missed focus, or pleasant surprise?

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Eli Allan
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missed focus, or pleasant surprise?
8 months ago

I shot some photos with a gymnast yesterday and I have a photo here that I can't make a decision about.  She was swirling this big ribbon at the edge of the canyon, given her constant motion back and forth I had to use AF in order to hit focus and maintain the dof effect. My usual method for this is to center focus and quickly recompose, which is effective but not perfect. So in this shot I focused on her eyes but as I recomposed she quickly stepped backwards into this pose and completely behind the point of focus.  At the time I called it a miss and kept shooting but after the fact, I actually really liked the OOF shot.  I have some similar shots that are in focus, but none with the ribbon in such a perfect position. What are your thoughts? Happy accident or a total fail on what might have been the shot of the day?

UtahManSir
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Re: missed focus, or pleasant surprise?
In reply to Eli Allan, 8 months ago

I like it, but I have a penchant for that kind of effect, nice photos. What was the location?

Lloyd

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jm_mac
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Re: missed focus, or pleasant surprise?
In reply to Eli Allan, 8 months ago

Eli Allan wrote:

I shot some photos with a gymnast yesterday and I have a photo here that I can't make a decision about. She was swirling this big ribbon at the edge of the canyon, given her constant motion back and forth I had to use AF in order to hit focus and maintain the dof effect. My usual method for this is to center focus and quickly recompose, which is effective but not perfect. So in this shot I focused on her eyes but as I recomposed she quickly stepped backwards into this pose and completely behind the point of focus. At the time I called it a miss and kept shooting but after the fact, I actually really liked the OOF shot. I have some similar shots that are in focus, but none with the ribbon in such a perfect position. What are your thoughts? Happy accident or a total fail on what might have been the shot of the day?

I think you have the perfect subject, prop, depth of field, and background.  Whether focused on the prop or the gymnast, I love all these photos.  And the first one, I think it is better the way you captured it, as opposed to the way you intended.  Well done!

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Eli Allan
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Re: missed focus, or pleasant surprise?
In reply to jm_mac, 8 months ago

Thanks. The pictures were taken at the Grand Canyon.  This was also my first time playing with a new toy. I bought an led ring light which I was worried might not be bright enough to even have an effect. Fortunately the sky was a darkened a little by the storm coming in, and the ring did just what I'd hoped with a little bit of soft fill light on the models face.

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awaldram
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Re: missed focus, or pleasant surprise?
In reply to jm_mac, 8 months ago

I see no issue there all artistic and creatively good the one you own up as mistake I'd even go as far as to say excellent.

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Roland Karlsson
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Re: missed focus, or pleasant surprise?
In reply to Eli Allan, 8 months ago

The ribbon is the nearest thing and may also be the main object.

So, why not? Looks good.

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DAVID MANZE
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Re: missed focus, or pleasant surprise?
In reply to awaldram, 8 months ago

I think it's a winner,

by the way are there many of those girls swirling ribbons where that shot was taken, or do you have to bring your own?

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ozdean
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Re: missed focus, or pleasant surprise?
In reply to Eli Allan, 8 months ago

Looks good emphasizes the ribbon.

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Eli Allan
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Re: missed focus, or pleasant surprise?
In reply to ozdean, 8 months ago

Thanks for all the compliments and the reassurement. There is definitely something about the oof shot that I really like, but I can"t put a finger on why I like it so much. Even the ribbon is a bit defocused. That, and knowing that I missed on the one shot that I'd really planned out. My confidence was a little shaken.

David, the gymnast is an aspiring model that was passing through and had seen some of my work. As someone who mostly works in documentary situations with people who are not comfortable in front of the camera, a good model sure makes it easy.

This shoot also reaffirmed my love of the sigma 30/1.4, some people hate this lens because its corners are as soft as the old "soft" lenses from the 80s. I think its brilliant, it reminds me a bit of the 43 limited but at a crop sensor focal length.  Its a great portrait lens.

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DAVID MANZE
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Re: missed focus, or pleasant surprise?
In reply to Eli Allan, 8 months ago

Hi,

They talk in the upper echelons of photography about the elements needed within a photo and this image is a good example of that,

1, your on the top of the world, (can't do much better than that)

2, strong animated subject

3, dimensional contrast near/distant

4, strong overall light and focus balance

It's said that you need at least three elements for a strong photograph and the fourth welds the elements together.

you were in the right place at the right time and stumbled upon the right girl!

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ImageAmateur
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Re: missed focus, or pleasant surprise? great
In reply to Eli Allan, 8 months ago

Love it, eloquent, whether intended or not.

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