- December 1, 2018 at 1:32 pm #377798
I took this event photography picture in 2016. My goal was to show the many ways that people had fun at the event. I had never seen bubble fighting before. Everyone I watched fell down except for this pair. I think that is why this girl is smiling: she did not fall, but she also did not cause a fall. I always question the crop. I like to have environmental context, but how much is too much?
- December 1, 2018 at 7:20 pm #377828
Hey there @albirder! I love the emotion you captured in the bubble fighter. I'm naturally drawn to the dead space in the lower left part of the picture, but I'd hate to see you crop it out and lose the people in the background. They convey that the bubble fight took place at an event and wasn't something you made people pose for a portrait. I would open the aperture a bit more to blur the background and make the bubbles stand out. I also think a blurred background will help draw attention away from the lower left emptiness and make a smoother picture.
If you're dead set on a re-crop however, I wouldn't crop anything past the first tent on the right. I feel anything more will negatively effect your framing of the shot.
- December 1, 2018 at 10:40 pm #377937
I think I would ask myself how much I could remove from each border without losing context for the subject Diane. To my eye there could be some tighter cropping which would only make the subject stronger.
Bringing more apparent sharpness to your subject, by using slight blurring of the background, might also strengthen the image as a reshoot with different camera settings isn’t an option. Maybe even a hardly noticeable vignette might be worth a try.
It’s a fun image.
- December 2, 2018 at 8:59 am #377970
Thanks for your thoughts, Rob. That dead space was exactly what I was fretting over. I will see how much I can crop. I tried making it a vertical, and as you say, too much environmental context was lost. When I am taking street photography I switch between Aperture and Shutter Priority. That is a way to change settings pretty fast. If I am trying to make sure I have moving objects in focus, I am definitely going to chose Shutter Priority. Getting sufficient light is often an issue in street photography. It is easier for me to wrestle with underexposed images than not sufficiently focused images in post processing. I would guess that I chose Shutter Priority here. At the time I was thinking I wanted to get two moving “fighters” in focus so an f-stop of about f/8 would have been my choice. I just moved the shutter speed down until I got there. 1/400 was fast enough. (I know, odd that I would use Shutter Priority when I have a particular f/stop in mind.) Things do change over two years. I am much, much more comfortable using a higher ISO. That means I can use Aperture Priority a lot more. Today, I would probably make the decision to use Aperture Priority and not try to have both fighters in focus. I would choose F/2.8 and amp up the ISO if it was necessary. In this case, of course, a wider lens would have produced a faster shutter speed. Win, win. I will see what I can do in post processing to blur the background. That will be a new post processing adventure for me!
- This reply was modified 2 weeks, 2 days ago by Albirder.
- December 2, 2018 at 9:40 am #377977
Have you tried using auto-ISO along with either the Shutter or Aperture Priority Diane? I will quite often do that especially if the light is variable. As one can imagine, that amount of grain this can induce can be significant (depending on lighting conditions).
This is a tough image to find a decent crop for. I think you have a pretty good crop as is. If you're still concerned about the bottom LH corner, possibly try cropping slightly from the bottom.
This is probably the best crop (for my eyes) that I could come up with. Removing the 1/2 lady on the RH side seemed to take away from the image and leaving her ‘completely in' didn't add much to the image (for my eyes)… so I cropped her slightly to remove some of the unwanted visual weight she has.
- This reply was modified 2 weeks, 2 days ago by bucweeet.
- December 3, 2018 at 8:33 am #378157
Paul, I think one of my earlier models of my camera did not have Auto ISO, at least in the context that I wanted, maybe only in Manual Mode. I have not even thought about it for a long time. I will give it a try!
That is an interesting crop, a really interesting crop. I sometimes shoot in a 16×9 aspect, but only more recently. I think this kind of event would be perfect for that. I cannot get past the bubble being cut off, but the environmental context is super.
- December 2, 2018 at 9:46 am #377980
Just a thought Diane. Do you ever use Auto ISO in manual mode? For street photography it can be useful. Exposure compensation can also be used in this mode which can help prevent overexposures. I use it a bit and find that I can pick my DOF and exposure time and let the camera do the calculations which is faster than me for this type of shooting.
You do still need to be aware of the ISO but some quick practice in the lighting you have can get you set for fast candid shots.
- December 3, 2018 at 8:44 am #378165
Rob, first of all, it was super easy to blur the background with the LR brush. I will post the result later, it is on my desktop and I am not!
I think it is fairly uncommon for street photographers to use manual mode. Maybe more common to use Auto mode! There are some who set focus manually and take all of their pictures at a certain distance from their subjects. As I mentioned to Paul, this year I have experimented with setting the camera to a 16×9 aspect. That took some practice! I started with a lot of cut off heads. Part of my motivation was to enforce a no-cropping rule. There is no point in shooting in a 16×9 aspect and then crop.
I doubt that I can shoot on manual and keep all of the balls in the air. But I like to try things, so I might do that with a Automatic ISO. I think the default for Olympus is maximum ISO 1600. I would definitely need to change that to 3200.
Thank you for your suggestions! I do love Sharktank.
- December 3, 2018 at 11:46 am #378188
I agree with you Albirder- I don't like the bubble being cut off either. You lose the context of what is happening. But I do like the fact that you get a much nicer close up of the expression of the girl in the bubble, so kind of a trade off…
- December 3, 2018 at 4:39 pm #378236
Here's a different version. I've cropped from the bottom and also at the top to just above the lights. I've left the lady on the RH side cropped slightly. I liked it better with all her legs showing vice cropping below her knee. Done in LR with the crop ‘unlocked'.
- December 6, 2018 at 8:30 am #378799
- December 3, 2018 at 8:25 pm #378315
I've been watching this thread with interest Albirder because it poses a tricky question. Is a crop justified? I'm not sure that it is because as you say, any significant crop will diminish the context of this pic.
Having said that, I do find my attention slightly distracted by the people at the edges of the frame – the guy on the left and the lady on the right. Maybe one solution is to go with a mild crop of the lady on the right and in order to keep the space around the bubble, heal the guy on the left out? A touch of dodge & burn to lift the bubble out a bit and I guess we're now completely removed from your usual goals of candid ‘street' captures! Sorry. (PS: I quite like Paul's heavy crop because it amplifies the girl's face as the focus. The bubble is just a prop really).
- December 6, 2018 at 8:37 am #378801
I think compositionally taking that guy walking out of the frame on the left is a definite plus. But as you point out, it is kind of a betrayal to the idea of candid street photography. I think as my last go at this picture, I will crop it as a street portrait, skip the environmental details, just to see what I think about it. Thank you, Graham!
- December 5, 2018 at 2:38 pm #378724
Diane, I think you nailed it on your own and I like the first crop. Your subject has enough weight that the BG is not a distraction for me. In fact the BG instantly tells me the story with no caption. Nice one!
- December 6, 2018 at 8:33 am #378800
Thank you so much, Lenny. I have learned that crops, more than anything, are a shockingly personal preference.
- December 7, 2018 at 12:00 am #378907
Hi Diane, I have got dizzy reading all the above, and, as my dinner is nearly ready, and I may not get back to review again tomorrow, I will just offer that I think a little crop off the bottom, leaving the participants at the sides, is the way to go. You need to conserve the story. Paul's first crop is challenging and imaginative, but you would then, to a considerable degree, lose the story — depends on your aim.
- December 7, 2018 at 8:07 am #378933
You know I have a mindset to crop to a standard aspect. In general, that is a good plan. This particular image will not likely ever be printed. When that is the case, a custom crop makes sense. I do not know why I have not thought about that! Thank you.
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