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 »

Before and After — Ty Loomis Jump Serve

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.

Ty Loomis jump serves 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

Composition and Processing

  • I know sand volleyball is largely played in warm, sunny weather, but my preference is to shoot on overcast days.  The soft light does amazing things to skin tones, which is particularly helpful when your subjects tend to be very tan and wearing board shorts or swimsuits.
  • I used a bleach bypass filter from Nik Color Efx on this image.  The contrasty yellow cast of the filter works well with tan skin and is complementary to all the greens.  Speaking of green, it was randomly convenient that Loomis’ shorts matched the background.   Had they been blue or red or something else, they would have competed too much for attention.
  • It might have been nice to have the entire body in this shot, but with all the attention driven upward to the ball I think the eye has a hard time wandering off the bottom edge where the legs are clipped (or even getting that far).  The legs do bend backward a little bit to the corner, which probably helps reduce the impact.

 

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February 16 2012 | Photography | No Comments »