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Zzuzka
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vonHoeckerPhotoArt February 21, 2016
A Masterpiece!
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Zzuzka February 25, 2016
Thank you!
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p_eileenbaltz March 09, 2017
Voted in 'I Love Photography' contest.
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Zzuzka February 09, 2018
Thanks.
 
billgardam March 02, 2018
Moonlight sonata. :)
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Zzuzka March 03, 2018
:-)

Solar Eclipse Piano Player



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Staff Winter Selection 2015
Peer Award
+66
Outstanding Creativity
+64
Superb Composition
+31
Top Choice
+18
Absolute Masterpiece
+8
All Star
Genius
Superior Skill
Magnificent Capture
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Virtuoso

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Behind The Lens

Location
Oh, it is my favourite composite - just two images. One is of my son playing piano when he came home from school - it was a theme day - and he just looked perfect. And the another one is the solar eclipse outside :-) The solar eclipse was actually approx. one month after I took the picture of my son. I loved the image but the background was cluttered and did not do him a justice so I knew I am gonna cut him out and place him on a different background and the solar eclipse was just it. He had a little lamp on the top of piano that created the shadow on his face and even though is not an exact match for the light from the sun I think it is pretty close.
Time
The picture of the piano player was taken after school in February. Around 4 or 5pm. He had his lamp on so it had to be getting dark. The solar eclipse was in March in the morning around 9.30.
Lighting
I am not completely happy with the lighting as it was not a planned picture. It was a picture of a moment. :-) I used just a pop up flash on the boy and it created a harsh shadow behind him on the left side of the image so when I was cutting him out in photoshop I got rid of it. The little lamp on the piano created the shadow on his face that I think is working well with the solar eclipse scenario. :-) I was thinking of recreating the image of my son playing the piano in his cute outfit but he hates posing for camera so this had to do :-) plus we got rid of this great looking piano soon after this.
Equipment
Really nothing special as I said before it could work out a bit better if it would be planned but I just took my Nikon D7100 and took the shot quickly while he was smiling with the pop up flash. Sigma 17-50mm 2.8 lens. Setting ISO 800, 17mm (it is a very small room), 1/60 sec at f/2.8 so you can see movement on his fingers :-) The solar eclipse was taken on the same camera but Nikon 18-140mm 3.5-5.6 lens. Setting ISO 100, 140mm (to get closer), 1/6400 sec at f/22 (mainly to darken it all as it was very bright), no filters were used.
Inspiration
I was looking for the right background for the piano player for some time and the solar eclipse just seemed perfect. I love the whole mood of the final image. He could as well be playing by the moonlight. It is magical.
Editing
I cut out the boy and the piano to get rid of unwanted items on the top of the piano and the radiator behind him. I also smoothed the image a bit by getting rid of the image noise. With the solar eclipse one I increased a bit the saturation, clarity, vibrance and contrast to make it pop :-) And I put the boy with the piano in it. And that is it. Very simple. Nothing complicated.
In my camera bag
My favourite equipment that goes in my bag is now my Nikon D750 camera with either 24-70mm f/2.8 nikon lens or the 70-200 f/2.8 depending on where I am shooting. I prefer the 70-200 if there is enough space as it is awesome lens and makes the subject stand out nicely if used with the open aperture. It is possible to use on landscapes too but better for portraiture. And I love my Hahnel Modus 600RT flashgun if the extra light is needed or as a fill and with the wireless trigger I often use it off camera too. I should probably start to carry my tripod too but usually cannot be bothered :-)
Feedback
You can see from the description above that it is very easy to create an image like this. And I am sure it can be done much better too. But many times you have to decide if you want to carefully plan for something or just use what is available in the moment. I am sure I would not manage to get such a nice smile of my son again if I would start messing with things around him (like tidying the top of the piano) or bringing off camera light. It had to be that moment that was right there. And try to always have an open mind and try to create your ideas and see where it is going. Sometimes it works out really nicely sometimes it does not. I spend hours sometimes with my images trying different looks and then go back to the original look. I do not consider it as wasting of my time as it is about learning and practice and it all will come handy on an another image. I can see I am getting better and better if not every month then every year :-) You can do it too.....x

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