Damon Williams  

 Ring Toss by Damon Williams

November 2021 - Ring Toss

About the Image(s)

Fuji X-E3
35mm prime
ISO 5000.
dropped highlights
Topas DeNoise AI.

Caught this at the county fair in late August. I like the 35mm prime for its speed and sharpness, which to me really go well doing street photography. Plus, as a "normal" lens (50mm full-frame equivalent), it just creates a...recognizable and comfortable look IMHO. I've become comfortable shooting action in low light over the last six months, since I've been shooting sports for the local community college. This is enabled by great "ISO invariant" camera sensors, and some awesome denoise software. I knew that I wanted to catch the ring mid-air, but was mostly concerned about having sharp bodies. I knew 1/1000-ISO10K-f/2.8 worked for most sports stuff, so thought it would work here too. But, I knew f/1.4 would help separate the subjects from the VERY busy background (via DoF blur) and help me keep the ISO a bit lower. One of the great things about mirrorless cameras though is the ability to gauge your exposure BEFORE you take the image, which is a tool I regularly use, like right here.

To me, this is straight out of a Norman Rockwell painting. I think the blurred background gives context, but doesn't struggle for attention, and I intentionally cropped people whose faces might have been distracting. To me the colors are warm and comforting. The exposure works, and the subjects are about as sharp as you could ask for given that this is an ambient light photo. I think the genuine expressions add an impact you just can't get in a staged image.

If I could change something, it would be to move the man's eyes away from the upper rim of his glasses. I took about six different frames of these folks (not on continuous) and this is actually the one with the best shot of his eyes. Still, you can still see expression in his eyes and face, so I don't know if it's a deal breaker.

12 comments posted

Emmy Denton   Emmy Denton
Hi Damon, I like this shot. Perhaps you can stylize it a bit with a filter and make it look more like a Norman Rockwell painting. Just something to play with. The rings get lost in the photo I had to really look for them after reading your title. You may also consider taking down the exposure on the lady as she really stands out as the subject when you first glance at the photo. Thank you also for your lengthy explanation of how you took the shot and the care you took to get the exposure correct.   Posted: 11/06/2021 02:10:13
Damon Williams   Damon Williams
Check out my edited image.   Posted: 11/07/2021 19:06:50

Damon Williams   Damon Williams
Thanks Emmy. I think you're right about the ring not standing out. Circular gradient with a little exposure and saturation up? Also, I'm a Lightroom user, are you? If not, and even if you are too, when you say "filters", what do you mean? And are there any you'd suggest? I don't see the girl being particularly bright on my screen, but I'll experiment. Thanks for the input. That's what this is about.   Posted: 11/06/2021 10:32:19

Jane Pittenger   Jane Pittenger
I love the expressions and body language. You did a nice job with the choice of aperture for keeping the focus on the intended subjects. Like Emmy, I would not have seen the ring without the title. I think you could use a radial filter in LR…or maybe better yet a brush just on the ring…to add contrast, saturation, sharpness, clarity, maybe even darken it a tad so bring it forward from the background. I find the shadow down her body distracting. I wonder if you could lighten it enough so that it was still there (as of course it would be) but not so noticeable. I agree that she is brighter than her boyfriend, so maybe bring down the highlights on her? You are doing such a great job with "street photography". It seems as if it is a great fit for you   Posted: 11/06/2021 13:32:01
Damon Williams   Damon Williams
No contest on doing something to the ring. Will work on that. Truth be told, I had not noticed the shadow on her till you mentioned it, but I see it now. Thanks. Will look at that. I'll look into them being of different brightnesses, like you and Emmy mention, which is weird because they're obviously under the same lights, and obviously she's in his shadow to some extent. But hey, it is what it is. I appreciate the considered comments and will examine this.   Posted: 11/06/2021 18:11:06
Damon Williams   Damon Williams
Check out my edited image.   Posted: 11/07/2021 19:06:14

Damon Williams   Damon Williams
Hey Ladies, here's my rework based on your advice. Thoughts? Lemme tell you, that shadow was a bugger.   Posted: 11/06/2021 19:35:03
Comment Image

John Meiers   John Meiers
Nice clean photo. Was easy to tell that the couple were at some sort of carnival setting. Once I saw the unused rings I could tell what was going on. From there it was easy to notice the hand was in motion for a reason. Actually one had to spend some time looking for the main object, which I thought was good. Sometimes we tend to look at a scene much to quickly. One had to actually spend a little more time to find the ring thereby looking deeper into the photo.   Posted: 11/06/2021 20:05:13

Damon Williams   Damon Williams
Thanks for the compliments John. What did you determine was the main subject? That's a quiz really. Because if I think it's one thing, and you think it's another, then I failed. Anyway, I'll discuss more once I get your answer. Thanks for leaning in Brother.   Posted: 11/06/2021 23:15:54

Damon Williams   Damon Williams
Hey Ladies, here's my rework based on your advice. Thoughts? Lemme tell you, that shadow was a bugger.   Posted: 11/07/2021 10:14:27
Comment Image

Jane Pittenger   Jane Pittenger
Well done! Much improved. And you even got the ring more visible. Great job with the shadow and toning down the woman   Posted: 11/07/2021 19:37:33

Dianne Arrigoni   Dianne Arrigoni
Wow great re-editing job! I think it really helped sharpening up the ring. It really adds to the story of the photo and I like that the subjects feel more like a couple rather than the individual people in the last version.   Posted: 11/26/2021 19:26:58


Please log in to post a comment