Commack High School Girls Varsity Tennis vs. Elwood/J Glenn

Commack High School Girls Varsity Tennis vs. Elwood/J Glenn

Congratulations to the Commack girls tennis team on their win over Elwood/Glenn. They're on a roll. The topic for discussion today is backgrounds, specifically trying to get a clean background. The tennis courts at Commack High School have a lot of distracting backgrounds regardless of which way you point your camera. They're bordered by a parking lot on one side with lots of brightly colored cars with shiny chrome, and a playing field on the other with athletes in brightly colored uniforms practicing.

Choosing for the lesser of two evils, I'm going for the practice field in my backgrounds. There's nothing more distracting than cars with highly reflective chrome. Of course, I didn't mention the fences surrounding the court, but with tennis that's a given.

Your only option to change the background when shooting tennis is to move to your left or right to shoot at a different angle and hope to find an angle that eliminates the distractions. As you can see from the photos in this gallery, I didn't have much luck with that. There were baseball players and football players practicing on the field behind the tennis players.

In this case your remaining option is to clone out the players if possible, or desaturate the colors in their uniforms to minimize the distraction. If the players cross the back of your subject, cloning them out is going to be a lengthy process. If you're working on only one or two photos, have at it. For 76 photos, I think not.

What I was able to do was desaturate the orange helmet covers on the football players. That can be done fairly easily in Lightroom or Photoshop with an adjustment brush.

One more tip - If your background is shaded be prepared to dial in a lot of negative exposure compensation to prevent blowing out highlights in the skin tones. I was using -3/4 stop and probably should have gone to -1 full stop on some of the photos.

Have fun.

Commack High School Varsity Cross Country

Commack High School Varsity Cross Country

Commack High School Varsity Football vs. Longwood

Commack High School Varsity Football vs. Longwood