While processing the 800 Meter races at the first Mid-Columbia Conference JV Track & Field event of the season, this photo stood out as the best of bunch. What makes it a good photo?
First, the eyes are sharp. In photos of people the eyes are key. If they are closed or not in focus the photo loses so much.
Second, the background is blurred. Without a blurred background most photos are too busy and the subject is lost to the noise in the backgound. A shallow depth-of-field is created by using a large aperture, in this case f/4.0. The problem with a small depth-of-field is that your focus has to be spot on or your subject will be blurred.
Third, the action is evident. Since this is a photo of a runner it is good to catch the action. A high enough shutter speed to stop the action is required to do this. I would like to use 1000th of a second but with the falling light I had to cut that to 500th and take my chances.
Lastly, Light. This race was at 6:30pm so the sun was beginning to go down, giving a nice warm side light. If the races are in the middle of the day the sun can be harsh, casting shadows and blowing out the high lights. The last hour of sunlight is always the photographers friend.
Source: MCC JV Track & Field - 800 Meter Race
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