Before and After — Paola in Color

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.

Paolo poses for a shoot back in 2010.


  • Shutter:  1/320
  • Aperture:  f/2.8
  • ISO: 800
  • Camera:  Canon EOS 1D Mark IV
  • Lens:  Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L II USM

Composition and Processing

  • This shot was done entirely with natural light.  There are a couple 4×8 black flats behind her, but on the right side of that is floor to ceiling glass letting in the afternoon sun.  There’s a 4×8 white flat on the left being used to bounce some of that light back for fill, and there’s some additional window light from that side being bounced off a wall further back.
  • I normally just use the vignetting tool in Lightroom to subtly burn the edges of images (if appropriate), and at a level so imperceptible you’d have to overlay the before and after to notice.  But in this case I wanted to tighten the focus on the subject more and give the impression of a darker setting instead of the brightly lit room it was.


February 17 2012 08:21 pm | Photography

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