View Full Version : Suggestions Please

10-28-2008, 09:14 PM
Hello everyone,

I recently entered this in a local print comp and got some great suggestions.... I'm just looking for more to improve this image. Thank you!

Adrian Valenzuela


10-29-2008, 01:56 AM
Adrian I will not comment regarding competition but I will make a suggestion. The image you posted is one that is associated with dynamic action. Usually pretty agressive and fast. Your image though is static and lifeless regarding the subjects. This is a great opportunity to show the action by using a slow shutter speed to create the movement. This will give this image much more impact. As it is now, it could be a posed shot. Draw the viewer into the image with the motion blur. If you haven't done this before, it's really pretty easy. Best if you are on a tripod so you can keep the camera steady while you pan with the action. Experiment with different shutter speeds starting with 1/50th then increase the time increments all the way down to 1/2 second and in that range you will find a sweet spot for this. Of course that always changes with the speed at which the subjects are going. Try it out. It's really fun.

Here is your image with a fake movement added in Photoshop just to give you an idea of the difference. So, that is all I had to say. It's just an opinion so take it for what it's worth to you. Good luck with your competition by the way. :)

10-29-2008, 06:09 AM

Thank you for your suggestion.... In this shot I used a AlienBee Flash to stop the motion of the skaters. Would the panning technique combined with a slower shutter speed still work to create a motion blur?

Adrian Valenzuela

10-29-2008, 01:53 PM
Adrian the answer is yes but you will have to use a low power setting and rear curtain sync. You can get some really dynamic motion images that way. Again, just experiment with the different speed settings to get the desired effect.

10-29-2008, 02:44 PM
Hi Adrian;

First of all, the size you posted could not be used in any PPA or affiliate judgings since it is not compatible with a 20X16.

I like the image but see problems. The contrast and lighting have the viewers eyes gravitating to the one skaters bust. When viewing an image our eyes travel left to right, just like we read. In this image, as presented, BOOM ... we are right into the action.

Here is how I see it being worked and presented. I hope this helps.


10-29-2008, 04:26 PM
I'm gonna have to read up on using rear curtain synch and experiment. Thanks for the info Ron! :-)

10-29-2008, 05:46 PM
Getting good motion blur is a matter of having enough ambient to register in the time the shutter is open, and having the shutter open enough time to get good trails. And you definitely want rear curtain sync. If you go to strobist.com and go down to Friday's entry David Ziser's video explains quite a bit about using flash and why to use rear curtain sync. As a bonus, he explains how to cheat on sync speed in certain situations. :) Definitely worth a view.

10-29-2008, 05:54 PM
I like the image but see problems. The contrast and lighting have the viewers eyes gravitating to the one skaters bust.

That may be a problem for you, but I would give extra points for that.:D:D:D

10-29-2008, 07:15 PM
And as the lone female to respond to this thread so far - I didn't even notice that one skater's bust until you guys pointed it out.

10-29-2008, 07:17 PM
And as the lone female to respond to this thread so far - I didn't even notice that one skater's bust until you guys pointed it out.

..first thing I saw.:D
It's in our genes.:D:D

10-29-2008, 08:02 PM
It was the second thing I saw. But when I saw it I tried not to stare :D
Actually the first thing I noticed was the neck of the girl in the center of the image. It appears that you used the burn tool to tone it down. Not a good tool to use unless you have the new version of Photoshop CS4. Try cloning using a low opacity brush. The girl right behind her has that same problem.

10-29-2008, 09:22 PM
Actually I hate the burn tool.... I didn't use it there. What was done to tone down certain areas was Curves adjustments, using layer masks. I'll have to go back and re-work it. Thanks for the input everyone!! Keep it coming...


10-30-2008, 05:24 AM
The technical issues (mostly the burn or "curves adjustments" (there are several in the image)) as orginally posted would have brought this image way down for me. D Craig was right to filp this image but it would help to have more room to scate into. Panning (motion blur) done well may add to the impact but stopped motion is not nesc. a bad thing here. This image tells the story very well, the subject matter is good and creates impact. If you present this image to us with good composition, well handled exposure, a strong center of interest and a good title . . . I believe it is merit worthy.

10-30-2008, 01:36 PM
I agree with Keith. I too think this could merit if worked, and presented, well. Once I flipped it and worked it a little in Photoshop, it started looking really good.

Let us see versions as you complete them.

10-30-2008, 11:05 PM
Thank you all for your awesome suggestions.... I'm going to rework the image over the weekend and re-post with the new changes. Thanks again!!

Adrian Valenzuela

10-31-2008, 06:12 AM
Ok I flipped the image and took out the burning. Here's a post of the original flipped and the new flipped image without the burning.



10-31-2008, 06:38 AM
Here's a little isolation...eliminating some things that aren't necessary to tell the story.

Well, I obviously don't know how to attach an image to get the size back to the original.:(