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Old Mar 5, 2009, 2:01 PM   #1
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I tookthis shot froma couple rows behind the bench using aNikon D60 with a 70-200 VR 2.8.My goal is to get a picture that I can blow up for a poster in a theme-roomat my home.Given where I sit (which is awesome for watching a game, but not so much for taking pictures), I figured I'd have to do some major cropping and post processing.The firstshot is the original. The second is with all thepost processing. I can't even recall all the post processing for this particular shot, butI typically start by doingauto color, tone and contrast adjustment in PhotoShop (I'm just not sophisticated enough to do anything more than that without botching things pretty good and for all I know I may have done that anyway). With this shot, I also did noise reduction andthen some filter adjustments recommended by another site (high pass and then overlay and fade the high pass). I also did some dodging to the face and then the obvious lighting effects.

So, couple of questions. First, I'd love to get some feedback on the original shot. Other then the obvious limitation of taking the picture as a spectator in the second row, my own self-criticism would start with the loose framing. It's also not quite straight and I forgot to pre-set the white balance so it was set to auto.Maybe under-exposed also (Seems a bit dark too me)?What else?

Second, any thoughts about on-line commercial enlargement companies? I did a dry run from two companieswith a volleyball picture for my daughterto see how it would turn out. Both companies did a great job for my amateur taste, but the picture I chose for the dry run could have been based on total luck for all I know....

Finally, if you have any ideas or suggestions for how you might play around with the post processing of the shot knowing what my goal is, I'dbe all ears. Obviously, I kinda like the lighting effects, but that might just be because I'm a newbie enamoured with all this cool stuff and because it's one of the few things I actually know how to do.

Thanks for your feedback and help!

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Old Mar 5, 2009, 3:13 PM   #2
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OK,

I like your final result a lot - except for two things. First, the vignetting. I'm not a big fan of that affect but that's personal taste. Second - whatever you did to produce the flare from the cameras in the stands. That isn't in the original and it's very distracting in the version you created. My advice is to undo whatever you did to create that affect.

You're original framing really isn't bad at all - a little loose but acceptable. A KEY point is it was loosely framed because you were zoomed out - your lens still focused accurately. The real problem is when you try to take a shot too far away for the lens in question. I'd bet any amount of money if you had taken that same shot with an 85mm lens it would have been softer because the focusing would not have been as accurate.

The issue becomes you've done a fairly healthy crop for your final photo. Still good detail for viewing at this size. But less pixels for the print people to work with. Really though, most print places do a fantastic job at interpolation.
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Old Mar 7, 2009, 9:42 AM   #3
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Thanks John. As usual, you make a lot of sense. For a newbie,the "special effects" are tempting, but you are right that theyseem to take away from the point of the original shot.I'm getting rid of both the vignetting and the lens flare effect.

Still, I'd be curious to learn whether there are anypost processing special effects that you orothers here are fond of using with sportsshots.
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Old Mar 7, 2009, 10:47 AM   #4
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I think you'll find more special affects in poster collage work - where you're using multiple images and have a background and such. I dont do poster design work right now so I don't really have any examples to show you. I'm sure if you did some searches on google and other sites for sports poster you'd see some examples.
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