Daily Photo – Stephanie in the Doorway

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.

Stephanie leans into a doorway behind downtown Austin’s defunct water treatment plant.


  • Shutter:  1/500
  • Aperture:  f/2
  • ISO:  200
  • Camera:  Canon EOS 1Ds Mark III
  • Lens:  Canon EF 50mm f/1.2L USM

Composition and Processing

  • The background had a number of nice textures in it, but the overall color and tones of the shot were a bit bland (the original is fairly low contrast, partly due to the dark overcast sky we had).  So I pushed the contrast pretty hard and mucked with the reds and blues a bit, which did wonders for the background but didn’t work so well for Steph.  I processed her on a separate layer and somewhat conventionally, preserving more natural looking skin tones and separating her from the background colors.  I still lost a bit of hair detail when combing the layers, but I’d rather have the smooth transition (particularly at this distance).
  • Most of the lines in the original were at right angles to the frame.  That would have been fine, but Steph’s pose was also fairly north-south.  I rotated the shot to make it more dynamic, changing the pose to be more “lean” and less “stand”.  Tilting right made the most sense, since there was support for her back on that side.


April 16 2009 06:50 pm | Photography

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