Daily Photo – Anthony Medel Jump Serve (The AVP in Black and White)

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.

Here’s another shot in my series on professional beach volleyball.  I’m sorting them into four sets:  “The AVP in Black and White”, “The AVP at Night” and “The AVP in Color” (two sets for that last one).  Those can be found on my flickr account, although I may find a way to arrange them here on the blog at some point.

The shots themselves are from the 2007 and 2008 Dallas AVP tour stops, along with the 2007 Las Vegas AVP God and Goddess of the Beach tournament. I’m planning to attend and hopefully shoot at the 2009 Houston AVP tournament in mid-May.

This shot:  Anthony Medel jump serves in front of the AVP logo at the 2008 Dall AVP Tournament.


  • Shutter:  1/2500
  • Aperture:  f/2.8
  • ISO:  200
  • Camera:  Canon EOS 1D Mark III
  • Lens:  Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM (at 140mm)

Composition and Processing

  • It took about 50 attempts to get this shot.  Why?  Because I wanted to line up the server so that the AVP logo (also a jump serve) could be seen juxtaposed in the background.  I would have preferred a different angle for the sun, but was happy just to get the shot.
  • I processed this to black and white, mostly because I couldn’t find a happy medium between the yellow ball logo and the color of Medel’s skin.  They always seemed to be in conflict with each other.  That’s not an argument for black and white (which is a crutch one shouldn’t rely on for dealing with problematic lighting), but it is a case for limiting how much time you spend on an image.  At a certain point you just have to ask: “is this photo strong enough to justify additional time, or should I move on to the 5000 other images awaiting my attention?”  At which point you pull out the toolbox of tricks you already know and do something simple.


March 24 2009 06:17 pm | Photography and Volleyball

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