I’ve decided to start a series of posts where I’ll post up one picture at a time from my “Favorites” set and explain it. I’ll try to explain any technical aspects of the photo, special post-processing, and/or compositional aspects that went into it. I’ll also try to give some background info and also reasons for why I like it. I would welcome constructive criticism about any of the photos too.
*For reference, “Exposure” is exposure adjustment that I did in Lightroom and “Exposure Bias” is the exposure adjustment you do on camera when you’re shooting in a semi-automatic mode (Av, Tv for Canon or A, S for Nikon)
This picture above is one of my favorites of all time. I would “rank” it very highly even among my favorites. I think it’s mostly because of the subjects, Daniel and Brian (left and right, respectively), and their expressions more than anything. I was visiting Brian with some friends (including Daniel) at UCLA and we were chilling in Brian’s dorm when we noticed the Nerf guns. We took some of them out and started shooting each other. Then we took the whole battle out to the hallway when I noticed that there was a great photo-op there.
Composition and PP and Random
The first reason I was inspired for this photo was because of the hallway. Using the long hallway as a background, I could give a sense of direction towards the subjects as they lay down parallel to the hallway. I told them to get on the ground as if they’re crawling and shooting, but then they just got on the ground and stared at the camera and smiled as if taking a snapshot, so I had to direct them to look past the camera and look surprised (though anyone that knows them two would testify to the fact that those are very normal expressions on their faces).
When I originally took this picture, I kept the camera level to the horizon and took a standard picture at my highest aperture in order to isolate the guys. However, when I went into post-processing (PP), I decided to crop it in such a way that there would be a slant, causing a sense of movement. After other normal PP, I also decided to lower the vibrance a bit in order to darken the mood a bit, and that with the noise from high ISO, gives it a sort of cinematic feel, which I liked.
Here’s the picture before it was edited, btw.
Other Technical Stuff
The hallway’s light is not that strong, so I had to go up to ISO 1600, which I didn’t really like doing on my 40D. In this photo, the noise actually added to the overall feel of the photo so that was good. One mistake I made in this photo was to focus on the barrel of the guns. If I were to retake this picture, I’d focus on my subjects as they’re the first things you see in this photo, not the guns. So yeah, it’s safe to say that in general if there’s a human face in your photo, just focus on the eyes of the person, unless you’re trying to do something like this.
That’s all! Hopefully I’ll be able to do more of these if they’re helpful at all. If you’d like me to write about anything else, let me know.