Under-pressure Amla leads South Africa fightback against England

first_imgCAPE TOWN, South Africa (AP):South Africa showed some fight in the second Test yesterday, with Hashim Amla’s 157 not out helping cut England’s lead to 276 as the home team reached 353-3 at stumps on the third day.Amla, the South Africa captain, eased the pressure on himself and his top-ranked team with his 24th Test century and first since December 2014.He shared partnerships of 183 with A.B. de Villiers (88) and an unbroken 85 with Faf du Plessis. South Africa lost just one wicket for 212 runs on the day.England, after a huge first-innings total of 629-6 declared, were finding it tough to take wickets on a serene batting pitch at Newlands, which has been so good for the batsmen that 982 runs were scored over three days.”Tricky day for us,” England fast bowler Steven Finn said. “One wicket in a day is obviously not ideal for what we wanted from this day … but we’re still a long way ahead in the game.”England also already lead the four-match series 1-0, leaving South Africa effectively batting to stay alive in the contest.”We were behind the eight ball on day one,” Du Plessis said. “England played really well and we needed a really resilient performance to get back in the Test match and that’s what we did.”England’s lone breakthrough came just before tea when De Villiers, looking to push on, mistimed a pull shot off Finn. The ball flew to James Anderson, who knocked it up in the air at midwicket and completed the catch.Frustratingly for England, both Amla and De Villiers should have been out much earlier but for dropped catches. Joe Root put De Villiers down at slip off the bowling of Anderson late on the second day and very early in De Villiers’ knock. In a twist of irony, Anderson dropped Amla off Root’s bowling when the South African skipper was on 76. Amla was dropped again on 120 by Nick Compton.”Obviously we’re disappointed to not take them but no one means to drop catches,” Finn said.De Villiers hit 12 fours and a six, while Amla returned to form with a big century, hitting 21 fours.With South Africa in a slump, Amla’s lack of form and captaincy had come under scrutiny. When he passed 50, it was for the first time since the New Year test in Cape Town a year ago, ending a drought of 11 innings without a meaningful score.last_img read more

Immelman wins US Masters

first_img14 April 2008South African golf has another major winner after Trevor Immelman emulated his hero Gary Player’s feat of 30 years ago to win the US Masters at the Augusta National Golf Club in Georgia on Sunday.It was a convincing victory by the 28-year-old. He was tied for the lead with Johannesburg-born Justin Rose after the first round; from round two, his name remained alone atop the leaderboard as he claimed victory by three shots on eight-under-par 280 after rounds of 68, 68, 69, and 75.Remarkable returnImmelman’s victory marked a remarkable return to winning ways for the modest man who just four months previously had a tumour removed shortly after winning the Nedbank Challenge in scintillating fashion. He experienced abdominal pain the week after his win at Sun City at the South African Airways Open, which forced him to withdraw from the event, and turned out to be the tumour.Six weeks later, he was back on tour, contesting the FBR Open. It was a tough return as he missed the cut. Next, he missed the cut in the Northern Trust Open, followed by a tie for 17th in the World Golf Championships-Accenture Match Play Championship.Another missed cut followed at the Honda Classic. Then, a number of finishes way out of the big money positions: a tie for 65th at the PODS Championship, a tie for 48th at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, and a tie for 40th at the World Golf Championships-CA Championship.The famous green jacketIn his final tournament before the US Masters, Immelman missed the cut at the Shell Houston Open. Then.BOOM! There he was on Sunday at Augusta, having the famous green jacket fitted onto his shoulders by last year’s Masters’ winner, Zach Johnson.Speaking about his win, Immelman’s thoughts reflected his fight back from surgery. He said: “You know, I’ve always dreamed about winning majors and deep down I always thought I was good enough, but at time you obviously doubt yourself because you miss a few cuts and screw up a few times and you just… it’s like ‘Man, maybe I’m not as good or not good enough.’”The legendary Gary Player is the only previous South African winner of the Masters, having won it in 1961, 1974, and 1978. Immelman spoke about South Africa’s proud golf tradition and following in his idol’s footsteps, saying: “It hasn’t been hard to represent the country. Obviously, Gary won here three times and it’s such an incredible feat and, as you see, Ernie and Retief have come real close.More SA winners“Tim Clark finished second, Sabbatini – Rory – finished second, so there’s been a bunch of guys that have come so close and there’ll be a few more South Africans that will win this tournament.“This tournament is such a big deal down in South Africa. We grow up idolising this event, and kids dream about winning this tournament, just as I did, and obviously Ernie and all those guys I mentioned, they still have many opportunities to win this event, so I wouldn’t be surprised if they get it done at some point.”Now that he has won a major, Immelman says his ambition extends beyond a single title. “Obviously this is a tremendous confidence boost, now that I know I have got one under my belt,” he said, “and all I can do is go out there and prepare well for the majors from now on and just try my best.“I mean I’m definitely not going to sit back and go ‘okay, that’s me, I’m done’. I’m going to keep working hard and try to make the most of what I’ve been given.”DominationImmelman’s win was hugely impressive because of the manner in which he dominated the elements, the course, and the competition.He and Justin Rose led Brandt Snedeker, Lee Westwood, and Brian Bateman by one shot, on four-under-par 68, after the opening round.In round two, only Steve Flesch, with a five-under 67 bettered Immelman’s 68. Snedeker equaled the South African with a 68 to trail by one at the halfway mark.In the third round, only three players managed to better Immelman’s 69, which left him with a two-shot advantage heading into Sunday’s fourth round.Final roundWith his parents watching, and a good luck message from Gary Player left on his cellphone, he teed off in the most important round of his career. By the inward nine, his lead had grown as large as six shots, but he injected minor tension into the finish by carding a double-bogey on the 16th.However, with such a big cushion, he wasn’t about to give up the coveted green jacket and pars on the final two holes secured the biggest win of his career.Immelman went on to pay tribute to his parents. His father, Johan, the former Commissioner of the Sunshine Tour, politely told a reporter that it was Trevor’s moment, not his, when approached for comment.‘Mister Player’He also thanked his wife, Carminita, and his brother, Mark, for coaching and encouraging him and, showing his respect for Gary Player, said: “This one is also for Mister Player.”Immelman began his week by playing a practice round with Player, who contested the Masters for a record 51st time.Victories don’t come bigger than winning the US Masters at Augusta. And speaking of “big” wins. Once converted to rands, Immelman’s prize money works out to R10.26-million – over R2.5-million per round – which is a seriously impressive return for a superb effort.However, it’s not the money that matters. Honestly.Pulling on the green jacket and emulating his hero, winning the US Masters for himself, his family, and the Rainbow Nation… That’s what matters. Want to use this article in your publication or on your website?See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more

