Surfer Dude

Chris Grant, Vista, CA

THE PROBLEM The original version of this splashy action shot placed surfer Ed McCaffrey nearly in the center of the frame, with too little run-off space to the left. Though the photographer's crop makes for dynamic diagonal framing, it takes out any referential setting or context—the surfer might as well be on a black seamless!

WHAT NOW? We restored the original frame, then cropped some off the right to get the surfer out of the center, but it still wasn't enough. Through the magic of Photoshop, we copied a section of the wall of water and added it to the left side of the frame, cloning here and there to make the transition more realistic. This accomplished two goals: First, it placed the surfer in the right-hand third of the frame, and it emphasized the tube of water he's hurtling into.

NEXT TIME Spot-on framing is tough with fast-moving subjects, so take lots of shots and try to predict or to visualize ahead where elements will land in the frame. And don't necessarily always go for tight framing in the camera—sometimes the wider view can make more impact.

TECH INFO Canon EOS 20D with 400mm f/5.6L Canon EF lens; 1/800 sec at f/6.3; ISO 200. Slight sharpening applied with Unsharp Mask in Adobe Photoshop.

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Photo Credit: E. Yeromenko, NYI Graduate, 2005

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