Sports/Outdoor portfolio help

Discussion in 'General Gallery' started by photogoddess, Mar 10, 2004.

  1. photogoddess

    photogoddess TPF Noob!

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    I am working on a dedicated sports/outdoor portfolio and need an honest critique. Sorry about the huge # of photos - just trying to follow the rules. :D I am trying to figure out which ones are keepers and which ones need to go. The motocross were taken at 3200 iso at night from the stands and I know they are a bit grainy. :( There are several similar shots but I need to narrow them down. Thanks for the help in advance. :D

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  2. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

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    I don't know much about sports photography. Most of these seem to do a good job of showing the action.

    As you said, maybe get rid of some of the similar shots. I can see the common thread between the horse riding and the motocross, but the kids fishing and the surfing pic seem out of place. Those are actually my personal favorites out of the whole set, but they don't seem to fit with the action portrayed in all the other pics. You might get away with the surfing photo if you were to add another action surfing pic or two.
     
  3. karissa

    karissa The Untitled

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    First of all I think you should number them to make this request a little easier. Just a side thought.

    Now, I think you have a great start. You have some "eh ok" pictures and then you have some that I think are really good. I'll try and point out the ones that I think are artistically the best.

    The two children fishing is the first one that catches my eye. It tells a story and has good design.

    I really like the close up of the horse you have taken from the back end looking down its back.

    I also like the picture of the surfer. The lighting and contrast work well in this picture. Composition is good.

    The one below it also stands out to me. I like the expression on both the horse and the rider. It helps explain the amount of work that goes into each jump.
     
  4. vonnagy

    vonnagy have kiwi, will travel...

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    howly goddess, ya got a lot of pics there!

    I'll just state the ones that stand out for me:
    1 i would burn the crowd a bit to make the jumper stand out more.. the diagonal line is a bit distracting..

    11 - this is a sweet shot, children with a boat.. i believe it tells a story. :)

    13 - like the abstract back.. i would crop it as tight as possible and covert to b&w to simplify things.. but I really love the possibilities of this type of shot.. good eye for seeing it!!!

    last shot... well thats cool! - this shot tells a story as well. sort of has the end of the road/trail feel to it.. i love the dust at the horses hooves - and how the dust cloud is right in front of the subject... it really makes it stand out.

    I am thinking there are probably a bit 2 many pics here to evaluate at once, so i might have a second go at it later. But the shots that i've pointed out there - I really like alot!! Its great to see your work, you've given me some ideas here :D :thumbsup:
     
  5. karissa

    karissa The Untitled

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    I agree with Vonnagy on that also. I think it could use some cropping to take out some of the distractions that don't add to the story at all.
     
  6. pilgrim

    pilgrim TPF Noob!

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    I really liked 14 and 15, I know they arnt the action ones you needed for your portfolio, but they stand out to be the most.
    14 is such a great angle, the the curves on the horse are just great!
    and Im a sucker for little kids on, or near horses, thats why 15 stands out to me.

    I agree with mark here though, its tough to evaluate them with there being so many.

    Great stuff though!
     
  7. photogoddess

    photogoddess TPF Noob!

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    First - Thanks to all. Keep the critique coming. :D Sorry I didn't number them. I forgot to do that while I was copying and pasting all of the info.

    Karissa - Which ones do you feel are "eh - ok"? What would you crop out of the final image?

    Ksmattfish - The one surf shot was a surprise opportunity when I was in SF with the inlaws. I know I need to take more surf shots to help tie it in. Which of the similar motocross shots would you keep if it was your portfolio.

    Vonnagy - Thanks for the nod. If you find the time to give me more feedback, I would really appreciate it. :) #1 - I need to brush up on my PS skills before I attempt fixing the diagonal line but, I agree with you - it's distracting. #13 - I need to find the original negative since this shot is actually from a iffy scan from a print. I will try your suggestion.

    Pilgrim - I like #15 too but I keep feeling like the background is a bit busy.
     
  8. skatephoto

    skatephoto TPF Noob!

