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Bicycle Rider

Tracker

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thoughts. overall, yay.

As is, I think the color of the rider would bring focus on him better than B&W.

As B&W, I think he gets lost some in the lack of contrast. I would like to see it cropped where he's riding into the image, not out of the image. Would also like to see a headshot crop. Third, a tight crop just outside the rt knee, butt, left brake lever and top of head.
 

WoodButcher

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Yeah, I agree on the crop/rider location. I'd rather see more of where he is going than where he has been. I'd be curious to see the color version. The B&W implies the colors are good so it makes you want to see them. But the bike, the street, the background all look great in B&W to me.
 
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Yay. Like the light balance and crisp focus. Knowing his kit has a lot of red to it I'd be interested to see the shot with red tones added in. Ditto on the cropping suggestions.
 
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Until seeing this shot I never thought about the difficulties of shooting a bicyclist. I've done lots of shooting of motorcycles panning and shooting, but that's pretty easy. You want the bike and rider in focus and the background blurred to give the feeling of the motion. Your shot doesn't have that as the background is pretty much in focus too without the motion blur. It gives it to me an unnatural feeling and loses the motion.

That said, the more I look at it the more I realize how difficult that is. A rider on a motorcycle is moving in one direction with all parts pretty much being constant except the wheels, which give a motion blur. On a bicycle, everything is in motion. Feet, pedals, body position, even the bike going side to side. To get the rider as crisp as you've done here and still get that feeling of motion seems like a difficult task. Not sure how to improve it short of photoshop trickery.

Oh, and I like the black and white.
 

cdc

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I cannot see that sharp!
 

M38A1

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Here's the color version with a square crop. Just not enough image content to give him anywhere to go...
i-S3x34pv-XL.jpg
 

M38A1

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On a related note, here's a shot of Lawson Craddock (front rider). He's only the second Texan to compete in the Tour De France, the first being Lance.
i-QLRdWNm-XL.jpg
 

mitchntx

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Not sure how to say what I feel about the photo and the question.

There is really only one person you need to satisfy ... you. This photo obviously spoke to you on some level.

So I have to look at it not only from what I see but study it looking for what you saw. That's what I love about art. What was the artist thinking? subject, content, framing ... trying to answer the unanswerable questions.

But that thoughtful thought is what makes a good photo, painting, song, sculpture ... and ultimately, what I've learned in this quest and can apply to my own body of work.

My thoughts and my $.02

Specifically, I wonder how you achieved that super-imposed illusion? The high focal contrast is eye-catching.
 
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I'm just not as picky as some people; I like it just fine. I do, though, like the color version better. Bicyclists wear such vibrant colors, it seems a shame to waste them. But I like the 2nd one better, just because there's such a sense of motion and action.
 

M38A1

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Specifically, I wonder how you achieved that super-imposed illusion? The high focal contrast is eye-catching.
In post, moved the clarity up a bit on everything but his skin areas, and reduced it a bit on the skin areas. Sort of smooths out the skin tones. A few points bump with the blacks and that was about it.
 

M38A1

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If you're curious as to what last nights racing action was like, click HERE. There's some gems in there, especially the sunshine and rain shots IMO.


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Personally, I like your original shot the best. I think you went overboard on the clarity reduction on his skin though, and that is really evident in the tight crop. On the tight crop it makes it look like the shot is out of focus due to that. To me, the tight crop doesn't give enough context, but these are all just personal thoughts from me, as you can see, everyone's thoughts vary.
 

M38A1

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I'm finding everyone's comments very interesting..... Thank you.

The reason I posted the B&W initial shot was for a couple reasons. First, you have to know this was a raining shoot and the rain had stopped for all of 30 seconds when this was captured. Also, there was a clear spot in the clouds and the sunshine was directly on the rider from the front. And last, I was shooting in TTL mode with an on-camera speed light. So it was technically challenging just to capture the shot. I thought the lighting was almost perfect for so many variables. Note there's virtually zero shadows in the image. And the final original image to me almost looks like a charcoal painting/sketch.

As for the moving to the right of the image showing where he's been, that was a function of the initial grab which limited me in what I could do for a crop. But the more I looked at it, the more I personally liked where he had been since he's a solo rider. I've shot plenty of riders to the left of the frame giving them space to ride on the right, and if there's a group, I try to either put the lead rider on the far right as the initial picture with other riders trailing behind, or show a train of riders with the lead having room to ride to. This one, as soft/smooth as it is IMO sort of lent itself to where he's been.

Kory - the clarity reduction is also combined with some steep NR in LR5 (shot at 10000). That's where that softness comes into play. Good eye, Sir!

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Definitely like the crop in post #13. Personally prefer B&W to color version, though it's close. The red clothing and green background compliment each other really well.
 

Tourmeister

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I like the use of the flash. To me, that is what makes him stand out from the background in the B&W and color images.

The post processing seems a bit much on the clarity, especially on the color shots and even more so on the tight crop. If you were going for the charcoal sketch look, then it should be more obvious over the entire shot rather than just at edges between contrasting colors.

I like the group shot. Just enough blur in spots to convey motion but still sharp on the riders. I can't imagine riding at any serious speed on those tires on wet pavement... :eek2:
 

h2000fb

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IMO, the first shot is the best. I have to agree with the earlier post. There really are no right answers or wrong ones for that matter.

Why the B&W? To me, the subject pops off the background. I like it.
 
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