Tom McCreary, APSA, MPSA  


Sand sculpture by Tom McCreary, APSA, MPSA

May 2020 - Sand sculpture

May 2020 - Tom McCreary, APSA, MPSA

Original

About the Image(s)


Sand Sculptor

This was taken on the Texas Gulf Coast a couple of years ago. The sand sculptors were practicing and making a display for an upcoming competition. What they were able to do with sand was really amazing. Because it was before the completion, I was able to get close to the sculptors. It was taken with a Nikon 18-300mm lens at 200mm, 1/500th second, f9 ISO 200. I was looking for a reflection in his sun glasses.
The colors are very vibrant, so I thought the making it B&W would simplify, and I adjusted the sliders to make the reflection stand out better.


This round’s discussion is now closed!
19 comments posted

Gloria Fine   Gloria Fine
Tom,

I really love it!

The only thing that I am questioning is, what is the green thing around his neck? Is it something that helps to distinguish the man as a "Sand Sculptor" and therefore, should be part of the picture?

Oh, to be around the sand and sea now!!!   Posted: 05/04/2020 08:59:41
Tom McCreary   Tom McCreary
As I remember, it is a tube that he used to blow loose sand away. If you think that it is a distraction, then it could be cloned out.   Posted: 05/04/2020 10:00:53

Gloria Fine   Gloria Fine
If you have the time try it and see what you think! Again, I think it is a winner.   Posted: 05/04/2020 11:33:39
Tom McCreary   Tom McCreary
Thank you for your comments. Just image for now that the partial green item is gone. I will wait to make any changes until I get all of the comments.   Posted: 05/04/2020 12:43:11

Gloria Fine   Gloria Fine
Smart move!   Posted: 05/04/2020 14:00:03

Lynne Hollingsworth   Lynne Hollingsworth
This is a good image and I like the way the sandcastle is reflected in the sculptors sunglasses! I would probably remove the sand blower from the image as I find it slightly distracting, but not too much. The only other aspect that you might think about is bringing down the solid white of the sky. It might separate the sculptor's white (pink) hat a bit. Converting this to monochrome is a good choice.

Our beaches here in Florida opened this past Thursday, but only for exercise. No sandcastles for a while I guess.   Posted: 05/04/2020 19:44:50

Stephen Levitas   Stephen Levitas
This is very clever to get the reflection of the sculptor's work in his sunglasses. Looks good to me. For the third time this month (big coincidence), I am wondering if a post-processing color filter can be applied to darken the sky. I don't know much about this.   Posted: 05/05/2020 08:25:39
Tom McCreary   Tom McCreary
Yes, that is also something that I can try when I redo this image. There is some blue in the sky that I should be able to darken, but then use a mask so that the sun glasses are not also darkened. That would add separation between the hat and the sky.   Posted: 05/05/2020 08:56:54

Diana Magor   Diana Magor
I think I am out of phase with everyone else, because I want to see more of the scene so that I can tell it is a sand sculpture. I know there is good texture in the actual sculpture, but without his hands I can't tell that he is a sculptor at all -he might just be standing near something with an odd shape. The tones on his face and on the sand are very similar and the sky is very bright so I wanted some more differentiation between the greys and as Lynne suggested a darker sky. I'm sorry that I am being very negative on this one, but it wasn't my cup of tea!   Posted: 05/18/2020 11:59:55
Tom McCreary   Tom McCreary
Wanting more around him is a very "England" comment. You all like to see more around the subject and we in USA like to zoom in more. I agree that separation is needed, and I can work on the in the color image before I convert to monochrome. Thanks for your comments.   Posted: 05/18/2020 12:47:38
Diana Magor   Diana Magor
You are so right! It's like in nature shots, we always want the habitat and you folk want close up portraits.   Posted: 05/18/2020 12:49:35
Lynne Hollingsworth   Lynne Hollingsworth
I never realized that the English like more context, while we over here like the tight "up close" method...   Posted: 05/20/2020 20:20:11
Diana Magor   Diana Magor
It is something to remember if you are entering Internationals. I usually select different pictures if I am entering American, European, Indian or British salons. Some images just don't do well in some parts of the World.   Posted: 05/21/2020 04:36:59

Jennifer Doerrie   Jennifer Doerrie
As others have already commented, I, too, like the reflection in the sunglasses. However, I'm otherwise having some difficulty making the connection that the person is actually building/designing the sandcastle. To me, it looks almost as if he is trying to look into one of the small windows, which perhaps is another story in itself, but not quite the same one I believe was intended with the title here. I was able to darken the sky by just selecting it, but I think your idea to adjust the color image and then convert would work better to add more contrast and separation, as changing only the selection then adds the problem of halos and getting rid of them.   Posted: 05/19/2020 23:04:28
Tom McCreary   Tom McCreary
The real idea of the image is the reflection in the sun glasses. It really does not matter if he was working on the sand castle or not. The title of an image should really not matter until it is a photo journal image. A pictorial image should carry itself without a title.   Posted: 05/20/2020 12:35:28
Stephen Levitas   Stephen Levitas
Tom, that is an interesting distinction about titles, which I have not learned before. Thanks for the clarification. I often feel that titles are important to pair with images, but I can see that a pictorial image is, well, pictorial.   Posted: 05/20/2020 13:11:51
Tom McCreary   Tom McCreary
A photo journalism image should tell a story, and the title should add to it. Think about a sports or other image in the newspaper, they have a title to inform you. Also, in most PSA salons, the PJ titles are read. In PSA pictorial salons, the titles are not read. The judges only see the image in front of them and judge only on the image. For the DD groups, I think that a title can help explain the subject.   Posted: 05/20/2020 13:18:26
Stephen Levitas   Stephen Levitas
Very clear explanation. Thanks.   Posted: 05/20/2020 13:32:45

Lynne Hollingsworth   Lynne Hollingsworth
Tom I absolutely agree with you. An image should hold its own with a title only enhancing the story.   Posted: 05/20/2020 20:22:43