Sundays in Boston

By: Gustav Hoiland

Mar 05 2010

Category: bike polo

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Shutter:1/0 sec
Camera:NIKON D80

Brilliant Sunshine and Polo

This, my friends, was not meticulously planned, set up with models, coordinated with the exact time of day, or … ramblerambleramble.  It’s one of 2849 exposures that I shot during a Sunday afternoon at the Boston polo courts. I did, however, put myself in a spot where I knew there would be good potential angles for the action while keeping in mind the low sun and the great flares it would throw across my lens.  From there it was rapid-fire composition, which I’ve gotten fairly good at in my photographic practices. It belongs to a series of perhaps 50 that I shot at 3 frames per second (as fast as my camera will go), whilst running around the court trying not to get hit.  I’m making a stop-motion-ish movie out of them, and hopefully I’ll have that finished up this weekend.

There’s quite a bit going on here.  There’s some tension or perhaps suspense created by the positioning of the three figures, where they’re looking, etc. I think the fact that the ball is nowhere to be seen creates a sort of energy, since you’re looking for visual cues as to where it might be (at the end of his mallet?  way to the left where they’re all looking?), but none of these leads bring any discovery of the ball.  …where is it!!!

Next, the tilt in the back boards creates a big dynamic white stripe across the back of the image.  If that were perfectly level there wouldn’t be nearly as much energy in here.  Also the front man’s mallet contributes to this feeling, since it’s a very sharp line, but it too is at an uneasy angle.

Finally, that beautiful sun.  The big orange glow in the top just warms your heart.  As chilly as it may have been out there, it looks like a nice cup of hot cider might feel.  Then the strange patterns of the lens flare itself.  The subtle greens and violets within the overall orange/yellowness of it.  The strange, seemingly random patterns and lines that are contained within it, dissolving into the rest of the photo at the edges.  The general darkness on the right side of the frame helps to really emphasize this brilliance that is pouring in from the top left.


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