Daily Photo – Shari and Erica

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 nice photo from the KDH Dance shoot, with some unfortunate fatal flaws.


  • Shutter:  1/1000
  • Aperture:  f/2.8
  • ISO: 400
  • Camera:  Canon EOS 1Ds Mark III
  • Lens:  Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L USM

Composition and Processing

  • The background simply doesn’t work in this shot.  It’s clean and simple, but it makes no sense as far as the subject matter goes.  Independently, a white background would have worked if the floor were white too (without a seam at the wall), or if the floor had faded to white.  Likewise, the concrete floor would work by itself if it had faded into the distance or had some sort of urban background texture to complete the environment.
  • The square crop feels a little cramped too me, although that’s offset somewhat by the turn of the dancers’ heads back toward the camera (leading your eye back into the frame instead of out of it).  But square was easier than filling the frame to the right (due to the wall gradient).  Really, there’s not much advantage to shooting this with natural light, so it would have been more effective to drop some paper down at an angle where there was more breathing room on either side of the dancers, and used a couple softboxes to fill the scene.


May 14 2009 05:10 pm | Photography

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