Before and After — No Man’s Land

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.

Michelle More gets caught out of position in no man’s land (or rather, no woman’s land I suppose) at the 2009 Houston AVP tournament.  Although it does look like she can make a play on the ball.


  • Shutter:  1/2000
  • Aperture:  f/2.8
  • ISO: 200
  • Camera:  Canon EOS 1Ds Mark III
  • Lens:  Canon EF 135mm f/2.0L USM

Composition and Processing

  • It’s usually the broken plays that make the best photos.   It’s the only time you’re guaranteed to get a natural reaction out of the players, because something just happened they didn’t expect either.
  • Speaking of which, you never know what you’re going to get with player facial expressions in the middle of the action, no matter what the sport.  Some yell.  Some stick their tongues out.  Some just have this glassy blank look on their face.  Those are all good.  Michelle More has a great reaction here.  But some players have the weirdest expressions, or their eyes appear to be looking in completely the wrong direction, or their mouth is twisted all wrong.  Always.  My advice is to take care when shooting to review your shots — it might be best to find another player to focus on, or if you’re dead set on your subject, to take a lot of redundant shots in the hopes of getting one that works.


February 28 2012 07:49 pm | Photography

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