Podcast: EP8 pt 1- A Question of Ethics

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News – Our best and worst shoots this past month.
Ryu got sand in his 70-200 shooting beach soccer and had to fork over a bunch of Euros to Nikon. Matt lost autofocus on his 400mm, and had to hand over a bigger bunch of dollars to Nikon, but is very happy to be back shooting football.

We introduce… Matthew Stockman
Matt interviews Matthew Stockman, a Getty Images staff photographer. We talk about tennis, amateur sports, changing course in the middle of a shoot, and more.

Master class
Ryu and Matt learn that they are on opposite sides of the fence when it comes to cropping and Photoshop:
Matt = Cropping good, Photoshop bad.
Ryu =Cropping bad, Photoshop good.

Part 2 of this month’s podcast with The results of the September themed competition and our Training Ground critiques will be up on Monday Oct 10th. Apologies for the delay.

Special thanks to…
Icon by Arvin Bautista
Audio Production/Editing: David Whittaker

*Please Read Below*
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13 thoughts on “Podcast: EP8 pt 1- A Question of Ethics

  1. As far as cropping and Photoshop goes, I definitely have to agree with Matt. Maybe it’s an American thing, I’m not sure. Being able to compose a shot perfectly in sports photography, where there are no reshoots and things happen in the blink of an eye, I think is a luxury that isn’t possible all the time. I think it’s better to get a usable shot of an important moment in the event that can be cropped rather than dismissing it simply because it’s not composed perfectly in it’s original size. I understand what Ryu is saying in the context of a photographer who is learning (where I certainly fall into that group) and should learn to value composition, but I think it’s unfair to live in such strict guidelines when it comes to cropping and sports. There are just too many things outside the control of the photographer in sports photography, at least if the photographer is trying to document key moments in an event. If the assignment or goal of the shoot is simply to get an interesting photo that doesn’t need to be of anything in particular, then certainly focus on composition and getting the shot you truly want. However, being in a fixed position with a fixed lens where the expectation (by others) is that you’ll get as many key moments as you can, then cropping is a necessity.

  2. Ben,

    At the very end of the day, I say “to each it’s own”. We are allowed to make our own decision as to how we should capture a moment. What I’m emphasising (I apologise in advance that I was very convoluted during Master Class) is that you should concentrate on allowing yourself to make mistakes at the early stages of your photography career and not get too caught up in getting the key moments ie goals, celebrations, key tackles, etc… We discuss this a bit on the upcoming September Training Ground. Peak action, the important moments during a game, is important. But if you are not a professional, don’t get too caught up in it. There are lots of beautiful moments during the game where composing it carefully will pay dividends more than thinking about cropping later.

    My glorious 2 cents.


  3. Ryu,

    I would definitely agree with that. Like I said, it depends on what the “assignment” is if there is one. If there isn’t one, then certainly focus on just making interesting shots with good composition.


  4. Jonathan-

    I guess Matthew felt he didn’t need his portfolio anymore. Must be nice.

    Here’s a link to a series of blog posts from the 2008 French Open: http://blog.gettyimages.com/author/matthew-stockman

    And here is a link to what he has live on the Getty Images site right now:

    And if you’re looking for his tennis pictures: http://www.gettyimages.com/Search/Search.aspx?contractUrl=2&language=en-US&family=editorial&assetType=image&ep=2&mt=photography&p=matthew+stockman+tennis#

  5. That’s awesome! Thanks, Matt! Say – I’m curious – in the case of a Getty photographer like Mr. Stockman, is all the content he is submitting being made available to Getty subscribers or are his submissions being further edited?

    Thanks again for the links!


  6. Everyone has an editor. Filing on tight deadlines can lead to pictures slipping through, and it’s the editor’s job to make sure what goes out and what is placed in the permanent library reflects well on everyone.

  7. I (as a newbie) often have to use cropping to recompose my photos because I use the center focus point only when I capture the image. This means that I have to keep the subject in the center of the frame when shooting to make sure that person is in focus. But when I produce my final image I generally don’t want my subject dead center. So I have to crop to move the subject and the other people and objects around so that it looks the way I want it to look. That is not something I can do without cropping unless I use different focus points (something that is hard to predict). Is there a way around that in sports photography?

  8. Bill,

    I think you answered your own question. Use the other focus points. Would you mind clarifying what exactly “…hard to predict.” means?


  9. Thanks. For shots where I have time to compose, I can select different AF points. I would more likely still use the center AF point but switch to Single Shot AF mode and recomposing after I get focus. I was thinking more of the peak action shots where I am using AI Servo mode with a single AF point shooting a moving subject. In that mode my composition in the camera is somewhat limited, because I have to keep the AF point on the moving subject.

    By “hard to predict”, I was referring more to the peak action shots. Without knowing in advance how the action will play out, it would be difficult to predict what which AF point I should select. I would more likely just stick to the center point and hope for the best, recomposing (cropping) it later to try to clean it up.

    But now that I think about it more, I probably do rely too much on using software to recompose my shots and should work more on getting it right in the camera more often. I never thought of that as a weakness since I usually have more pixels than I need – I guess I have been lazy.

    I have learned a lot in since listening and really enjoy the podcast.

  10. Bill,

    We’ve been advocating taking risks with your shots. By having the focus point in the centre, you might be able to get lots of average shots and few good ones. But by pre-composing the shots with the focus point somewhere other than in the centre, you might not get many average shots nor many good ones.

    But you might get one or two excellent shots.


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