Sunday, March 20, 2011

Photo Carousel #11: "Player in the Park"

Player in the Park

Here's my next Photo Carousel entry, "Player in the Park".  Click the photo above to see it larger and read more about it beyond what I wrote below.  To see it even larger you can click on this link.

From a creative perspective, this photo was an exercise in compromises to get what I wanted from a candid situation.  So the point of this photo is to "work your subject" until you get the image that you want.

For this picture I wanted to hide most of the player's face while still getting most of the saxophone and the open music case in the photo.  Not easy to do.  Every way that I tried to reposition myself to improve the composition ended up putting another bad background element in the photo.

Ultimately, I comprised to get this composition and left to go back to our hotel.

The issue with the color version of this photo is......the color!  There's too much of it!  The grass behind him on the hill of the park came out very green.  And the red bricks on the ground in front of him were also pretty bright.  Yet I knew I wanted to do something with this photo...

Finally I hit on the idea of desaturating the whole image and leaving just him in color.  This achieved the effect I was looking for, which is to draw the viewer's eye to him and not the other elements that I couldn't get rid of.

In the end, it came out nice as an 8x10 print....but not before some coaxing to get its center of attention clearly defined.  It was a fun exercise playing around with this shot.  I wouldn't use this black and color technique often because it's kind of cliche in a way, but for this shot it worked.


  1. John, very cool capture! I think the background is ok the way it is. What were the steps that you went through to get the nice coloring effect? When I look at the large version on Flickr I can't see any transition from color to black and white. Nice PS work!

  2. Hello Peter...

    Thanks for your comment. The process was actually pretty easy.

    I opened the photo and duplicated the background layer. I then desaturated the new layer, applied a mask to it, and used a semi hard edged brush to carefully paint over the player to reveal the original color layer below.

    That was it. The total time I spent on the picture was about 15 minutes start to finish. It printed nicely!