Before and After – Miko 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.

Miko rehearses for KDH Dance Company’s 2011 end of year production.


  • Shutter:  1/500
  • Aperture:  f/2.0
  • ISO: 1600
  • Camera:  Canon EOS 1D Mark IV
  • Lens:  Canon EF 50mm f/1.2L USM

Composition and Processing

  • Given the somewhat precarious position of the dancer up on her toes, I kept everything else static, aligning other elements with the edges of the frame.  That de-emphasizes them, increasing the attention of the viewer on the only thing moving (Miko).
  • I could have easily wiped out the window frame in the upper right corner but chose to leave it in as a counter-weight.  It’s one thing to use negative space, but sometimes you just get a big distracting hole (particularly with the rail in the background running the full length).  If I had removed the window, I would have rotated the shot counter clockwise so that the eye would fall back toward the subject instead of wandering a bit around the empty space.
  • The shot is a bit bright to the right, which I think works to its advantage, further reinforcing the more solid elements to the left and pulling the eye in that direction.


February 10 2012 | Photography | No Comments »