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 — 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 »