Before and After — Green Wave

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.

A lone surfer rides a wave at Steamer Lane.


  • Shutter:  1/2000
  • Aperture:  f/4.0
  • ISO: 400
  • Camera:  Canon EOS 1Ds Mark III
  • Lens:  Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS USM + 1.4x Extender (420mm total)

Composition and Processing

  • This probably would have been a nice shot a little closer, framing the surfer against the backlit wave, but 420mm was the extent of my reach.  Instead I went for the larger context of the relationship between the surfer and the wave as a whole, particularly the sense of scale.
  • To exaggerate the uniformity of the wave and lighting, I cropped this as a pano, leaving very little beyond the surfer to break or distract from the even surface.


April 26 2012 05:33 pm | Photography

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