Daily Photo – Chrissie Zartman Awaiting 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.

Another shot of Chrissie Zartman from the 2008 AVP Dallas qualifier, part of my series on professional beach volleyball.  I’ve been 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.


  • Shutter:  1/1250
  • Aperture:  f/5.6
  • Camera:  Canon EOS 1D Mark III
  • Lens:  Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM (at 200mm)

Composition and Processing

  • I shot this fairly low, below the height of Zartman (who probably isn’t much over 5′ tall).  Besides increasing the apparent height of the subject, it makes the shot more personal.  Shooting from a higher vantage point would have turned the viewer into an observer;  by staying close to the subject’s eye level we feel more like a participant, like we’re seeing the world the way they are.
  • This was taken with the subject in the middle of the frame (lazy focusing on my part).  She was looking slightly to the right (of frame), so I cropped her to the left.  That gives her space to look into and removes and visual competition between the left and right had I stuck with a centered crop.
  • The tree behind her was ok, except for the branch sticking out of her head.  That got removed in Photoshop, a task made easier by the common tone of her hair and sky.  The tree itself, plus the metal spikes supporting it, created an odd framing of Zartman that was unintentional — I haven’t decided if that works in the picture’s favor or not.


April 07 2009 05:18 pm | Photography and Volleyball

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