Daily Photo – The AVP in Color (Metzger Unhappy With The Call)

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.

A sand-covered Metzger isn’t thrilled with the ref at the 2007 God and Goddess of the Beach Tournament in Las Vegas, part of my series on professional beach volleyball.  The rest of the series, so far, can be found on my flickr account.


  • Shutter:  1/2500
  • Aperture:  f/3.5
  • ISO:  200
  • Camera:  Canon EOS 1Ds Mark III
  • Lens:  Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM

Composition and Processing

  • This shot is less about composition than combining two separate events:  Metzger’s expression, and the fact he’s covered in sand from the play that just ended.  By themselves they are sufficient to make an interesting photo, but together they add a little more value:  he’s clearly unhappy about the ref’s call, and that’s reinforced by the effort he must have given on the play (implied by the sand).
  • While it’s frequently something we can’t control, I like to find backgrounds that are lit differently than the playfield.  That way if the background is busy or distracting, the low (or brighter) light will greatly reduce the distraction (in addition to the usual things we do, like using a shallow depth of field).  In this case the southwest stands had a large overhang providing shade, but the court was well lit from the afternoon sun.  Here’s an example of the opposite (dark court and lit stands).


May 12 2009 06:27 pm | Photography

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