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RELEASING THE STONE

By cymru2019
My wife and myself were watching the Mens and Womens Curling competitions at the Winter Olympics from Sochi and were engrossed by them. I found out there was a Mixed Doubles World Championships event on a few weeks later in Dumfries in Scotland. So we decided to go even though we had never been to a curling event. On the first day I went with camera and lens in hand and was granted permission to take photographs. The light in the venue was artificial and very poor for photography. Obviously the light was right for the competitors. However the first day was practice day. I saw this lady getting ready and set the camera to continuous mode. As she came down the sheet I took a burst of shots. This one catches the moment when the stone had just left her finger. In passing the lady originated from Wales but as she lived in England she had to compete for England. Out of all the teams from many nations it was just ironic the English wore tops which matched the colour of the ice! ). Nevertheless for me this is an action shot I was pleased with as I had no experience of photographing at curling events. If anyone feels the desire to go to a curling event and take shots please bear in mind that you are ready for the first action on the first day because there are eight sheets on the ice bowl and competitors are moving up and down the sheets all day long and it is mighty difficult to come up with a good shot thereafter. All positive comments of critique are welcomed. David

Tags: Photo journalism General Curling Sports - action

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Comments


djh698 15 5.8k 6 United Kingdom
6 Jun 2019 12:44AM
I agree with the lighting and you need to get the white balance right to get a good shot which it looks as though you have done here. This event also lends itself to panning using a slow shutter speed as everything is very predictable with the curlers releasing the stone at the same point. Having taken a lot of photos when they had the women's world championships last year in the town where I live I can say that you are correct when you say go to the practice day-ideal for the photographer as you can lean over the barrier as you have done here. Check out my portfolio from March last year as I posted quite a few curling shots.

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cymru2019 New Member
United Kingdom
6 Jun 2019 7:31AM
Your comments are appreciated and will be remembered. I see that you were allowed to be on the ice when taking shots. When I was taking these shots that is what I was thinking that better shots would be obtained by being on the ice. In that event they had a professional photographer well known to the Society running the event so I contented myself with having received the permission I was given. David
sawsengee Plus
12 6 24 Malaysia
6 Jun 2019 8:01AM
Hi David, wonderful action shot you captured here with the girl almost floating on her own momentum. Here is a simple mod. that I have made taking these aspects into consideration:
1. slight adjustment to the perspective correction so that the bottom line looks parallel to the other horizontal lines;
2. white balance adjustment to bring more illumination to the scene without burning out the ice surface but to bring more lines on the surface;
3. increase the contrast to bring more dynamic range to the image;
5. slight increase in the saturation to bring more life to the scene;
6. at ISO 1600, there are some surface noise especially in the dark shadows of the blues, some noise correction here;
7. downsizing & unsharp mask the image before uploading.
Hope you like the steps taken & the simple modification.
Best wishes. ee Smile
dudler Plus
15 861 1488 England
6 Jun 2019 8:50AM
1/250 @ f/5 and 1600 ISO is not bright, but it's definitely not awful...

A couple of thoughts - where there's a light background, using a little positive exposure compensation in auto modes makes sense, as does letting the exposure drift up from what's indicated if you're using manual. This is a little bit dark.

Where the path a player will take is very clear, you can focus on a specific point they will pass through, and release the shutter as they move through it. Locking focus or using back button focus can be better for action shots as it removes a significant delay that some cameras suffer (yours may be good, though).

Similarly, if you know the sport, use a single frame rather than shooting in a burst. There's often only one right moment, and it cam come between frames, even at 10fps.

cymru2019 New Member
United Kingdom
6 Jun 2019 11:22AM
To all who have commented I am very grateful of your remarks. I do not know when it will be possible to go to a curling event again but I'll keep these comments for reference. Many thanks, David
banehawi Plus
15 2.0k 4006 Canada
6 Jun 2019 1:25PM
Thats quite well done. It needs about 1 stop more exposure, done in the mod. The brightness of the scene would push exposure down, and would require compensation.


Regards



W
mrswoolybill Plus
12 1.5k 2054 United Kingdom
6 Jun 2019 3:39PM
John's advice is the way to go - this is a classic situation for pre-focusing, you know the plane that the athlete will move through. It's a very useful technique for any activity with a predictable pattern of movement.
Moira
cymru2019 New Member
United Kingdom
6 Jun 2019 5:50PM
Thanks for the advice given!
paulbroad Plus
11 127 1282 United Kingdom
7 Jun 2019 12:49PM
There's not a lot wrong with this. Just a bit flat and that is a little under exposure as Willie comments. Just brighten things up a bit and you have a rather nice shot.


The higher the ISO the lower the contrast and you need to work round this to bring the impact back.

Paul
cymru2019 New Member
United Kingdom
7 Jun 2019 1:48PM
Thanks Paul.

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