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One On One

By Philo  
In my opinion this is my best football shot even though it's from a training session rather than a match. Originally uploaded to the main gallery where it didn't do too well so I thought I would get some honest feedback. I know the voting system is flawed, and I am certainly not driven by votes, but it is hard not to be disappointed.
I showed it to a colleague at work and he said that whilst it was a good shot I could have tried a bit harder to get the background in focus!
Thanks again for all the great advice on my last shot.

Tags: Football Training Goalkeeper Methley United Under 13s Sports and action

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kmfletch 10 1 United States
29 Jul 2012 7:38PM
If the background was in focus it would have taken away from the subject of the players. Your DOF is in my opinion as it should be. I like the shot, it shows action and you have the players faces in view.
Philo 12 99 83 England
29 Jul 2012 7:49PM
Thanks Keith, I don't think my colleague understands differential focusWink
Jestertheclown 13 8.6k 255 England
29 Jul 2012 7:54PM
Hard one to call Phil.
Personally, I can't really see anything wrong with it.
Some people will tell you that the action's too central but then, which side do you crop?
The ball's moving from right to left, yet the goalie's looking from left to right, so there goes that theory!
If anything, I might crop just a little from the bottom but that's being picky. In reality, I'd leave it alone.
(I won't mention the background!)

Philo 12 99 83 England
29 Jul 2012 8:07PM
Thanks Bren, happy to take your advice and leave it alone.
Paintman Plus
15 1.5k 180 United Kingdom
29 Jul 2012 8:50PM
Just as a possible version the mod was blurred with a graduated mask so the grass is gradually blurred towards the b/g. The b/g was also desaturated slightly and a graduated mask applied so the effect was increased the further into the distance you looked.

Philo 12 99 83 England
29 Jul 2012 9:25PM
Thanks Alan, but my colleague wanted the background more in focusWink
Seriously, a good mod and a technique I need to look into.
Paintman Plus
15 1.5k 180 United Kingdom
29 Jul 2012 9:52PM
I'm not sure if an OOF b/g can be made to look more in focus later on, even with the power of PS.

Imo it would be better to take a series of photos at the time of the event that have a greater DOF, then combine the players with the in focus shots of the football field. The trouble with using a smaller aperture to increase the DOF is you don't get the high shutter speeds to stop the action as well as this.

I'm sure you know all this looking at your portfolio, but I thought I'd say it anywaySmile

JackAllTog Plus
13 6.4k 58 United Kingdom
29 Jul 2012 10:18PM
I remember this from your first post - I liked it then and still like it as it is.
Its a pro looking sports shot but with kids as subjects - really cute. A back ground out of focus is the look for these shots - if you had it in focus you'd detract from the kids and have a much noisier shot at a much higher ISO.
Look at the mud flying off the goalie's boot - perfect.

Advice above is great and as is it great too. The only thing that might be better is a cloudier day so that there is less shadow to light contrast on the kids faces. But nothing you can do do about that on the day.

You captured them and their dedication perfectly.
Sooty_1 12 1.5k 221 United Kingdom
29 Jul 2012 11:09PM
The thing with sports is that you can't really control surroundings and weather conditions.
I think as is, the shot itself is fine, the problem is the lack of context. Because its a training session, you have no goal or other players to show the moment in the game. This is often reflected in other players expressions. Good shot as is though.

banehawi Plus
18 2.7k 4311 Canada
30 Jul 2012 3:33AM
Im thinking along the same lines as Nick, Phil.

It is certainly your best sports shot, no question.

The background, nothing to do with focus, but you can see long grass which detracts from the idea its a serious sports shot, as its a local field. Theres no spectators or stadium visible, and no other players, so it could well be two kids playing alone as far as the image is concerned.

So as a sports shot, for the members who vote on sports action shots, it likely leaves out important elements. As a shot of the young platers, its technically excellent.


Focus_Man 12 481 631 United Kingdom
30 Jul 2012 8:55AM
It is a cracker Phil, if anything I would crop a little from the right or prefereably add a little to the left as dictated by the body language shown by the two players.

Your 'tongue-in-cheek' comment about your workmate seems to have been taken seriously by some, but it does go to show how the general public can, on occasion, give a 'kick in the teeth' to our attempts at art.

Philo 12 99 83 England
30 Jul 2012 9:25AM
Thanks everyone, I think the key learning point here is context: I can now see how this could be construed as just 2 kids on a field. The problem is I can't use actual match shots yet as I need permission from the parents of every child in the image. I am working on a solution to this though and parents will be more amenable due to the age of the kids.

Quote:Your 'tongue-in-cheek' comment about your workmate seems to have been taken seriously by some

Wish I had never mentioned this now, Frank! I just found it very funny and ironic as I have struggled for the last couple of years with too much dof. I finally get a 70-200 to get the effect I desire and the first comment I get is from my colleague. I should have just used a compactWink

Anyway, I have a couple of potential goalkeeper shots if I can persuade his parents to let me post themGrin

AndysShots 14 6 United Kingdom
12 Oct 2015 2:13PM
I can understand your disappointment re votes, sports fans are few and far between on this site it seems.

I can only echo others opinions before me, this is a very good photo. It has a clean background which is sometimes difficult to find at sports events, parked cars, advertising and bystanders can often spoil a great photo.

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