Before and After — Erica and Apples

The Before and After 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.

Erica reaches for an apple during a rehearsal at Cafe Dance in Austin.


  • Shutter:  1/640
  • Aperture:  f/2.0
  • ISO: 1600
  • Camera:  Canon EOS 1D Mark III
  • Lens:  Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L USM

Composition and Processing

  • Normally when I have a subject reaching across the frame, I prefer to give them a bit more room to enter into.  So in a shot like this, I’d put Erica more to the left and leave the right a bit empty.  In this case though, the apples provide a balancing line that stops your eye and drags it back the other way.
  • There’s always a question what to leave in and what to leave out.  Kathy, out of focus in the back with the video camera, doesn’t initially appear to bring much to the frame and would be easy to remove given how blown out things are.  Because of the apples though, she represents a counter balance at the top of the frame, completing a “Z” shape that starts with her, hits all the corners, and ends with the leftmost apple.  Is that the appropriate shape here?  Maybe.  I left things very square within the frame because the Z shape was complicated enough– rotation might have made it more dynamic but also could have led to some visual confusion.


February 25 2010 09:53 pm | Uncategorized

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