Daily Photo – Leslie and Bricks

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.

I’m back after a brief hiatus:  my apartment flooded about a week ago.  Nothing of note was damaged (read:  camera equipment and photographs), but I was displaced for several days, and it took some time to get computers and whatnot hooked back up.

This shot:   Leslie poses in front of the east wall of Lambert’s in downtown Austin.


  • Shutter:  1/250
  • Aperture:  f/2
  • ISO:  200
  • Camera:  Canon EOS 1Ds Mark III
  • Lens:  Canon EF 50mm F/1.2L USM

Composition and Processing

  • This was supposed to be part of a composite shot using an out-of-focus background subject against the wall with Leslie in the foreground.  I wanted Leslie facing the camera, but with an awareness of the other subject.  To achieve that, I asked her to give me a more whimsical, light smile and to act like she knew the other person was there but was ignoring them (which led to the head tilt and shoulder posture).   There wasn’t anyone there, of course, either in the original take or the final result.  I wasn’t happy with the distance of the second subject, so I ditched the composite.  I did like Leslie’s pose though, and since the background texture was interesting enough I thought the single shot worked by itself.  Since a composite shot requires each shot to turn out well, it’s not unusual for the individual components to be good photographs in their own right.
  • The slight tilt to the right in post made the shot more dynamic and even added a hint of implied motion to Leslie (she was perfectly still for this shot).  It also helped enhance the the bend in the neck and hips relative to the original.  Tilting right made the most sense since her head is leaning left, balancing the shot.


June 14 2009 02:54 pm | Photography

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