Daily Photo – Breeanna in Green

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.

Breeanna poses in front of some trees on the hike and bike trail in Austin.


  • Shutter:  1/1000
  • Aperture:  f/1.4
  • ISO:  200
  • Camera:  Canon EOS 1Ds Mark III
  • Lens:  Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L USM

Composition and Processing

  • The original’s dark, even for me.  There was a pretty strong breeze blowing, so I wanted to shoot at 1/500 or better (I erred on the high side just to be safe).  I certainly had a little room to move the ISO to 400, but I hate what even the smallest amount of noise does to hair (and I’ve yet to find a decent piece of software that cleans up noise in hair properly).  At lower ISO settings (200 or less), I prefer to shoot a little dark and boost it in software later (which will show some noise due to lack of detail in the shadows), rather than use the higher ISO.
  • The composition for this shot was based entirely on the background.  I spotted the dense foliage and dark colors while we were working on a different shot;  I figured if I shot it fairly wide, the distant background would go completely soft and abstract, almost like something painted.  Breeanna was carefully positioned so none of the branches would pass through her head — even this blurry they’d still be noticeable.
  • I processed Breenna’s skin a little warmer — more yellow — because of the green and yellow background tones in the image.  It’s an outdoor shot too, and based on what she’s wearing, it’s clearly not cold out.  In this instance, warmer tones suggest, literally, a warmer environment.


May 19 2009 04:10 pm | Photography

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