Daily Photo – The AVP in Color (Sean Rosenthal Passing)

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.

Sean Rosenthal passes the ball during the 2007 AVP Dallas Tournament, part of my series on professional beach volleyball. The rest of the series, so far, can be found on my flickr account.


  • Shutter:  1/2000
  • Aperture:  f/4
  • ISO:  100
  • Camera:  Canon EOS 5D
  • Lens:  Canon EF 70-200 f/2.8L IS USM

Composition and Processing

  • As with the previous beach volleyball photo, I shot this low, matching the vantage point of Rosie.  I then cropped him to the right since the entire motion and the direction of the play (including the movement of Jake Gibb behind him) is toward the left.  Any time you have suggested motion in a particular direction, it helps to give the subject room to move.
  • I intentionally gave this a high contrast yellow-ish cast, using the bleach-bypass filter in Nik Color Efx.  The sand at this event was very yellow and close to the skin color of the players (not to mention the fact that Rosie is covered in it from previous digs), so by processing the entire scene in that direction I thought it might abstract the color to another level, changing how we perceive the color of individual elements.  Sure, the sand is yellow in this shot — but do we think it’s actually that color, or is it white and the overall scene is simply cast yellow?  Hopefully the color is now just an artistic choice, much the way black and white is.  Setting aside the somewhat noisy background (I really should have shot this at f/2.8), do you think it works?


April 09 2009 07:04 pm | Photography and Volleyball

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