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Archive 2013 · How is my edit?

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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · How is my edit?

Its been awhile since I sat down and edited photos. Indoor shots are so much harder then outdoors. IMO.
Thanks for looking!


Mar 15, 2013 at 07:21 AM
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · How is my edit?

The eyes follow the players reaching for the ball, but the ball is cut-off. Since the figures are the visual path to the ball that lead the viewer's eyes, the ball, or, the punchline, if you will, should entirely be in the frame.

Also, the crop of the green athlete is too tight. Either go all the way, and eliminate him entirely, or bring him back into the composition. The way he's composed now seems accidental, or neglectful to the overall scene.

Mar 15, 2013 at 12:34 PM

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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · How is my edit?

Great action that you caught! I actually like the original better. The whites seem to be blowing out in the after shot, especially in the shorts. I couple things I would do is clone out the 3 spots on the top, the blob behind the ref's head and the black on the bottom. That would take away the distraction. I would also change the canvas size on the left so that #3 head is not on the edge. I know how hard these images are to get, you have plenty to work with. Good capture.

Mar 15, 2013 at 12:39 PM
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · How is my edit?

Some of the best answers to WHY various composition techniques work effectively are found outside of the disciplines of photography and art in the realm of psychology and the study of human perception via eye tracking studies when test subjects are shown photographs.

I first became aware of this 10 or so years ago watching a NOVA documentary on autism. Eye tracking was used and compared between normal and autistic subjects. Normal subjects tracked to and fixated on faces and familiar objects first, then wandered off along leading lines like arms to see what the hands were doing, then off into the background to explore the context. The autistic subjects eyes tracked randomly and did not connect with images of familiar faces or favorite toys.

Similar studies so that very young infants can't make the associations between 2D images and real 3D faces and objects. So showing a 3 month old a photo of grandma will generate a reaction to the object not the content. The take-way concept is understanding there are predictable primitive level responses to visual stimuli and content "hard wired" into all brains which affect what will get noticed first, second and where the eye comes back and dwells in a photo. All factors which make a composition effective or not at delivering the intended message.

I've read papers on the Journal of Vision that found some interesting cultural differences in perception.. Westerners who normally make eye contact to gauge intent of strangers will focus and dwell on the eyes and mouth and pay more attention to the foreground than the background. In Asian cultures where direct eye contact is considered impolite and rude the subjects would focus / fixate more on the nose not the eyes and get a more holistic impression of the face. The same study found that when asked to describe everything they remembered in the photo they were more likely than Westerners to notice details in the background context.

Connecting the dots with what I already knew about composition and lighting I realized that the simplest way to ensure a viewer focuses attention on the desired focal point is the make it contrast strongly with the background. If the focal point is face you'd want the FRONT of the face to CONTRAST more with the background than any other body part or the clothing. That requires different decisions on how to light a face depending on the tone of the background and the complexion of the face.

In scenics or action shots like this the first consideration is finding a way to make the entire foreground action contrast from the distracting background. There are several ways to do that. One is to select a shooting location where the background is non-distracting and a contrasting color and tone from the clothing so the overall form of the figures is seen. Another is to use selective focus and blur the background creating contrasting sharpness. The brain will tune out the fuzzy parts and focus all attention on what is sharp mimicking our natural narrowly focused "tunnel vision" in person when viewing something.

Here the player in the green jersey is getting lost in the similar green background and the geometric patterns and chopped off logos are distractions. As mentioned the ball is also cut off. What would have improved the shot at capture would have been a wider crop in camera so as not to cut off the ball, logo and feet and arm of the jumpers and narrower DOF to isolate them from the background.

Whenever shooting unpredictable action shoot wide and crop in PP. Better to lose a bit of resolution in the details than chop off body parts and create distractions.

What would improve the shot as taken in PP is anything you can do to make the foreground contrast more, such as selectively blurring and lightening the background. Within the foreground figures you might selectively dodge and burn to make the faces and leading lines of the arms to the ball contrast more than the bodies.

If you opt to take the background lighter in tone to make the foreground contrast more that would mean making the faces and arms a bit darker/more saturated and the background lighter / less saturated. This is more easily accomplished in PP with multiple layers and masks. For example I'd create three layers:

background - lighten and desaturate it

face / arm / ball - darken / increase separation

bodies and ref - lighten a bit to blend into background and make faces and ball, by comparison, contrast more with the lighter background.

Keeping the adjustments on separate layers applied with masks allows correction of the masking as needed and blending to taste visually with the opacity sliders on the layers. That's one of the advantages of working in Photoshop vs. other applications which don't allow layers.

Mar 15, 2013 at 02:31 PM

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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · How is my edit?

Took a spin at a rendering to give it a different vibe (albeit a touch artistic).

I'm okay with the ball going out of the frame as it conveys "still going up", which is pertinent to the action of the tipoff. Imo, the ball is ancillary info, the subject is the relationship of the people with their intensity of gaze and muscular tension. The framing on the ref is pretty sweet, even if sublime compared to the players action.

Mar 15, 2013 at 03:32 PM

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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · How is my edit?

The original is really yellow/orange on my monitor. The after looks more natural. There were some blown areas on the white uniform, I did dial back. None I believe were on the shorts, just the jersey. I dont think I have shot at any gyms that didnt have ugly or distracting stuff on the walls. This one was the worst.

Mar 16, 2013 at 01:12 AM
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · How is my edit?

BTW ... Welcome to FM and the PC Forum.

Mar 16, 2013 at 01:30 AM

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