Daily Photo – Lauren and Friends

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.

Lauren at Opal Divines, along with three photographers acting as background models.

Exposure

  • Shutter:  1/250
  • Aperture:  f/1.4
  • ISO:  50
  • Camera:  Canon EOS 1Ds Mark III
  • Lens:  Canon EF 50mm f/1.2L USM
  • Lighting:  sb800 through a 42″ white reflector acting as a scrim, camera right.

Composition and Processing

  • There were two things I wanted to try with this shot:  first, using people as a background, much like this previous shot of Lauren;  and second, using both light and depth of field to create separation with the background (hopefully at about the same rate).  Lauren is definitely brighter than her companions, but probably not by enough to make this work.  However, she’s definitely sharper by a fair amount and this does seem to de-emphasize the others (turning them from co-subjects into scenery).
  • For the pose itself, I wanted Lauren clearly seated at the table with the rest, but wanted her “looking out of the scene” to match the lighting and depth of field.  She’s meant to be sharing a moment with the viewer, whose presence the others aren’t even aware of (breaking the 4th wall in a sense).
  • For a single strobe, this looks remarkably like natural light.  That’s a testament to what you can do with a large enough scrim and a well positioned flash.  I left the white balance a little warm to imply morning sunlight and further reinforce the illusion.

Original:

February 26 2009 | Photography | No Comments »

Daily Photo – Lauren in Line

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.

Lauren, at Opal Divines, seated between fellow photographers Christopher, Gordon and Robin.

Exposure

  • Shutter:  1/125
  • Aperture:  f/5.6
  • ISO:  100
  • Camera:  Canon EOS 1Ds Mark III
  • Lens:  Canon EF 50mm f/1.2L USM
  • Lighting:  sb800 through 42″ reflector as scrim camera left;  bare sb800 providing some fill camera right.

Composition and Processing

  • The goal for this shot was to use people as a background.  Because Lauren’s essentially in the same plane as the rest, I created separation by seating her, and then cropping the rest of the group to eliminate their heads.  I figured that would reinforce her as the focus of the image, and by making everyone else faceless, they ceased to be subjects and became part of the background instead.
  • I processed the skin tones to be a bit more yellow than usual.  I thought that would match the nice red wall behind Lauren.

Original:

February 15 2009 | Photography | No Comments »

Daily Photo – Lauren in Black and White

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.

Here’s a very simple shot of Lauren, isolating only the relevant bits of the composition against an all black background.

Exposure

  • Shutter:  1/250
  • Aperture:  f/1.4
  • ISO:  50
  • Camera:  Canon EOS 1Ds Mark III
  • Lens:  Canon EF 50mm f/1.2L USM)
  • Lighting:  SB800 behind camera and slightly left, firing through a 42″ white reflector.

Original:

Composition and Processing

  • I really wanted to take everything out of this frame except the face, arms and coffee cup.   It helped that she was wearing black, but I also removed the leg and let the hair drop out too.  In addition to keeping the composition extremely simple — there’s absolutely nothing extraneous to distract from those elements — it also made her eyes stand out far more than in the original.
  • The crop is a bit atypical for me.  It feels a little weighted to the right, but pushing it left interferes with the lower hand (and would probably require a less rectangular crop, something that wouldn’t match well with the mostly vertical lines).  The lower hand itself is a bit disembodied with the dress completely black, but I was willing to live with that lacking any other obvious alternatives.

February 01 2009 | Photography | No Comments »