Back Modifications (2)
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Pushing it to the limit

By SailorJack
A physical training instructor encourages one of his class to push that extra mile whilst conducting a circuit training programme.

I was taking various shots of the stances and activities for a booklet to be produced locally.

Tags: Photo journalism Black and white Portraits and people

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


Carabosse 15 41.0k 269 England
1 Mar 2010 10:42AM
You have captured the action well here with a good sense of movement. As this is part of a series which is to be published there are some issues which perhaps need to be considered, which might not matter as much if this were just a casual shot:

(1) The toning does not really suit the subject - it looks like a yellowish colour cast from the lighting. A straightforward B/W treatment may be better.

(2) The bright lights have caused a bit of underexposure. The shadows/highlights tool in PS can help to bring out some detail in those areas. Also consider cropping a bit from the top.

(3) It is a pity you have cropped out part of the legs of both the instructor and the instructee.

(4) It looks as if it is the instructor who is putting in the major effort! It may have been better to get a viewpoint from behind the instructor.

I have uploaded a mod for you which reflects some of my comments, which I hope help.

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Davesumner 11 28 300 Australia
1 Mar 2010 11:03AM
Hi Gordon,

I love the movement you have captured in this image where the guy is obviously moving fast and putting a lot of effort in. I'm not sure as to why you have turned this into monochrome but it works quite well.

What I find a distraction is the guy in the background, had he been doing something exercise wise he would have blended in but he looks to be just chatting. Also, I guess being on a ship the background is steps and steel walls rather than gym equipment etc.

I think I might have tried to get the main subjects face more into the shot to try and show the pain he's going through but maybe the background was even worse in that direction.

I experimented with blurring the background some to try and make it less distracting, I also got rid of the yellow cast that the imnage seemed to have to make it more B&W. I uploaded the mod to show you and I hope it is of help.

Davesumner 11 28 300 Australia
1 Mar 2010 11:08AM
Gordon, sorry, Carabosse and I must have been typing a comment and creating an image at the same time. Sorry to have reproduced more or less the same thing as him.

1 Mar 2010 10:23PM
Hi there all,

Many thanks for the constructive comments and modifications.
After looking at both of your images I do see the yellow tint much more clearly!
The comments have been very helpfull.
Thanks again

DRicherby 9 269 725 United Kingdom
1 Mar 2010 11:35PM
Coming a little late to this, I agree with most of what my critique team colleagues have said but I want to raise a dissenting opinion on one thing: the choice to feature the trainer rather than the guy working out. I think that was exactly the right thing to do, and for a number of reasons.

1. He's striking a really dramatic pose and has a great facial expression.

2. He's standing still. To photograph the guy who's working out, you'd have to either use a faster shutter, in which case you'd lose all that motion blur that shows how hard he's working, or use the same shutter speed, in which case his face would be a blurry mess.

3. If the purpose is to promote the gym — or your local area — you need to concentrate on what makes it unique. There are people working out in every gym in the country but this is the only one with this guy, who looks like a real character, as an instructor. Surely, `Come to Jim's Gym and get trained by this guy' is a better message than, `Come to Jim's and be sweaty like this other guy'? Wink

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