Skip to main content

'"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.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

"Bridge"

Lots of interesting lines and angles in this 70-year-old wooden truss bridge spanning the Little Bouctouche River in New Brunswick. An extremely wide-angle lens (12mm) allowed me to stand on the bridge and still fit much of the structure within the frame.

But a wide-angle lens creates significant perspective distortions. Notice the odd angles of the upper cross-beams in the "before" image. I could have avoided this by standing right in the middle of the bridge and pointing the camera straight down the center, but I thought that would have made for a boring composition.


I twisted the image until the cross-beams appeared horizontal. This made it necessary to crop the image - so you see that the "after" image is much tighter to the bridge structure than the "before". The tighter crop makes the curve of the arches more dominant and leads the eye nicely into the frame.

The original image was underexposed and looked "flat". I made brightness and contras…

"Blue House"

The French-Canadian village of Grand-√Čtang on the west coast of Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia has a few brightly colored cedar-shingle houses that I have always found very striking. This one, with its electric blue walls and neat white trim, is a beautiful example.


My challenge was to make the house stand out from its surroundings. I wanted to eliminate distracting visual elements. I blurred the surrounding field and hills while leaving the house sharp. I cloned out the barn behind the house to the left, the two utility poles immediately next to it, and the chairs at the extreme right. But I kept the little storage hut because I liked the juxtaposition of the larger blue house against the smaller drab structure. 

I cropped the image a little to make the house more dominant. But I didn't crop too much because I wanted to maintain the feeling I had of the house in its landscape. 

I made some lighting and contrast adjustments in order to, among other things, make the shadows on the ho…

"Red Dress"

Sometimes you have to be lucky.

There I am, in the trendy Hawthorne District of Portland, Oregon. Across the street is a stylish young couple waiting for the light to change. The hem of the woman's brilliant red dress is wafted up by a momentary breeze. The red of the dress just happens to be complemented by the red hand of the traffic light, and the red marquee of the 90-year-old Bagdad Theater, a Portland landmark. What are the odds?
First, I strengthen the position of the dress as the visual center of the image. That's easy: I crop. I want the red of the Bagdad marquee to frame the image at the top, and the yellow center line of the road to frame it at the bottom. I also want to leave enough in the frame to give you a sense of the street. And I don't want to lose too much of the lettering on the marquee. To get it right I change the aspect ratio to 4:3 from the original 3:2.


Now I want the couple to stand out even more. I darken and blur the part of the image immediately b…