July 06, 2015, 04:38:21 PM

Author Topic: Critique My "Running" Photos?  (Read 2552 times)

Cory

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Critique My "Running" Photos?
« on: January 12, 2015, 12:20:57 AM »
     Here's one of the 300+ pictures I did for a race today.  Most are of a similar quality, but this one's my favorite.  Conditions were sunny and a bit snowy.
     If you get a chance does it look like I could have maybe dropped the Exposure Compensation down 1/3?  Good to go or could I have done a bit better?
     Thanks.
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Critique My "Running" Photos?
« on: January 12, 2015, 12:20:57 AM »

TexPhoto

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Re: Critique My "Running" Photos?
« Reply #1 on: January 12, 2015, 12:46:28 AM »
It's a good photo.  I think I'd have shot vertical, head to toe, or zoomed/cropped in a little farther, cut him off at the waist.

The subject is very well exposed.  The snow is overexposed, but that is OK.  You could have shot as much as a stop lower and then pushed it back up in post, and maybe had some detail in the snow.  Hard to say without knowing how you post processed.

« Last Edit: January 12, 2015, 12:48:32 AM by TexPhoto »

RickSpringfield

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Re: Critique My "Running" Photos?
« Reply #2 on: January 12, 2015, 01:49:30 AM »
Tough conditions with regard to lighting and subject matter, so applaud you doing the work and practicing in the frozen tundra. It's hard to be steady when your freezing!

The good:
 - Really like the color and contrast so it looks like the white balance was correct
 - Focus is solid
 - There is some background separation with the DoF

The opportunities:
 - Agree with prior post on composition.  Perhaps getting low, putting the subject on the right third so there is more travel distance.
 - Easy to write but harder to do ... Capture a moment. This looks like it was on an average stretch of the course.  The more dynamic parts of the course (start, finish, tough hill climbs, or rough terrain) will generally give you greater opportunity to capture a great expression which helps draw the viewer into the moment.
 - A post treatment may lend itself well to this type of a shot to help grit up the athlete or tone down some of the distracting elements (yellow pole)

Overall if I were the parent or friend of this runner I'd think this image is great as a documented moment in time. As an event, sports photog, or artistic piece the above are a few things to try.

If you are just starting out and looking for additional training on any kind of photography check out www.kelbyone.com.

sanj

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Re: Critique My "Running" Photos?
« Reply #3 on: January 12, 2015, 02:07:22 AM »
It is a stop over exposed in my opinion.

yorgasor

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Re: Critique My "Running" Photos?
« Reply #4 on: January 12, 2015, 03:44:16 AM »
Here I cropped it, moving the runner off to the right.  I turned down the brightness & boosted the contrast a tad in Photoshop.  I think the changes make it a little more compelling.

leGreve

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Re: Critique My "Running" Photos?
« Reply #5 on: January 12, 2015, 05:36:56 AM »
Your shot ain't that bad... I would try and save the highlights in the background in the raw file. Don't apply it to the runner as it kills subsurface shimmer, which is completely natural and compelling.

I also took the liberty to shop it around a bit... a mix of different layers.
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Northstar

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Re: Critique My "Running" Photos?
« Reply #6 on: January 12, 2015, 06:06:54 AM »
Cory....I like your photo, nice job! 

If I were to critique it, I would only crop it more, add a tinge of contrast, and as you wrote I'd take down the light just a little.

Sports photography - People pay top dollar for front row seats to get closer to the action, so bring us closer to the action on a shot like this by cropping more so you get to see facial expression up close.   

Thanks for posting...it looks like it was a beautiful day to shoot!
North

My quick edit... Original and my edit.
« Last Edit: January 12, 2015, 06:49:13 AM by Northstar »
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Re: Critique My "Running" Photos?
« Reply #6 on: January 12, 2015, 06:06:54 AM »

Cory

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Re: Critique My "Running" Photos?
« Reply #7 on: January 12, 2015, 06:35:51 AM »
Thanks a lot.  I really appreciate it.  I took over 1000 pictures and then took the best 300+ to submit (the best shot of each individual runner). 
So I shot in JPEG knowing that I just wanted to make it as easy on myself as possible. 
I guess that RAW would have been better and I could have just whipped out one shot and then synced since they all had the same problems in the same conditions.
Anyway, thanks again and the shivering set in pretty early as well as cold-finger issues - it was 18 degrees.
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RustyTheGeek

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Re: Critique My "Running" Photos?
« Reply #8 on: January 12, 2015, 08:58:14 AM »
Great work!  There is nothing wrong with your image in general and I agree with the previous posts about those improvements.  I think yorgasor's edit is a good example of what I would have done.  IMO, you did great.  Shooting sports or anything else in the heat of the moment is tough and we are blessed with the ability to adjust things later in post.  yorgasor took down the brightness/highlights just a bit which is what I prefer, a face that is a bit warmer without the shimmer and moving the runner over the side a bit.  But that is personal taste!

Since I shoot outside a lot, I learned a long time ago to buy some warm high quality thin gloves and even a second pair of fingerless gloves to go over those if needed.  Obviously it's worth it if you are out for longer than 30 minutes.

