Daily Photo – Steph on the Dock

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.

…or rather, on the bridge.  Stephanie is sitting on the end of the old rail bridge behind the 360 building.

I’m in SF all week for the annual Game Developers Conference, so posts will be a little erratic until the weekend.


  • 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

  • I decided to tint the bridge blue to match the background.  When the bridge was warmer, it sat nicely in the foreground with Stephanie and separated from the blue walls of the Austin Music Hall.  That was ok, but I thought it competed a bit with Stephanie herself (there’s a lot of busy lines in there going various directions, and the two vertical beams on either side of her were distracting).  Cooling it off made it part of the background instead of the foreground, better isolating and separating from the subject.
  • This is one of the worst possible angles to shoot women’s legs from.  With the knee lifted up and the feet pulled back, the thigh is at its widest.  Shooting almost straight down the leg further increases the illusion of width.  Steph’s a twig, so I was surprised to see this happen.  Nevertheless, careful use of liquify in Photoshop allowed me to narrow the thigh.  If you look closely you’ll notice I unintentionally added some bends in the shirt wrinkles, but these look natural.


March 23 2009 07:01 pm | Photography

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