Tag: kids

Back to the Sprayground.

Waterfront Park Sprayground  #2
Waterfront Park Sprayground #2

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Yesterday’s post about the Louisville Waterfront Park Sprayground was very popular so I decided to add another shot from that shoot today. Using HDR techniques I was able to expose for the bright sky and clouds as well as the people sitting in the shade watching the kids at play. I especially like how the water fountains were rendered showing the water splashing on the pavement and glistening in the sun.

I shot a three frame bracket set -2, 0 and +2 EV. Even though the kids were running around NIK HDR Efex Pro 2 and it’s anti-ghosting feature kept the ghost artifacts to a minimum. I especially like how the water fountains were rendered showing the water splashing on the pavement and glistening in the sun.

This is another case of shooting during a part of the day that is usually advised against, though by breaking that convention I was able to get a very realistic shot that has a feeling of playfulness and spontaneity that is in keeping with the subject matter. Through use of repetition of shapes and color I was able to come up with a very active composition. While framing the shot I included the blue sky and clouds with the green trees to emphasize the texture in both areas. In the foreground the blue astro turf and the natural grasses and wild flowers serve to reinforce the upper part of the frame. The diagonal sections also contribute to the active space and serve as reinforcement of the kids and fountains as the sprayground recedes into the background in a dynamic diagonal swoosh full of action.

With all the blues and greens that dominate the pallet the brilliant reds that appear throughout the middle of the frame serve as counterpoints and add interest to the cental area of the image. I included the figure in the right foreground to suggest that even outside the frame there is action going on that warrants attention yet she is still connected with all the other folks in the scene.

Waterfront Park Sprayground

Waterfront Park Sprayground  #1
Waterfront Park Sprayground #1

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One of the wonderful features of Waterfont Park is the Sprayground feature. The Sprayground is busy all day long with kids squealing and splashing under the water fountains or climbing on the playground equipment. One of the features that I really like is the fish fountains that have water pouring out of their mouths creating beautiful waterfalls on the kids heads.

I chose to shoot this scene in HDR so I shot a three bracket set of -2, 0 and +2 EV to capture the details in the sun and in the shade under the trees. I first took the three RAW frames into NIK Sharpener Pro and applied adaptive sharpening globally. I then merged the three sharpened frames in NIK HDR Efex Pro 2 where I applied a 60% anti-ghosting setting. The anti-ghosting allowed me to capture the many moving people and kids without showing any ghost artifacts. I also used the Deep 2 preset but I tweaked it to bring down some of the over-saturation in the foliage while still showing the vibrant blues in the sky and water. I finished the image in Aperture 3 where I adjusted individual color saturation and luminance. I applied my final sharpening and a small vignette to complete the image.

Out For an Evening Spin

Kids Out For an Evening Spin

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Sunday evening I was down in Waterfront Park to shoot the sunset and the people out enjoying the park. As I was heading back to my truck I saw the children’s playground was getting a little attention too. It was well after sunset and the light was very low so I thought I would experiment with some long exposure brackets of the kids playing on the merry-go-round. They were all ages from toddler up to five or so and they were having a great time. I knew that the figures would be blurred by movement so I decided to capitalize on that.

One mother, whose two children were the smallest on the ride, stood nearly motionless as she watched over them. I hoped that she would show up in the shots and was well rewarded. Even though there were eight or ten kids on the ride and several more parents in the scene they all stayed in motion and appear as faint ghosts in the final image.

I merged the three frames in NIK HDR Efex Pro 2 using a 100% setting for anti-ghosting. I also applied the Deep #1 preset and made some very slight adjustments to the tonality before returning the image to Aperture 3 for final adjustments. In Aperture 3 I adjusted each color channel separately in order to compliment the blue tone that the twilight sky cast over the scene. I was still bothered by the way the kids were being rendered as simply a blur though; I decided to add some mid-contrast and voila their small figures appeared inside the merry-go-round. A little sharpening and some further tweaks to the Exposure and Enhance sliders and this final image emerged.