Posts tagged ‘skateboarding’

June 17, 2012

Exercise: A sequence of composition

by Suzy Walker-Toye

The exercise on p44 is a little contrived but I thought I’d have a go. It’s supposed to show how you think about a scene. When I went to the skate park for the panning exercise these guys on the background sprucing up the graffiti caught my eye. I don’t shoot many people shots, so I took this opportunity. This is the sequence of shots and what I was thinking along the way.

I spot these guys adding their artwork. I zoom in to take the shot (I’m behind a railing so I don’t get taken out by one of the skateboarders):

I zoom out a little to check the effect on the lighting in the scene with a wider viewpoint (the guys have moved for a second but if this shot had have been nicer I would have retaken it when they were back). I did like the light and the sense of depth but ultimately the white gameboy on the nearest column is too distracting.

I zoom back in, but further this time since the guy with no hat didn’t come back yet. I think I zoomed too far, the wheels of the yellow bin are too close to the bottom of the frame. Also, he’s facing away from the wall asking his mates for another can of spray paint which leaves in dead centre in the frame which doesn’t look great.

Once he’s turned back around, I tighten the frame on him a little.

This last one didn’t look too bad but I wondered what it would look like vertical, just as he stretched up to do a bit higher up:

I decided to move along to see what the view of his friends would be (from there I’d also be nearer to where the skater boarders were skating).

The composition of the last one wasn’t bad but they all looked a little bored. The girl moved across and provided a little more interaction between the characters:

A large piece of graffiti caught my eye so I zoomed in for a detail shot.

At this point I start my panning exercise and start shooting the skater boarders.

June 15, 2012

Exercise: Photographing Movement – Panning

by Suzy Walker-Toye

For exercise two of the movement project I decided to head down to London’s South Bank area with my fellow course mate Ashley. Just under the Haywood Gallery area theres a little fenced off skater park with I thought would provide ample opportunities for panning the skateboarders.

Panning is a technique where you focus on the subject that is moving and track them by following their movement with your camera. They are then caught frozen still (hopefully) while your background is blurred by the motion. Its actually a lot harder than I thought it would be! Especially so because in great British weather tradition it was sunny before we got there and as soon as we got out our camera it got darker & darker until it eventually started to rain. At one point I was whacking up the ISO (I realised afterwards, at the same rate as the gloom was gathering under the skating area) and extremely puzzled why my photos weren’t getting any lighter.

I used the Shutter priority setting and I tried a variety of shutter speeds to add more or less blur depending on how fast I was panning. Not all are completely sharp but I think that actually adds to the sense of overall movement even if it doesnt demonstrate it exactly as this exercise intended.


Taken at 1/8 sec you can see the background in the photo above is really blurry and the skater stands out very well against it. He is skating out of the frame though which also gives it a bit of tension and also makes the left hand side of the frame a bit dead.


These next few were taken at 1/15 sec:

I especially like the way the mans hair in this last one is flowing out behind him reinforcing the movement.


This set below was taken at 1/30 sec, notice that the background is slightly lesser blurred:

That last one makes me smile because you cannot see why he is travelling so your imagination is left to run riot. Extreme moonwalking perhaps?


Taken at 1/60 this next photo is my least favourite of the set, the background it not blurry enough for my tastes and is much more distracting

I’m reliably informed that the jumping is called an Ollie. The sliding along the edges is called a Grind. And the flipping the board over and over is called a Kickflip. So armed with this new lingo you too can be down with the kids!


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