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    those motor X racing pics are sweet! :D
     
  9. karissa

    karissa The Untitled

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    First I want to say that I'm being really picky but you asked for a more in depth opinion so here you go. My thoughts:

    I like the ideas given for #1 I like the picture but the background does seem distracting. With thoughts types of shots this seems to be a common challenge to over come. Next time maybe a shorter depth of field in order to blur the crowd a bit? I was always told that if it was in the frame and didn't add to the picture to get rid of it.

    Of all the moder cross shots 6 is my favorite. However, they all seem to be a repeat of what other photographers have done before. I'm running out on a limb here because I don't even really know what I would do but you might challenge yourself to find something unique.

    The last one I liked after I took a second look at it. I would crop out the two horses on either side of the picture bringing the focus more on center horse rather than the rear end of the others in the distance. The only other problem I have with it is the tail seems to make a big dot in the middle of the picture that I would try to stay away from but you might be able to make it work.

    Sports shooting isn't easy and I think you have done a great job so far. You seem to keep design and over all composition in mind when you take your shots and I'm sure the others on this forum will correct me if I'm wrong, but I think the key in your situation is to take lots of pictures rather than miss that one really good one.

    You have a lot of head on shots that I personally find don't seem to capture the moment you where wanting. Great job on getting clean shots. What would happen if you tried to capture some movement in a shot or two?

    I want to end with saying that all the pictures are good. Most of us understand that you have duplicates because thats what you do. Take a bunch and get the cream off top. After rereading my comment I think I might have been miss understood when I said "eh ok". What I mean is that is was good enough to draw my attention but there just seems to be something missing or maybe to much.

    Is that better?
     
  10. Sharkbait

    Sharkbait TPF Noob!

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    I agree with most everything that's been said so far. For sports shots, I really try to weed out the ones that a) don't seem to catch the 'action' or the 'feeling' of the event and b) have busy backgrounds where the subject can get lost. I try to shoot with a long lens so that if there's any distance between the subject and bg, the bg gets lost in blur. If that's not an option, sometimes I try to fake it with PS by selecting the subject and foreground, reversing the selection, and applying some gausian blur to that background. Sometimes it works great and sometimes not.

    I really like the shot of the surfer, but the horizon line is just a tiny bit off-kilter.

    I think my favorite of all of them is the shot down the horse's back. I know it's not really a 'sports photo' in the traditional sense, but you really get such a good feel for the musculature of the horse, and the curves and lines crossing make it almost abstract. It looks like it could use a tiny bit of sharpening in PS though. I wonder also what it would look like in black and white...hmmm.

    Anyway, all in all, lots of good shots here, many that are great already, and some that would probably be spectacular with a bit of touch-up work. :D
     
  11. graigdavis

    graigdavis TPF Noob!

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    Im not really going to go picture by picture. I think I can generalize enough to help.

    With motocross or anything where people are flying high in the air tight crops dont help the effect. You need to show where they are, how they got there, the movement that they have. Obviously the crowd behind #1 doesnt help. Add some motion blurr to the crowd and it will be a lot better. You will really get better results by looking up at them.

    When they are on the ground. Zoom out a bit more. Show the rooster tail of dirt they are throwing. I think #2 the guy was spinning his wheel. Seeing the dirt flying would have made the picture more exciting. In one picture there is two people in one shot (i think #3). Thats a little confusing, especialy because they have the same color clothes on.

    The horse back riding pictures are pretty good. Again I think if you ran a slower ISO and blurred out the back ground a bit more it would give more movement.

    Check out the Motorsports page on my website. Im not saying Im a pro but it may give you some more ideas for motocross shots. :D
     
  12. Jeff Canes

    Jeff Canes No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    With action sports I prefer to see the athlete’s face or front side their body looking forward at the camera. This may don’t always be possible.

    I like your motocross shots they are framed as portraits and personally like that style. There should be few photos like these in your portfolio IMO. Then add a few wider shots

    With the horse shots you have both the portrait and wide shots, that good. The horse photos look hazy where they shot in the afternoon sun. I think they need more color saturation.

    Surfing and fishing fit the theme fine, you just need more of them


    I shot baseball myself and have posted a lot of photos to my website take a look.
    http://community.webshots.com/album/35295301GbVAUv

    http://community.webshots.com/album/73009833zylryq
     

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