Before and After — Leslie in 9/10

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.

Leslie sits in the window on an overcast day.


  • Shutter:  1/250
  • Aperture:  f/1.4
  • ISO: 400
  • Camera:  Canon EOS 1Ds Mark III
  • Lens:  Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L II IS USM


  • This shot is a mistake.  It normally wouldn’t make the cut due to the off center frame.  But I liked the expression, so I thought I’d see what I could do.  I considered cropping all the way in to clip the top part of the head and the right side (Leslie’s left).  That would have made everything balanced, and Leslie’s arm wouldn’t have looked chopped.  But Leslie’s upward gaze would have pushed the viewer against the top edge.   So I brought it in as tight as I felt comfortable while still leaving some breathing room for where she’s looking (the upper right).  The chopped arm still feels odd, but given it’s “support” pose, it kind of matched the “supporting” aspect of the left edge of the frame.  At least, that’s my story, and I’m sticking to it.


March 07 2010 08:54 pm | Photography

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