Daily Photo – Doa Ready

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.

Doa poses on her board.


  • Shutter:  1/250
  • Aperture:  f/5.6
  • ISO:  400
  • Camera:  Canon EOS 1Ds Mark III
  • Lens:  Canon EF 14mm f/2.8L II USM

Composition and Processing

  • There are a crazy number of straight lines in this shot.  I mostly concentrated on those leading from the vanishing point in middle of the left edge to the corners on the right, directing the eye to Doa.  I was also concerned that any major lines did not intersect Doa in the wrong place (e.g. sticking out of her head).  So I positioned her very carefully inside as many framed areas as possible:  within the ground shadows, between two of the major roof beams, etc.  I didn’t get them all — there’s still the roof beam running through her neck and the rail running through her butt — but those were the least of the potential offenders.
  • Once Doa was in position, the only variations I made between shots were the direction she turned her head:  left, right, above the camera, straight at the camera and so forth.  I settled on this one for two reasons:  first, it was the most natural looking.  She looks more like she’s assessing where she’s about to go instead of standing in some forced pose.  Second, her head matches the bend of her body, and together they mimic the 90 degree angle formed by the roof support and adjoining beam.


April 13 2009 07:53 pm | Photography

2 Responses to “Daily Photo – Doa Ready”

  1. RON! on 18 Apr 2009 at 8:46 am #

    Wow. So much to consider when setting up a shot. Did you already have this angle in mind or did you decide on it when you were at the location? And why did you go to ISO 400? Thanks again for posting your Daily Photo section! I’m taking lots of notes and learning!

  2. KG on 18 Apr 2009 at 4:52 pm #

    I don’t know when I decided on this angle, but given that I had the 14mm in my bag I probably had something super-wide in mind.

    In general though, I usually jot down about a dozen concepts right before a shoot that serve as “fall backs” or “starting points”. I’ll probably only end up using 2 or 3 of them and improvising the rest, but it’s good to at least start thinking about shots in advance to get the creative juices going.

    As for ISO, I was concerned about depth of field and wanted to shoot at f/5.6. Due to a decent breeze, I also wanted to stay above 1/250. With those settings, I needed the higher ISO of 400 to insure sufficient exposure of Doa. As it is, I probably should have gone to f/8 — Doa’s a tiny bit soft relative to the board.

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