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.

Exposure

  • 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.

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May 16 2012 | Photography | No Comments »

Before and After — Heather 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.

Heather rehearses for the KDH Dance Company.

Exposure

  • 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 153mm)

Composition and Processing

  • So I know I’ve given all kinds of reasons in the past about why I stick to black and white for rehearsal photos, particularly at this location, and I’ve given a couple key exceptions that favor color instead.  This is actually a fine black and white photo.  But how can you resist all that color?  I further went down the magenta spectrum by adjusting the white balance that way, and then used a bleach bypass filter in Photoshop to make the skin a little less pink and give it a more gritty feel (I did another version without that, but it was too pastel).
  • I cropped this vertically to remove distractions and make the shot a bit more personal.  Most of the lines run north/south too, including the gaze.  I think if the hand didn’t join the inward bent hip at the bottom, there may have been a tendency for the viewer to start at the face and run straight down and off the bottom of the image.  But the “trap” at the bottom, with hand bent flat, keeps them in the scene.

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March 26 2012 | Photography | No Comments »

Before and After — SF Architecture 6

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.

Shot #6 from the SF architecture experiment.

Exposure

  • Shutter:  1/250
  • Aperture:  f/5.6
  • ISO: 400
  • Camera:  Canon EOS 1D Mark IV
  • Lens:  Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM (at 200mm)

Composition and Processing

  • This is another one of those shots I had originally expected to make a horizontal cross section of, but found a bit lackluster once I started working with it.  What I did find, by accident, was a maintenance guy working on one of the external stairwells.  So I isolated the shot to the simpler patterns directly around him, hoping that would make him easier to spot and an obvious contrast to the rest of the image.
  • When I pushed up the exposure I lost a lot of the wall detail, and when I increased contrast to get it back, the railings (and my unwitting subject) were solid black.  So I manually brightened each exposed railing separately.

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March 02 2012 | Photography | No Comments »