Checkmate

I had a class yesterday afternoon, so not to waste the day I decided to head out before hand and shoot some scenes in the city. I actually had a few locations in mind before of strange places students had told me about recently.

In one of the parks I escaped the hot summer sun under a canopy of trees. When I looked around I saw something that I had only heard of before and seen on films. People were playing chess. There are small tables permanently in most parks that are for playing chess, though I have never seen anybody using them. I was not confident to approach anybody so I took a seat on an empty table with my camera and used a long lens and the table as a tripod with live view to compose and focus. At first I used auto focus eventually focusing manually when I discovered a zoom function for live view on my camera. I was able to enlarge the live view up to 10x meaning more precise focusing.

Check-Mate

58mm ISO 640 F11 1/60

I had to wait for this shot as there was a couple int the background that made it cluttered. Once they moved on I took the shot.

HDR created in HDR Efex and processed in Photoshop. I imported the 0 exposure and masked in the faces and removed the ghosting on the men’s clothes. I used Topaz Detail to bring out some more contrast in the image and Topaz Denoise to reduce noise. Black and white toning was accomplished Color Efex. Selective sharpening via High pass filter on the foreground via masking. Brightness and Contrast adjustment layer to reduce the contrast of the background and raise the brightness, with a second brightness and contrast layer to darken the foreground.  A small curves adjustment layer and a low opacity photo filter layer to add a small amount of depth to the toning.

I don’t normally like using HDR for people due to the unnatural look people can end up having. In this Image I really wanted to add a lot of contrast to the players to replicate the contrast in the chess pieces. I reduced the contrast in the background so the men did not merge and become lost in the leaves.

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