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Swim Composition

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  • Swim Composition

    I went to a HS state swim competition. I really like this photo, but I would like input on the composition (enough negative space?) and color temperature. I tend to process on the cool side.

    Best guess at EXIF
    SS- 320
    Apeture- 4.3?
    Focal length- around 80mm

    Frozen Turn
    Canon camera and other stuff

  • #2
    This is a really nice shot, technically. It's tough to get these shots given the lighting in most pools. This is fairly crisp, w/ good detail and little noise. Looking back at some of my swim shots, I usually ended up at 1600 ISO or better, and still struggled to keep my shutter speed up, so you did well here. The WB seems pretty close to me, too.

    Compositionally, if the photo is just a shot of the girl, then it's ok -- her face is well-visible out of the water and everything. This shot is slightly unusual in that it's not one of the classic mid-stroke shots -- it looks like a BR turn, maybe?

    On the other hand, if you're trying to show the girl in the event, I think I'd like to see more *story* here. As it is, I can't tell it's the State meet -- it could be a practice session, I guess. I think the real magic in these shots is when you can catch the competitive nature of the race -- maybe get one or two of the other competitors in the background, or catch that sideways glance to check out the competition (our coach always tells our swimmers to focus on their race and not look around, but they all do it!).

    Very nice work here. Good portfolio stuff, I think.
    David Lambert
    More photos on Flickr and 500px


    • #3
      This is money.

      I have no critique to add.
      "They call me Bruce."


      • #4
        Bruce- Thanks. I feel this is the best shot I've yet to take
        David- Thanks for the valuable input and kind words. I see your points. I have multiple shots of her swimming the event (200m Butterfly) and yes, this was the first turn. I was asked by the mother to shoot her specifically and I did have this shot in mind. This end of the pool was much brighter as it was near the entrance lobby and I got a lot of spill light.

        As for more story, I could not move to a side position quick enough and find a good location to shoot while sitting in the stands. The stands are elevated with a glass partition. Standing is not allowed at the glass railing as one would block others' view. Plus she ran out of gas and was lagging behind.

        Here is another from the 200 IM. She lead off and I got this on the return leg (25 meter pool). I was sitting in the stands for this one. I'm having this one printed 16x8.
        2012 Alex Mitchell-34.jpg
        Canon camera and other stuff


        • #5
          LOL - yeah, I've run into the same problems exactly, and it really seems like each venue has its own issues. I think these are turning out really well, though -- nice job.
          David Lambert

          More photos on Flickr and 500px


          • #6
            Since the mother of the competitor requested shots of her daughter, I feel like the image here is brilliant. It's hard to get shots with faces out of the water (unless it's backstroke of course), and even harder to get perfect focus. I think you did a great job here!
            I agree with David that more story would be good, but in this case I feel like the mother would rather have a picture showcasing her daughter rather than a wider frame.

            Nice work!
            My flickr photostream

            Canon XTi, Canon 5D Mark II
            18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 (EF-S), 50mm f/1.8 II, Sigma 150mm f/4 Macro, 24-105mm f/4 L, 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6 L IS


            • #7
              Picture is gone -

              I'd love to see your photograph - but it's not showing up..

              Indoor swimming swamps without strobes are a challenge on my plate, so I'm very interested!
              Last edited by Sports Photographer; 03-08-2012, 05:29 AM. Reason: typo
              Professional sports photographer and a digital artist featured in a regional art gallery (no athletes in sight). Even I can't believe I get to do both careers concurrently - but if I can do it, anyone can (that means you). Toys: Nikon D4 is on the way; D90; Speedlight SB900; (4) f/2.8 lenses, various clobber; rent whatever else we need