Daily Photo – Jamie in Blue

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.

Jamie provides a little attitude for this natural light shot.


  • Shutter:  1/500
  • Aperture:  f/2
  • ISO:  100
  • Camera:  Canon EOS 1Ds Mark III
  • Lens:  Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L II USM

Composition and Processing

  • I do some pretty aggressive cropping at times, but even this shot goes beyond what I would normally find acceptable.  However, with the only likely destination here and flickr, a final crop of 2311 x 1541 was more than sufficient to cover those two venues.  Two observations:  first, the biggest benefit of higher megapixel cameras is increased compositional flexibility in post.  Second, how you plan to use an image has a big impact on how much you can chop it up.  Photography these days so rarely winds up on a wall (um, not counting Facebook), that there’s probably more room to maneuver than you think.
  • One more cropping note:  I already had a couple shots of Jamie with her mohawk, so I cropped tight and effectively cut it off, getting a shot with a different look without a hair or wardrobe change.
  • This is lit entirely by the late afternoon sun.  Jamie’s standing in front of a 4′ x 8′ piece of black foamcore;  light is spilling around both sides and is being reflected back at her with two similar size pieces of white foamcore.  That gave me a nice soft light with a dark background.  With a little more maneuvering (moving Jamie forward and using more black foamcore to control the side light) I could have gotten a pure black background, but I wanted something a little lighter so I’d have room to alter the color later if I wanted.


April 14 2009 07:18 pm | Photography

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