Daily Photo – Laura in Soft 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 leans against the wall in the soft light of the overcast sky.


  • Shutter:  1/250
  • Aperture:  f/2
  • ISO:  200
  • Camera:  Canon EOS 1Ds Mark III
  • Lens:  Canon EF 50mm f/1.2L USM

Composition and Processing

  • I frequently process an image multiple ways, comparing different styles until I find something that best matches the image.  Sometimes that happens entirely in Photoshop — perusing various Nik Color Efx filters, for example.  Other times I’ll actually save the different versions and come back to them later, after I’ve had time to think about it or want to view them in a different context.  There’s danger in either approach though, because color is relative (as is lightness/darkness/contrast/etc).  As I mentioned a couple posts back, how we perceive an image is dependent on the context we see it in;  equally important is what we saw immediately before.  Try looking at the first image below without looking at the other versions I included after the original.  Remember your impression of it.  Then look at the others, and come back to the first one again.  Does your impression still hold?
  • The large windows in my apartment don’t quite cover the entire south face.  There’s a small strip of wall, maybe 12 inches at most, that adjoins another wall running perpendicular.  On cloudy days, the shadow cast by this strip creates the nice soft gradient you see here.  One of the reasons I chose the cross processed version was the way it brought out the gradient (which appears in all three images) and offered a more interesting background for the subject.


Version 2:

Version 3:

March 13 2009 05:38 pm | Photography

One Response to “Daily Photo – Laura in Soft Light”

  1. meduza-perduza on 15 Apr 2009 at 2:33 am #

    I like version 3 the most.

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