Daily Photo – Stephanie All Done

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.

Stephanie rests at the end of a long shoot.

Exposure

  • Shutter:  1/125
  • Aperture:  f/1.4
  • ISO:  800
  • Camera:  Canon EOS 1Ds Mark III
  • Lens:  Canon EF 50mm f/1.2L USM

Composition and Processing

  • Steph and I had been shooting for a couple hours at this point, and this is the second to last sequence of the shoot.  I’d taken so many shots with her hair getting tossed around that by this point it was pretty frazzled.  We’d gone through a number of poses in this spot without much luck, so when I told her to take a break for a moment, she relaxed into a pose similar to what you see here.  From there it was just tweaking:  making the pose symmetrical;  lining it up off center; getting her to slouch a bit more;  bringing the hair forward.  The arms look a little goofy, but they complement the vertical lines that lead to the face and her completely drained expression.
  • I used Nik’s bleach bypass filter, which gave the whole scene a more yellowish cast.  The background was already that color to begin with, but the filter kind of glued everything together and made Steph part of the scene.  That is, instead of the rocks being background material, they’re almost part of the subject now that they’re closer in color (the shallow depth of field helps too, since the rocks and Steph are the only things in focus).

Original:

April 26 2009 | Photography | No Comments »

Daily Photo – Steph in Yellow and Green…

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.

…although depending on your monitor, that might be orange and blue.

Exposure

  • Shutter:  1/400
  • Aperture:  f/1.4
  • ISO:  400
  • Camera:  Canon EOS 1Ds Mark III
  • Lens:  Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L II USM

Composition and Processing

  • This shot happened on the tail end of a wardrobe change, during a shoot with Stephanie, Dagny and Janus about a week ago.  Steph had just finished changing and was putting on some earrings;  I noticed the background light and snapped a couple shots.  Based on that, we then recomposed the “candid” shot, first by having her pretend to change her left earring instead (her hair fell better on that side due to the location of the part), and to recompose horizontally instead of vertically.
  • I sometimes wonder why I bother tweaking the colors so precisely on some shots.  The reality is that 99% of viewers will see this on screens that are not calibrated.  Even those that are will be in some state of losing their calibration (a warning to users, like myself, of the higher gamut monitors Dell has been shipping the last couple years:  those things need to be adjusted every month).  So while the skin tones should be a warm yellow w/ very little red and the background is a soft green leaning toward blue, I can’t say what y’all are seeing.  This is one of the reason I spend most of my time on composition (arranging the initial shot, cropping, control of light/dark tones to emphasize subject, etc) and treat color as secondary.  If the composition is solid, not only does it open up a wide range of processing styles, it also allows for variations due to viewing media.

Original:

March 15 2009 | Photography | No Comments »

Daily Photo – Jen

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.

Exposure

  • Shutter:  1/250
  • Aperture:  f/2
  • ISO:  50
  • Camera:  Canon EOS 1Ds Mark III
  • Lens:  Canon EF 50mm f/1.2L USM
  • Lighting:  Zeus head in beauty dish overhead camera right;  another in large gridded softbox low, also camera right.

Composition and Processing

  • I’m finding more use for ISO 50 these days than I would have expected.  My default on both camera bodies is 200, but the combination of shallow DOF and limited space to move lights leaves only ISO as a viable option for exposure control (the Zeus lights were at their lowest power settings).  I suppose I could should with a neutral density filter, but I suspect putting another piece of glass in front of the image would have more impact on image quality than changing to a low ISO (which theoretically should improve IQ, but I don’t notice any difference from 50 to 200).
  • For this shot I wanted Jen leaning toward the camera, with expression and body language all attitude.  The shallow depth of field helped reinforce the lean and drove more attention to the (in focus) face.  The hand on the hip helped as well, making the posture more defensive.
  • I wanted the hair to come forward in some way, if for no other reason to add a little more character to the shot.  I was concerned about losing the eyes though, which had to be sharp.  I was actually expecting to lose the left one (from the camera’s view) to some degree, while the right would be the main subject of attention.  Instead, it turned out to be the opposite.  Despite greater occlusion, the left caught the lights perfectly, helping it punch through the obstructing hair.

Original:

February 10 2009 | Photography | No Comments »