Daily Photo – Laura in Blue

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.

Laura relaxes against the pedestrian railing of the First Street Bridge in Austin, Texas.


  • Shutter:  1/1000
  • Aperture:  f/2
  • ISO:  100
  • Camera:  Canon EOS 1Ds Mark III
  • Lens:  Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L USM

Composition and Processing

  • This was originally shot as a vertical composition.  I was thinking about the lines of the railing and wanted to align the frame in a way that emphasized that.  Which really didn’t make any sense, because the more important transition in the frame is from left to right, from near to far:  the heavier horizontal girders and the rapid soft to sharp to soft focus.  Laura was looking slightly to camera left, so I put her on the right of the frame (losing the rest of the receding rail, which was ok).
  • Cross processing (with a Photoshop plug-in) really separated the railing from Laura, subject-wise.  That’s not a reason to cross-process, but I happen to like the way this particular combination of colors complement each other — the blues of the rail and the yellow tone of the skin — while also highlighting the texture in both.  The lips may be too red to the point of distracting;  I chose to leave them alone rather than de-saturate.


March 02 2009 07:31 pm | Photography

2 Responses to “Daily Photo – Laura in Blue”

  1. Dagny on 02 Mar 2009 at 10:08 pm #

    i love cross processing :)

  2. KG on 04 Mar 2009 at 5:10 pm #

    Yeah, I’m totally addicted to Nik Color filters, particularly the cross processing ones. I have to do everything I can to resist clobbering an image with them.

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