Daily Photo – Leslie in the Cold

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.

Leslie poses in front of the door to La Condesa on a cold, overcast day.


  • Shutter:  1/250
  • Aperture:  f/2
  • ISO:  400
  • Camera:  Canon EOS 1Ds Mark III
  • Lens:  Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L II USM

Composition and Processing

  • I really liked the planks of wood in the door to La Contessa.  With Leslie in a sweater and coat due to the cold air, the light tones of the wood contrasted nicely, while matching well with her hair and skin tones (although not exactly– she’s a bit more on the red side).
  • In post I left some red in the cheeks and making her skin pale.  Along with the way Leslie is dressed, that reinforced the idea that it’s kind of cold in this shot.
  • This was one of several test shots I do at the beginning of the shoot.  Those are usually just to get an idea what the subject’s range of expressions is, but sometimes I get something worth working on.  In fact, this is in-between two faces I asked Leslie to make.  It’s always a good idea to keep the shutter going — you never know what you might get (and often these unexpected catches have a more natural look to them).
  • Unrelated to the composition, but if you happen to shoot in front of a restaurant door, make sure you have a spotter to watch for people trying to leave the building.  I’ll leave it at that.


April 21 2009 05:29 pm | Photography

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