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blowing out background highlights

Discussion in 'Sports Photography' started by steveking, Jul 29, 2007.

  1. Hey,

    I shot a triathlon/duathlon this morning and wanted to show a few shots on blowing out OOF backgrounds, and how sometimes it doesn't happen.

    The guidelines are to shoot -EV when shooting into the sun, keeping details in the athletes, and +EV with the sun, same Idea. I had to go -EV with the bike portion of the race and shooting into the BRIGHT morning sun, no other location would do it. But shooting the runners coming in was shooting WITH the sun, and provided a nice backdrop too since I got VERY lucky and had harsh dark shadows behind them. The finish line was side lit, random shadows, and timing was everything.

    Tell me what you think.

    Bike out - woman

    Run in - same woman

    Run in - man
  2. Gale


    Jan 26, 2005
    Viera Fl
    Look good to me
  3. snownow


    Jul 13, 2006
    so cal
    The first one a little blown out, the second spot on! Nice capture
  4. Robert & Gale, thanks.

    Yeah the second one I was focusing on her torso, tanned as it is, and the metering darkened everything nicely and really made her stand out. The third one again focused on torso, and since his suit is very dark his skin tones are fairly light but very usable, again thanks to DARK background shadows.
    Now we get to #1 where the B-R-I-G-H-T morning sun is in my face and at the cyclists backs. +0.3EV to keep dark details, center weighted (not spot) metering, AP on the D2X, f3.2 to keep most of the athlete in focus, 80-200 f2.8 lens, and my focus point had to move depending upon their position on the bike since if they're down in aero position I can focus on the handlebars, otherwise I have to hit them somewhere to focus and meter appropriately. On #1 I hit her handlebars & leg so the background is just blown out, notice the sky is gone, but she is spot on in focus, good detail & contrast, and a picture that could be purchased. The long grass on the hill behind the cyclists was a darker green, but by blowing it out a bit it didn't detract from the shot and became a fuzzy backdrop. This was the point of my post to point out how these kind of athlete shots can turn out well for a subject focused shot no matter if the background is very bright, or very dark.
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