Another attempt to offer a little more than just compliments and double taps.
This week I’ve have an image from Hugh, and a scene he bagged at the 24hr Le Mans.
I presume it was taken from the spectator areas, Hugh hasn’t said otherwise, but that subtle chicken wire shimmer is a give away.
For this one, Hugh also supplied an original camera raw for comparison to his presented image. Sure, I’ve taken a look at it, but don’t want to compare the two, knowing the original can spoil the interpretation of a ‘critique’ like this.
When trying to offer input into a piece of work, I like to take an image at face value, as it was presented. That’s how the artist wanted the image to be seen.
These critiques aren’t about the camera data or what equipment was used, being more about trying to understand the creativity in vision, application and technique, offering apprication and an potential alternative thought.
I think knowing how an original image looks, spoils the illusion. You know the image has been enhanced, and by how much, which diminishes the wow factor.
Keep your secrets to yourself and let others boggle in how you achieved the result! It’s all part of the magic!
Having peeked at the raw file, I can safely say that the edited image offers way more, as it should do.
One thing I shall divulge is that this is a steady pan at a very slow shutter and demonstrates skill in tracking the subject.
I can’t tell if this was a taken as part of a sequence, or a single trigger press; either way, the result and dynamic of the elements are clean, understated and are blended well by the motion and steady camera work. No abrupt movements, just smooth consistency.
The devil, however, is always in the detail. If you look deeper into the image, not only has Hugh managed to hold a clean pan for effect, he has also remained true to the front end of the car, preserving the details in crisp fashion. This is not an easy task, especially at night where those numerous light sources can play havoc with any wander in the cameras lateral movement.
You can even pick out the stantions on the front aero. That’s pretty much bang on from behind the fence.
Those glowing discs, the cars number and headlights could have ghosted about for that 15th of a second and the finish of the image may have tainted – yes, that ghosting can look quite tidy in certain applications, but in this case, the sharp finish is appropriate.
Sure, the image is a little noisy, but it was taken at night and the lighter exposure allows you to see the car and surrounding textures, which I think aids the finish.
If it were my image, I may not have shot it with such a bright exposure. But it isn’t mine and as a viewer, I don’t mind it’s balance. It works.
If I were to pick a hole, as is the point of writing a critique, it would be to do with the composition.
Nothing fundamentally wrong with it, in fact the movement provided to the focal point really shoots the car across the scene with pace. It’s going somewhere, framed by the vacant areas of movement top and bottom which draw you into that central strip of speed.
I just can’t help but wonder what else is going on in the surrounding area.
There’s a huge highlight behind the car, that’s catching the track and the top of the cockpit, almost elevating the racer away from the track, and I want to know what that is.
At this slow shutter, that light source could’ve added real feature, accentuating the speed, providing even greater energy to compliment the story.
If the car was a lower in the frame, or a wider angle was used, Hugh may have also been able to include some of that surrounding ambience; lighting, shape, shadow and colour, and that may have added more.
But then again I wasn’t there, and the background may have sucked.
I wonder because with the camera ability demonstrated, a wider view, incorporating such surrounding elements may have helped to generate an even more effective image.
Something to try and apply another time?
Perhaps. I’ll leave that decision with Hugh. But that ability to pan with high speed subjects in this manner should certainly be nurtured and experimented with in as many scenarios as possible, I‘m pretty certain the results would get crazy.
Big thanks to Hugh for being involved and submitting an image – why not give him a follow on insta and check out the rest of his work – @thehefza