Daily Photo – Favorite Toy

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.

Model and skateboarder Doa poses with her board.


  • Shutter:  1/500
  • Aperture:  f/2
  • ISO:  400
  • Camera:  Canon EOS 1Ds Mark III
  • Lens:  Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L II USM

Composition and Processing

  • While shooting with Doa a couple weeks ago, Janus Anderson and I discovered a great location behind the Austin Music Hall.  This large, covered area, with a concrete floor and wall, is shielded overhead by blue-ish metal (we’re talking about 100′ x 30′, maybe more).  The western face is exposed, so afternoon light bounces off the concrete floor, and again off the ceiling, creating the wonderful soft light you see here (note the lack of shadows under the chin).  The concrete wall has a nice texture to it, very subtle, that grounds the subject without being distracting.
  • For the pose I asked Doa to hold the board possessively.  I wanted to convey to the viewer that the board was hers, and that there was some affection toward it — i.e. this was less about skateboarding and more about her favorite toy.  That may be a bit subtle in this shot, but I didn’t want to go overboard (that is, I didn’t want her to hug it like a teddy bear).


March 04 2009 05:36 pm | Photography

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