Daily Photo – Fauxhawk and Paint

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.

Jamie shows off her latest hair style.


  • Shutter:  1/1600
  • Aperture:  f/4
  • ISO:  100
  • Camera:  Canon EOS 1Ds Mark III
  • Lens:  Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L II USM

Composition and Processing

  • Many of the lines in this shot lead to the corners:  the mohawk points to the upper left, the body is leaning out of the lower left, the gaze directs you to the upper right, and the braided hair extends to the lower right.  More important though is that these lines all contrast with the vertical lines of the pillar, helping separate the subject from the background.  At the same time, the profile posture, lean and gaze align the subject in a parallel plane with the background, tying the subject to it both physically and emotionally.
  • It was cold and very windy on the day of this shoot, forcing us to retreat to the relative comfort of a nearby parking garage.  There’s only so much you can get out of a setting like that, creatively speaking.  I hunted around for interesting textures and found this pillar.  By itself, there’s really not enough there to work with.  But knowing what I could turn this into later, in post processing, led me to compose and take this shot rather than abandon it for being not quite right.
  • The shadow in the original is a scrim being held by Janus Anderson to block the hard light of the afternoon sun.  I didn’t want a distracting shadow cast across the pillar from Jamie’s hair, although I did take a second shot, composed differently, taking advantage of the fauxhawk shadow (I’ll cover that in a future post).


March 10 2009 05:13 pm | Photography

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