Saturday, June 13, 2009

Through the Net

This is my favorite image from my shoot with the 2 brothers and I would have entered it for the assignment except the definition was 2 or more children at play...however at the judging they seemed to accept a single child playing as well. Originally I was unhappy with the background clutter but after working on it in PS I think I was able to get the viewer's eye to stay mainly on the child and then to notice the trampoline/chair/ball as part of the environment. I had a lot of trouble getting my lens to stay focused on J. as he ran toward the net kicking the ball --- the lens kept grabbing focus on the net instead and this was the only image that came out the way I wanted. I think it is really interesting how you can see through the actual rope to the grass, his hand, t-shirt logo and hair, etc. Is this considered "selective focus"?
Camera info: Nikon D200, 24 - 70mm 2.8 lens at f2.8 and 1/800th, ISO 100, cloudy whitebalance
Post processing: Processed for more blacks in ACR, duplicated the background layer in softlight at 65% opacity but masked off of face, Curves layer for more contrast and to darken the background, Punch Drunk action by Kubota for brighter colors but masked off face, Touch of Light action to brighten face, merged layers, selected red ball and desaturated it with a Hue/Sat layer, Bring out the Eyes action on eyes, the Edge for global sharpening, highpass filter in soflight mode to selectively sharpen the child.


  1. This one if my favorite of the shoot as well. Looking throught the net adds a great perspective to the shot and really puts you in the picture.

    The soft interpretation of the hard definition for the assignment of "TWO" or more children was a bit frustrating. At least one single child photo received a gold as well as a shot featuring a group of adults. Go figure!

  2. In this situation it is imperative you go with manual focus and prefocus on a spot. In this manner you can set the camera for the proper shutter speed and aperture needed to control your depth of field without autofocus snapping to the first object it sees.

    I don't think this meets the selective focus assignment description. You should be looking for a single plane of focus that directs your eye(s) to the subject. You have a pretty large depth of field in this shot. While you may feel it's leading your eye to the boy only, it still has distracting elements that don't meet the definition to me.

    What do I know? I thought two meant two in my book. I didn't think that was open for interpretation. Being childish isn't the same thing as actually being a child, which I thought was the point of the assignment.