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How was this super sharp look achieved?

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  • How was this super sharp look achieved?

    I know it is perfectly lit but how the hell he is able to get so vital colours?

    http://www.lovebmx.cz/images/flippin...-bmx_60087.jpg

    Thanks for any suggestions.

  • #2
    Re: How was this super sharp look achieved?

    Hi, Jarabmx, Welcome to RTP

    This looks like a composit to me and not a very good one at that. The light source on the bike rider appears different that that of the background and I would guess it's two different shots. There are a number of ways to achieve the sharpening. HDR, High Pass, Sharpen, or any combination along with a good curves adjustment. Any method you use requires a good crisp and sharp photo to start with.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: How was this super sharp look achieved?

      Originally posted by Swampy View Post
      Hi, Jarabmx, Welcome to RTP

      This looks like a composit to me and not a very good one at that. The light source on the bike rider appears different that that of the background and I would guess it's two different shots. There are a number of ways to achieve the sharpening. HDR, High Pass, Sharpen, or any combination along with a good curves adjustment. Any method you use requires a good crisp and sharp photo to start with.

      No, it most surely is not composite, just using multiple flashes to lighten all the parts of the bike and bike rider.

      I have some very sharp pictures of bike riders as well but could not get to the same point where he has got it. Thanks for your suggestions but this picture looks so clean.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: How was this super sharp look achieved?

        I'll take your word for it, Jarabmx, but it looks fake to me. The rider looks much too bright and flat compared to the rest of the composition to appear realistic to me. JMHO.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: How was this super sharp look achieved?

          There's something odd about the rear wheel where it hits the wall…but I don't BMX so I'm not sure.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: How was this super sharp look achieved?

            Here is my picture, illustrating how unreal lighting you can create:

            http://www.stsriders.com/index.php?id=fotky&page=3#

            (doesnt link directly to the picture but I meant one in upper left corner) mainly just a fill light in this case, this is maybe bit more clear:

            http://www.stsriders.com/index.php?id=fotky&page=4#
            (upper right corner)
            Still cant get that level of clarity unfortunately.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: How was this super sharp look achieved?

              jarabmx: your 2 pix looks more realistic/better then the "supersharp" one. His looks overly processed in a weird way. Just my 2 cents.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: How was this super sharp look achieved?

                I understand how you can create unreal light, but to me it looks fake. When you add light, you also need to add shadow. It's just what the eye expects to see. Your photo below for example.

                My eye doesn't understand where the light source is that reflects off his face from below. It's casting a shadow of the bike on his leg, but what is the source of the light?

                I guess this can be cool, if you are going for an effect, but it is hard to "buy" for most people. It might play well if there was no background and ambient light, especially with all that blown out sky in the background and blue fringing in the trees. You could sell me if you presented it as a "studio" shot. Dramatic black background and visible light source from below.

                I've posted a sample of how I changed an outdoor shot to something more dramatic.
                Attached Files
                Last edited by Swampy; 08-14-2008, 10:32 AM.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: How was this super sharp look achieved?

                  I think you need to stop your lens down to at least F11, 16 or 22 get more lights in there and use the max shutter speed for the f stop.. a tripod works wonders for sharp pictures.. and don't forget the all important practice cubed
                  Attached Files

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: How was this super sharp look achieved?

                    Oh well, just take a look right above the green metal thing, you can see one remotely fired flash!! That is creating circled light you draw. In this manner all the lights are casted on the BMXer.

                    BMX photography has its quite sophisticated way of using flashes and creating these not very realistic pictures. It has its own culture in some sense. He has used maybe 4 flashes? That is not the theme of this topic anyway. It is more about getting that look. If anyone can process any of my pictures in my gallery listed above that would be excellent.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: How was this super sharp look achieved?

                      Photoshop has its quite sophisticated way of using masks and enhancements for creating these not very realistic pictures. It has its own culture in some sense. This has maybe 4 Layers. It's all about getting the look.

                      Just a very quick play:

                      ~~Original~~Brightened~~ combined~
                      Attached Files

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: How was this super sharp look achieved?

                        I'm going to take a shot at a photo too, but I just wanted to play the devil's advocate here. I'm leaning toward very strategically placed lighting. I'm thinking that light behind the green vent is actually a walkway light..? It's getting dark, there's a walkway bridge. A (I think it's a "hot light", constantly on) light on a tripod behind the brick wall thing would give that look of underlighting. It does look awkward how flat that wall is...ok, no more devil's advocate.
                        Sorry, just wanted to put in my $.02.

                        I'm off to work on a pic now.

                        edit:Either strategic placement or crappy placement of lighting.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: How was this super sharp look achieved?

                          Ok, here's my two pics I worked on real quick. Resolution isn't the greatest due to small pics to start with and then the 100k post limit.
                          Attached Files

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: How was this super sharp look achieved?

                            You might try the strobist group at flicker. All about off camera lighting which this shot is. Should get lots of help there.

                            Bob W.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: How was this super sharp look achieved?

                              i can assure you this is not a composite. Hard lights tend to create more saturated colors and with the sun setting the background is a bit more saturated too. A light right behind the green thing, a light just out of frame and just behind the subject, and probably a nice quantum flash behind the photographer as a main light, thus the foreground and subject are lit well. also the weird shadows are probably a mix of the sun setting and mixing in with the other lights.

                              As for the post, most bmx photographers, and like many other action photographers dont do that much work, usually a good raw process, maybe jumping contrast a little saturation but thats all, but dont push the contrast over too much this photo lost way too much detail in the foreground for my taste.

                              Comment

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