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Old Feb 28, 2010, 11:53 AM   #1
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Default Find the Axe

These photo's were taken at a local winter event. The day was full of all sorts of activities...skating, sleigh rides and the "Lumber Jack Olympics" which pitted the USA against CANADA......Canada Won

This was my first attempt at anything sports related with my camera (G11). I tried focusing before the action and then snapped the shot with some success and then some not quite successful as they could be in better focus. But, I'm learning while having fun and isn't that the name of the game to an extent Any suggestions on how to set something like this up in the future (handheld) would help me learn. Thx
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Last edited by Shutterbug74; Feb 28, 2010 at 2:43 PM.
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Old Mar 3, 2010, 8:36 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by Shutterbug74 View Post
Any suggestions on how to set something like this up in the future (handheld) would help me learn. Thx
Well, this is a bit of a challenge. The difficulty is deciding what you want the photo to be. As you have already figured out, it really isn't easy to have everything in focus from the angle you're shooting from. So the elements in the frame that are out of focus dominate the frame. Plus all the distracting background elements. So, my first advice for next time you have something like this to choose - do you want to capture the "throw" or the "axe about to hit". The axe on the way to the target isn't a terribly interesting subject but the axe just leaving the hands is - IF you can get the face. The face and the expression of the thrower is what will make the shot interesting. At the other end of the throw, capturing the axe just before it strikes the target will make for a very interesting photo.

In both cases, you accomplish a very important thing - you remove distracting elements from the photo and you can ensure the remaining subject is in-focus and thus more interesting. In both cases you would pre-focus with your camera and just practice the timing of the shutter release. It will NOT be easy as your timing will be a bit off.
The "story" can be told in two pictures - one of the thrower and one of the axe about to hit. It doesn't have to be the same throw. But those two photos will have much more impact to the viewer than trying to capture the whole thing in one frame (which leads to focus issues and too many distracting elements).

Hope that is helpful.
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Old Mar 6, 2010, 10:43 PM   #3
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Thank you! Yes, I knew it didn't quite work but wasn't quite sure why and you completely nailed it. I was at the wrong angle and you are correct about the distractions in the background but as I was shooting it I was really trying to test an "action" shot so my focus wasn't on the surroundings.
Next time, I'll reposition to get the front of the individual and see what I can come up with based on your helpful suggestions
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Old Mar 7, 2010, 1:50 AM   #4
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Lumber Jacks yea! I could use one right now got some trees I want to get down and hauled in I know the going price s too! Course they would be much more my liking I am sure than the lump on the couch as well.. Shot # 2 looks nice and comfortable ride seats instead of the normal Hay rides I am use to and the horses look well ..... well shod with the proper shoes for snow but lord are their hoofs looking mighty worn in that shot.. as if they might split in parts.... old like some very old nails I have seen in the line of work I had done....CNA NAC Candy Stripper type Homes private and corps... The guys look like they had some fun like the ones here in WA BOO HOO we lost!
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