Making a Masterpiece

Behind the Scenes

It takes more than a decent camera to create a photograph. A large part of the success for the images in this post goes to Ed Crim, local photographer and educator. Ed arranges weekly shoots at his Studio 858 in St. Ann Missouri and works hard to bring models and photographers together for a couple hours of training and practice. That said, with 4 sets, 8-10 photographers and some participants from a local dance school we are given 3 minutes to shoot each model on each of the 4 different sets. Three minutes is not much time to connect and capture a model. The young lady pictured below had a natural grace and followed direction easily so she gets credit for the balance of the success in this photo. Me? I was just in the right place at the right time.

Dancer High Key Shoes

How An Image Comes Together

First of all, the finished photos belie the activity, possibly chaos happening in the background.

My 3 Minutes

During my 3 minute turn I was able to produce a couple good shots with this model on this set.

This is the out of camera image of the leaping dancer.

As you can see, it’s One of my challenges as a photographer is to catch the dancer jumping while she is still on the background. Addition to timing the jump, I was standing on a step ladder allowing me to shoot slightly down to keep her hands on the background. Photoshop is not the panacea some people think it is. It’s better to get as much of the photo right in the camera.

Beware Of Chromatic Aberration

Speaking of hands, I thought it would be cool to slip at least one technical term into this post, just to impress you. Chromatic Aberration is the purple edges you see around her fingers. It is a combination of lighting and lens limitations. In this case, Photoshop or Lightroom is the answer

The Masterpiece

Creating the final image required extending the background, cropping, adjusting contrast, hiding some small bruises on her knee and of course removing the chromatic aberration.

Leaping Dancer High Key

More Behind the Scenes

A Couple More Finished Images

Wrapping It Up

I know your time is valuable and want to thank you for spending a few minutes looking at my work. If you found it interesting or inspiring, please consider subscribing to my blog.

I am available for portrait and creative projects. You can find a list of basic services and pricing here.

Finally I’d invite you to leave any comments or questions below. It really helps me to know what my audience is thinking.


2 thoughts on “Making a Masterpiece

  1. Great stuff Mike

    1. Thank you Steve! Keep shooting!

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