Back Modifications (1)
Views: 158 (64 Unique)  Award Shortlist   


By paulbroad
I had a feedback recently that suggested I didn't do any sports photography, so I've put one in for comment, be it rather old. I've half an idea what's coming, but it will help others lean as well as me. Shot at a local sports event with Canon T90 and 70/210 Tamron on Fujichrome 400. Scanned with Epson 4990 flatbed at 3200dpi, dust cloned out and sharpened. Slightly too contrasty as re so many home scans.

About 1/500 @ f8 as I remember.


Tags: Sport Wet Run Airborne Sports and action

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This photo is here for critique. Please only comment constructively and with suggestions on how to improve it.


alistairfarrugia 4 164 88 Malta
19 Dec 2012 9:23AM
This is a nice capture, and the title befits the subject given that all three athletes are airborne indeed. You probably expect this already but given that you've scanned this, I'd either convert to mono or clone out, if possible, the persons in the background to retain only the athletes running on the track in the final picture. The red clothed man, in particular, is a bit distracting there.

The shutter speed chosen, if it was indeed 1/500, seems to be a good choice in my eyes, given that most of the subjects are sharp and frozen in time whilst the feet show movement. That, in my opinion is a good thing.

One final comment though, it seems that it was a rainy day or the track was wet. Maybe if one of the athletes wasn't indeed fully airborne, there'd be a splash around the athlete's foot on impact with the track and visually that would have probably been just as nice. You would probably even get a more toned muscle-shape on the leg of the said athlete. Just my two cents anyway!

Well done regardless!

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strokebloke 7 493 17 England
19 Dec 2012 10:13AM
Why put it up? If what Colin commented prompted you to put a sports shot up, why not go out to sports event with your DSLR and a decent lens, and prove the point that you want to make.
I don't think you're doing yourself any favours with this.
I suspect that Colin would look at this and suggest that his comment was valid.
He did also make an observation that digital rather than film was the modern medium, so to put up a 35mm shot is also not doing you any favours.
I suspect that this is better in print than it is on the screen (having been scanned)

Put some good digital shots up to respond the feedback.
paulbroad 9 116 1064 United Kingdom
19 Dec 2012 10:22AM
Strokebloke: It was simply to show that I have attended sports events and photographed them. It was suggested that I had no idea what I was talking about. Weather I'm any good at it is another matter. As this is a critique section, people viewing can also benefit from the comments made by others and learn. Alistair has done just that, and his comments will show others some of the potential faults and pitfalls.

This image is, in my opinion, quite relevant, and weather I'm doing myself any favours is of no importance to me. If you do not like it, simply do not comment as your comment is hardly constructive. Remember, we are here to help ourselves and others, not quibble.

Focus_Man 6 481 631 United Kingdom
19 Dec 2012 10:46AM
A fair shot Paul but I have offered a mod where I have added a little space to the top, straightened that very small slant, cropped to 7x5 aspect ratio then cloned out the people to the rear***. I hope you managed to get out of the way in time but seeing the lens you used I guess the finishing line intervened.

As you well know Paul, using 35mm gear was more difficult as we didn't have the opportunity to check on our images, or to produce any test images prior to making the final exposure. So uploading this image does make a point.


*** Just noticed I missed a little bit behind the right hand runner.
strokebloke 7 493 17 England
19 Dec 2012 10:46AM
No quibble Paul. Merely an observation, such as you yourself would have made in similar circumstances.
I did not say that I did not like it. That is irrelevant.
Offence was not intended, but if you choose to take it, I can do nothing about it.
My observation is, in my opinion, constructive.
If you're not bothered about the quality of it, ("Weather I'm any good at it is another matter.") why put it up for critique?

I now understand that you do not like my observation ~ that, however, does not make it not constructive.

It's 'whether' ~ not 'weather' Wink
DOGSBODY 8 1.4k 30 England
19 Dec 2012 10:53AM
We don't see many sports shots, especially athletics, on this site and this is a good attempt. My only real comment is that I would like to see a closer crop so that the eye is more concentrated on the 3 runners. Andy
Hermanus 4 4 South Africa
19 Dec 2012 12:44PM
Sorry to disappoint you but I quite like this photo ! I think it is well taken Smile A closer crop would bring the athletes closer but you would lose the fuller track event feel Smile Well done !.
banehawi Plus
12 1.5k 3533 Canada
19 Dec 2012 2:45PM
All three are in the air at the same time. Good timing.

paulbroad 9 116 1064 United Kingdom
19 Dec 2012 4:24PM
There is no offence taken. Too thick skinned for that. The reason I answered was that you made quite a long comment, and none of it was about the image, just some perceived issue from the past. I simply wished to show that I have taken sports images at some time in my life. I am quite prepared to have a go again tomorrow, or never. Just shoot what I fancy.

