Daily Photo – Jen on Bench

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.

A simple black and white shot of Jen, taken in the pool area at the AMLI building in downtown Austin (the taller one).


  • Shutter:  1/250
  • Aperture:  f/4
  • ISO:  200
  • Camera:  Canon EOS 1Ds Mark III
  • Lens:  Canon EF 50mm f/1.2L USM

Composition and Processing

  • I wanted to have Jen sitting, with the horizontal wood panels as a background.    The lines were nice and clean, and the wood tone (and texture) made a nice contrast to Jen’s hair (darker) and clothing (lighter).  In fact, to insure the background was exceptionally simple and non-distracting, I even removed the screw heads in each plank (in Photoshop, not during set up).  And I cropped tight to remove border elements.
  • One problem we ran into was the excessively hard light from the afternoon sun.  I didn’t have a scrim big enough to diffuse the entire area in the photo, so we stacked a bunch of wicker furniture to block out the direct light (you can see some of it to the left of the original shot).
  • There was a light breeze blowing, so I waited until just the right moment to catch the hair lifting away from her face.


February 19 2009 07:30 pm | Photography

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