Before and After — Andrea and Marissa in Motion

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.

Andrea and Marissa rehearse for the KDH Dance Company.


  • Shutter:  1/30
  • Aperture:  f/5.6
  • ISO: 800
  • Camera:  Canon EOS 1Ds Mark III
  • Lens:  Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L USM

Composition and Processing

  • I think the trick for a lot of motion blur shots of people is to make sure some portion of their body is in focus (or reasonably recognizable).  Andrea and Marissa’s limbs are moving faster than they’re tracking across the floor, and I’m panning with their movement not their limbs.  The result:  a lot of blur around the periphery but not so much in the head and torso.
  • Panning right to left also matched the lines in the background — not all of the motion is really in this direction, but this subtle cue helps the eye think it is (that and the leading legs of both women point in that direction.)


April 19 2012 07:29 pm | Photography

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