Folk Festival Photos - Content Aware

Discussion in 'Other Genres' started by Robert Watcher, Jul 22, 2015.

  1. Robert Watcher

    Robert Watcher Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Saturday evening, Anne and I spent time with our friends at the Home County Folk Festival in London, Ontario. I sat in my seat a distance from the stage, and shot with long focal lengths of 150mm to 600mm.

    This distance actually provides a nice view of the performers - without looking up at them if standing right in front of the stage. The main issues are keeping audience and extraneous pieces of gear from obstructing the performers.

    I did a decent job of that, but on a few I decided to try the "Inpainting Brush Tool" (basically Content Aware tool) in Affinity Photo. While not always perfect, still I was amazed that I could draw these things and they would disappear. I could never clone, and get anything close to the results as when I kept going over the areas to get an acceptable look.

    These first two images show 1) a perfect scenario where simple non-obtrusive elements can easily be taken out while keeping textures and the naturalness of the surroundings and 2) a complete elimination of elements that cover part of the subject - - - all with straight out of the camera frames and ones drawn over with the Inpainting Brush Tool:





  2. Robert Watcher

    Robert Watcher Mu-43 Top Veteran

    For these two, I wanted to try some extensive removal stuff - and after the sign disappeared fairly effortlessly - - - just for the fun of it, I gave a stab at eliminating the whole set of drums. I literally couldn't believe my eyes. I did do a little cloning on that last one, to provide some extra lights to fill in the gaps.





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  3. Robert Watcher

    Robert Watcher Mu-43 Top Veteran

    A few more from the evening. Ben Caplan is one of the strangest and most entertaining acts. During a couple of songs, intense red backlights fired through his hair, causing the blown out reds to have this bizarre effect.



    Being that I was locked to my chair to the front of the stage, I was forced to anticipate the movements of the entertainer to get a variety of angles. To get this type of profile image, I would have to be at the side of the stage and then at a height so that I wouldn't be shooting up (a reason that tI like shooting from a distance).

    And so I just watched his patterns and got to know when he would turn away or react a certain way. And so I was able to end up with this nice full profile. You can tell what is going on by looking at the direction of the mic and mic stand which are aiming more to me. But the illusion works.


    Some of Ben's crazy antics portrayed here.



    I noticed on the camera and phone screens of people around me shooting pictures, all showed completely blown out performers. When I visited the events Facebook page - same thing from viewer photos.

    For the complete event - when aiming at the stage - my exposure compensation was dialed in to minus 2 to minus 3 stops to compensate for the dark background and brightness of the entertainer. Old school training always comes in handy.

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  4. Robert Watcher

    Robert Watcher Mu-43 Top Veteran

    As the intense darkness settled in on this outdoor event, lighting was dictated by the few floodlights that were overhead the acts. This isn't a polished lighting setup - an overhead cage with a string of lights on the back for some coloured light coming through the hair - as well as a few white lights in the front.

    Shooting with longer lenses limited me to f5.6 when in the 600mm range and f4 when in the 140-200mm range - - - thus in the darker evening, my ISO hit 5,000 ISO for these shots at slower shutters speeds sometimes as slow as 1/40'th second.

    I made use of Image Stabilization for the camera movement, and trying to shoot at peak action for subject movement. That can be seen in many of the images where the subject is reasonably sharp, while their hands are moving.

    These shots of two well known groups - "The Grapes of Wrath" - and "The Leahy's" were taken once darkness fell upon the event. The light quality wasn't as nice as earlier when the natural daylight was prominent.





  5. Gerard

    Gerard Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    May 12, 2015
    Vleuten, Utrecht
    Your gear is much better than mine, butb more importantly you obviously know what you're doing and I am still learning.
    BTW: Great shots!
  6. Robert Watcher

    Robert Watcher Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Thank you - but maybe the second only. My gear is not that impressive. I had an old Olympus E-520 with 70-300 lens and Olympus E-PL5 and 40-150 kit lens for any videos I shot and the few later in the evening that required high ISO settings (E-520 maxes out at 800ISO usable).
  7. Gerard

    Gerard Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    May 12, 2015
    Vleuten, Utrecht
    This adds weight to the second :)
  8. hazwing

    hazwing Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 25, 2012
    The inpainting brush tool seems pretty good!
  9. Wisertime

    Wisertime Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 6, 2013
    This guy is missing a A string on his guitar. If you want to get clever you could clone that one. :) jk Actually missing the bridge peg too...does he play without one? It's unusual to break a top string.
    I do the same thing removing extraneous objects at concerts and darken the background. Nice shots.
  10. Robert Watcher

    Robert Watcher Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Actually the performer is a girl - named Irish Mythen.

    Yup - during one of the songs, her string broke - she pulled the peg out, unwound the string, retuned a couple of strings and carried on - barely missing a beat, while the fiddle player carried on.

    When the song was complete, a new string was brought out and she had to hunt around the floor for the peg. A couple of minutes, and she was all set to carry on.

    It is unusual to break bottom (lowest sounding) strings. Made for an interesting moment.
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2015
  11. demiro

    demiro Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Nov 7, 2010
    Nice shots Rob, and thanks for the technical insights.
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