Daily Photo – The AVP in Color (Lambert Attempts To Juggle)

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.

Lambert collects a few balls from the sidelines 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/3.2
  • ISO:  400
  • Camera:  Canon EOS 1D Mark III
  • Lens:  Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM (at 195mm)

Composition and Processing

  • This is one of those things that happens out of the corner of your eye and you just whip the camera around and shoot before it’s gone.  I’d like to think I’m better at this sort of thing nowadays and that I wouldn’t clip the feet or could have backed off the zoom (this photo was taken almost two years ago and was my very first shoot with the Canon 1D Mark III) .  But often in photography it’s better to shoot first and ask questions later (read:  make adjustments).  Over time quick shifts in exposure and focal length become second nature, but until then I think it’s best to just take the shot and fumble with the controls afterward.
  • I used to think clipping the feet like this was horrible — you might as well toss the photo.  But I used to struggle with where to crop in general, particularly when it involved chopping limbs at some point or another.  I’d always ask other photographers what they did, but they always gave me a quizzical look like they didn’t understand the problem.  These days I don’t much notice.  I find it’s more important to focus on what’s actually happening in the scene and where the lines lead the eye.  In this case the eye is immediately drawn to the brighter part of the frame in the upper half.  Lambert’s gaze, movement and the direction of the dropped ball all lead the eye from upper left to lower right.  You don’t even see his legs below the knee, much less whether his feet are in the frame or not.


May 16 2009 08:41 pm | Photography

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