Friday, December 4, 2009


Seems like everyone and their brother is blogging about golf lately. Figured I might as well hop on the bandwagon, but not on the subject you may be thinking of. Today's image is an action shot. There no "swinging blades of death" type action, but there is enough to show a finer point of the game. It's a case of what's real and what the mind sees. As you can probably see from the sharp shadow beneath the ball, it was a pretty sunny day when the shot was taken. You can see the hairs on my friend's leg and the ribs of his socks, so we can safely say the shutter speed was relatively high. Now take a look at the putter. There's motion blur in the movement of the putter toward the ball. The two statements don't really go together. High shutter speed and motion blur, unless you're talking Space Shuttle speeds, don't happen in the same frame without some messin' around. All you have to done is isolate the putter head and shaft and add just a little motion blur, making sure you have the blur going in the direction of the swing. It would be just a wee bit dumb to have the blur running on a 45 degree angle if the putter is just skimming along the ground. Adding a mask and making sure the front edge is sharp and all the "motion" is in back of the plane of the stick adds to the realism of the shot. If you think of it beforehand, set the ball close to the cup. If you don't think to do that, create your own hole. Just make an oval at the edge of the image and fill it with black. Add one more layer and hit the top of the cup with a dark brown, curved swipe. Change the Blend Mode to Color and reduce the Opacity to taste. To find out about my thinking of "how" to tell the story, hit the "read more".

This is another example of telling an entire story with a very small portion of a scene. You really don't need to see the golfer to know what's going on. You don't need the entire putter or the entire hole to understand what the person is trying to achieve. The way to approach this image is to think of the story you're trying to tell, just lile someone authoring a written narrative of the scene. Present the story, add some embellishment (the motion blur), and get out. Leave the reader (viewer) to use their own imagination to "see" the wider shot.

Just one more thing. That golfer who's having a hard time at the moment? There's a reason his yacht is named "Privacy". He's earned it, he (like all of us) deserves it and what happened is none of our business.