Going… going… gone…

I had the fortunate experience to go to Hawaii a couple of weeks ago with friends. We went to cheer on our buddy Alex who was participating in the Lavaman triathlon. While Alex started his race around 7:30am, we arrived around 8:30 as some of the participants were on the 40k cycling leg of the event. This is after their 1.5k swim of course. And before their 10k run. Anyway… we were driving down the highway and started to see some of the frontrunner bikers. We found a safe place to pull off and wait for Alex. We didn’t have to wait long (Alex is pretty good…) for him to go past and I grabbed this shot.

It was actually a hard shot to get. While I could have set a super fast shutter speed and kept the camera fixed to one spot, I wanted to get a blurred background while keeping him in focus as much as possible. A high risk shot because if I missed it, well, no picture of Alex. I was able to practice on a few other people with varied success. In essence, you try and move (or swing) the camera as the subject passes the lens all while trying to keep the subject in focus and in frame. If done correctly (the camera lens in sync with the moving subject), Alex will appear still with the world speeding past… which is a really neat effect to show speed. I don’t think I’m explaining this very well… I’m tired. But you probably get what I’m saying.

The top image is the original (with a little colour tweaking).

And of course, when it comes to photoshop, I just can’t help myself. I wanted it to look like Alex was turning into smoke. Also a somewhat challenging effect. The hardest part was removing Alex out of the picture entirely in one of the steps that went into the final image. If you look closely in the bottom picture, you can see through Alex where his body once was. That image had to be built into the photo because… well… Alex is in the original shot. But with the effect of him breaking apart, there needed to be image created on the other side of him. Easy to do if he was in front of a single colour backdrop. Not so much when there is road, beach and sky.

Anyway. I haven’t been active in the photo world for a while and this was very therapeutic. And I’m fairly happy with the result.

Good night.

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