Thursday, May 14, 2009

Rodeo motion blurs

Our photo club assignment for May was "motion blur" and I went to the rodeo this year specifically to try shooting the events with a slow shutter speed while panning to see what I would get. I love just about any kind of blur in a photograph --- selective focus, Lensbaby distortion, shallow depth of field, motion blur, even just an image that is so out of focus you can only recognize iconic shapes like humans. (OK, that's kind of weird, what can I say?) I tried different combinations of aperture and shutter speed while panning and definitely got some motion blurs of the cowboys and their horses or bulls. I never got my white balance set correctly for whatever those lights are in Reliant Stadium so all of my images have a strange yellow cast that I have not been able to balance as well as I would like in Photoshop. My entry for the assignment was the horizontal image of the cowboy on the horse and got the high score for the night but only a Silver award, not a Gold.

Camera info: Nikon D200, 70 -200 mm 2.8 VR lens, f5.6 at 1/25th, ISO 400, cloudy whitebalance (OH, there is the problem!)
Post processing: Set white and black points in ACR and added fill or recovery if needed, in PS cloned out distracting elements in the dirt, colorbalanced to reduce the yellow cast in the dirt, levels for brightening, Luminizer from Kubota to open the shadows, Hue/Sat layer to reduce saturation in the background to make the cowboy pop, ran Popsickle for the details but masked it off of the background, added a texture and border, and finally darkened the edges.

1 comment:

  1. I really like the horizontal shot - especially the framing and the edge. Strange, but the black edge seems to even add to the motion, and you wouldn't think it would. I mean, you'd think a frame would contain the eye to the image, but somehow I seems to work with the motion to give it a real free-flowing feel. Really nice job! Next year I'm sneaking in my 70-200.