Before and After — Paola Smile

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.

Paola poses in the late afternoon sun.


  • Shutter:  1/400
  • Aperture:  f/2.0
  • ISO: 200
  • Camera:  Canon EOS 1Ds Mark III
  • Lens:  Canon EF 135mm f/2.0L USM

Composition and Processing

  • I’ve noticed that some models, like Paola, can look completely different depending on how you shoot them.  It’s not that they appear to be someone else;  it’s just that their entire look suddenly changes based on expression or hair or some other alteration.  I point this out because it’s easy to forget just how broad the range of emotion is in people, and it’s a waste not to explore as much of that palette as possible.
  • I let the background drift to blue in processing.  Thought that made a nicer contrast to the reddish brown cast of the rest of the image.
  • Eyes are squinting, that’s a real smile.


February 25 2012 08:29 pm | Photography

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