30 Days of Creativity: Day 12

The Joust

Today’s lesson is about cropping. I was at the Rennassiance Faire and took some pictures of the joust. I sat near the fence and because the action covers the length of the field,  I decided to forgo zooming and take the image at 18mm. (With a 16Mp camera I can take this risk without worrying too much about pixelation.) I also used continuous shooting mode so that I could catch as many shots as possible. (I was hoping for a splintered lance, but no luck that day.) I believe I was also using aperture mode allowing me to obtain reasonably fast shutter speeds.

ISO 200, 18mm, f 4.5, 1/2000 s

I made all my edits in Adobe’s Lightroom® version 4.1.  Most of the edits I made were basic: white balance, contrast, color clarity & vibrance.  I raised the exposure a little for more punch. I’ve noticed that my old SONY Alpha ran about .2 to .3 of an f-stop too low on exposure but I’m still not sure about this one.  I’ve been very frustrated with my shoots so far and wish I hadn’t spent the money on the camera.  One of these days I will get it right.  It’s not the camera, it’s the photographer anyway.

To make this picture what it is, I had to crop it.  This is not always a trivial thing.  A hair to the left or right, up or down, can really change the whole balance of the shot.  I’m including the original image so that you can see the comparison yourself.

Original image

Yes, the original is a sloppy shot, but the point was to get a shot so that I could work with it.  Action shots are very difficult.  I’ve had a lot of “almosts” in my photographic journeys. I think part of the creative journey is to know what part of an image to use.  In this case, it is obvious: the jousters and the horses.  But if you think about your own photographs, is there some crop you could make that would completely change the feel of the photograph?

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