Daily Photo – Dagny 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.

Dagny poses in the creek bed behind the Austin Music Hall.


  • Shutter:  1/250
  • Aperture:  f/1.4
  • ISO:  400
  • Camera:  Canon EOS 1Ds Mark III
  • Lens:  Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L II USM

Composition and Processing

  • Unlike the last shot of Dagny, the color in the background enhances the scene.  That’s largely because of the tigher crop, where Dagny herself takes up much more of the frame and anything else is necessarily crowded out.  So the soft green foliage and brown bank behind her provide a nice contrast to her red hair.  If anything, the blue might be a bit strong against the white rocks.
  • When taking pictures of the subject in motion, however minor, I like to shoot at least one frame past the intended shot.  Sometimes the pose is too stiff or awkward, but the subject will relax toward the end of it because they think the shot is done (they can hear the camera shutter, after all).  That’s the case here, where the somewhat cliche “playing with hair” shot wasn’t working.  This frame is after the inital shot appeared to be done.  Most of the hair has already been let go, and Dagny’s expression has relaxed a bit, leading to a far more natural shot.


April 19 2009 05:29 pm | Photography

Trackback URI | Comments RSS

Leave a Reply