You must admit that it was suggested that because I had few sports images in my portfolio, I should not comment on sports images.

strokebloke 7 493 17 England
19 Dec 2012 5:03PM

Quote:... it was suggested that because I had few sports images in my portfolio ..... etc

Indeed Paul I do acknowledge that. Smile
And my suggestion was that you should take one or more digital images to prove that your were as qualified to comment upon sports images as any other.
The reason I said that I didn't think this did you any favours was because, as I'm sure you remember, the implication of another comment was about irrelevance of film in the critique and that digital imaging is the present medium.
I didn't make an observation about the shot itself, because it is a film-scanned shot and I am hardly qualified to comment with any substance upon that type of image - there are many more people on here, who are so qualified.

As far as I'm concerned my comments were pertinent, constructive and positive.
I make no apology for that. Smile
iancrowson 6 211 142 United Kingdom
19 Dec 2012 6:10PM
I reckon it's a pretty good shot. Firstly sports shots can never be too planned, more of the moment. If these guys had been famous in an important race and this appeared in the newspaper it would have been considered a cracking capture. Also being taken years ago on slide film gives it lot of house points, it was that much more difficult. I had an evening with my slides recently. Those I thought excellent in the 70's & 80's now look just ok . Digital is so easy in many ways. Certainly success is much easier.
Yes it could be better, but what can't
Davesumner 9 28 300 Australia
20 Dec 2012 12:44AM
Hi Paul,

I think that the conversion from print to electronic image has gone quite well, having done a lot of slide conversions i know how bad they can get. With regards to the shot, it is a very nice record shot of the event but there are several things that let it down for me. I'm not keen on the fact that all three are in the air, yes its great timing but they look like they are hovering and a bit unrealistic. Secondly i'm not keen on the comosition having the three runners in the top left so to speak, it makes the shot look oddly cropped. Lastly the runners don't look like they are even trying to run fast, the guy in the middle looks like he's out for a Sunday jog.

Shots like this need to show passion and this one just doesn't for me, sorry.

pablophotographer 5 678 269
20 Dec 2012 12:54AM
I shall take my hat off to you. Film cameras don't provide the photographer the capacity to make any corrections at the settings of his captured images in situ; only when the film is being developed you can make adjustments; unless you shoot with a medium format and a polaroid backing. It's a trial and error and a steep learning curve. Running as a sport happens at various lengths and it is unfair to assume that a photographer has always time to adjust his equipment. A run which will happen around the circuit several times would offer the chance to work out the best moment to shoot. One round runs would be more difficult to capture. Also being shot during an event, would most likely have other athletes warming up somewhere, or participating on a different sport at another position in the arena. I have shot runners while other athletes were doing high jumps. I make a sure guess that this is not an 100 metre race, and the fact that the athletes are a little bit off centremay well be because this shot could had been taken in rush. I agree they are all airborn but I find that your camera was set a bit too high, a lower point of view would have shown their flight more prominently. But I get the message, I see the race happens while other sportsmen are getting ready but unfortunately there aren't any spectators visible.
paulbroad 9 116 1064 United Kingdom
20 Dec 2012 10:56AM
The timing was pure luck. Good or bad! The T90 was a great camera. Still have it, and because it was manual focus, could tram through film at about 6 frames per second or more. (Auto Focus slows camera drives down a lot.) This would be from a burst of several frames. Expensive on film though.

Not sure what the technical differences between shooting film and digitally are. Nothing much here. The main difference at basic levels is the recording media. Sensitised silver halide or diodes. Otherwise the exposure, focusing, composition etc. etc. remains the same.

Digital success is easier as Ian says. Digital means shoot as many as you like for free and look at the results straight away. Dead easy compared to film, but handling the kit remains the same.

danh 6 61 36 United Kingdom
21 Dec 2012 1:14PM
Sports of this sort should be shot with your aperture wide-open to create a shallow depth of field. f8 kills this image, for me. As for the cloning, again just for me, it's an absolute no-no unless you're looking to create a photo rather than capture a moment (which is what sports photography should be all about). I know it's routine in many other fields but I think it 'cheats' when it comes to capturing sport and should be avoided at all costs.
13 Jan 2013 3:49AM
Looks ok to me mate

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