Daily Photo – Sarah in 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.

Sarah leans against the barrier inside one of the W construction walkways.


  • Shutter:  1/500
  • Aperture:  f/1.6
  • ISO:  400
  • Camera:  Canon EOS 1Ds Mark III
  • Lens:  Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L USM

Composition and Processing

  • This was intended to be a center crop.  I liked the symmetry of the pose, the straight on gaze and the even distrbution of the backlight.  I wasn’t thrilled about the chopped arms, but I had no room to move backward in the walkway, and the only wider lens I had was a 14mm (too wide for this shot).  In post, I couldn’t find a center crop that worked with the clipped arms, so I went in closer and off center.  One arm got removed altogether;  the other got cut at an angle that wasn’t 90 degrees to the edge (like the original) and leads more or less in the direction of the eyes.  The pose became less about Sarah’s position in the frame and more about her expression (specifically, the eyes).
  • I wanted Sarah’s skin tones to be fairly light, but I didn’t want the background to be the same or darker.  That would have been too distracting.  So I washed out the background and the hair, simplifying the shot and making the eyes really pop.


April 17 2009 05:21 pm | Photography

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