Daily Photo – Shari at the Wall

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.

Shari leans against a wall in the late afternoon light, part of the promotional set for KDH Dance Company in Austin.


  • Shutter:  1/500
  • Aperture:  f/4
  • ISO:  400
  • Camera:  Canon EOS 1Ds Mark III
  • Lens:  Canon EF 50mm f/1.2L USM

Composition and Processing

  • The color version is stronger, but I like what’s happening to the dress in the black and white copy.  By turning the green to white, the relationship between the dress, skin and wall tones changes, making the white dress the most important component in the frame (a more normal black and white processing would have left the dress gray and inconsequential, blending with the wall to some extent).  The dress stands out prominently in color too, but the other elements are brighter and you’re drawn to the shape rather than the dress first.  The white dress also suggests more innocence or purity (which aren’t absent or present in color).
  • This shot was intended for use to promote KDH’s 10th anniversay performance in June.  But the pose itself is highly unlikely in an actual performance (making use of a blank wall or other background for support).  When I have control of the lighting and the composition, I try not to let the subject’s normal environment constrain the creative options.  With dance, for example, there’s a tendency to want to replicate rehearsal or stage performances (but with better lighting control and camera position).  That’s a mistake that leaves little room for variety.  If I have the option, I always prefer to change the setting (if for no other reason than to provide a fresher look).



May 27 2009 04:36 pm | Photography

2 Responses to “Daily Photo – Shari at the Wall”

  1. Les on 29 May 2009 at 9:22 am #

    Stunning shot, love the pose. Thanks for showing us you fix and enhance. It really is helpful.


  2. KG on 29 May 2009 at 11:13 pm #

    Thanks, glad to be of help.

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