Before and After — Claire at Cafe Dance

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.

Claire rehearses for the KDH Dance Company.


  • Shutter:  1/500
  • Aperture:  f/2.0
  • ISO: 1600
  • Camera:  Canon EOS 1D Mark IV
  • Lens:  Canon EF 50mm f/1.2L USM

Composition and Processing

  • I rotated the image counter-clockwise to reinforce the image of Claire pushing up and against something.  Had I tilted it the other way, it would have felt more like she was falling and off balance (and would have taken the eye quickly off the right edge without a lot of space for her to move into).
  • Since she’s moving parallel to the back wall, the bars and floor/ceiling joint reinforce her movement and posture.
  • It’s a shame about the sweater since it breaks up otherwise great form and lines.  I’ve been shooting the KDH Dance Company for five years now and while most of the dancers are accustomed to my presence at rehearsals and like the resulting images, this was the first time I’d shot Claire.  Hence the self-conscious use of the sweater (I’m assuming).  That’s something to always be aware of with new subjects, even in familiar environments.


May 02 2012 06:22 pm | Photography

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