Before and After — Shari 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.

Shari rehearses for the KDH Dance Company.


  • Shutter:  1/500
  • Aperture:  f/2.8
  • ISO: 3200
  • Camera:  Canon EOS 1D Mark IV
  • Lens:  Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM (at 115mm)

Composition and Processing

  • This shot is part of a series I did just after getting the Canon 1D4.  I wanted to see if I could get crisp, quality shots at ISO 3200 and above because I wanted to use the 70-200mm lens more with this subject.  It seems to have worked ok with this shot, but over time I’ve found that the drop in image quality from ISO 1600 to 3200 isn’t worth it (I’d rather shoot at f/2 and ISO 1600).
  • I probably should have gone back and lightened Shari’s face a little in this image.  You can see how it’s slightly red and darker than her skin and the background (due to the exertion of the rehearsal).  The color is really just fine, it only stands out because the rest of her skin is paler.
  • I’m also beginning to wonder about the right backgrounds to process images against.  I usually use a medium gray in Lightroom, but that makes image backgrounds like this look white by comparison, only to appear light gray against a whiter background (like on flickr, facebook or this blog).  The right lesson here is to check it against multiple backgrounds to make sure the appearance is what’s intended.
  • I’m getting a bit of a catchlight in Shari’s eyes from the windows behind me;  that’s keeping the eyes from turning into black dots at this distance.


May 16 2012 06:42 pm | Photography

Trackback URI | Comments RSS

Leave a Reply