Before and After — KDH Dance Company

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.

An older shot from a 2010 KDH Dance Company rehearsal.

Exposure

  • Shutter:  1/500
  • Aperture:  f/2.0
  • ISO: 1600
  • Camera:  Canon EOS 1D Mark III
  • Lens:  Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L II USM

Composition and Processing

  • With both knees bent curled in this way, all lines lead to the dancer’s head.  Really, everything looks wound up around the center, and all those limbs conveniently lead outward to the corners too.  The image probably would have been better without the mirrored reflection, which is a little distracting and pulls to the right.  I centered the subject anyway and operated on the assumption the viewer would separate the reflection in their head and in a sense not consider it part of the shot.  But it would have been better without it.
  • I left the very faint bar in the mirror showing at the top to balance out the overall darker bottom of the image.  While the subject is well grounded here and white space above would have been acceptable, it felt too empty at the top and heavy at the bottom without it.

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March 31 2012 | Photography | No Comments »

Before and After — Ty Loomis 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.

Last of the Ty Loomis shots from 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 90mm)

Composition and Processing

  • You might ask, why shoot zoomed out so far if I’m just going to crop it tight in post?  The answer is that the action is moving so fast on the court, it’s not always clear the ball and player are going to be compressed into such a small space.  Maybe the player lays out and dives, or maybe the better capture is with the ball further from the player.  By shooting further out I’ve given myself extra flexibility in capturing a shot you might otherwise miss.
  • Keep in mind I’m not advocating giving this much room to the subject — I like close shots and think people don’t get in close enough.   One way to help that is to follow your subject and not the ball.  In any sport.  Know where the action is going to go and be there first.  There’s usually some cue that’ll let you know when to let the shutter fly.   In volleyball, I like to focus on the defending player and listen for the sound of the hit.  That’s when I start shooting, even though I haven’t seen the ball yet.  If it goes someplace else, no big deal, we’re not shooting film anymore.  Just line up for the next one.

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March 03 2012 | Photography | No Comments »

Before and After — Dalhausser and Rogers

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.

Dalhausser and Rogers at the 2009 Houston AVP tournament.

Exposure

  • Shutter:  1/4000
  • Aperture:  f/2.8
  • ISO: 200
  • Camera:  Canon EOS 1D Mark III
  • Lens:  Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM (at 125mm)

Composition and Processing

  • It gets pretty boring just shooting serves, hits and digs in volleyball — sometimes the more interesting emotions, however subtle, come out in-between the points.  I caught this shot of Dalhausser in a rare in-game smile, with his partner just behind him in the background.  There’s not a lot going on here, but it clearly conveys how confident and relaxed the top team in the world was of their game (at least in 2009).
  • I accidentally clipped Daulhausser’s head in the original (the guy is very tall, after all).  To accommodate, I went with a vertical crop and chopped in all the sides, making his unintentional scalping normal by comparison.  I probably would have done this anyway:  the shot is personal that way, which matches the expression on his face.  There’s still the ball in hand and the out of focus net in the background to remind you he’s on the court.

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February 24 2012 | Photography | No Comments »