Before and After — No Man’s Land

The Before and After series focuses on the two or three key creative choices, in terms of composition and processing, that go into creating an image.  Specific technical details about the shot have been left out — you won’t hear me talking about tone curve adjustments and whatnot unless it was a key component of the end result.

Michelle More gets caught out of position in no man’s land (or rather, no woman’s land I suppose) at the 2009 Houston AVP tournament.  Although it does look like she can make a play on the ball.

Exposure

  • Shutter:  1/2000
  • Aperture:  f/2.8
  • ISO: 200
  • Camera:  Canon EOS 1Ds Mark III
  • Lens:  Canon EF 135mm f/2.0L USM

Composition and Processing

  • It’s usually the broken plays that make the best photos.   It’s the only time you’re guaranteed to get a natural reaction out of the players, because something just happened they didn’t expect either.
  • Speaking of which, you never know what you’re going to get with player facial expressions in the middle of the action, no matter what the sport.  Some yell.  Some stick their tongues out.  Some just have this glassy blank look on their face.  Those are all good.  Michelle More has a great reaction here.  But some players have the weirdest expressions, or their eyes appear to be looking in completely the wrong direction, or their mouth is twisted all wrong.  Always.  My advice is to take care when shooting to review your shots — it might be best to find another player to focus on, or if you’re dead set on your subject, to take a lot of redundant shots in the hopes of getting one that works.

Original:

February 28 2012 | Photography | No Comments »

Before and After — Michelle More at Houston AVP

The Before and After series focuses on the two or three key creative choices, in terms of composition and processing, that go into creating an image.  Specific technical details about the shot have been left out — you won’t hear me talking about tone curve adjustments and whatnot unless it was a key component of the end result.

Michelle More hits the ball at the Houston AVP Tournament in 2009.

Exposure

  • Shutter:  1/2000
  • Aperture:  f/2.0
  • ISO: 400
  • Camera:  Canon EOS 1D Mark III
  • Lens:  Canon EF 135mm f/2.0L USM

Composition and Processing

  • Backgrounds in sports can be problematic, often so jumbled and noisy as to distract from the main image.  Shooting with a shallow depth of field helps isolate the subject, but that’s not always enough if the color and tones are similar.  In this particular instance, however, what made for a horrible venue to host an AVP tournament — lack of seating and an impossible to find location — was a boon from a photographic standpoint.  Massive black and dark green backgrounds really helped the subject stand out in the image, with very few people to clutter the shot.
  • I shot this at f/2 which, while having the advantage of softening elements in the background, also took out the foreground.  Specifically, the net.  You can still see it, but it’s just soft enough not to detract from the subject.  The black background, being the same color, also helps de-emphasize it.
  • By contrast, the yellow tape really pops and provides a nice internal framing element for the subject.  I don’t always find this nice a combination, but when I can I really like using the elements of the court itself to bring more focus to the image.

 

 

Original:

Michele More at Houston AVP - original

February 08 2012 | Photography | No Comments »