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Tennis Action

By Lakeyw  
One of my first attempt at sports photography, this is from a friendly tennis match between office colleagues over the weekend!

Tags: Tennis Action Spring Sports Outdoor People Motion Ball Jump Racquet 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.


paulbroad 9 116 1064 United Kingdom
12 Jul 2011 8:28AM
And it's a good try. The technique is good, with figure sharp and background reasonably blurred. The main problem is the background, which is typical park tennis court and not very attractive. You could also do with a bit more space under his feet.

Try a lower viewpoint - even lay on the floor looking upwards, then maybe try switching on the flash as you will have to be careful of under exposure as the camera sees much more sky.


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danh 6 61 36 United Kingdom
12 Jul 2011 8:44AM
Your horizon is slightly off-level. Otherwise I agree with what's been said above regarding shooting from a lower viewpoint and the absence of any space below toe-level. Well done for shooting with the correct sports-photography settings, rather than opting to go with shutter priority. Smile
If this is your first effort with sports photography it shows a massive amount of ability and potential. I look forward to seeing more of your work.
Davesumner 9 28 300 Australia
13 Jul 2011 12:28AM
Hi Lakey,

Great advice from Paul, Dan and Frank who is obviously very knowledgeable in regards to sports photography, and I agree with all of them however, that background really is the killer of the shot for me. Also the players arm looks awkward as well so maybe a second later would have been a better pose for the shot. For me the whole player is very sharp but perhaps just a little too sharp, a small amount of movement in the arm, racket and ball would have added a lot of mood to the shot.

With the background all you can really do is fix it in camera, like Paul said above a low viewpoint would have helped but I think a higher viewpoint would have been better and most tennis courts have high fences so get up there to get your shot, be careful though. Now that you're stuck with that background, I would suggest desaturating it a little and going to work with the blur tool or the blur filter to try and get more attention on the subject instead of the fence and the tree etc.

I had a go at a mod to see what I could do to improve the shot so I added some canvas to the bottom and left sides before I straightened the wall (horizon) so that I didn't lose his feet or racket off the image, desaturated and blurred the image and then painted the player back through the mask. It is a lot of work for something that could be avoided in camera and although this is just to give you an idea of what can be done, it is worthwhile if you are stuck with what you have here.

Hope it helps

Lakeyw 6 Bhutan
13 Jul 2011 4:09AM
Hello everyone,

Thanks a lot (as always) for this whole set of very very useful advice! I am learning and finding it really interesting!

Thanks lot, Daves, for the modification - although I have zero knowledge of Photoshop. I use Adobe LightRoom for the little post-production that I do engage in!

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