Before and After — SF Architecture 4

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.

Shot #4 from the SF architecture experiment.


  • Shutter:  1/250
  • Aperture:  f/8.0
  • ISO: 800
  • Camera:  Canon EOS 1D Mark IIV
  • Lens:  Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM

Composition and Processing

  • I originally envisioned this as a landscape or panoramic cross-section of all the buildings in the image.  I thought there’d be a ton of interesting patterns, all with the common vertical lines to hold it together.  Only I could never quite get that to work — the buildings at this angle were jarringly distinct from each other and didn’t match well.  So I ultimately settled for the top middle portion where I got a high degree of consistency in the pattern (I actually think this may be the same building or two by the same architect, but can’t remember from the shoot).
  • I cropped so the black was entirely contained in the shot horizontally.  That left the eye room to maneuver mostly just longer up/down length, and to a lesser extent along the diagonals toward the back.  But leaving one of the white pillars at full width and against the right edge, the viewer is well contained in the image and doesn’t wander off the edge (the more extreme and compressed pillars on the left form a literal wall contained the other side).


February 23 2012 06:28 pm | Photography

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