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Old Jun 15, 2009, 10:43 PM   #1
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Default Skateboard Sequence

Hello,

Let me know what you think of this skateboard sequence I put together.

Thanks.
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Old Jun 15, 2009, 11:04 PM   #2
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Very cool, will look great hanging on his bedroom wall.

BTW, how did you do that?
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Old Jun 16, 2009, 1:36 AM   #3
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Step by step moment by moment of a skateboard routine. Nicely done. Simple but effective.
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Old Jun 16, 2009, 9:43 AM   #4
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I think you did a good job of overlaying the sequence shots. The two biggest issues for me are:
1) background - the parked car at the extreme left and the cars in the driveway really distract from your subject. The trees and house itself aren't bad as a backdrop but cars not so much.

2) There are about 5 shots of the subject that are essentially identical. I might suggest trying a crop where you just have a couple images before the rail.
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Old Jun 16, 2009, 11:38 AM   #5
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JohnG is right. The cars are distracting I mean who wants cars on the street and even in your driveway? No place for cars to be. It would have been much better to rent some space somewhere like a big photo studio where the walls are white and there will be no distractions at all. Then you can shoot the same sequence and have an identical photo costing hundreds of dollars more and looking completely sterile. Personally I dont notice the cars or anything else that much since they are completely in the place they are supposed to be. Its the boy and your impressive assembly that makes it a shot worth looking at in a natural environment, on the street in front of your house. I guess you could wait until your car is reposessed maybe then take the shot when the driveway is clear. But hay, I like it just fine.
As for John's second point about too many shots before the rail. Well thats true but we are showing a single photo of a movie sequence from beginning to end. There is a nice rhythmic line from hat to hat as he starts off, then squats down to make the jump, sliding the rail then off. I wouldnt change a thing.
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Old Jun 16, 2009, 11:49 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bynx View Post
JohnG is right. The cars are distracting I mean who wants cars on the street and even in your driveway? No place for cars to be. It would have been much better to rent some space somewhere like a big photo studio where the walls are white and there will be no distractions at all.
Photography and composition are as much about what is NOT in the photo as they are about what IS in the photo. That's oe of the differences between a photo and a snapshot. Photos are often PLANNED. Especially a photo like this. Could the rail be moved so it wasn't in front of the driveway thus minimizing the distraction? Sure. So, no need for a studio. Some planning, however can make a difference.

Planning angles / light / backgrounds is a part of photography. A very important part.

Take for example a posed shot. If the shot of the boy had those cars as a backdrop would you say the portrait still looked good because the cars are "where they are supposed to be"? Really no difference here IMO. They are elements which draw the eye away from the subject and don't add anything useful to the subject of the photo.
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Old Jun 16, 2009, 11:51 AM   #7
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As a technical exercise I think this is a great job and I wouldn't even know where to begin trying to do it. I agree with the others that getting a less distracting background would help. I also think that shooting from a really low angle would make a massive different. The low perspective generally works well in extreme sports shots as the 'unusual' angle enhances the action.

Here is an example of what I mean. So combining everything together this would create a simply stunning result.



Have you got any more skateboarding to share as I like seeing something different?
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Old Jun 16, 2009, 11:53 AM   #8
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Bynx, this is 'Critiques & Techniques' so he asked for criticism. But I agree with you that it's rather brilliant.

John, I think he might have had difficulty persuading a teenager to do it on command, possibly more than once, in a place not of his current inclination and whim, and on command! They're not noted for patience.

Calicajun, I second your request for more information. Equipment, settings, how many attempts? What bribes were paid, if any? Evel Knievel did it for money, as well as the kudos.

I had great difficulty capturing my son skimming stones across a pond, an estuary and a lake, as individual shots!

Composed this reply before the prior 2 replies appeared.

Last edited by Alan T; Jun 16, 2009 at 11:55 AM. Reason: Missed two replies
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Old Jun 16, 2009, 12:41 PM   #9
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Yes I agree it would have been nice if there were no cars there but planning or not this is a photo in an environment completely natural to the setting. If you were out in the forest taking a picture and saw a nice tree would you prefer the rest of the forest not there because you wanted to shoot a tree. The only reason I said anything was because I strongly disagreed with your criticism of the shot. The angle is right, the sequence is perfect considering the great even spacing and timing of the shots. It would be a good example of a slide rail in any skateboarding magazine. Perhaps if this were shot in a skateboarding rink or whatever they call those places that have hills and valleys to skate in then finding a good angle might be an idea. But this is a natural shot in a natural setting. Its a brilliant shot considering what she had to work with. They are just ordinary cars parked on a street or in a driveway. If they were brilliantly painted or some crazy design that took away from the intent of the photo then you might have something there but they are just ordinary cars. I hardly noticed them until you mentioned them. Just my opinion. And I was dropped on my head as a baby so what does it matter.
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Old Jun 16, 2009, 12:56 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bynx View Post
Yes I agree it would have been nice if there were no cars there but planning or not this is a photo in an environment completely natural to the setting. If you were out in the forest taking a picture and saw a nice tree would you prefer the rest of the forest not there because you wanted to shoot a tree. .
And the big difference between your forest shot and this shot is in this shot both the rail and the cars are movable. 2 minutes work to slide the rail. Much easier than cutting down forest. And, strangely enough, I bet the rail isn't in the street 24x7 so someone chose where to put it. Now the OP may have no influence in the decision but they might have. And if they do, next time they try this shot they may see that 20 feet further down would have had a much cleaner background. So, to summarize:
Trees = not easily movable
Skateboard rail designed to be moved = more easily movable.

Again, just another aspect of photography to consider for next time.

But, back to the forest example: If you take the time to walk around the area you may find either:
a) taking the photo from a different angle of the tree in question might yield a better composition

b) you might find another tree with the same attributes you like and a backdrop you prefer.

Again, the whole point is - you don't always have to 'react' - very often you get the benefit of taking a few minutes to plan your shot.

Just like Mark's point about getting lower.

Again, everyone is entitled to their opinion. I'm merely providing some food for thought that taking time to think about the shot BEFORE you shoot can often help improve the shot. And sometimes movable objects can be moved before the shot to improve composition.
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