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Thread: Equestrian cancelled - 23 knots

  1. #1
    wilgk's Avatar
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    Equestrian cancelled - 23 knots

    We had 23 knot winds today and the Equestrian event was cancelled after some very heavy rain so I followed the intrepid sailor out to his favoured spot.
    My problem is trying to inject some sense of composition and interest into these.
    The background is very industrial wasteland and 'man on a sailboard' is sort of what you see is what you get.
    My aim is to 1 day get 2 of them going in opposite directions but close enough to generate a 'butterfly wings' look.....but that wasn't to be today.
    They're too far into a bay to get a big ship next to them perspective either unfortunately.

    Here are 2 examples - ideas, suggestions welcome.
    I had the monopod in the sand, but still with this wind, I might have been a bit shaky sadly.

    Equestrian cancelled - 23 knots

    Equestrian cancelled - 23 knots

  2. #2
    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: Equestrian cancelled - 23 knots

    Quote Originally Posted by wilgk View Post
    My problem is trying to inject some sense of composition and interest into these.
    The background is very industrial wasteland and 'man on a sailboard' is sort of what you see is what you get.
    Kay

    Know exactly what you mean and it's a very good point that applies in other situations as well, but this is a good illustration of it.

    I think the dilemma your facing is whether you're trying to create a sports image or more of an 'almost' landscape-type image in which 'man on sailboard' is part of the scene.

    You need to consider what it is you've got to work with. Okay, 'man-on-sailboard' is probably very compliant and can be directed at your whim; i.e. fully under your control (or sort-of!). But, nothing else is.

    You have, as you say, a pretty challenging background to work with, so it's not going to lend you a lot to enhance the image. Your intention to get two sailboarders crossing-over is, I guess, not under your control either. So there's going to be an element of luck and lots of patience involved in getting that one.

    So, with all that been said, maybe the primary subject material has got to be 'man-on-sailboard' and the compositional creativity and interest comes from what you do in both the capture and in PP.

    I wonder if you need to have a word with 'man-on-sailboard' and ask him if, occassionally, he could come in closer to shore so that you can get a much tighter photo. Okay, you can crop hard on what you get, but you'll get more room for manouvre if you don't have to crop too hard and can fill the frame with him on the board. Then it starts becoming about the shape of man and board and the light (on the water, on the sail, etc.).

    I was very lucky with the one below, as I had Loch Lomond and its surrounding hills for the backdrop. I knew I wasn't going to get a 'sports action' shot, so went for the landscape-type approach.

    Equestrian cancelled - 23 knots
    Last edited by Donald; 28th November 2010 at 09:04 AM.

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    Re: Equestrian cancelled - 23 knots

    I think the other "variable" is the fact that sometimes there just ISN'T a worthwhile shot to be had. Sometimes you can force an OK result by pushing vibrance, saturation, contrast etc hard, but other times I just give up and live to fight another day.

    Equestrian cancelled - 23 knots

    Equestrian cancelled - 23 knots

    Equestrian cancelled - 23 knots

    Equestrian cancelled - 23 knots
    Last edited by Colin Southern; 28th November 2010 at 12:11 PM.

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    Re: Equestrian cancelled - 23 knots

    To me, Kay, the water appears a little 'harsh' (oversharpened).

    What I do when faced with this problem is, create a duplicate layer then sharpen that layer to suit the main part of the scene (sailboard). Add a 'View All' mask to the layer and gradually remove the area of mask where the sea looks over sharp. This lets the unsharpened original background show through which adds a little bit of extra impact to the main subject.

    Vary the size and opacity of your brush as required. Keep applying fairly low opacity settings (say 20 to 40%) to gradually replace the layer as this will blend in better than fewer strokes of a higher opacity. Always use a soft edged brush.

    The amount of transparency which is required on the layer will vary depending on the image. Some areas may only require slight transparency while others will need to become fully transparent.

    Finally, the two layers can be merged together and the transparency 'join' shouldn't show.

    The overall view of a fast moving subject is good here.

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    Peter Ryan's Avatar
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    Re: Equestrian cancelled - 23 knots

    Hi Kay,

    With the background you got it might be hard but you might be able to copy the image to another layer and flip it and then erase part of the image, etc, ect and blend the two to get the effect you want. I would suggest turning into the B & W and then bluring the background to hide it. Just a quick thought.

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    wilgk's Avatar
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    Re: Equestrian cancelled - 23 knots

    Thankyou Gentlemen for your suggestions...
    Donald - you overestimate the balance of power! - I cannot get him to be more where I want, but perhaps taking your own and Colin's advice...before trekking to his sailing spot (where the dead body was found, have I mentioned that?)
    I need to check if the wind will have him going across side to side - which would give panning options to add interest an potentially have him closer.
    The other variable is the tide, low tide and it's 100m in the mud, before you hit water, which was yesterday, so he'll be much further away.
    (he has 3 sailboards to choose from, for all these conditions, so never feel bad about your lens purchases again!)

    Geoff, I will try and work on your suggestions - Peter, I've had a bit of a play with this 1 - any better?
    The good news is - the model is happy as long as I come & try, so that's a bonus

    The reading from his wind gauge thingy now he tells me was over 30 knots as well....so this is sounding more like a fishing story every day..

    Equestrian cancelled - 23 knots

    Thank you all again for the C&C

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    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: Equestrian cancelled - 23 knots

    Quote Originally Posted by wilgk View Post
    Equestrian cancelled - 23 knots

    Thank you all again for the C&C
    Hi Kay,

    I think I'd have left another 10 pixels above the mast(?) and selectively sharpened the subject, but other than that, this one is good.

    Quote Originally Posted by wilgk View Post
    The reading from his wind gauge thingy now he tells me was over 57 knots as well....so this is sounding more like a fishing story every day..
    I don't know what you mean

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    Peter Ryan's Avatar
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    Re: Equestrian cancelled - 23 knots

    Ooh, I like that. I am sure BC would too.

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    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: Equestrian cancelled - 23 knots

    Quote Originally Posted by wilgk View Post
    Equestrian cancelled - 23 knots
    Now ... that is indeed moving things up a couple of gears.

    Quote Originally Posted by wilgk View Post
    ... (where the dead body was found, have I mentioned that?)
    Eh ... no. You seem to have forgotten to mention that particular little incident.

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