Daily Photo – Sarah at the W

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.

Sarah reclines against the wall of a W construction walkway.


  • Shutter:  1/500
  • Aperture:  f/1.4
  • ISO:  200
  • Camera:  Canon EOS 1Ds Mark III
  • Lens:  Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L USM

Composition and Processing

  • I continue to experiment with depth of field and lighting transitions.  In this instance, the goal was to lose focus and fade to white at more or less the same rate.  While I mostly set this shot up to get the most length out of the walkway, the building to the left casts a soft shadow over the foreground portion.  That’s enough to create a subtle brightening of the image in the distance, once the walkway clears the shadow.
  • All lines lead to the vanishing point in the upper right part of the frame, pulling your eye toward Sarah (or to some extent, towards Sarah’s hip, intentionally posed to jut outward from the wall).  For this composition I didn’t want the end of the walkway obscured;  I wanted the eye to be able to track all the way to the end.  I also didn’t want the lights along the top to clash with Sarah’s head.  There needed to be a reasonably solid gap between them.


March 17 2009 02:30 pm | Photography

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