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Thread: One for Lex - Derby

  1. #1
    Andrew76's Avatar
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    Derby

    Here's one I took a while back, but I haven't had a chance to get out to any games recently, and I'm really missing it. Luckily, I get my fix when Lex posts some of his fantastic shots.

    C & C always welcome!

    One for Lex - Derby
    Last edited by Andrew76; 28th February 2013 at 11:22 AM.

  2. #2

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    Re: One for Lex - Derby

    Hi Andrew,

    44 Views 0 Comment. I wonder if it is due to an image being to good or to bad to comment on?
    Andrew, I would say the shutter speed was maybe a tad to high, I would like to see a bit of movement in the action taking place. Maybe it is a tall order, getting the shutter speed just right will take a lot of practise.

    Must say I like the image, good composition, exposure, color, focus - just a bit to frozen.

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    Andrew76's Avatar
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    Re: One for Lex - Derby

    Thanks Andre, for the critique, and for taking the time to comment. It is appreciated.

    As for the shutter speed, you may be quite right. I usually try to keep it as high as I can in the low light conditions of the arena just so I don't end up with a card full of blur. But I can see where you're coming from.

    As for the lack of comments, I can't say for sure. Maybe it's the subject matter that's the issue, I mean after all, it's not a landscape, or a photo of my pet.

    Thanks again Andre!

    PS - I've edited the title of this thread. Maybe it was the reason.
    Last edited by Andrew76; 28th February 2013 at 11:23 AM.

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    RustBeltRaw's Avatar
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    Re: One for Lex - Derby

    Well, you got my attention.

    I like it. The masked player looks especially sinister, and you caught one of those cool, pre-hit moments. You can get some great "I'ma kill you!" faces with careful timing.

    My main critiques are very common problems with derby photography. First, the image seems underexposed. There's good detail in the skaters' hair and faces, and they're tack-sharp, but anything black looks rather flat (could be my monitor). Not sure if there's any detail there to be brought out, but bumping the exposure (which would also lighten the skaters' faces) and adding a little fill can bring out details (seams, straps, etc.) in the pads and tights.

    Second, there appears to be a green tint. You've got two people in the frame, so perfectly coloring one's skin will slightly bork the other's, but I'd take another look at your color balance. I'm guessing this is an available-light shot? Sometimes the low ambient light levels typical of derby arenas can wreak havoc with white balance and autofocusing systems. However, given that you were shooting at f5.6, ISO800, and 1/250th, you had about 8-10x as much light as I'm usually working with (f2.0-2.8, ISO1600, and 1/125th is typical for Detroit's arena).

    Finally, PP. Most of this is purely aesthetic preference. A lot of people seem to like the edgy look you gave this shot (including a couple other Detroit photographers), but personally, I like to make sure the colors are brilliant and the shadows detailed. Looks more realistic, and to my mind, fits the skaters' off-track personalities better. I also prefer to frame or crop with a bit of the track visible ahead of the skaters. Showing where they're headed creates a sense of motion.

    One final tip is to look for a vantage point that keeps the scoreboard (if there is one, and a vantage point you can see it and the track from) in the background. Seeing the score in the shot grounds it very nicely, and makes a great environmental element.

    Quote Originally Posted by AB26
    I would like to see a bit of movement in the action taking place. Maybe it is a tall order, getting the shutter speed just right will take a lot of practise.

    Must say I like the image, good composition, exposure, color, focus - just a bit to frozen.
    1/125th seems sufficient for derby, but I'll take 1/160th whenever I can get it. The problem is, a player's face should always be sharp, and any motion blur confined to their limbs. But a derby skater's face is moving around nearly as fast as their limbs thanks to all their bobbing and weaving. Given a choice, I'd rather freeze an image completely than risk blurring a player's face. I would leap for joy if I could shoot at Andrew's settings.

    Hope that helps, and wasn't too harsh. Pardon the lengthy brain dump, and keep shooting!

  5. #5
    Andrew76's Avatar
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    Re: One for Lex - Derby

    Thanks Lex. Actually, I used a 580EXII on a stand, shooting through an umbrella, on camera left - can you see the shadows cast by her arms?

    I agree, the blacks are flat, and yes, it does have a green tinge - both a result of hasty post processing.

    Never thought of the score board idea - that's a good point, and I'll give it a try.

    Thanks for having a look.

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    Plumcrak's Avatar
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    Re: One for Lex - Derby

    Andrew, I like it frozen like it is. I have several old friends who are members of our local squad and I have gotten nothing but blur or the occasional foot or hip as it leaves the frame. A total blast to watch, but way too fast for me...or I am way too slow for derby

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    RustBeltRaw's Avatar
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    Re: One for Lex - Derby

    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew76 View Post
    Actually, I used a 580EXII on a stand, shooting through an umbrella, on camera left - can you see the shadows cast by her arms?
    Interesting. In that case, I'd try bumping the flash power and dropping your ISO to make the players brighter relative to the background. The umbrella did such a good job throwing soft light on the player's face at photo right, I assumed it was ambient light. Your flash must have been straining quite a bit to get that much light through the umbrella - I shoot undiffused with zoomed heads to try to keep the power use down and the recycle time up. Hard shadows are a natural consequence, but I think they add drama. See the example below with Meryl Slaughterburg and Sam-I-Slam.

    One for Lex - Derby

    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew76
    I agree, the blacks are flat, and yes, it does have a green tinge - both a result of hasty post processing.
    Believe me, I understand. I process every shot by hand (no batch work), and I always catch a few what-the-hell-was-I-thinking shots when I review them later. Quality control is my friend.

    Quote Originally Posted by plumcrak
    ...or I am way too slow for derby
    Keep at it. Part of the reason I'm such a derby nut is that they took a chance on me as a photographer, and the tough conditions forced me to learn real quick. It lights a serious fire under one's tuckus. At the risk of sounding pompous, if you learn low-light action, you can do anything.

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