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How To Shoot It

How You Shot It: ‘Transitions’

By Paul A. Smith on March 2nd 2014

SLR Article --2

Introduction

I was asked to photograph an event dubbed the ‘Frogman Challenge,’ before I deployed in 2012 and due to a pretty rigorous pre-deployment traveling/training schedule, I was unable to make that happen. So, upon returning from my deployment 2013, I was eager to have the opportunity to capture the event once more.

This photo was something I had been wanting to do for a while, the idea of stopping water has appealed to me since I first picked up a camera in 2011 when I looked in a surf magazine and saw the images they were churning out.  This was one of my favorites, for the 2013 Santa Ana Frogman Challenge. It was a special photo, because the athlete featured in it is a great friend of mine.

Gear

Canon 5D Mark III
Canon BG-E11 Battery Grip
Canon 24-70mm f/2.8L
Sandisk Extreme 16gb CF Card

How I Shot It

I had previously read that in order to stop water in this particular manner, you needed to shoot with a shutter speed of over 1/1600th of a second. With that said, I chose to shoot most of the day between 1/2000th and 1/3200th of a second, depending on what aperture I was using to create the desire bokeh effect.

Aperture: f/2.8
Shutter: 1/2000th
ISO:100

Then I uploaded it into Lightroom and after I put it through the Google Nik Filter, I was left with this.

I then treated it twice. When providing event coverage for fitness competitions, I typically like to edit my photos twice – one in color and one in black & white and let the event choose whichever they will post. For the treatments, I created my own recipes using the SLR Lounge Lightroom 5 Preset System.

For the color version, I used:
Curves – Cool 11a Bright Wash Teal
Adjust  – Preset 24. Detail Skin – Detail Boost – Light (Standard)

*This detail boost was added to add detail to the subject and water droplets. I made minor tone adjustments to the highlights, lights, shadows and darks to achieve the desired effect.
Adjustment – Noise Reduction Preset 62c. Skin Noise Reduction – Heavy

The Final Image in Color

 For the B&W Version I used this recipe:

Curves – ANTIQUE B&W Preset 32a. Neutral Wash – B&W
Adjust – Preset 24. Detail Skin – Detail Boost – Light (Standard)

*This detail boost was added to add detail to the subject and water droplets. I made minor tone adjustments to the highlights, lights, shadows and darks to achieve the desired effect.
Adjustment – Noise Reduction Preset 62c. Skin Noise Reduction – Heavy

The Final B&W Image

Conclusion

It was an awesome day of competition. I am grateful to the Frogman Challenge Series for having me and providing a wonderful opportunity for me to showcase my photographic skills allowing me to capture breathtaking images like these. The post production process was also amazing as it was an opportunity to test the SLR Lounge Lightroom 5 Preset System for the first time during my post production process and consequently, it was the moment I fell in love with them. They made what I thought was already an awesome workflow even more efficient.

I hope you enjoyed the explanation of how I a captured “Transition.” It is one of my favorite images that I have been able to capture in my short two and a half year photographic career. Even with that said, it stands as a testament to hard work and trusting your heart when capturing subjects doing what they were born to do. In this case  – climb in and out of a pool of water in a test of fitness.

If you have any questions regarding the photos here, feel free to find me on Facebook or contact me via the contact information on my company Facebook.

**Join our SLR Lounge Textures and Presets group on Facebook and share your favorite images and recipes**

PAUL ANTHONY SMITH is an accomplished editorial photographer whose specialty is in the area of physical fitness. Many of Paul’s images have been featured in various fitness publications and websites. Paul continues to expand his knowledge and is enlarging his area of expertise as he pursues wedding photography, lifestyle portraits and nature projects. He is also an active military member and senior at Cal Poly Pomona, with a degree in Business Marketing on the horizon. Visit his website at: www.simplyperfectionphotography.com

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Parri

    Love this shot. The treatment is superb.

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  2. Jenna

    Well written..

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  3. Miguel

    Amazing work Paul. You capture the moment really well and the details of your work show in the final product. Good job!

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