Untitled still from a recent photo assignment.

Taken on location with a Sony a77 camera and a medium range zoom lens.

Lit with an enormous, diffused umbrella, powered by a Profoto 600B acute flash system. 

I posted this because I liked the light and wanted to remind myself to stop using too much fill.


  1. I'm wondering if you could/would show this image with a few different crop-ings and discuss the relative pros and cons? Looking at it, my first thought was that I would have certainly (probably for worse, not better) positioned the left edge of the photo almost directly at the edge of the bench which would have, of course, lead to showing more of the piano. I'm also aware that, in similar situations, I'm always uncertain of where to put (where I most like) the bottom edge - to show legs or not, to show floor or not, etc. I'm a beginner - I get "rules of three" and a few of the other standards, but, am always uncertain in practice. It would be interesting to "see" your thought processes on this.

  2. from the left leg of the piano bench to Anton's feet on the pedals to the woman's head is a really wonderful, long triangle. Which then creates an opposite (inverted) triangle from the front piano leg to the top of the frame on the right and then along the forms of the subjects. The triangle is reversed and repeated by the piano lid. Cropping from the left would crowd the frame and diminish your eye's ability to breathe. Finally, this, like many of my images, is made for advertising and the background will most likely be dropped out completely and replaced with something else, rendering whatever crop I might make meaningless.

    In the words of every graphic designer I've ever, ever worked with: "Don't crop too tight. Leave me some air around the subject."

  3. Thank you. I can understand then the conscious thought to leave some space - and also the pragmatics of another "eye" taking control over the end product - but I'm wondering if you consciously set-up the 3 triangles before taking the shot or if you became directly aware of those only as you tried to explain why/how the composition "works?"

    Thanks again for indulging my question. Very interesting.

    1. What is subconscious and what is planned? I don't think I ever consciously compose anything. It's mostly auto pilot.


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