this result by a range of other methods, but as I’ve said many times before, the advantage of filter plug-ins is they let you rapidly consider a wide range of possibilities.  One could argue that you should know what you’re after before you start processing (or take the shot), but I find it worthwhile to explore unlikely options.  You never know when you might discover something new and unexpected.


February 12 2009 07:55 pm | Photography

Trackback URI | Comments RSS

Leave a Reply