Color Grading: Bleach Bypass Looks in DaVinci Resolve

first_imgCreate extreme color looks in DaVinci Resolve. In this post we share a technique for achieving the stylized bleach bypass look, reminscent of films like 300 and Sin City.When in session, you may hear the client mention a bleach bypass look. It’s a bit of an antiquated term hailing back to days of film processing. Bleach bypass involved skipping the bleaching process during the film’s development, which retains its natural silver elements. This leads to an extreme grade that holds higher contrast and very little saturation. This look was popular in the nineties and was used for many music videos, and today retains its edgy, extreme nature in feature films like 300 and Sin City.This color grading look holds a sense of tension because it’s not the first place most commercial ads would head. Let’s create the bleach bypass effect in DaVinci Resolve.The first step, as always, is bringing your footage into Resolve and doing an initial correction on all of your shots. I stress the importance of this not only to make you faster at grading in general, but to arrive at a base consistency when working with your footage. While it’s a good idea to balance all the images beforehand, it’s especially important when imposing this extreme look which involves clipping the high and low registers. The scopes may become harder to read when the black and white values are off the charts, pegging somewhere beyond legal IRE values.The untouched source image, courtesy of Shutterstock:My initial balance. Good starting point, nothing too crazy:After you’ve balanced your timeline, create a new node and head to the Custom Curves in the bottom center of Resolve’s interface. Fashion an S-curve by making several points along the contrast curve at the high and low ends. Drag the bottom points down and the top points up. This will alter any corrections you perform on your color panel (you’re using a panel, right?) along this curve, acting like a filter.Set up a standard contrast ‘S-curve’ to filter your adjustments as you work through the grade:Now, we’ve quite quickly created a look reminsisent of bleach bypass, but we’ll tweak it a bit further. Its extreme nature will not make it a perfect fit for all projects, but its clear visual impact is the main reason it’s still used today.Next, bring the saturation down to somewhere around 15 or 20. Grading is subjective, and you’ll be working with different footage from job to job, so just tweak your grade to taste. Remember though, bleach bypass is extreme. Don’t be afraid to lose details in the black and whites. Not caring about what happens to the upper and lower registers is part of what makes the look so edgy. Bleach bypass can look dirty and unrefined, which for some projects, may be exactly what you want. If you just can’t bear to lose those details you can always salvage them by using the Soft Clipping feature that I’ve written about here.Soft clipping brings back the extreme high and low registers, making the values legal from a broadcast standpoint. Note here we’ve brought back some of the detail in her hat and cheek:You should now have dialed in your bypass look. Movies like 300 employ the look to give a definite edginess to their already brutal visuals. To achieve the look of Sin City, desaturate the image completely. If you want to pop certain details like the Yellow Bastard’s cartoonish yellow skin (fron Sin City) or a femme fatale’s lips, create a node before the bleach bypass grade and selectively qualify those values in a tutorial I describe here.Node #3 selects just the woman’s lips, then I’ve inverted the qualifier by making an Outside Node represented in #4. This is where I’ve taken the saturation to zero. Node #2 is my bleach bypass which sits on top of these other corrections. I also needed to add a window because my qualifier was picking up her nostrils and a bit of red in her eyes which was not desirable.Behold, our femme fatale with blazing red lips:With the color drained away, you may now be perceiving the image differently. Double-check to make sure the contrast is still where you want it, and increase or back it off as needed. Lastly, you can play around with how much of the effect is mixing in with your base grade by going into the Key tab and affecting the Gain parameter. This is a great tool to know about when clients ask you to “split the difference.” You can half the effect by typing .5 into the Gain parameter. In our example I’ve backed the grade off to .7 for a less extreme high-contrast look.Our client got cold feet that our look was too extreme. I’ve backed off the grade to .7 and now they’re happy again.Grab a still of your work and post it in the comments. If you’re looking for feedback let me know and I’m happy to give pointers.last_img read more