Daily Photo – Lauren and Friends

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.

Lauren at Opal Divines, along with three photographers acting as background models.


  • 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 through a 42″ white reflector acting as a scrim, camera right.

Composition and Processing

  • There were two things I wanted to try with this shot:  first, using people as a background, much like this previous shot of Lauren;  and second, using both light and depth of field to create separation with the background (hopefully at about the same rate).  Lauren is definitely brighter than her companions, but probably not by enough to make this work.  However, she’s definitely sharper by a fair amount and this does seem to de-emphasize the others (turning them from co-subjects into scenery).
  • For the pose itself, I wanted Lauren clearly seated at the table with the rest, but wanted her “looking out of the scene” to match the lighting and depth of field.  She’s meant to be sharing a moment with the viewer, whose presence the others aren’t even aware of (breaking the 4th wall in a sense).
  • For a single strobe, this looks remarkably like natural light.  That’s a testament to what you can do with a large enough scrim and a well positioned flash.  I left the white balance a little warm to imply morning sunlight and further reinforce the illusion.


February 26 2009 07:47 pm | Photography

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