Daily Photo – How To Look Good With A Polaroid

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.

First, make sure your name is Dagny.


  • Shutter:  1/1000
  • Aperture:  f/1.2
  • ISO:  200
  • Camera:  Canon EOS 1Ds Mark III
  • Lens:  Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L II USM

Composition and Processing

  • I originally wanted to show Dagny shooting Stephanie directly in the foreground, with a shallow enough depth of field to make it solely about the photographer and not the subject.  I changed my mind later though, and decided to crop horizontally.  I pushed Dagny to the left of the frame, leaving space for her dress and hair (both of which were being blown to the right by the wind).  If I’d had more room I would have moved her even further left.
  • I picked this shot out of the set largely because of the contrast between Dagny’s pose and the implied movement around her.  The intensity of her grip on the polaroid, how she’s holding it to her face, the shoulder posture– all these suggest she’s pushing against the wind blowing past her (or at least trying to hold still against forces that would have it otherwise).  A static subject in a fluid environment.


April 25 2009 05:42 pm | Photography

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