Before and After — The 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.

Bobby passes the ball at the MAC benefit tournament a few years ago.

Exposure

  • Shutter:  1/2000
  • Aperture:  f/2.0
  • ISO: 200
  • Camera:  Canon EOS 1Ds Mark III
  • Lens:  Canon EF 135mm f/2L USM

Composition and Processing

  • It’s a pretty simple passing shot, but I liked the afternoon sun and how it backlit the player (in particular the hair).  Bobby’s darker skin tones really help this shot too, making the sand stand out and providing greater separation from the yellow background.
  • Had to square crop it simply because I wanted to bring in the right edge and I didn’t have any more room to the left of the ball.  Fortunately the ball’s headed up as much as left, so I left in more breathing room at the top of the frame for the eye to move into.

Original:


 

A pretty simple passing shot, but I liked the afternoon sun and how it backlit the player (in particular the hair).

This darker skin tones really help this shot too, making the sand stand out and providing greater contrast with the yellow background.

April 30 2012 | Photography | No Comments »

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.

Exposure

  • 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.

Original:


April 26 2012 | Photography | No Comments »

Before and After — Annette and Chair

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.

Annette rehearses at Cafe Dance.

Exposure

  • Shutter:  1/500
  • Aperture:  f/2.0
  • ISO: 1600
  • Camera:  Canon EOS 1Ds Mark III
  • Lens:  Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L USM

Composition and Processing

  • This shot probably would have worked just fine if the background were completely empty, floor fading to white.  But the out-of-focus dancers waiting in the background increase the sense of depth in the image without distracting from the subject.   They also make the shot less private — imagine how much greater the feeling of isolation would be if they weren’t there.  As a result, this is as much about the performance Annette is giving as the fact she is rehearsing.
  • Those dancers in the background do another interesting thing for this image:  they lead your eye back to the subject.  They’re all clearly focused on Annette, providing a subtle re-direction any time our eye wanders off the main subject.  Normally I think about the lines in an image in a purely planar sense, but in this instance we’re talking back to front in 3D space.
  • One minor detail, important for balancing the image:  I left in the barely visible corner where the wall meets the ceiling at the back of the room.  Without it, the weight of the bottom 2/3 of the image would have felt off balance.

Original:

 

September 06 2010 | Photography | 1 Comment »