Before and After — Casey Jennings Pass

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.

Casey Jennings passes the ball at the 2009 Houston AVP Tournament.

Exposure

  • Shutter:  1/2000
  • Aperture:  f/2.8
  • ISO: 200
  • Camera:  Canon EOS 1D Mark III
  • Lens:  Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L USM (at 70mm)

Composition and Processing

  • Passing shots sometimes look a little static when frozen, but I liked this one because of all the sand moving at Jennings’ feet.  Conveys a greater sense of speed, as if Jennings was racing to get there in stead of waiting for the ball.
  • I square cropped this because at this angle and with the way Jennings’ body is twisted, it’s actually very compressed horizontally.  In a wider frame it looked too small (breathing room for the ball to move into is good, but there can be too much).
  • Focus point was off again, it really should have been to the left more (this was before I started using the Mark IV;  on the Mark III you have to press a button first before you can move the focus point, and there’s not always time to do that when the ball comes back the other way).

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May 04 2012 | Photography | No Comments »

Before and After — Hans Stolfus Block

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.

Hans Stolfus jumps to block at the 2009 Houston AVP Tournament.

Exposure

  • Shutter:  1/2000
  • Aperture:  f/2.8
  • ISO: 200
  • Camera:  Canon EOS 1D Mark III
  • Lens:  Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM (at 200mm)

Composition and Processing

  • You really don’t need to always include the ball in and action shot to show what’s going on.  The brain fills in a lot, and even though I cropped this tight it’s clear Stolfus is leaping up to block an unknown hitter.  The benefit is that the shot can be more tightly focused on the subject, and potentially take advantage of other elements in the scene.
  • Those other elements in this case were the top and bottom tape of the net (which frame the subject and look like better natural obstructions for the arms and legs than the edge of the frame would have;  and getting rid of most of the distracting yellow wall so that the green seats can be a singular and uniform background.

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April 17 2012 | Photography | No Comments »

Before and After — John Moran Pass

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.

John Moran passes the ball at the MAC benefit last summer.

Exposure

  • Shutter:  1/3200
  • Aperture:  f/2.8
  • ISO: 200
  • Camera:  Canon EOS 1D Mark III
  • Lens:  Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM

Composition

  • Shooting volleyball, I usually wind up with hundreds of shots of passing, setting and hitting.  While I can control for some variables, the fast movement and somewhat unpredictable nature of the subject means sheer volume is important.  Still, I probably had half a dozen acceptable shots of John Moran passing.  So why this one?  First, he’s in motion laterally, which is less common when passing.  Second, the background is fantastic — in the sense the solid black (or blue in the color version) doesn’t distract and contrasts nicely with the subject.  Third, the sand kicking up to the left makes the shot more dynamic.  Fourth, the more upright posture of this shot allowed for a vertical composition (passing shots, but the nature of the arm angle and crouched position are better off in a landscape view;  you can see I even assumed this from the original).  Other than the background, none of that could have been planned for in advance.  Having a large selection of images of the same action increased the odds of getting all the interesting elements in one of the shots.

Color:

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March 06 2010 | Photography | No Comments »