Before and After — KDH Dance Company

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.

An older shot from a 2010 KDH Dance Company rehearsal.


  • Shutter:  1/500
  • Aperture:  f/2.0
  • ISO: 1600
  • Camera:  Canon EOS 1D Mark III
  • Lens:  Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L II USM

Composition and Processing

  • With both knees bent curled in this way, all lines lead to the dancer’s head.  Really, everything looks wound up around the center, and all those limbs conveniently lead outward to the corners too.  The image probably would have been better without the mirrored reflection, which is a little distracting and pulls to the right.  I centered the subject anyway and operated on the assumption the viewer would separate the reflection in their head and in a sense not consider it part of the shot.  But it would have been better without it.
  • I left the very faint bar in the mirror showing at the top to balance out the overall darker bottom of the image.  While the subject is well grounded here and white space above would have been acceptable, it felt too empty at the top and heavy at the bottom without it.


March 31 2012 05:45 pm | Photography

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