If you (or anyone else!) care to look at similar run photos I shot, go here... http://rustythegeek.zenfolio.com/run4hills
I am by no means a pro and I don't shoot "sports" shots that often.  You'll see where I tried to mix candid personal shots of the people with the action shots of the runners and then shots of the awards ceremony afterwards.  (Yeah, I got a little carried away with the cute little girls at the end.)  I shot everything with a 5D3+24-70f/2.8 and a 6D+70-200f/2.8 combo.  The running shots where taken sitting from a stool just before the finish line.  Since these runs were all on asphalt streets through neighborhoods and commercial buildings, there wasn't really a good spot along the route with a great background.  I hate that stupid sign pole in several shots.  Couldn't be avoided.  Grrr.

Before the 2013 run, I posted a request here for advice.  There were a lot of good suggestions.
http://www.canonrumors.com/forum/index.php?topic=17253.msg319473#msg319473
One thing I took away that I never forgot was to try and catch runners as they are leaping, not landing in their pace.  In other words, catch them while their body is going up and in mid air.  This way, their face, chest, clothes, hair, etc are all uplifted or more natural, not sagging and being pulled down from landing on the ground with their other foot.
« Last Edit: January 12, 2015, 09:07:29 AM by RustyTheGeek »
Yes, but what would  surapon  say ??  :D

Tinky

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Re: Critique My "Running" Photos?
« Reply #9 on: January 12, 2015, 09:18:46 AM »
Full height.
Wider. (more environmental context, show the course)
maybe more straight on to camera for this particular shot?
Maybe a choice of some slow shutter panning (1/30th) with runners across the frame in profile.
no lead in lead out lines.

exposure good, focus good, but needs more interesting composition and context, this style would be good for a momento, but theres little of the rigours, the challenge the strain, the cold, the story here.  Sometimes a vanilla pov is whats required, sometimes a different approach is required (reflection in a puddle before it breaks? a technical section?

just my tuppence worth.,
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andarx

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Re: Critique My "Running" Photos?
« Reply #10 on: January 12, 2015, 09:31:05 AM »
Hey Cory,I like your shot. You caught a great moment, the runner's expression  is something that to me is the most important part of this picture.
I would crop it this way, he's conquering the distance and leaving it behind.
I desaturated that yellow post behind him, didn't make any other adjustments.

Cory

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Re: Critique My "Running" Photos?
« Reply #11 on: January 12, 2015, 10:35:10 AM »
Muchos appreciated.  I think I'll go with RAW next time and better choose the location.  I got all tied up speaking with people not realizing that runners would be coming off of the trail as quickly as they did and got all frantic.  Was able to capture everyone, but definitely could have better scouted out the area.  Also, I guess that a cloudy or foggy day would be much better vs. sun.
Next time will be better.
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RustyTheGeek

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Re: Critique My "Running" Photos?
« Reply #12 on: January 12, 2015, 11:01:11 AM »
Muchos appreciated.  I think I'll go with RAW next time and better choose the location.  I got all tied up speaking with people not realizing that runners would be coming off of the trail as quickly as they did and got all frantic.  Was able to capture everyone, but definitely could have better scouted out the area.  Also, I guess that a cloudy or foggy day would be much better vs. sun.
Next time will be better.

That has happened to me as well.  These things are always a bit stressful when you feel like you are trying to provide good images for others.  I try to do as much prep as I can with regard to the location.  I either go a few days early and scout the route/venue at the same time of day as the event or I arrive extra early the day of.  Either way, it's a "Plan your work, Work your plan." kind of thing.  This way, you can relax and just enjoy the shoot.  Get insurance shots and then go for the more interesting ones.  Always have a flash because fill flash is your friend outdoors.  (Unless the subjects are too far away.)  And if sunny, try to avoid direct sun and shoot folks as they are under shade, preferably with some fill flash.  Everyone has an opinion about RAW vs JPG but I shoot RAW on everything.  I just figure, why not?  That way, the inevitable best shot of the day that happens to be off on exposure has the best chance of recovery in post.
Yes, but what would  surapon  say ??  :D

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Re: Critique My "Running" Photos?
« Reply #12 on: January 12, 2015, 11:01:11 AM »

Orangutan

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Re: Critique My "Running" Photos?
« Reply #13 on: January 12, 2015, 12:05:49 PM »
My sports photography experience is very limited, so take this for what it's worth.  With any photo you need to decide what you intend communicate with the image.  In sports there are typically a small number of ideas to be communicated:

  • the competition itself -- so you would show two runners in proximity, or one runner crossing the finish line, and attempt to convey the feeling of active competition.  Frame this large enough to show the competition, tight enough to avoid distractions
  • the emotion of the athlete -- tight crop on the face or body (parts?) showing the physical and emotional exertion
  • a specific incident that's an important part of the narrative: e.g. when two runners accidentally step on each other, causing a stumble, or the moment a sprinter clips a hurdle, etc.   Crop just wide enough to get the context, without over-cropping that hides the specific incident
  • coach/fan/bystander reaction
Good luck, and keep shooting and critiquing your own work.  Also study other photographs you like and try to figure out what you like about them.

RustyTheGeek

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Re: Critique My "Running" Photos?
« Reply #14 on: January 12, 2015, 01:18:19 PM »
Good luck, and keep shooting and critiquing your own work.  Also study other photographs you like and try to figure out what you like about them.

I enjoy doing this all the time.  Looking and analyzing other images and trying to determine how they did the lighting or what framing, etc they used to show the image the way they intended.  How would I have done it or how could I do it myself in the future?
Yes, but what would  surapon  say ??  :D

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Re: Critique My "Running" Photos?
« Reply #14 on: January 12, 2015, 01:18:19 PM »