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Old Jun 3, 2006, 9:40 PM   #1
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Old Jun 4, 2006, 1:59 PM   #2
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Terry,

glad to see you starting to post some more again- we need all the sports shooters we can get.

I've gotta ask though - why do you keep shooting with such narrow apertures and from so far away? The backgrounds are very distracting and the thrower's face is so small you can't really make out any details. I know you've got to be trying for something because I know you've been doing this for a while. And I know from some of your past comments you realize the importance of subject isolation so I'm curious what you're after. Please don't get offended, I'm just honestly curious.
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Old Jun 4, 2006, 4:40 PM   #3
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Fair enough question, John G.

Usually I'm shooting 1/250th with forced flash, at ISO100.

So the cam picks a fairly narrow aperture.

If I selected a wider aperture, I'd either have to go for a faster shutter speed and not be able to use the flash, or go for a higher ISO and get more noise.

As I'm shooting for a local paper that reprints the image at about 2 x 3 inches on average, nobody really notices the background.

I'm standing far away because the guy is throwing a discus. Actually, this shot hit the left hand chain link fence and was a foul.

I'm afraid that if I got too close, I'd be wearing the discus by time I'd know he'd thrown it incorrectly. So I stand about 40 yards away.

I'm a fan of the blurred backgrounds, but to be honest, I get tired of the technique. It's not really what the eye sees anyways.

Here's another shot with a small aperture with everything in focus. They cropped it down for the paper but I like to see everything! lol






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Old Jun 4, 2006, 4:46 PM   #4
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Oh JohnG,

I forgot.

We tend to not totally agree on cropping.

I think there's a school of thought that says "fil the frame" which I understand.

That's true if you're shooting for a paper that prints the photos one column wide, or shooting for 4 x 6's.

But the really great shots would look great at 8 x 10 or 8 x 12.

At those print sizes, it pays to give the subject a little more context.

Some people, I conjecture, have discovered the crop tool, and they crop the living daylights out of their images.

I always feel like the shot is claustrophobic, no room to breathe.

It's like the shot has been taken through a keyhole.

I'm not about having an insect in the middle of a field. but a little bit of border just eases my mind.

So that's my explanation of why I don't always like tight cropping, although I think it can be useful at times.

I usually shoot quite wide, and then crop a little. Then the newspaper crops the shot again to meet column requirements.

I guess I've been automatically programmed to shoot wide and leave wide. Force of habit. It's permeated my thought structure.

-- Terry


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Old Jun 4, 2006, 6:36 PM   #5
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terry@softreq.com wrote:
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Oh JohnG,

I forgot.

I think there's a school of thought that says "fil the frame" which I understand.

That's true if you're shooting for a paper that prints the photos one column wide, or shooting for 4 x 6's.

But the really great shots would look great at 8 x 10 or 8 x 12.

At those print sizes, it pays to give the subject a little more context.


-- Terry

Afraid I still disagree. This shot is tight and yet there was still enough image for the front page of the local paper...



Whether you're printing 16x20 or whatever - it's about having something of interest in the frame. While I agree you need to have enough image for other aspect ratio crops - I just don't believe fences and bystanders add useful context. It's a different thing when it's a stadium full of people reacting to a major achievement - then it's the story - but IMO at high school sports people standing and watching just detract.

As for getting too close - I agree - no one wants to get beaned by a discuss - that's why they invented telezooms and long primes.

I wonder why it is that Sports Illustrated is full of up-close-and-personal action shots? Or even larger newspaper sports pages. I just don't think there's too many sports photogs using those nice 400mm 2.8 lenses at f8 or f11.

As for a blurred background - people notice that even in the paper. It's one of the reasons my freelance shots get published over the newspaper's paid, staffphotographer - that and the fact athletes are recognizable in my photographs.

But, different strokes for different folks. At least we give people a different take - which is good. It allows people to think about what aspects they like and don't like. If everyone shot the same thing or the same way this would be boring. So while we disagree on most techniques I'm still glad we both post here - it's always good to challenge your own thinking! Happy shooting!!
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Old Jun 4, 2006, 7:45 PM   #6
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I think we're in agreement.

That shot of yours of the kid breaking the block is a great crop.

And I agree that sports illustrated generally goes for the close in crop, and newspapers and the public generally like blurred backgrounds.

Someone told me once that the close in crop became "de rigeur" because the old digitals only had 3 mp or 4 mp sensors, so they had to frame tight to keep the image from falling apart afer enlargement...

Anyways, I experiment with different techniques at different times. So many go for the blurred backgrounds and the in close crop.

My style is more the raw effort and angst of the situtation. If runners are competing in a background of hanging electrical wires and bored and non-attendant fans, then that is the reality of it -- and my style to depict it.

Some of my favorite shots of yesteryears, shots from 50 years ago and more, is the subject and the out takes around it. It all becomes the area of interest for me.

When my fans view my photos 50 years from now, they will be just as interested in the people and cars and hydro wires and everything that makes up the mileiu of the shot.

Anyways, that's the theory...

And I'm glad we're two photogs who take a serious interest in the sports photog section!

-- Terry


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