Daily Photo – The AVP in Color (Metzger Unhappy With The Call)

The Daily Photo 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 sand-covered Metzger isn’t thrilled with the ref at the 2007 God and Goddess of the Beach Tournament in Las Vegas, part of my series on professional beach volleyball.  The rest of the series, so far, can be found on my flickr account.

Exposure

  • Shutter:  1/2500
  • Aperture:  f/3.5
  • ISO:  200
  • Camera:  Canon EOS 1Ds Mark III
  • Lens:  Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM

Composition and Processing

  • This shot is less about composition than combining two separate events:  Metzger’s expression, and the fact he’s covered in sand from the play that just ended.  By themselves they are sufficient to make an interesting photo, but together they add a little more value:  he’s clearly unhappy about the ref’s call, and that’s reinforced by the effort he must have given on the play (implied by the sand).
  • While it’s frequently something we can’t control, I like to find backgrounds that are lit differently than the playfield.  That way if the background is busy or distracting, the low (or brighter) light will greatly reduce the distraction (in addition to the usual things we do, like using a shallow depth of field).  In this case the southwest stands had a large overhang providing shade, but the court was well lit from the afternoon sun.  Here’s an example of the opposite (dark court and lit stands).

Original:

May 12 2009 | Photography | No Comments »

Daily Photo – The AVP in Black and White (Photog vs. Photog vs. Walsh)

The Daily Photo 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 photographer snaps a shot of Kerri Walsh at the 2007 God and Goddess of the Beach Tournament in Las Vegas, part of my series on professional beach volleyball.  The rest of the series, so far, can be found on my flickr account.

Exposure

  • Shutter:  1/3200
  • Aperture:  f/3.5
  • ISO:  200
  • Camera:  Canon EOS 1D Mark III
  • Lens:  Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM (at 125mm)

Composition and Processing

  • Sometimes content trumps composition.  The balance in theis shot is a bit off, but the reason I took it was the photographer shooting Walsh straight down the top of the barrier.  He’s simultaneously invading the privacy of the players and being held at set distance by the barrier (entirely coincidental, since he’s sitting in one of the few spots marked off for photographers to capture the game).  As an added bonus, one of the AVP staff on the bench is taking a photo of the photographer with a point-and-shoot.
  • I could have shot this tighter, but chose to leave a little room for cropping options later.  I was concerned the subjects were lined up in a narrow strip, and wasn’t certain I wouldn’t want to rotate or try some other off-center crop in post.  With a 10mp camera that’s a bit risky, but better to have options than to unintentionally ruin the shot.

Original:

May 04 2009 | Photography | No Comments »

Daily Photo – The AVP in Color (Nicole Branagh Spike)

The Daily Photo 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.

Nicole Branagh spikes the ball at the 2007 AVP God and Goddess of the Beach Tournament in Las Vegas, part of my series on professional beach volleyball.  The rest of the series, so far, can be found on my flickr account.

Exposure

  • Shutter:  1/3200
  • Aperture:  f/2.8
  • ISO:  400
  • Camera:  Canon EOS 1D Mark III
  • Lens:  Canon EF 70-200 f/2.8L IS USM

Composition and Processing

  • I’ve done some experiments lately with shooting and/or cropping volleyball shots above the ground.  Normally you’d want to shoot something like this low, with the ground visible, to show and exaggerate the hitter’s jump.  The closer crop, despite the odd cutoff of the legs, grants us the same perspective as the hitter.  We see Branagh’s gaze in the direction of the ball and the angle of the arm in relation to the ball;  we also her in relation to the net.  Those are much closer, intimate relationships than her position vis-a-vis the court, which is nowhere to be found in this shot.
  • It’s a small thing, but if you’re not going to show much of the face in a sports photo, it helps to have the athlete’s name visible (on a jersey, shorts or in this case, bathing suit).  In addition to providing some information for fans of the sport (Branagh is one of the top beach volleyball players in the world and competed in the 2008 Olympics), it creates identity.  Even if you don’t know who Nicole Branagh is, seeing her name says this is an individual, not some faceless volleyball player.

Original:

April 22 2009 | Photography | No Comments »