Daily Photo — Laura in Light

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 adjusts her dress while standing at the window.


  • Shutter:  1/500
  • Aperture:   f/1.2
  • ISO:  200
  • Camera:  Canon EOS 1Ds Mark III
  • Lens:  Canon EF 50mm f/1.2L USM

Composition and Processing

  • This is one of those shots that comes from paying attention to the natural movements of the subject.  We’d been shooting against a window using super shallow depth of field.  My plan was to blow it out like you see here, and have only the eyes in focus.  Between shots Laura went to adjust her dress, looking down while running both hands up to pull back the straps.  That looked far more natural to me, and I liked the symmetry created by it.  So I had her re-create the movement several times until we got this shot.
  • In the original shot the arms looked kind of disembodied to me.  I wasn’t sure how to fix that, so I kept cropping tighter until there was nothing left but the hands.  My hope was that the viewer would fill in the rest, and because the head at this point was also cropped tight, it wouldn’t look as unnatural.   But I’m too close to this shot at this point — the rest of y’all will have to tell me if it works or not.


March 06 2009 06:21 pm | Photography

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