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davidreeves Jan 4, 2006 9:48 AM

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A vertical crop of image 5 of 6


JohnG Jan 4, 2006 4:44 PM

The vertical crop is much better IMO. In fact, only images 1 & 6 work for me as landscape crops - the others have too much extraneous clutter. If a player isn't involved in the play or doesn't have a particularly interesting reaction to the play then IMO they're extraneous to the subject at hand.

It's different when you're going to turn your photos over to a paper which will have a photo editor who will crop your photos as they see fit - then it doesn't matter as much. But, when you are finishing the product yourself I believe you need to crop out whatever isn't adding to the image. In sports photos that's the action or emotion. By the way, for future reference what keeps this photo from being really good is the face is blocked by his arm. Nothing you can do about that - but faces and their expressions is whatgenerally makesthe difference between a good and a great photo. Keep that in mind for other photos as well -a player's back is never as interesting as a face - so whenone player is driving down the courtaway from you - your emphasis should be on the defender because that'swhose face we see.

Good work though - I really think these are getting better.

Africa Jan 5, 2006 4:18 AM

Your stuff is getting better - I'll bet you got a monopod!:-)

John G summed up what sports shooting is all about, he hit the techinical angle about shooting the backs of players and the fact an arm is in the way but the most important thing he said is that sports is "action and emotion" or as I've always drilled into my students - "Action and Reaction".

I also agree that pics 1&6 are horizontals the rest are verticals BUT I think your crop is a little too tight on the one you did. It's a delicate balance to give a sence of place and surroundings yet eliminate unecessary elements in the photo.

In the case of this photo you should leave more room in front of the subject's movement and less behind them. Your subject is moving to the right so leave more space to the right of the pic than the left. I told my mom that graduate school would pay off.

ON MONOPODS - Before anyone suggest you use a monopod it is absolutely uncessesary with the 50mm lens you're using. And that wouldn't change if you get a 28-70mm 2.8. If you ever get a 70-200mm 2.8 then you might think about getting one. Mono's are good for taking the weight off your hands and adding to stability when using long lenses. But they can just as easily interfer with your ability to move in large sweeping horizontal moves or any vertical ones. I only use one when I'm using a 300mm or larger lens, or occasionaly if I'm using a 70-200 for a basketball tournament that may have several games in a day.


davidreeves Jan 5, 2006 11:14 AM

Thanks to you both for your comments.

I am not using a monopod. The 50mm lens I use is feather light and even the 100mm f2 I use, while much heavier, isnt cumbersome. I like having the freedom to be able to get whatever camera angle I like.

I stll have some work to do but I am getting more comfortable.

I digest every bit of feedback I get. It is always interesting to take in a different perspective than ones own. I think there is no 'best' crop, no 'best' angle, etc. What is best ultimately is what pleases the photographer and/or their subjects.

Having said that reading all the comments I get and understanding the more technical side of things, details the pros look at, etc, has influenced how I position myself (when position is an option), how I crop, my angles, camera settings, etc. I have my own narrow view of what pleases me. It is fantastic to get feedback which helps me improve and broaden my perspective.

The RAW thing is still a mystery to me. I just havent been able to improve anything I have shot in RAW appreciably over what I can do very simply with a normal JPEG in Picassa. Maybe if I had some shots that needed some major help it would make a difference.

Again, thanks and please keep the comments coming along. I do appreciate them.

[email protected] Jan 5, 2006 8:42 PM

Better to keep the toes of the athletes in the photo.

To me, it looks a little too tightly cropped.

I find tightly cropped photos look a little claustrophobic.

If you submitted to a paper, you'd need an extra 25 percent border around the entire shot so that the paper can crop it to their column requirements.

-- Terry

JohnG Jan 6, 2006 8:03 AM

[email protected] wrote:

Better to keep the toes of the athletes in the photo.

To me, it looks a little too tightly cropped.

I think this is why it's often better to shoot in portrait mode from the start. Shooting high ISO in low light doesn't lend itself to heavy cropping - so shooting loose enough that you can change orientation (portrait to landscape or vice versa) and still keep the entire body in the shot isn't a good option in my mind. In most instances if you're shooting from the floor the action near you is going to have more vertical line than horizontal - so you'll get a higher percentage of correctly oriented shots by shooting vertical (at which time the battery grip is REALLY helpful). Just my opinion.

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