While waiting for my car to be serviced Thursday morning, I walked down to Rusch Park in Citrus Heights and at the Skate Park, I met Jason and Jacob who agreed to let me photograph them while they practiced some of their BMX moves. They even asked me if there was anything special I wanted them to demonstrate but since I know nothing about BMX, I told them just to do their thing.

It was shortly after 9AM and the morning sunlight and shade from the surrounding trees created a very contrasty lighting dilemma for me. I set the camera to shutter priority and the shutter speed to 1/500 and the ISO to 800. The resulting shots didn’t isolate the riders as much as I wanted them to be because the shutter speed I selected caused the camera set a relatively small aperture to create a deep depth of field. I should have used a higher shutter speed which I think would have forced the camera to set a larger aperture and I would have had a blurrier background and sharper images. Then again, maybe I should just stick to manual settings.

I decided to desaturate the colors of the background so that the bright greens would be less distracting. I preferred that look to the full color versions. Then I experimented in Photoshop to see what the photos would look like with the background completely blurred. I really loved the potential but I have spent so little time perfecting my Photoshop skills that I was unable to isolate the subject without lots of jagged edges around the wheels and spokes. One shot of Jacob turned out fairly well so I’m posting it just because I think it’s a cool result but it is far from what I would consider a good job and I finally had to remove the spokes of the top wheel completely.

Thank you Jason and Jacob. Maybe next time I get my car serviced, I’ll run across you guys again and I’ll try this all over and maybe get it right!

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And the same shot Photoshopped! I obliterated the background and left the shadow.

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