Before and After — Green and Brown

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.

Some brown and green leaves along the Skyline to the Sea trail in Big Basin State Park.


  • Shutter:  1/125
  • Aperture:  f/2.8
  • ISO: 800
  • Camera:  Canon EOS 1Ds Mark III
  • Lens:  Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L II USM

Composition and Processing

  • Almost everything was green during the late spring when I did this hike with my dad.  We used to go all the way to the sea and back when we were both younger, but this time around we only went about 4 miles out before turning around and heading back.  Everything along the way was green due to the wet winter and spring, so these reddish brown leaves easily stood out.  I switch to f/2.0 to really isolate them, and then shot at an angle that would position more green foliage in the background.  In hindsight, I think f/4 would have been better:  the background still would have been pretty soft and the green leaves in the foreground would have been as sharp as the brown ones.  That would have connected the foreground leaves better to each other and limited this to two planes of focus instead of three.


April 03 2012 | Photography | No Comments »