Before and After — Zion Looks Away

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.

Zion poses against a wall in the early evening light.


  • Shutter:  1/125
  • Aperture:  f/1.4
  • ISO: 800
  • Camera:  Canon EOS 1Ds Mark III
  • Lens:  Canon EF 50mm f/1.2L USM

Composition and Processing

  • I wouldn’t normally want the subject looking right off the edge of the frame when they’re that close to it and with so much negative space behind them.  But Zion’s pose, with the arm crossed over the body, is closed off and somewhat fits the indifferent look away.  We’re not sharing this scene with Zion, merely observing from afar, something further reinforced by the large empty space around her.
  • It’s subtle, but the shadow at the top matches the angle of the arm across her body, connecting the two (and perhaps keeping the eye somewhat in the scene instead of trailing off the right edge).


May 01 2012 07:08 pm | Photography

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