I was once told that my pictures tended to be “too pretty” and it was suggested that I try my hand at finding entropy and decay for my subjects instead. Maybe it is just the colder weather, short dim days and the dormancy of the season; or maybe it is because I am starting to feel the chronic low-level aches-and-pains of getting older, but I seem to be migrating in that direction recently.
I find that I am most happy with the images that I produce when I have a specific treatment in mind when I snap the shutter, as opposed to just goofing around after-the-fact (which I also sometimes do). This was true both for this image and for the previous one (“Old”). The original framing for this included the entire backboard, but as I processed it I decided to crop it down significantly and focus on just the hoop and net. The full-frame sensor and superb lens allowed this major cropping to be practical. I shot at f2.8 because I wanted the backboard and even the back of the hoop to be soft to emphasize the texture of the netting (check the larger size). From the beginning I intended to bring this into NIK Silver Efex Pro and do a selective-colorization. This may not have been strictly necessary because the backboard and netting were pretty monochromatic anyway, but I really like some of the effects you can get out of SEP. This used the “high structure-soft” filter; a light copper tint and added vignette in addition to the selective colorization. There was no additional sharpening or noise reduction applied.
I am still recovering from a significant physical ailment where I was hobbling around on a cane for about a week and my left knee and leg are still not 100% right. This was shot in a little park about a mile from our house, and I was ashamed of myself that I drove down there instead of walk. It is just that I figured that after I hoofed it a mile down to the park carrying a load of camera gear that I would be too tired and sore to do much photography.
It is depressing to come to the realization that you will never again be as tough as you once were in the past. I remember (not that long ago, it seems) going through fits of physical-fitness routines, and then slacking off and falling out of shape, and then getting back on the work-out band-wagon and getting strong once more. It always seemed like I would have the time to whip myself back into shape one-more-time “for real”.
“Then one day you find
10-years have got behind you
No one told you when to run
You missed the starting gun”
“So you run and you run to catch up with the sun, but it’s sinking
Racing around to come up behind you again
The sun is the same, in a relative way, but you’re older
Shorter of breath, and one day closer to death”