Daily Photo – Samantha on Red

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.

It doesn’t look like it in the final shot, but this one’s just off the modeling light for the strobe.


  • Shutter:  1/125
  • Aperture:  f/1.4
  • ISO:  1600
  • Camera:  Canon EOS 1D Mark III
  • Lens:  Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L II USM

Composition and Processing

  • The pose and composition are fairly common;  I was willing to use it anyway because of the wonderful red floor.  I even considered punching up the lips a bit more to match, if it weren’t a bit over the top.  I also processed Samantha’s skin tones more to the yellow-orange side.  Taking them to pure white might have create a more stylized image. but I think the pose would have looked less relaxed.
  • As in many super shallow depth-of-field shots, the eyes are the sole thing in focus.   The question is what to do with the rest of the frame.  In this instance, the necklace is reflecting the light nicely, even when soft.  By dragging it out to the upper right of the shot, it reinforces the lines of her neck and helps guide you toward the only sharp part of the image (her eyes).


February 21 2009 07:20 pm | Photography

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