Back Modifications (1)
Views: 28 (18 Unique)  Award Shortlist   

Just out of reach

By Paully33
So I was getting pretty lucky with my positioning. Caught this one as the receiver was go for a long pass and it was just past his reach.

Tags: 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.


Davesumner 11 28 300 Australia
31 Aug 2011 4:50AM
Hi Paul,

I have to say that having looked at your portfolio, you obviously like football however, I have noticed that most of your images have slanted horizons and this one is no exception. Yes I know the edge of the field isn't the horizon but it annoys most viewers when lines aren't straight.

With this image I would say that there are a couple of things that you need to look at, one is composition and I think that both having the ball almost out of shot and cutting off the guys feet spoils the image completely. I can only presume that you were at the widest angle of your lens and the 115mm focal length refers to the 70mm with the crop factor of 1.6 added. It isn't a good idea to chop off limbs like this aspecially at the joints i.e. ankles, knees, elbows etc. The other is that his shoulder is slightly overexposed so try to meter for the brightest parts of the shot which would have been his shirt and use fill flash or bring the darker areas up in post production.

However there are things you can do to the image as I've shown in my mod. Straightening the horizon in Photoshop has cropped the image but I added some canvas first and then increased the area around the ball slightly. I have then cropped right in close, desaturated the reds and greens in the background then blurred the background more to make the player pop from the background. I then sharpened.

Hope this helps


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danh 8 61 36 United Kingdom
31 Aug 2011 12:55PM
From a purely personal perspective I'd never 'shop' a sports photo as much as the modified image has (certainly in relation to the artificially blurred background). I appreciate it's corrected many of the issues that the comment above has highlighted but from my perspective, you're better off working on your techniques to make your shots better (and the inbound 70-200mm f2.8 will help your equipment no end). Sports should be about capturing the moment, not capturing enough light to create an artificial moment in post-processing (I don't mean that to sound like an unfair comment on the excellence and expertise displayed in the mod, apologies if it does). I think that shooting in portrait perspective will serve you well for the majority of football images.

Also, and again just from my perspective, I'd accept a partially 'blown out' white jersey every day of the week, if it allows me to keep detail in the player's face. That said, if you've shot this more recently than your earlier images (and it certainly looks as though you have), you need to go back to the settings you were using before - i.e. aperture priority rather than shutter priority, or manual exposure if the light is consistent. Shutter priority for sports photos is usually only used for creative blur or panning with slower shutter speeds. If you're advised to shoot in shutter-priority, accept the comment in good grace, but concentrate on the techniques that produce the sort of photos you seem to be after, i.e. those obtained in aperture priority or manual exposure. It won't make you a pro sports photographer but it will make you a better sports photographer... until you're good enough to become a pro. Smile

A cheeky question - Was this during the game or warm-ups? Tongue
31 Aug 2011 1:43PM
Ok to kinda clear a few things up. This is a picture that I was actually "Iffy" about but again my personal thought I liked it. Background crooked because of the way I am kneeling due to being in a cast for my ankle so I lean to my left. Which not making a excuse for that, just habit at this point that I will DEFINATELY correct on this weeks game. I did nothing to the backgroud nor the picture except cropped the defenders half of arm out, previous critiques said to take those out so just following that rule of thumb. I did have a beautiful day prior to kick off and then the clouds rolled in so I never had my settings set in stone because I was constantly adjusting. So agian this was an "Iffy" picture that I just wanted advice on. It just so happen to be that this play came at me when I was near the endzone so I was trying to capture it.

I take all advice in good grace and head it so that I can learn. I lookto all of you as mentors and I want to become better, and certainly not a pro....just good. I actually got my 2.8 in mail yesterday so I am pretty stoked about using it this week. With that I have all my critiques on my little note pad that I carry in my camera bag and it will be with me at the games/events so I can refer to them as I have been. And I am looking forward to getting critiques on those shots with my new lens as well because I know that lens is not the 1 solution my techniques need to improve and I will strive for that each time I am out.
31 Aug 2011 3:28PM
And I do like the mod photo Thanks!

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