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'"Football Practice"

Afternoon football practice on a spring day on the Commons in Halifax, Nova Scotia becomes an abstraction of light, color and motion. I set my shutter speed to 1/5 of a second - slow enough to slightly blur the players in motion and fast enough to preserve the contrasting stillness of the people observing the action.

The BEFORE image has a bluish color cast that I removed with a color temperature adjustment of the RAW file. It is also underexposed and the light is flat. I corrected the underexposure in the RAW file and then continued working on the image in photoshop after converting to .tif format.

I used tone curve and fine-contrast adjustments to add contrast and detail. I selectively increased vibrance on some of the uniforms and the helmets to make the image more colorful.

I didn't like the group of four motionless young men at the center-bottom of the frame They distract the eye and add nothing to the image. I felt similarly about the man in the white shirt at the left-hand edge of the frame. I used the photoshop clone tool to eliminate these elements. Removing the man in the white shirt at the left edge was tricky. I had to be careful to extend - in a believable-looking manner - the shadow lines that his body was obscuring.

After the removal of those five people the image has a clean, appealing structure. The blurred motion of the players seems to flow between the apex and base of a triangle formed by three motionless people - the two coaches in black shirts and the player in white holding his helmet.

I cropped the image from the right and bottom to remove unnecessary space.


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